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Emmitsburg baseball is just around the corner

(4/17) Spring means anticipating our country’s most beloved national pastime. No, it’s not the Majors. It’s small-town baseball, specifically Emmitsburg Baseball.

Baseball has been a beloved tradition and a big part of life in Emmitsburg for over 50 years, connecting young and old alike with warm, vivid memories of playing, coaching and cheering on our favorites. The Emmitsburg Lions Club organized the town’s first baseball league. The year was 1955 and it yielded 56 players and four teams: the Cardinals, Giants, Red Sox, and Yankees.

Bun Wivell throws out the first pitch for the 2007 Emmitsburg Baseball season.

Today, the Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball League is over 280 players strong (boys and girls ranging from ages 4 through18) and has grown to 23 teams and tee-ball, minor league, major league, senior league, and girls’ softball divisions. For many local youth, Emmitsburg Baseball is their catapult into the world of organized sports. It is their first experience with team play, effectively helping to boost self-esteem and to teach life lessons of cooperation, self-discipline, and fair play—all while having fun.

With the assistance of the community and local businesses, Emmitsburg Baseball has significantly contributed to improving area recreational facilities over the past 53 years. The league has helped turn one large field into three distinct ball fields, purchased an electronic scoreboard, installed dugouts and bleachers for every field, and constructed a concession stand, press box, and batting cage.

Improvements in the teams’ accomplishments have been just as significant. In 1985, the Emmitsburg All-Stars won the District 2 Little League Championship and, in 1999, the girls’ softball team celebrated winning the Maryland Junior League District 2 Championships. The major league boys responded with consecutive Mason-Dixon Pony League season/play-off championship titles. In the bronco division (youth 12 and under), the Dodgers won in 2005 and the Red Sox won in 2006. Last year brought two more championships to Emmitsburg with the Red Sox taking the title again for their division, and the Giants snagging the 2007 Mason-Dixon Pony League title for the mustang division (youth 10 and under).

This year, in keeping with its plan to focus on town spirit and community involvement, the Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball League is launching its 2008 season in a big way. Opening day festivities will commence on Sunday, April 20, at 1:30 p.m. with a town parade featuring our baseball and softball teams and local businesses and organizations. The parade will begin at DePaul Street and proceed down Seton Avenue to Potomac Street ending at Memorial Park. After opening ceremonies and team introductions, the celebration will conclude with an exhibition game between the Dodgers and the Red Sox. Mayor James Hoover will preside as Grand Marshal over the celebration and will throw out the first pitch.

Small-town baseball is definitely alive and well in Emmitsburg. So, turn off the major league game, and take a stroll over to one of the town parks—the Community Park to see the senior league play or Memorial Park for all other teams. There are many games played throughout the week, with Saturdays a baseball lover’s treat—offering up a busy and exciting day of morning and afternoon games.

Anticipate the next game. It’s just around the corner and down the street.

The parade of teams during the 2007 opening day activities for Emmitsburg Baseball.

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