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Emmitsburg baseball kicks off April 11

(4.1) Emmitsburg has had baseball leagues since 1879 and a Little League since 1955. Baseball is a part of life in Emmitsburg. It's a rite of spring, almost as if the young players marching through town on opening day bring the warmer temperatures with them.

The 55th season of the Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball League kicks off on April 11 with the annual opening day parade. 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.

When the Lions Club-sponsored Little League came to Emmitsburg in 1955, there were 56 players on four teams. Nowadays, the Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball League fields around 300 boys and girls ranging in age from 4 through 18 playing in 23 teams. They play tee-ball, minor league, major league, senior league, and girls' softball division games learning teamwork, fair play and self-discipline.

The Emmitsburg teams continue to play high-quality baseballs. In 1985, the Emmitsburg All-Stars won the District 2 Little League Championship. The girls' softball team celebrated winning the Maryland Junior League District 2 Championships in 1999. The major league boys won 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 and 2007. The Giants won the 2007 Mason-Dixon Pony League title for the mustang division (youth 10 and under).

The community support for the baseball league can be seen in the number of businesses willing to sponsor teams. The current sponsors include American Legion Post 121, Briggs Associates, Carleo's Italian Pizza, Carriage House Inn, Coleman Cadillac, Emmitsburg Canteen Club, Emmitsburg Caterer, Emmitsburg Glass Company, Friend of the Family, Harrington and Sons, Knights of Columbus, Middletown Sportsland, Ott House, Quality Tire Service, Reaver's Woodworking, Tim's Garage, Trout's Supreme Seafood, VFW Post 6658, W.S. Drywall Service and Warrior Roofing.

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