Little League gala kick-off
This Saturday, May 5, baseball players from the majors, minors and farm teams will stand together in uniform and march from Sierra Mountain Middle School to Truckee Donner Regional Park.
Truckee youths from ages 5 to 14 will form a procession through town, donning shirts emblazoned with well-known logos like the Mets and Braves as well as not-so-well-known varieties like the Mudcats.
Saturday’s parade kicks-off the annual season for Truckee Little League, delivering over 400 area players to the opening ceremonies at the Regional Park at 9 a.m. While the majority of the League’s participants are returning players from last year, the future Babe Ruths and Hank Aarons will have to adjust to the League’s new look.
Throughout the program’s history, every age division (t-ball, farm, minors, majors, juniors and seniors) has played under the name of a major league team.
This year however, the players may very well be playing for a team they have never heard of before.
“We are switching to a new system that mirrors the way the major league teams are. The major division will continue to use big-league names, the minors will be using minor league team names and the farm age group will be farm teams,” said Cecilia Murphy, the League Information Officer.
The new identities will not only serve to set each team apart individually but will also give the younger players something to look forward to as they move up in divisions. In the process, kids in the farm division may even learn a few team names that they never knew existed.
Enrollment is still in process and will continue until the first games are played next week.
“The average team will have about 11 or 12 players, which is just about right,” added Murphy.
Enrollment in Truckee Little League has not experienced any significant increases or drops over the last few years and is one sport that retains a relatively stable following despite population bursts in the town of Truckee.
“We continue to have a good number of kids come out every year and we don’t have to turn anyone away. Spring soccer leagues definitely took away from baseball enrollment,” Murphy said.
All teams will play in the Nevada District throughout the summer before selecting All-Star teams that will have the chance to compete for a spot in the World Series of Little League held every fall.
Of course, there is a long season to be played before national glory can be sought, and the first majors game will commence immediately following the opening ceremonies on Saturday morning.
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As seniors from North Tahoe collected diplomas this week, a group of Lakers continued another local tradition — capturing first place at the boys’ regional golf championship.