‘Play Ball’ rings out at Little League Opening Day April 9

Smithfield Little League will hold its 2016 Opening Day ceremonies on Saturday, April 9, at the Whipple Field complex.

Nearly 300 players from the Blast Ball, Challenger, A, AA, AAA and Majors Divisions are expected to participate in the Opening Day parade of players.

The 65-year-old league will make history this season with the installation of lights at the Whipple complex later this season. Lighted fields will expand playing opportunities and improve safety for Little League and the Smithfield Girls Softball League, give both leagues an opportunity to host events to attract more out-of-town competition.

“It’s a big win for all of Smithfield,” said Shane Moore, President of Smithfield Little League, in a press release. “We could not be more excited about the prospect of lighting our fields, and couldn’t be more thankful to the Town Council for their support and leadership in making it happen.”

Members of the Town Council will be invited to participate in the Opening Day ceremonies.

“This move will put us on par with the other leagues in our district that have lights and give our kids the same opportunities for extra play and practice time,” Moore said.

Bill Kerwin, a Marine Corps veteran will throw out the first pitch. His son Dylan will play in the AAA Division this year.

The Gallagher Middle School chorus will sing The National Anthem.

In response to an article published in The Smithfield Times February edition about Home Run Heroes, a Lincoln-based organization that collects used baseball equipment in good condition to send overseas to needy youth, the league also invites members and any others to donate their gently used baseball gear at the Opening Day festivities.