GPR #039;Opening Day#039; slated for Saturday

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 29, 2005

On Saturday morning, the children of the Camellia City will have their day in the sun. April 2 at 8 a.m., Opening Day for Greenville Parks and Recreation baseball and softball season.

On that day, the Dixie Minors, Dixie Youth, Dixie Boys, and Dixie Softball Ponytail leagues will all swing into action.

Greenville Mayor, Dexter McLendon offering remarks, will start off the event.

"This is my favorite time of the year," said McLendon.

"I coached in Dixie Youth for 19 years and every time I step on the field it brings a lot of memories. The only regret I have is that I wish I had a child playing youth sports so I could experience it once again."

From there, teams will be introduced and players will be introduced following.

"We'll line up all the players on the field," said Jerome Harris, director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Greenville.

"It's going to be a site. We'll have opening ceremonies and official welcome by the Mayor. The team's that have the 9:00 game will have taken pictures so they will be ready to play by then. After the ceremonies, the teams will disperse to their parks."

We are going to have two parks going. It's going to be a big day. We'll have the umpires and we'll have the staff. It's going to be a little more work but it's worth it.

We'll play five games at Day Park and then four games at Beeland Park."

Games are slated to begin at 9 a.m. and will be played at both facilities, Day and Beeland Park.

The 9 a.m. games are the Slammers and the Gators at Beeland Park, the Dixie Youth Braves will take on the Red Sox on Field one in Day Park, the Dixie Minors Astros will face the White Sox on Day Park Field one, and The A's and White Sox of the Dixie Boys league will hook up on the Holley Field.

The 10:30 games will include, the Dixie Ponytails Pirates facing the Gators, Dixie Minors' Cubs facing the Red Sox, the Dixie Boys Indians facing the Red Sox and the Dixie Youth A's taking on the Rangers.

The final game of the day will be at 12 a.m., and it will be the Cardinals challenging the Mets.

"I haven't seen many teams practice because of the rain that we've had," said Harris. "Those I have seen, it's hard to tell what they really look like because they have been practicing on muddy fields."

Even though this weekend calls for bluebird skies and perfect baseball weather, according to the, Harris has plans in place for the event of rain.

"We'll cancel the day and we'll open Monday with the Dixie Minors and Dixie boys and the girls with ceremonies for each league and then the Dixie youth will have their ceremony on Tuesday."

According to Harris, all the leagues should be in full stride by May 7. At the end of June, the city of Greenville will get ready for All-Star season with teams going in different directions to play in sub-district tournaments, with the exception of the Dixie Youth League.

The 9-10 year olds will be hosting the District Tournament and will not have to compete in a sub-district.