Dressed in their new, clean uniforms and eager to play, about 190 players took to the field Saturday morning in La Mesa to celebrate opening day of La Mesa National Little League.
Players as young as 3 in 18 teams gathered at Kuhlken Field near the La Mesa Community Center on a warm, sunny day.
Kids ran around, played in the dirt and laughed with teammates as they gathered on the field. Some were asking why they didn’t play Saturday.
Games in the Major and Minor categories begin Tuesday. T-ball and Caps games start Friday.
First balls were ceremoniously thrown by Mayor Art Madrid, Police Chief Ed Aceves, former La Mesa Little League president Joe Lutz, La Mesa Rotary Club president Jerry Fazio, Lemon Avenue Elementary School principal Jennifer Luibel, Heartland Fire Chief Rick Sitta and wounded warrior Carlos Hernandez.
Calvin Price, first trumpet for the San Diego Symphony, played the national anthem.
Last year’s teams honored were the Brewers Majors team, manager Kirk Hulett; the Camo Padres Minors team, manager Scott Brown; and the Swinging Friars Caps team, manager Mark George.
Dick’s Sporting Goods and La Mesa Lumber each contributed $2,000 to the league.
The La Mesa Police Officers Association contributed thousands to improve batting cages at Lemon Avenue School.