default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Lodi ballplayers celebrate opening day

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Saturday, April 6, 2013 7:22 pm

Shells from sunflower seeds were already littered under the stands.

Nachos, chips, peanuts and licorice lined the counter of the snack bar, ready for hungry players and their families.

And spare bases were piled next to a storage room door waiting to be laid in place on the baseball diamond.

Hundreds of excited boys and girls swarmed the fields at Salas Park on Stockton Street to celebrate Opening Day, and for many, the start of springtime.

It’s great news that the Giants and A’s are playing again, but that energy can’t compare with young ballplayers in Lodi.

The morning began with a pancake breakfast to benefit B.O.B.S. youth sports fundraising group. Then players and families took to the field for the opening ceremonies.

“All the teams look great out there. You all look ready to play ball,” said Grant Plath, recreation coordinator for the city. “It’s going to be a great season.”

The smell of freshly cut grass blended with the clean damp air from the overcast weather.

“These fields took a beating this last week with the heavy rain,” said Plath.

Luckily, both of Saturday’s doubleheaders went on as scheduled.

Plath thanked the volunteers, and took a moment to remember Tony Rodriguez and Ron Marks, two men deeply involved in Lodi’s baseball and softball leagues who passed away recently.

Decked out in crisp new baseball pants and team T-shirts, 1,200 Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth league players jumped, cheered and tossed their ballcaps as each team name, coach and sponsor was read in turn. Lines of players ran the length of the infield.

Davis Mahoney, a talented local singer, sported a burgundy sweatshirt and corduroy cap as he sang the “Star Spangled Banner” to the assembled crowd.

The first softball pitch was thrown by Cambi Brown of Good Day Sacramento. The popular morning show sent out a news van to capture the excitement and include a live shot on the air.

Haley Gonzales caught Brown’s easy toss without a hitch.

The honor of the first baseball pitch went to Jeff Hood, Parks and Recreation Director. The crowd parted to allow Hood to lob the ball right from the pitcher’s mound, but Devin Olsen had it under control playing catcher at home plate.

The season has only begun. Contact the Parks and Recreation Department for a full schedule of games.

Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at sarap@lodinews.com.

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.


Popular Stories


Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 31


Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists