Getting ready to … Play Ball!

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 4, 2001

Managing Editor

Employees with the city of Troy Parks and Recreation Department are putting the finishing touches on local city baseball and softball fields in preparation for the season’s opening day at the Troy Sportsplex on Saturday.

"We are pretty much wrapping up now," said Darius Carlisle, a Park and Rec employee who worked under sunny skies and through mild conditions with his crew preparing fields on Tuesday. "We are dragging the infields daily and we’re now replacing some of the bases and making sure the grass stays mowed and neat."

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This year features 46 baseball teams and 15 softball teams with approximately 12 players per team.

"There are approximately 730 kids participating this season," said Lora Sutt, an office employee. "That’s based on 12 players per team and 61 teams in all."

Sutt said the city has made lineups for the kids, who are asked to be on hand for the 9 a.m. opening ceremony at 7:30 a.m.

"There will be a lot of teams to line up and the newspaper will be on hand for photos, so we need to get an early start to make the event successful," she said. "We need all participants to be there by 7:30."

From an office perspective, Sutt said jerseys have been picked up by most of the teams and the field lineups have been made and should be distributed to parents through the coaches.

Park and Rec director Dan Smith said he is excited about opening day.

"This is something that requires a lot of work, but it’s also something we look forward to each year," Smith said. "It’s exciting to see all the players and parents out for the ceremony, and we always look forward to a fun and entertaining season."

Smith also emphasized the importance of good sportsmanship among players and fans.

"We really have a great group of kids and parents," he said. "That’s not to say we don’t have our problems, but when we do, we don’t tolerate them. We like for it to stay clean, fun and constructive for the players. That’s what all of this is about. We would like to encourage everyone to remember their manners."

The opening day lineups will begin at 7:30 and the ceremony starts at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Fields 2 and 3 at the Troy Sportsplex will be the centers of attention.

All Dixie Boys, Ponytails, Dixie Youth, Angels and Dixie Minor teams are asked to line up on Field 2 in the outfield area. Field 3 will feature Darlings, Pre-Minors, Farm and Capp players.

"We’re looking forward to a fun season and we encourage people to come out and support these talented youngsters," Smith said. "It should be a lot of fun."

The weather forecast for Saturday calls for sunny skies and mild to warm temperatures in the low 80s.