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TPRD ready for hardball

It is about that time of year again when 800-plus youngsters pack onto the field at Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium and have their names called out in front of the many people in attendance.

These children will go in front of that crowd for the Troy Parks and Recreation Baseball and Softball Opening Night April 3.

“We are getting ready for the big night before the big day,” TPRD youth activities director David Dickey said. “Everybody except our Sweetees and T-Ball kids have been practicing for a couple of weeks now and we are ready to get it all started.”

Dickey said the number of athletes participating this year is not that much less than last year’s group and that is with the deletion of four T-Ball teams from last year’s tally.

This year’s baseball and softball season will have 67 teams competing compared to 70 last year and 830 children compared to 885 from last year.

“We are down about 50 kids from last year and that is mostly because of how we got rid of four T-Ball teams, but we are up in other areas,” Dickey said.

There will be 47 baseball teams spread across Dixie Youth, Dixie Minor, Pre-Minor, Farm and T-Ball. There are 20 softball teams spread across Ponytails, Angels, Darlings and Sweetees.

Opening Night is only the prelude to Opening Day that begins April 4.