Troy recreation league baseball, softball celebrate Opening Day

Published 10:25 pm Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday afternoon in Milwaukee the Braves played the Brewers. On Monday evening, the Braves played the Red Sox in Troy…sort of.

March 31 not only marked Opening Day for the baseball stars of Major League Baseball, but also signaled the start of the recreation league season in the city of Troy.

Baseball and softball players of varying ages took to the fields at the Troy Sportsplex and on South Franklin Drive Monday evening on the same day their baseball heroes began their season at ballparks around the United States – and Canada.

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“We try to aim to open our leagues around the first of April,” said Dan Smith, Director of Troy Parks and Recreation. “We then look to Monday of that week, and of course this year it was March 31. We don’t plan to open on the same day as the Majors, it just happened that way. It certainly is an exciting coincidence, and I’m sure the kids enjoy that.”

Around 60 teams and nearly 850 boys and girls will take part in the Troy Parks and Recreation baseball and softball leagues. The divisions range from T-Ball for children ages 4 and 5 to Dixie Bells softball and Boys baseball for players currently on a junior varsity roster at the high school level.

Smith feels the high numbers of players are a good sign that youth sports in Troy are alive and thriving.

“Now, more than ever, to have this participation,” said Smith. “There are more opportunities, due to technology, to not participate in youth recreation. There are great values in playing youth sports. We know that less than one half of one percent will make it to the Majors, but that is not our goal.”

Over the past few seasons, Troy has hosted numerous recreation league tournaments, including a handful of World Series’.

The 2014 tournament season will be “relatively quiet” for the staff at the Troy Parks and Recreation Department, as it will only host one.

The Dixie Minor State Tournament will be held at the Troy Sportsplex in June or July.

Smith said the staff at the Troy Sportsplex hopes everyone has a good time in 2014.

“We hope the fans, parents and families have a fun, positive experience the entire season,” said Smith.