BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Saturday saw a perfect day for the annual Berkeley Heights PAL baseball and softball parade and ceremony to kick-off the spring season for the in-town program.
The Berkeley Heights Fire Department led the crowd of players, coaches and town officials, including Mayor Joe Bruno, who walked the parade route starting at the Berkeley Heights Community Pool and wound its way to Snyder Avenue field.
The teams lined the turf field and the ceremony began with the singing of the national anthem by Gov. Livingston senior Stephen LaMaita.
Mayor Bruno's message to the players, "Enjoy your season, make sure you learn from your coaches, just have fun, that's what it is all about. To the parents and volunteers who coach these children -- our thanks. We are the 6th best place to live in America because we keep our children busy and we keep things like this alive in Berkeley Heights."
There are well over 400 boys and girls involved in the baseball and softball program said Chris Pierce, PAL In-Town Baseball Commissioner. Pierce thanked Tom Barton the Director of the Recreation Department, his fellow PAL board members, Bob Murphy [co-commissioner of baseball] and all of the coaches.
Grace Charbonneau and Luke Angevere threw out the ceremonial first pitches of the season.
In closing, Pierce recognized and thanked the outgoing PAL board members Joe DiSarno, Andy Moran, Ken Long and Michael Cranston, who have done a lot of great work.
The excitement to the start of the season was felt throughout the crowd as players look to repeat prior year's success. Jack Greco and Freddie Dally, who have played on the same team the past two seasons, will strive for a three-peat of the in-town championship title of the 5th/6th grade level.
Delicious Heights supplied 1,000 hotdogs, water and drinks served by PAL volunteers.
The Gov. Livingston Highlander varsity baseball team invites the community to come out and cheer as they face rival New Providence Pioneers at Gov. Livingston High School at 2 p.m. on Sunday.