CHATHAM, NJ - The enthusiasm was real. Coach Ben Vondussa spoke to the 8-year-old members of his baseball team - sponsored by Kevin Crouse Auto Design - as if it was the most beautiful weather day of the year.

There is something very positive associated with the opening of the baseball season and the Baseball Club of Chatham backed up that feeling with Opening Day ceremonies it presented through rainy conditions Saturday at Shunpike Field.

Chatham Middle School student Anna Paskalides, 13, sang the national anthem and Chatham Township Mayor Curt Ritter threw out the first pitch to mark the start of the baseball season for some 800 Chatham youngsters.

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Chatham Township Mayor Curt Ritter throws out the first pitch on Opening Day for Chatham baseball

Anna Paskalides, 13, ignores the rain while singing the national anthem on Opening Day of the baseball season for Chatham at Shunpike

Chatham Township Mayor Curt Ritter thanks the many volunteers that make Chatham baseball successful