MADISON, NJ - Team after team strolled down Main Street with players decked out in their baseball gear - shirts, caps, gloves and cleats.
Baseball season’s opening day in Madison on Saturday kicked off in grand slam style with a parade of Little League teams though the downtown and onto Dodge Field. After opening ceremonies, the League hosted several afternoon and evening games.
“This is a way of publicizing what the league means to the town and what the town means to the league,” said League president Ernie Cicconi. “It’s a way of putting a face on that and to let people know that we are here for the youth of Madison and Harding."
Madison Little League has been providing Little League Baseball to the boys and girls of Madison since 1952. The League has blossomed into a massive organization, supporting approximately 1,1000 young ballplayers from Madison, Harding Township and Florham Park.
The parade march, which followed a pancake breakfast earlier in the morning at the Elks Club, began in the St. Vincent Martyr School parking lot and wound its way down Green Village Road, through the center of town on Main Street and collected at Dodge Field. Mayor Mary-Anna Holden and Councilmen Robert Conley and Vincent Esposito attended the parade as special guests.
“Marching in the parade was a lot of fun,” said six-year-old Donovan Carey of the Pirates. His favorite part?
“When I saw Mommy,” he said.
Ryder Olson of the Giants got a different experience out of the parade.
“I liked throwing candies,” he said.
Regardless there were smiles to go around, hot dogs to eat and games to be played.
“I enjoyed being with my team," said Alexa Ruina.