MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ - A number of days throughout the year bring the Mountainside community together like no other, and Opening Day is one of them this past Saturday, March 23.

Beginning with a parade that commences on Wood Valley Road and ends at Deerfield School, the event gives different parts of the community the chance to come together and showcase themselves. Groups like the rescue squad, the fire department, the police department, the GL marching band, and both baseball and softball teams get their chance to shine.

Celebrating their 68th year of Mountainside Youth Baseball, the teams paraded around the major league field and were announced by Mayor Paul Mirabelli. The event started with the national anthem sung by Joshua Bezerra.

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Every year, Mountainside Youth Baseball honors former members by having them throw or catch the opening pitch. This year's opening pitch was thrown by former MYB President Joe D'Angelo and was caught by former MYB Treasurer Tom Jakositz. The opening ceremony was followed by the first games of the season as well as various concessions.

As the girls and boys of all ages played against each other, the event's attendees enjoyed the games as well as the MYB's annual barbecue.

"I think Opening Day is a day that brings the community together the best," said former MYB President and current MYB Special Events Coordinator Jeanie Ruban. "Opening Day has been such a long standing tradition and it brings every facet of the community together. It is probably one of my favorite days of the year."

Mountainside Youth Baseball and the Mountainside community as a whole looks forward to next year's opening day as well as the season to come.

Editor's Note: Michelle Cisneros is a junior at Gov. Livingston High School participating in the TAP into Berkeley Heights and TAP into Mountainside student intership program. To learn more about the program contact bpeer@tapinto.net. Photo credits: J. Ruban