NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – What a difference a day makes. On Saturday, April 9th central New Jersey was experiencing a wind driven rain/snow mix throughout most of the day. Many area towns cancelled their baseball/softball opening day festivities. Dennis Passe’s Recreation Department proved to be better weather prognosticators than Punxsutawney Phil himself, as North Plainfield held its annual baseball/softball opening day parade and ceremony on Sunday, April 10th under cool, but sunny, skies.

The borough's annual Opening Day Baseball/Softball Parade kicked off at 1 p.m. at Green Acres Park and conclude at North Plainfield High School’s Howard Krausche Turf Field.

“This is a great opening day event,” said Recreation Director Dennis Passe, adding. “The kids get a chance to be together and celebrate the start of a new season and the coaches are anxious to play and see results of their preseason efforts.”

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This year, North Plainfield Recreation Department’s T-ball, coach pitch, softball and baseball program boasts 28 teams – including two from Dunellen in the junior boys division – with players, both boys and girls, ranging in age from 5 to 14 years old.

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Players and coaches from each team marched in the parade dressed in their new 2016 season uniforms. North Plainfield Mayor Michael Giordano and members of the borough council and recreation department all took part in the parade and opening day festivities.

“It’s great the sun is out, and pretty soon we will all be out watching the games in shorts,” said Mayor Giordano. “I want thank all the parents out here that volunteer their time to help teach and coach so that the children of North Plainfield can learn the value of team whether it be in a softball game or on a baseball diamond.”

Later in the day Mayor Giordano threw out the first pitch for the junior boys division at Stony Brook Field; Councilman Frank Righetti threw out the first pitch for the senior boys division at Krausche Field; Councilwoman Keiona Miller threw out the first pitch for the senior girls program at Krausche Field; and Councilman Frank ‘Skip’ Stabile threw out the first pitch for the junior girls program at East End School.

As in previous year’s, the 2016 parade was sponsored by the North Plainfield Recreation Department with assistance from Global Auto Mall on Route 22. “I want to thank Global Auto Mall for helping sponsor this event each year. Their generosity is greatly appreciated,” said Passe, adding that special thanks also goes to the team coaches. “We, the recreation directors and the recreation committee, appreciate the volunteerism from our coaches.”

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