RANDOLPH, NJ- Mother Nature could not have dialed up a more perfect day on Saturday April 16, for the “Un-official” start of spring, the Randolph Little League Parade.
The tradition is rich with history; for the over 75 years that Little League International has been in existence, boys and girls around the world have been taking part in the spring ritual.
A Retro-Firetruck from the Ironia Firehouse led the procession, accompanied by town resident Bill Dunne playing bagpipes. The teams exited Heistein Park onto Doby road, took a left on South road, and re-entered the park on the other side, gathering on the grass in front of the pavillion. ( See Video Slide Show at end of story )
After the National Anthem was sung by player Joey Dunne, League President Dave Tamres welcomed the players and families, and thanked Russ Newman and Jeanne Montamoreno of the Parks and Recreation department for all their hard work getting the fields ready.
Mayor Roman Hirniak threw out the ceremonial first pitch to three players, Nico Eagleson of the Major league Pirates, Chris Ferris of the Minor league Muckdogs, and Chase Lorent of the AAA Vultures.
Yankees manager Patrick McDermott and his son Connor read aloud the player and coaches’ pledge for good sportsmanship.
Hirniak addressed the crowd, speaking about the historical excellence of Randolph Township’s youth sports programs.
“In October of 2015 I attended and spoke at the 2nd Annual Induction Ceremony for the Randolph High School Athletic Hall of Fame,” said Hirniak “At that ceremony, many inductees cited that they had their first taste of competitive sports through Randolph’s recreation programs, and those programs were largely responsible for the success they experienced in competing for RHS and their respective universities.”
Hirniak concluded with, “You have a lot of baseball ahead of you and I wish you a great season. Stay injury free and remember that above all, good sportsmanship comes first.”