Sunshine, ice cream, music and more were among the highlights from the Oakdale Baseball Softball Association (OBSA) Opening Day on Saturday, April 1.
The morning kicked off with nearly 1,000 kids getting their team and individual photos taken at T.L. Davis Sports Complex before the opening ceremony began at 10 a.m. Once the photos were taken the teams lined up for team introductions and while awaiting those introductions, coaches along with Oakdale High School baseball and softball players threw out nearly 350 T-shirts to the players.
Master of Ceremonies Mike Lynn introduced the first pitch ceremony that saw Oakdale Police Chief Scott Heller throw out the first pitch to Carson Moffett for baseball and Oakdale High School varsity softball player Grace Green throw out the first softball pitch to Allison Ruvalcaba. Police Chief Heller also grabbed the winning ticket for the 50/50 raffle at opening ceremonies.
“I’m not sure what was more stressful, throwing out the first pitch or grabbing the winning raffle ticket,” Heller joked. “It is an honor to be out here today. OBSA represents everything that is great about Oakdale and our community.”
The chief added that Carson did a good job catching the first pitch and then signed the ball for him as well.
Offering a blessing was Sierra Foothills Community Church Pastor Henry Raven and the National Anthem was performed by young softball player Jessica Burchell. The teams were introduced by age group and league. Players from the age of four to 15 packed T.L. Davis and by 11:30 a.m. began their day of play. Games were held at T.L. Davis, Cottleswoods Park and Fair Oaks Elementary School.
Vendors packed the outfield including fan favorite Don Serrano of Serrano Custom Paint, who made his annual visit for helmet art work.
“I could not ask for better weather. This year’s opener was another huge success in the books,” OBSA President David Jablonski said. “Kids of all ages were excited to play ball, some to be the first time this season, as (original) Opening Day was postponed due to poor weather and field conditions.”
This is the second year of OBSA since youth softball and youth baseball have collaborated.
“I am very proud of my board members. We all do the best we can to make a successful program for the kids in our community. Sponsors that donate dollars to help fund our program is huge,” noted Jablonski. “The endless hours coaches and parents take part in the little baseball/softball teams is crucial. Everyone from the board from coaches, parents and sponsors. Everyone pitching in to help make our program what it is today is special. It’s unique and at the end of the day it’s all about the great experiences the kids will have.
“The friendships they made along the way and reminiscing at the memories they made from playing OBSA.”
The OBSA season runs until late May.