(MITCHELL) - Mitchell will celebrate 50 years of youth baseball when players, coaches and spectators converge on the Lehigh Fields for opening day festivities Saturday.
Krystal Shelter of the Times-Mail reports that the day, packed full of baseball and softball, will begin when opening pitches are lobbed toward home plate at 9 a.m. on all four fields. Opening ceremonies will kick off at 8:30 a.m.
The Mitchell Community Youth League, the volunteer organization that runs the baseball and softball programs, has a full day of activities planned for those who come out on Saturday to celebrate the 50-year mark. There will be drawings, prize give-aways and concession specials, which will include 50-cent hot dogs, drinks and popcorn.
Also, the league wants to invite all former players and coaches, from the inaugural year -- 1963 -- to come out for the day's events, said Heidi Myers, whose husband, Darrell, is the president of the youth league. Former players and coaches on hand for the event will be recognized during opening ceremonies.
"Steve Dorsett, the principal at Burris Elementary School, started playing baseball that year and remembers it well," Myers said. "Bob Keane, who still loves baseball and has always been active in supporting that sport in Mitchell, was his coach. It's stories like that we find are so neat."
Myers said the Mitchell Lions Club will be on-hand, as the club helped start the league in 1963. The Mitchell Community Public Library also will be at the field with children's activities.
"The youth league board has been working very hard to get the field in shape for the season," Myers said. "We've got new benches at the tee ball field and bleachers, new plumbing in the bathrooms, new helmet racks, new brick dust and new landscape work. A lot of it people may not notice, but it does make a difference. The fields look great, and they're ready for play."
This year, the league features 34 teams, tee ball through 12-year-olds. Each player's shirt has a 50-year insignia printed on it to commemorate the anniversary.
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