With numbers up, a spruced-up DLL park welcomes Opening Day March 8

By From page B1 | February 21, 2014

There isn’t a better way to leave it all behind than Little League baseball, Davis-style.

Can’t ya already smell the fresh-cut grass at the DLL Complex?

Little League is sport in its purest form. The kids are out there for the love of the game, the parents are volunteering to ensure a terrific experience for everybody, and with one of the coziest, best-kept facilities in Northern California, there is little free entertainment that beats a game at our ballpark.

Locally, it all gets underway Saturday, March 8, when Opening Day ceremonies take place at 10 a.m. after the 900-plus Davis ball players parade to the park from North Davis Elementary School.

“It’s been a great experience,” said DLL President Paul Hasson of his first year at the helm. “We were excited by the turnout on Volunteer Day a couple of weeks ago … and we’re excited to (debut) some of the new things we did.”

In addition to the general cleanup, fix-up, paint-over program, kids, parents and Little League supporters have created a new shade structure for the Farm fields, put in a scorer’s/announcer’s booth at the West Field and trimmed trees and spruced up what needed sprucing.

A special first-pitch ceremony is in the works (an announcement is coming soon). Through 1 p.m. there will be special food vendors and bounce houses, and the ol’ standby Snack Shack will be open. Are you ready for your first sno-cone of 2014?

Registrar Karen Yoon says an equipment swap table will be set up against the Farm field fence.

“If you have gently used baseball equipment that your child has outgrown, or does not need, or if you are in need of baseball equipment, we will have a table available for you to donate or take,” Yoon explained in a recent letter to DLL parents. “No cash exchange … no hats or helmets, please.”

Yoon, a longtime league volunteer, says items remaining at the end of March 8 festivities will be donated to the SPCA Thrift Shop in downtown Davis.

Yoon adds that DLL sweatshirts and T-shirts will be on sale Opening Day, or they may be purchased in advance through Davis Sport Shop (https://squareup.com/market/davis-little-league). Aaron Patella’s Davis Sport Shop also is offering a 15 percent discount for Little Leaguers’ baseball gear purchases.

Hasson says UC Davis players and representative from Davis High’s Blue Devils and the City Council all will be on hand.

The special food vendors — Woodstock’s Pizza, Guadalajara Taqueria (burritos, tacos and quesadillas), Sliders (chicken and beef) and the Davis Fire Department (tri-tip) — are offering special adult meals ($8) with kids costing just $5.

Jamba Juice also will be on hand.

(Be advised, Yoon says those vendors close at 1 p.m. but the Snack Shack is open through the last of nine games that Saturday.)

The American League major-division Yankees and A’s and National League AAA Marlins and Giants play the schedule’s first games at 1 p.m.

Are you ready for some baseball?

While I Have You Here: In talking with Hasson, the thing that jumps out at me is that more than 900 kids are playing baseball this spring. When the numbers finally play out, that could represent an increase of more than 100 players over the past couple of years.

My hat is off to the board of DLL (not just this year, but in recent seasons under the direction of former president Steve Olney) for keeping those diamond fires burning.

And wait till you get to see the new-look Davis Little League Complex…

You, too, will want to tip your cap to all those volunteers.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at [email protected] or 530-320-4456.

Bruce Gallaudet

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