Big opening for small players

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Hearne’s Little League season opened Saturday morning and the day’s chill and bluster didn’t seem to “chill” the joy of youngsters ready to take the field. And a fine field (fields) it is, too. Hearne’s Little League Association with the help of local entrepreneurs and also the city of Hearne have consistently worked to improve the park over the last few years. The result is a Little League park any town would be proud of.

Annie Luster has been coming to the park for years—first with kids, then grandkids—she has seen a lot of improvements. She pointed out the new kids’ playground on the southeast side where the smaller youngsters can play while their older siblings are on the diamond. The city built the playground in time for this year’s opening day.

The concession stand, built by the City ahead of the 2013 season, is well appointed and open for business. And those bleachers—“they’re covered!” said Annie. That’s coming from a lady who has spent lots of hours baking in the sun to watch a game—or games. Nobody needed covered bleachers Saturday morning but we all know spectaculars will soon be praising God, the city, and the Little League for them. The Association also constructed the bullpens to give these kids all they need.

Players and coaches started lining up against the fence next to the central field’s 3rd base line as the VFW under the leadership of Ed Luster prepared to raise the flag. The field itself was pristine—the baselines sharp, the grass beautiful, boxes and bases neat and crisp. Two other fields on each side—northwest and south (the southern field is a girls’ softball diamond but it will be used for T-ball competition during the Little League season) are ready for play--each with a corporate sponsor, scoreboard and covered bleachers.

Organizer Lara Scasta says expect baseball action most Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights throughout the season—T-ball games followed by the older kids’ games. T-ball teams include the Astros, Tigers, Longhorns, Rangers, Yankees, and White Sox, with girls and boys on each team.

Seven and eight year old teams include the Pink Sox (all girls), Angels (girls), Rangers, and Astros. In the nine/ten teams, the Dynamite (girls), Braves and Red Sox are playing. In the 11/12 divisions, the Angels (girls), Rockies, and Astros contend. In the 13/14 divisions, watch the Heat (girls), and the Dodgers.

The boys and girls of summer squared off as Association president Chad Baldwin announced it was time to “play ball!” and even though it was about 58 degrees, the Little League season has begun.

Melissa Freeman | Robertson County News

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