Little League hosts Opening Day for 400+ baseball players 

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV

Attending Opening Day of baseball season is like seeing Christmas through your child’s eyes. It takes you back in time. 

As I looked around the field, overflowing with more than 400 players from age 4-16, I couldn’t help but think of all the adults who made youth baseball possible for me as a child. Coaches, umpires, and parents. It has always been a volunteer, community effort. And that continues to be the case. 

Under the leadership of Brian Griffith and the board of directors, Central Greenbrier Little League has grown by leaps and bounds. This year, participation stands at a record-breaking amount of more than 400 players. 

Liam Herndon holds his hat over his heart as the national anthem plays. Photo by Stephen Baldwin.

On Friday, April 14, the entire league gathered for an opening ceremony. From tee ball to senior league, each team took the field for prayer, the national anthem, and to say the Little League pledge:

I trust in God. I love my country and will respect its laws. I will play fair and strive to win. But win or lose I will always do my best.

Volunteers honored

The league honored three volunteers with longstanding commitments to youth baseball. 

George Brooks was recognized for 50 years of service to little league from the local level all the way to the Little League World Series. Brooks began unpiring as a teenager and has been calling games for local youth ever since. He plans to retire next year. 

Paul Flanagan has been the Little League District Administrator since 1994, leading all the leagues in southern West Virginia. In total, he has volunteered with baseball for 33 years. 

Colleen Roshau has volunteered for the local league for numerous years. She runs social media and provides medical care to players as she is a physician’s assistant. 

Mayor Bev White and the honorees threw ceremonial first pitches, and the season began with a slate of evening games. 

Upcoming games

On Saturday, a full day of games are on tap. For details, visit the Central Greenbrier Little League Facebook page. 

As I looked around the field, now as a coach on the fields I grew up on as a player, I marveled at the generations of volunteers who make these moments possible for our young people. It truly takes a village. We are blessed with a youth baseball program rooted in history and growing into the future. 

So come out and cheer on our kids this spring on the baseball diamond! When you remember them, they will not forget to give back in the future. 

*The cover photo was taken by Staci Banton and used courtesy of the CGLL Facebook page.

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