Greenbelt Baseball Opening Day
Greenbelt Baseball was established in 1951 and consists of three leagues: Tee-Ball for ages 5 to 6; Machine Pitch for ages 7 to 8; and Major League for ages 9 to 12. Both boys and girls can join. The Major League has eight teams divided into two divisions: The Athletics, Orioles, Tigers, and Giants are in one division and the Cardinals, Yankees, Cubs, and Indians are in the other. Each year, on the opening day in early April, a parade is held. The champions of the two divisions from the previous season ride on fire trucks, and everybody else marches from the Aquatic and Fitness Center to McDonald Field on Southway. The mayor then throws out the first pitch of the season.
Members of the Tigers, sponsored by Greenbelt Federal Credit Union, line up for the opening day parade in front of the Aquatic and Fitness Center.
The Giants are the 2011 Greenbelt City Champions and here they ride the lead fire truck in the parade. They are sponsored by Sons of American Legion Squadron #136.
The Indians are 2011 Division Champions and they ride the second fire truck in the parade. They are sponsored by Generous Joe’s Subs & Pizza.
The Athletics are sponsored by Greenbelt Auto & Truck. Here they march behind the Greenbelt Community Center.
The Cubs are sponsored by Greenbelt American Legion Post #136.
The Tigers are sponsored by Greenbelt Federal Credit Union.
The Cardinals are sponsored by Greenbelt Service Center. Here they are crossing Crescent Road in front of the Municipal Building.
The lead fire truck carrying the Giants, the 2011 city champion, crosses Ridge Road heading south on Southway.
Mayor Judith Davis rides on the second fire truck carrying the Indians, the 2011 division champion.
The Cardinals march south on Southway.
The trucks arrive at the entrance to McDonald Field.
The Cubs make a left turn on Southway to enter McDonald Field.
Members of the Orioles wear brand new uniforms for the 2012 season. It says “Greenbelt Baseball 2012” on the sleeves.
The Yankees are sponsored by Greenbelt Lions Club.
The Mariners are in the Machine Pitch League for boys and girls ages 7 to 8.
The Pirates are in the T-Ball League for boys and girls ages 5 to 7.
The Devil Rays is a T-Ball team.
The Nationals is a T-Ball team.
The Rockies, a T-Ball team, enters McDonald Field.
Teams line up along the edge of the infield.
The Rockies is introduced.
The Blue Jays, a machine pitch team, is introduced.
The Mariners, a machine pitch team, is introduced.
Members of the Cardinals acknowledge the crowd.
The Orioles are sponsored by McCarl Dental Group.
The Giants is the 2011 Greenbelt Baseball Major League City Champion.
The Pledge of Allegiance
The National Anthem
A moment of silence is observed for Joseph Natoli, Sr., known as “Golden Joe,” who passed away on December 12, 2011. Mr. Natoli operated a deli at Roosevelt Center, and the Natoli family has sponsored Greenbelt Baseball for more than four decades. Generous Joe’s Subs and Pizza sponsors the Indians.
Mayor Davis presents Joseph Natoli, Jr., aka Generous Joe, a plaque recognizing more than 40 years of sponsorship of Greenbelt Baseball by the Natoli family. From left are Mayor Pro Tem Emmett Jordan, Joseph Natoli, Jr., Councilmember Edward Putens, Mayor Judith Davis, Indians Manager Greg Fisanich, and Councilmember Konrad Herling.
Indians Manager Greg Fisanich tells that a well-connected parent has arranged for a NASA satellite to take photos of the crowd and he asks everybody to wave to the camera above. “April Fools!”
Mayor Davis throws out the opening pitch of the 2012 Greenbelt Baseball season.
Joe Natoli, “Generous Joe,” throws out a pitch.
Councilmember Konrad Herling
Mayor Pro Tem Emmett Jordan
Councilmember Edward Putens
The opening day festivities are followed by a game between the Giants and the Indians, division champions from the previous season. The game will be covered in another post.