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Youth Baseball, Softball Teams Stage Opening Day Festivities
First Pitch
Riverbank City Council member Darlene Barber-Martinez, on the mound, throws out the first softball pitch, albeit overhand, of the 2017 season, part of Opening Day activities at Castleberg Park on Saturday, March 18. Ric McGinnis/The News

A couple of days before the first day of spring, the Riverbank Youth Baseball and Softball Association kicked off its 2017 season with a parade, introductions on the field, team photos and the first games of the new season.

All festivities occurred as friends and families looked on in approval.

A large crowd of young baseball and softball players, along with their coaches, parents and families gathered at Castleberg Park in Riverbank for Opening Day Ceremonies on Saturday, March 18. The event included a parade by the teams to the field from downtown, the ceremonial throwing of the first pitches and other activities to fill out the day.

The parade began early, leaving from the Community Center downtown and winding its way through city streets to Castleberg Park.

There, teams lined up around the edge of the outfield grass for a flag salute, team, coach and sponsor introductions, then drawings that rounded out some of the team fundraising efforts. Among prizes given away were a trip to Disneyland and a flat screen Smart TV.

Also on the docket were team photos and a series of first games to be played throughout the day.

Riverbank City Council Member Darlene Barber-Martinez was tapped to throw out the first softball pitch, even though it was an overhand throw, as opposed to the traditional underhand softball throw. Then Mayor Richard O’Brien chose to take up a spot behind the plate and catch the first pitch to officially start the baseball season, taking the toss from one of the baseball players.