OCEANSIDE — The Oceanside Valley Little League Opening Day celebration at Melba Bishop Park officially started baseball season for 370 players Feb. 25.The daylong celebration included a cake contest for best and most spirited baseball-themed desserts, food booths, raffle drawings, an inflatable bounce house and pony rides.
Teams also had their pictures taken in throwback minor league uniforms that sported team names like Hot Rods, Lugnuts and Mud Hens.
Following encouraging words from Mayor Jim Wood and Oceanside Valley Little League President Rob Low, all 32 teams gave city dignitaries and league officials run-by high fives and the season began.
“Have fun, that’s what it’s all about,” Wood said.
Five games were played that day by major, AAA and junior division teams.
Oceanside Valley Little League is one of three baseball leagues in Oceanside. Oceanside National Little League and Oceanside American Little League also began their season.
Low said Oceanside Valley Little League is distinct for its downhome family feel.
“I know most kids playing,” Low said. “The focus is on fun.”
The league motto is: “Have fun and the wins will come.”
Players start in the co-ed T-ball division at age 4 and play through to the juniors division at age 14. Girls can play in baseball divisions or girls softball when they reach age 5. There is also the challenger division for boys and girls with developmental challenges.
“I’m really excited about this season,” Low said. He added the team to watch this year is the T-ball Mud Hens.
The season will last through July with top national teams competing in the Little League World Series.