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Sierra Madre Little League Opening Day – It’s a Whole New Ballgame!!  Feb. 23, 2007

By Bill Coburn


Click for Photos and Videos


Sierra Madre Little League celebrated its opening day last Saturday, with a parade, a carnival, a fan favorite from the local minor leagues, a genuine no-hit former major league pitcher, renovated facilities, and a gorgeous blue sky with temperatures that made it a “let’s play two” kind of day.


Team members piled into pick-up trucks for the 8am start of a parade down Sierra Madre Blvd., from Hermosa to Sierra Vista Park, home of Heasley Field.  The parade was followed shortly thereafter after by opening ceremonies which included Tanner Arden of the Minors Yankees singing the National Anthem, an appearance by the Angels farm team Rancho Cucamonga Quakes mascot Tremor, recitation of the Little League pledge by Danny Richman of the Farm Padres, and the ceremonial first pitch thrown out by former Major League pitcher Matt Young.  Tommy Sparks was the lucky youngster who caught the first pitch from Young, who played in the majors from 1983 to 1993, for the Mariners, Dodgers, A’s, Red Sox and Indians.  He made the All-star team in his rookie year.  Young also threw a no-hitter, and had the rare distinction of doing so in a losing effort, which has since been re-designated as a non no-hit game because the home team didn’t come to bat in the ninth inning.


Throughout the season, the SMLL teams will sport a nifty Centennial patch, recognizing the 100 year anniversary of the incorporation of Sierra Madre, and local politicos were invited to attend the opening, the first event held after the Centennial Opening Gala, held Friday night.  Mayor John Buchanan, Mayor Pro Tem Enid Joffe and Council Member Joe Mosca were in attendance, along with several commissioners.


There are 21 teams in 4 divisions (Majors, Minors, Farm and T-ball) of the Sierra Madre Little League, and all the teams have sponsors this year. I think they should be recognized for their contributions: Allan Company and Monrovia Recycling sponsor the A’s and the Giants; Avin Marv sponsors the Red Sox; Baseline Transportation is behind the Padres; the Brown Family sponsors the Royals; Cannell Entertainment sponsors the Angels and the Braves; Charles P. Crowley Company sponsors the Mariners; Fine Crafted Interiors supports the White Sox; the Cubs can thank an anonymous donor for their support; Gamble, Jones, Morphy and Brent back the Dodgers; Juan Gonzalez and Mark O’Brien sponsor the Diamondbacks; Lucas, Horsphal, Murphy, and Pinderoh, LLP are the Phillies benefactors; Oak Tree Racing Association sponsors the Devil Rays; Paul Morin supports the Nationals; Pro Doc is behind the Yankees; Rambo and Lady Bird Group sponsors the Reds; Santa Anita Park, the Indians; Seyfarth Shaw, the Mets, SMVFA, the Orioles, and Wachovia is the sponsor for the Rangers.


After the opening ceremonies, a Hit-a-thon was held as a fundraiser, and concurrently a carnival with bouncy houses, inflatable slides, face and hair painting and skill games took place in the park.  After the Hit-a-thon, the game of baseball took center stage, in the newly renovated facilities. 


A Work Day was held on February 10 and 63 SMLL parents came out to get the field ship-shape, cleaning the diner, weeding the warning track, painting, trimming, sweeping and raking.  This year, Heasley Field has been improved with a new mound and home plate, a new ball return, the tops of dugouts have been repainted and overlaid with "Heasley Field" and "Sierra Madre" cut-outs, and a brand new scoreboard (with a sign going atop that scoreboard to come in the next couple weeks).  Special thanks go to Chris Cimino of public works for his efforts at maintaining the fields.


The T-ball field this year has been improved with sew shades for the dugouts, a new lawn, a new sprinkler system, new outfield wall, and a new water fountain.  Paul and Ling Corvino were the biggest benefactor for the work on the grass and sprinkler system, with Wes Stanton of Sierra

Click on a photo to enlarge it, click on a link to a video to view it. (Captions will be added tomorrow)

The Dodgers

The Rangers

The Mets

The Diamondbacks

The Padres

The Mets, again

The end of the parade became a balloonfest

Perfect weather for an opener

There are a bunch of similar pics in case your kid was looking the wrong way in the first one

Council, Commission and Board members

League President Pete Siberell welcomes everyone

Council, Commission and Board members

Tremor from the Quakes was on hand

A new scoreboard made its debut

Former major leaguer Matt Young said a few words to open the season

Young threw out the first ball to Tommy Sparks

Young and Sparks

There are a bunch of similar pics in case your kid was looking the wrong way in the first one

Thanks to the Sponsors

and to the Corvinos

Tanner Arden Sings the National Anthem (9mb)

Danny Richman recites the Little League Pledge (1.7mb)

Ingrid Rose recites the Little League Parent/Volunteer Pledge (2.6mb)

Pete Siberell introduces City Council Members in attendance (4.3mb)

Pete Siberell introduces the SMLL Board of Directors (8mb)




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