SARANAC LAKE - The Saranac Lake Youth Baseball Association is hosting a new event to kick off the youth baseball season.
The "Opening Day" event will take place from 1 to 5:30 p.m. on Memorial Day and is meant to be a return to the community's baseball roots.
"Years ago, there was a tradition that the Saranac Lake baseball season started on Memorial Day weekend," SLYBA Commissioner Jeff Branch told the village board last week. "As of lately, it's been pushed back and pushed back, where our season has shortened. This year, we've put together an Opening Day, something we're going to try to do every year, and it's going to happen on Memorial Day."
The festivities begin at 10:30 a.m. Monday when the association's teams will be marching in uniform, with local veterans in the village's annual Memorial Day parade.
At 1 p.m., the events will move to the Rotary and Elks baseball fields off of Ampersand Avenue, next to the Saranac Lake Civic Center, where there will be baseball games, a home run derby, a longest-drive competition for younger kids and other events. A barbecue will take place all afternoon.
Branch said "Opening Day" is open to all ages and there is no charge, except for the adults who participate in the home run derby, and who also have to use wooden bats.
Branch invited Mayor Clyde Rabideau to throw out the first pitch with a group of veterans.
"It's going to be a great day of baseball, and a good community event," Branch said.
The schedule of events for SLYBA's "Opening Day" event is as follows:
10:30 a.m. - Teams march in parade
12:30 p.m. - Registration for Home Run Derby (Rotary Field)
1 p.m. - Game 1: Minors (Rotary)
1:30 p.m. - Home Run Derby (Elks Field): age groups 9-12, 13-17, 18-35, 36-99; Those 18+ use wooden bats only. $5 per entry
1:30 p.m. - T-Ball Longest Drive (Rotary): age groups 4-6, 7-8
1:30 p.m. - Guess Your Speed (Rotary)
3:30 p.m. - Game 2: Majors (Rotary)
5 p.m. - Home Run Derby winners announced
For more information, contact Bill Wilson at 891-4828.