Since 1952, La Jolla Youth Baseball has celebrated Opening Day and generations of families have enjoyed this tradition at the Cliffridge Fields. This year's crop of players have been warming up for a few weeks of “spring training” but the recent rains have occasionally kept the players off of the fields.
This season, there are 420 players assigned to 40 teams in Pony (13 -to 14-year-olds), Bronco (11-12), Mustang (9-10), Pinto (7-8) and Shetland (5-6) leagues.
Opening Day for LJYB includes plenty of fanfare. New uniforms are on display and are proudly designed and sponsored by local merchants, families and service organizations. Some of the league's longest supporters are still involved, including Harry’s Coffee Shop, Kiwanis Club of La Jolla or Willis Allen — the longest serving sponsor of the league.
Opening Day begins at noon Saturday with players and families on all five fields standing at attention for the raising of the flag, playing of the National Anthem and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Following the ceremonial First Pitch comes the traditional call to “Play Ball!” Plenty of sponsors will be on hand to greet their teams.
Game Truck will be on site from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for kids to play some of their video systems. Of course, the snack bar will have hamburgers and hot dogs grilling all day and the favorite slushies will be flowing.