By Beth David
The Fairhaven-Acushnet Little League opened its season with its annual parade on Saturday, 4/30. Team members, coaches, parents and siblings marched down Main Street in Acushnet from St. Francis Xavier School to Pope Park.
At the newly renovated Knox Field, the ceremony include a little speech-making, award-giving, the national anthem, opening pitches by politicians, and the traditional “play ball” order.
League president Eric Lamontange welcomed everyone to the “brand spanking new Knox Field,” and thanked a long list of people who helped get the field completely renovated.
New features include rebuilt dugouts with higher fencing, and protective plastic tubing on the top of the chain-link fence all around the field.
Emcee Glen Lincoln told the crowd that both the Acushnet and Fairhaven fields got upgrades.
Mr. Lincoln handed the mike to last year’s Volunteer of the Year and the league Vice President Todd Letourneau to say a few words about this year’s winner, Dan Nault, an F.A.L.L. board member.
Mr. Letourneau told the crowd he could talk for an hour about Mr. Nault, but settled on saying that he finished the projects he started, including some that had been talked about for years.
Mr. Nault declined the opportunity to speak, and, instead, just strode off the field with his plaque.
“What a day! What a park,” said Acushnet Selectboard chairperson Garry Rawcliffe, and asked that people thank the volunteers who helped make it happen. “Be safe, have fun, and enjoy the season.”
Fairhaven Selectboard chairperson Charles Murphy told the crowd that the two communities work well together.
“Acushnet is a great community. Fairhaven is a great community,” said Mr. Murphy.
After a few more thanks and the national anthem by 2015 Jr. Miss Apple Peach, Tori Kalisz, and her singing group Sequence, Mr. Murphy and former Acushnet Selectboard member David Wojnar threw out the first pitches simultaneously.
Mr. Lincoln took the mike for one last plug to the players and the spectators. He said the new season was a journey for everyone, and he encouraged adults to help if they can.
He encouraged all involved to congratulate both teammates and opponents when they make a great play.
“Because in an upcoming game, they may deliver that key hit or pitch a good game. Or maybe, it could be you that needs the pick-me-up from your teammates after an unsuccessful play,” said Mr. Lincoln. “Be that person who picks up you teammates in any or all situations.”
Most importantly, though, have fun, he said.
“Above all, respect the game, and remember, we’re all here for the kids,” said Mr. Lincoln. “So let’s go out there and have lots of fun, and now, we can play ball.”
Visit https://fairhavenacushnetll.leaguetoolbox.com/site for more information about the F.A.L.L.