Rec & Ed's youth baseball teams swing-in the season on newly-renovated fields
The magic of baseball isn't limited to watching the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
Saturday morning, Ann Arbor Rec & Ed's team of the 7- and 8-year-old Tigers — along with the Sharks, the Owls, the Lugnuts and more — gathered at the newly-refurbished Veterans Memorial Park baseball fields ready to swing-in the opening day of the youth baseball season.
PAWS, mascot for the Detroit Tigers, even made the trip for the big debut of both the season and the fields, which have been completely renovated using red clay to create less dust less dust and better-repel water.
"The fields look great." said Kyle Kerbawy, Rec & Ed coach of the Tigers. "I'm happy to be here today."
His players agreed.
"It's going to be a good game," said 8-year-old player Charlie Andrew-Vaughan.
Seven-year-old Tigers teammate Charlie Beeson is hoping the new field will bring the team a bit of luck, after losing last year.
Teammate Rhys Burman, 7, was walking onto the pristine baseball diamond for his debut with the Rec & Ed team.
"I'm excited because it's our first game," he said. "The fields look big."
Burman, along with all players, had their name announced and received a high-five from PAWS on his or her way out to take their place on the baseball diamond.
Ann Arbor's Rec & Ed, has 1,720 kids enrolled in this year's summer programs, which include baseball, softball, coach-pitch and T-ball for 5 to15 year olds.
"Rec & Ed guarantees that all the players get to play in each and every game," said Elyse Bairley, team sports supervisor. "The main outcomes we want to achieve is for the kids playing in the leagues is to have a great time, learn the game, develop a sense of sportsmanship and fair play, and increase their self-esteem through participation in the activity."
"I hope we win," said Sofi Maranda, 7, who also is making her playing debut.
Her mom, Sooji Min-Maranda, said she was delighted with her daughter's program.
"I'm impressed and excited," she said. "They take baseball seriously but have a good time."
Once PAWS threw the ceremonial pitch, the 2013 Ann Arbor Rec & Ed Youth Baseball season was officially underway and ready for plenty of beautiful days for a ballgame.
For more information on Youth Baseball teams, go to www.aareced.com.