The 60th anniversary season of Santa Monica Little League began February 27 the Majors and AAA divisions. Heavy rains washed out Saturday’s scheduled opening day ceremonies, but the skies cleared and volunteers were able to get the fields ready for play on Sunday.
“In all of my years as a player or volunteer in Santa Monica Little League, the diamonds at Memorial Park are in the best condition I’ve ever seen,” said Vaughn Barone, President, SMLL. “We’re grateful to the City’s Open Space Management team for their amazing work on the fields which held up so well with all of the rain. The weather Sunday was perfect and the season got off to a great start.”
The Reds and Indians ushered in Majors division play with an exciting extra innings battle, ultimately taken by the Tribe in the bottom of the eighth inning, 6-5. In other Majors action, the Yankees edged the Angels 3-2, the Dodgers topped the Red Sox 11-6, and the A’s beat the Giants 14-1. Rounding out season openers on Monday, the White Sox won 5-4 over the Cubs, and the Mets beat the Cardinals 12-4.
Tom Fuller (A’s), Robbie Kerr (Mets), Jackson Marcum (Dodgers) and Greg Melick (Cards) all went yard to open up the Rosti Homerun Leaderboard.
The AAA division also was able to get all six of their opening games in over the course of Sunday and Monday, and with equally exciting results. The Reds clipped the Indians 10-8, the Yankees knocked off the Angels 11-7, the Dodgers beat the Red Sox 8-7 in an extra-inning thriller, and the A’s topped the Giants 10-3. The Monday doubleheader first had the Mets out-slugging the Cardinals for a 12-10 victory, and the Cubs beating the White Sox 7-2 in the late game.
This weekend marks opening play in the Juniors, AA and A (machine pitch), 5-Pitch and T-Ball divisions. Juniors teams play their games at Clover Park, the AA and A machine pitch games are held at Stewart Park, and the 5-Pitch and T-Ball teams play at the pit in Clover Park. Seniors division play begins following the conclusion of CIF high school season.
According to SMLL Registration Director Kurt Clandening, enrollment for the 2010 season has increased to 745 players from 733 a year ago. Players ages five to 16 comprise 61 in eight divisions across two leagues, Santa Monica East LL and Santa Monica West LL.
The carnival slated for opening day weekend which was postponed due to weather will be rescheduled for the weekend of the SMLL City Championship in early June.
Special to the Mirroramy@smmirror.com