ARDSLEY, N.Y. For the first time in more than eight months, Ardsley Little Leaguers donned their uniforms Saturday, grabbed their gloves and waited anxiously to hear two simple words: Play ball.
After marching from Concord Road Elementary School in the annual parade, hundreds of pint-sized sluggers lined the edge of the infield at McDowell Park, as the 57th season of Little League baseball officially began in Ardsley.
While the ballplayers had big plans for the season ahead, league President Patrick Resk explained that baseball in Ardsley is about more than just balls and strikes.
This league is about community, Resk said. You meet some of your best friends on this field. Thats what Opening Day is all about, bringing people together and giving something back to the kids.
Ardsley Mayor Peter Porcino seconded that in his Opening Day speech to the Little Leaguers.
This is really what makes Ardsley great, he said looking out past the pitchers mound into a sea of parents and players.
With the opening day celebration Ardsley also unveiled its off-season of hard work, showing off the sparkling new playground, dual batting cages and revamped fields.
And a number of elected officials, including Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti (D-Greenburgh), turned out for the festivities.
Abinanti left the ballplayers with some words of advice.
Play hard, play to win and have fun, he said.
But for the players, Saturday was less about the hoopla and all about Americas pastime. For Little Leaguer Jake Rosenberg, it was simple.
Its baseball, and baseball is the best sport, he said matter-of-factly.
His teammate Matthew Miller said baseball was his favorite sport, too.
Baseball is a fun sport, he said. Its really exciting. When someone hits a home run, its exciting.
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