Hundreds of Murrieta parents cheered for their ballplayers this weekend at Murrieta Valley Pony Baseball league’s Opening Day ceremony Saturday, Feb. 23 at the MVPB fields in Murrieta.
The day’s activities included games for all the teams, team photographs, bounce houses and other carnival activities, vendors selling snacks and a special performance by former X-factor competitor Caylie Gregorio.
The ceremony began as each of the league’s teams, with players ranging in age from 4 to 19 marched onto the field with their teams as friends and families cheered.
Then, league president Greg Flores welcomed the participants to a new season.
“This is one of the largest registrations in our history,” Flores said. “We’re going to have a great season.”
Murrieta Valley Pony Baseball is a nonprofit, volunteer-run organization, so Flores highlighted the dedication of this season’s team managers and coaches, the league’s board members, team parents and everyone else donating time to the teams and the upkeep of the game fields.
“On behalf of Murrieta Valley Pony Baseball, I’d like to thank all of the parents, kids and coaches for the time they dedicate to this organization,” he said. “The board members, managers and all of the other volunteers donate a great deal of time each season to keep this going.”
Murrieta Valley High School’s Marine Corps JROTC led the flag salute and then Temecula Valley Sophomore Caylie Gregorio sang the national anthem.
Gallery courtesy of Jennifer Dean:
The first season X-Factor competitor played league softball in the past and said she always enjoyed the experience.
Another special guest riled up the ball players as they stood together on the field during the ceremony.
Lake Elsinore Storm mascot Thunder was a big hit for all but a few of the youngest players, who eyed him a bit nervously, as he strutted onto the field.
The familiar figure was high-fived and hugged as he made the circuit.
Lastly, the teams were officially announced as the crowd cheered, and then the new season was given its official start.
Jennifer Dean is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.