Play ball: Area children show up for opening ceremonies

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 9, 2004

Cars lined up and down Jeff Davis Thursday evening as parents and grandparents hurried to get a good seat in Memorial Stadium.

For the first time in the impressive history of the Selma Parks and Recreation Department, opening day ceremonies were about to kick off for baseball and softball at the same time.

The teams organized over on Bloch Park’s field, then marched along the track before taking their places behind the department’s director Elton Reece.

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With 2,800 kids playing the program, sponsored by the City of Selma and Dallas County governments, it was an impressive sight.

With John Fogerty’s &uot;Centerfield&uot; playing over and over again, the teams marched in front of the crowd with some the kids waving to the parents like a parade.

Local officials were on hand to celebrate the 2004 season with the teams, Reece and his staff.

Reece, who is in charge of the monstrous undertaking of organizing the state’s only league that is free to the public, was obviously enjoying the day.

What Reece and his staff did was organize a day to celebrate the start of a season that features 2,800 local kids, 800 volunteers and about 4,000 parents, grandparents and guardians.

Reece took the time to thank both the City of Selma Government and the Dallas County Government for their efforts in keeping the program open to everyone.

In addition Reece thanked his staff, the umpires and the coaches who help make spring in Selma a special time of the year.

After a short speech from Perkins, the National Anthem was sung, a prayer was offered and two coaches from last year who died, William Johnson and Butch Crawford, were honored.

Finally Reece invited the fans in the stands to come down and meet their coaches before the night was over.