Even as a hard rain fell, David Bickers and his Southern Exposures landscape crew were hard at work preparing the NYO fields for Opening Day ceremonies. Baselines and batters boxes needed to be chalked, infields smoothed and treated with a drying agent to absorb the moisture. Rare is the day that a mere shower cancels NYO games. It's a routine David and his guys follow seven days a week from mid-March to late May when baseball and softball return to the Chastain fields. On Saturdays and Sundays, when games begin early, field preparation can start before sun-up.
But this day would be special. One of the highest honors NYO bestows is to ask someone special to throw out the first pitch on Opening Day. This year, David and six members of his crew were afforded that honor. As they lined up at the mound of the Jane Wilkins Bronco field, the seven men eyed the young catchers to whom they would throw. For David Bickers, who grew up playing NYO baseball and whose sons have followed his lead, it marked the first time he had pitched on the field since 1982. He threw a strike. With that, Opening Day ceremonies concluded. And David and his crew headed back to their equipment to insure NYO's fields remained among the very best of any youth recreational program in the country.
Hello NYO Nation!
It's almost time... Is everyone ready to take the field???
We've all just sprung forward and there's an eager energy in the air that feels like the entire park is on deck... you know it's time to kick off the 2017 baseball/softball season and we are all excitedly awaiting that first official pitch...
NYO's Jane Wilkins Baseball/Softball Opening Day 2017 will take place this Saturday, March 18. This is our own fantastic community tradition with a goal to get everyone in the spirit for all of the games ahead. The parade will include NYO's Christopher League, Kit Kat and Rookie softball teams and all Small Ball, Shetland Blue, Red and Rookie baseball teams. Every year, the tradition carries on as many of our older athletes come back to volunteer their time to assist the younger crowd that looks up to them... we really are a team! There is also an always impressive crew of Atlanta school and professional team mascots to really get the crowd fired-up!
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