WARNER ROBINS -- Little League players in new uniforms paraded from near the overflowing parking lots to Field 4 at the Flint Energies Sports Complex, where at least 500 people waited for them.
It was Friday, opening night for Warner Robins American Little League, and the fields were full of parents, siblings, grandparents and fans awaiting the start of a new season.
President Joey Stella introduced the 10-to-11-year-old District 5 champions, led by Robie Luna, and the 11-to- 12-year-old Georgia champions, managed by Martin Pinckney.
The older boys, who were all wearing their Georgia red jerseys, seemed to relish the spotlight one last time.
It was a lifetime memory, said Pinckney.
The key speaker was Tommy Stalnaker, chairman of the Houston County Board of Commissioners. He spoke about the dedication of the coaches as well as the parents of the league.
This is a great day for Warner Robins and Houston County, Stalnaker said.
WRALL was chartered in 1953, making the 2013 season its 60th.
Its special for us, Stella said.
Matt Garland, who is coaching T-ball for the first time, said he enjoyed the ceremony. Though maybe only three of his 12 players actually listened to the speakers and clapped when the rest of the older audience did, he said.
Most of the younger players were in the outfield, throwing grass at each other or doing cartwheels.
Stella said he hoped this year would be a good one for the league.
After the opening pitches were thrown for baseball, softball and the Challenger League for special needs children, the season was officially declared open.
Lets play ball, Stella said to cheers.