Four free events await visitors at the inaugural Southeast Park Community Day on Saturday.
Four separate events will take place at the park, located at 438 Snellgrove Drive, in Warner Robins, beginning at 10 a.m., according to Matt Weber, assistant Southeastern Region director for Little League Baseball.
“We want to give back to our community, say thank you for those who have supported us,” Weber said. “It gives people a chance to step onto the field that are not generally part of a Little League team. Anyone can do it; you don’t have to be on a team.”
Teresa Hathaway, who has been a volunteer since the park opened in 2010, said she hopes the event will bring community involvement and awareness about the park.
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“Our goal is to try and inform the community that they are there,” she said, adding that it shouldn’t just be the families that come to watch. “Everyone needs to come out and support these kids.”
Beginning at 10 a.m., Major League Baseball’s Pitch, Hit & Run competition will commence with competitors, ranging in age from 7 to 14, throwing balls from a designated distance with a predetermined amount of throws in an effort to hit the target on a fence, Weber said. Every hit scores a point.
“For the hitting, you hit as far as you can, but as straight as you can, to get the maximum amount of points,” he said.
For the running part of the competition, Weber said the competitors will start at second base, round third base and run home. The points are based on the time it takes to run the bases. The age groupings are 7-8, 9 to 10-12 and 13-14, with competitors choosing to play in either baseball and softball.
The MLB Junior Home Run Derby will begin at 3 p.m. for boys and girls, ages 7 to 14. The goal is to hit as many home runs as possible from a set number of pitches, Weber said. The age grouping for this individual competition are 7-12 and 13-14. Age is determined as of July 17, 2017.
Weber said both the derby and Hit Pitch & Run events will have winners in each age division advance to the sectional level in May. Each participant will be required to provide a copy of a valid birth certificate prior to the competition.
An Open Field Hour will be held from 1-2 p.m. During that time, Weber said, any individual can “have a catch, run the bases or tour the Southeast Park field.”
“Anyone who wants to come down and experience it … moms, dads, grandparents, can come out and have a catch with a son or grandson. Come down and see what it is all about,” he said. “They can do anything but hit. Bring a ball and glove and have a catch in the outfield.”
From 10 a.m.-2 p.m., various area safety vehicles will be available for exploring in the stadium parking lot, Weber said. He said the Warner Robins Police Department, the Houston County Sheriff’s Office and Robins Air Force Base will take part.
Weber recommends advance registration for the competitions, which can be completed in-person weekdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Region Headquarters or online at www.LittleLeague.org/South.