Friday, 23 April 2010 00:00
On Saturday, April 10, under a clear blue sky, the Jericho Athletic Association’s Little League baseball season kicked off with opening day festivities at Lynch Field at Merry Lane.
The boys and girls, ranging in ages from 5 to 12, arrived for the start of the annual opening day parade and were greeted by none other than Mr. Met, who took pictures and signed autographs for an enthusiastic crowd. Also greeting the boys and girls at the start of the parade route was Quackerjack, the Long Island Ducks mascot. The procession left the Milleridge Inn parking lot at 10:45 a.m., led by a fire truck with sirens blaring, courtesy of the Jericho Fire District. The parade wound its way through East Birchwood before arriving at Lynch Field on Merry Lane for the opening day ceremonies.
JAA President Joel Sweetbaum welcomed all the boys and girls, moms and dads, and honored guests- which included, from the Town of Oyster Bay, Supervisor John Venditto, Councilman Joe Muscarella, Anthony Macagnone, Joe Pinto, Rebeca Alesia, Chris Coschignano, Legislator Rose Walker, and Receiver of Taxes James Stefanich; from the Jericho UFSD, Superintendent Hank Grishman; school principals, Joe Prisinzano, Don Gately, Tony Sinanis and Adam Winnick; school administrators Mary Marks, John Castronova, Barbara Bauer and Ben Ciuffo; and Board of Education members, Barbara Krieger, Joe Lorintz, Bill Ferro and Claire Hochheiser.
Tom Goren from the JAA Baseball Executive Committee addressed the crowd, followed by Jericho High School Varsity Girls Softball Coach Jim Whalen, who wished all the boys and girls a good season while surrounded by members of the Varsity Team. Jeff Goren, one of the captains of the JHS Varsity Baseball team, representing the varsity players, told the boys and girls to enjoy the season and have fun.
Joel Sweetbaum then presented Hank Grishman with a plaque to commemorate his 15 years as Superintendent of the Jericho UFSD, thanking him for his support of the Jericho Athletic Association and for the children who participate in its various sports programs.
Sixth grader, Jessica Kantorowitz, performed a fantastic rendition of the National Anthem. The ceremony concluded with the ‘first pitch’ honors for baseball and softball. Superintendent Grishman threw out the first pitch for the boys Baseball League, a perfect strike, and first pitch honors for the girls Softball League went to the ladies of the Syosset Garden Club, who for years have maintained a garden at the Lynch Memorial at Lynch Field.
Following the opening day festivities, the JAA provided hot dogs, hamburgers, pretzels and soft drinks, along with a DJ for all to enjoy. Finally, on a perfect day to play ball, the Umpire yelled out “Play Ball!” and the eleven and twelve-year-old boys played a doubleheader at Lynch Field at Merry Lane. The JAA Opening Day Parade has become a community tradition, and a great way to start the baseball season in Jericho.