A simmering T.W. Patterson Sports Complex was host to scores of players, parents, coaches and community members for the opening day ceremony of the 2019 Junior Giants Patterson League season on June 12.

The Junior Giants were joined by local baseball programs Patterson Little League and Patterson Diamond Club, who offered assistance in the form of a brief clinic on fundamental baseball skills.

“The league’s commissioner Tino Ramirez had the amazing idea of including other organizations in Patterson to help be a part of Opening Day Ceremony. Patterson Little League and Diamond Club were more than willing to help out, they wanted to be a part of it and support the Junior Giants program,” Junior Giants Patterson Ambassador Karen Garcia said. “They wanted to interact with players the best way we could, playing ball, which is when we planned for a small clinic to take place at Opening Day. Junior Giants is for everyone and anyone. We take pride in community involvement so we always want to be sure to reach out to amazing organizations like these.”

The ceremony began with the parade, featuring the players of the 2019 Junior Giants season.

Awaiting them were their parents and coaches, but also the West Stanislaus Fire Fighters were present to offer up their time for some local encouragement.

“We want to thank all families, players and volunteers who came out to celebrate the kick-off of our 2019 season! Our players were so excited to be parading into the ball diamond as they were welcomed by families and the West Stanislaus Fire Fighters,” Garcia said.

Last Wednesday was the first day of many for the roughly 260 baseball pupils. The league, which spans from ages five to 13 years old, has age groups that are categorized into tee-ball, minors, minors softball and a majors division.

The league currently has 22 teams for the 2019 season, with approximately 12-14 players on each roster. Each team will practice and play a game once a week.

The Junior Giants will also host an anti-bullying event during Anti-Bullying Week, on June 25. The Soul Shoppe program will be present for the anti-bullying event. The Soul Shoppe website states that the program “supports kids by giving conflict resolution tools that allow them to support each other as allies.”

PI sports writer

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