The baseball gods blessed the opening-day ceremonies Saturday for the North Canton Little League with ideal weather and a great crowd of well-wishers.
Festivities included the Select Choir singing the national anthem, North Canton Mayor David Held and Superintendent of North Canton City Schools Mike Gallina throwing out ceremonial first pitches, scholarship presentations and a special visit from Slider, the mascot of the Cleveland Indians.
NCLL President Gary Giammarco has presided over things at the complex on East Maple Street since 1987. Opening day and his involvement in the league never get old for Giammarco.
"It is the excitement and anticipation that makes it special," Giammarco said. "It is like a rebirth coming out of winter and everyone feeling like a winner."
"I do this to give back to the community that I live and work in," Giammarco added.
has been on the NCLL scene since 1995 and echoed Giammarco's sentiment about his involvement in the league.
"This is the place to be in North Canton," Meder said. "I am proud of our facility and want it to be the best in the entire state."
Four new $250 NCLL scholarships were awarded to Hoover seniors who were past participants in the little league: Austin Wern, A.J. Crofford, Zach Taneyhill and Stephen Barbush.
Teams played their first games following the opening ceremonies.
The season continues through late July.