Baseball season is officially underway in Newark's West Ward, as parents, coaches and athletes of the Ivy Hill Little League celebrated opening day Saturday with a series of games.
"This is what community looks like," said West Ward Councilman Ronald C. Rice during opening day ceremonies.
The league, formed in 1998 and headed by President Houston Stevens, now has more than 100 young athletes all coached by volunteers.
Wearing crisp uniforms and baseball caps, players broke in their mitts and ran around the sunflower seed-dotted diamond before meeting with Mayor Cory Booker, who offered inspirational advice to the youths as a former little leaguer himself.
"Your reputation in life is being built right now," he said. "The best players always are the ones with the best character."
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