Despite a rainy start to the Pinole-Hercules Little League baseball and softball season, the long-awaited "Opening Day" finally took place on April 22 at Ellerhorst Elementary School. Teams got to show off their uniforms, banners and their excited selves while parading around the school campus. It was a fun afternoon, that included time slots for teams being able to have their photos professionally taken, homemade banners featuring local sponsor's names judged in a contest and the opportunity to participate in the league's Hit-A-Thon.
The Hit-A-Thon allows teams to help fundraise for the league in a fun way. Those who participate collect pledges on a longest hit basis with increments of money pledged for distance by foot or flat rate and then on the day of the event, "Batter up!", players get to see how far they can hit. This is the league's biggest fundraiser and is needed to keep the program going. The league keeps the cost of the registration fee down to encourage participants so the money charged doesn't quite cover all of the costs that only the league sees such as insurance fees.
Equally valuable for the foundation of the league are its many sponsors. In exchange for the sponsors contribution, the company or group is honored with its name on a banner throughout the season. Some of our local sponsors include ,, Beavers Family Dentistry, , Gary Sabbadini, D.D.S., ,, , and the Pinole Police Employee Association.
If you are a fan of little league games, come on down to or and catch some games. Weeknight games start at 6 p.m. and Saturday games start at 9 a.m. and go throughout the afternoon. Schedules are posted on the site. The majority of the games are played at Ellerhorst.
If you are at the Ellerhorst ball fields, don't worry about packing snacks or thinking about what to have for dinner after the evening games. The snack bar has some pretty good meal options. For mornings, you can grab a breakfast burrito, donut, coffee and hot cocoa. Lunch and dinner fare includes chicken Caesar salad, terriyaki chicken sandwich, hot links, chili dogs, hamburgers, and Frito boats with toppings that include shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and jalapeno peppers. Of course, the usual snacks are offered too that include popcorn, ice cream bars and the like.
The all-volunteer league does a great job with these events and keeping the season running smoothly. Free training clinics are offered to parent volunteer managers, coaches, safety officers, team parents and scorekeepers. Long-timers of the league are always happy to hand down their knowledge, as I am experiencing with learning the correct way to scorekeep a game.
Would you like to support the Pinole-Hercules Little League on a personal level? Do you enjoy dining out? Do you subscribe to magazines? The PHLL site now accommodates those of us who would like to buy dining gift cards at a real deal for diners to buy a $100 gift card for just $35 with the league keeping up to 40% of the profits. Magazine subscriptions are also available, as well as the option to just make a simple donation.
Just as the baseball/softball season feels like it has just started, mark your calendar for Sunday, June 10. At Ellerhorst, teams will be participating in Closing Ceremonies, where the players will receive their hard-earned trophies for the season and thanking all those who helped make the season possible. Carnival-type games will be running and the snack bar will be open for a fun afternoon.