Several thousand players, coaches and parents turned out for opening day of Little League baseball on Pleasanton Sports Park fields Saturday.
"Play Ball" cheers rang out across the park as the city's three leagues--American, Foothill and National--started spring play. Opening day ceremonies were separate but all included recognition of past award-winning teams, new coaches and league board members and American flags and team banners waving in the brisk, cold winds.
In fact, the temperatures in the 40s and low 50s, contrary to weather bureau projections of the low-60s at game time, made the morning ceremonies seem more like football opening days than spring baseball.
The festivities included a tri-tip barbecue vendor booths and a Home Run Derby sponsored by the American Little League, free hot dog and hamburger lunches by the National League and special team recognition ceremonies on the Foothill League fields.
Pleasanton police also had a field day, issuing tickets for vehicles illegally parked along Parkside Drive corner sidewalks and in areas of Sports Park not specifically marked for parking. Motorists, frustrated by the lack of parking spaces for the opening day ceremonies for all three Little League teams, left their cars and rushed to the fields, returning a half hour later to find the tickets.
Traffic backed up on Hopyard Road, Parkside and on the Sports Park main road where single turning lanes limited the number of cars that could enter and leave Sports Park during the peak game times.