American Legion Baseball opens season Saturday

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The American Legion Baseball Opening Day ceremony for the State of Arizona will be on Saturday at Copper Sky.

The ceremonies will start at 9 a.m., and games will start at 10 a.m. There is a double-header scheduled.

American Legion Post 133 of Maricopa will head up and co-ordinate this ceremony for the second year in a row. Post 133 sponsors two American Legion baseball teams, which engage about 36 Maricopa youths during the summer months.

This year as in the past they received a RICO fund grant from Sheriff Paul Babeu to support the two teams. Babeu will throw out the first pitch.

Other dignitaries that will participate in the opening ceremonies are Andy Jaime Jr. (American Legion state commander), Robert Krumwiede (state chairman of American Legion Baseball), Louis Manuel Jr.(Ak-Chin Indian Community Chairman), Christian Price (Maricopa mayor), Steven Stahl (Maricopa police chief) and Christaly Bentencourt, (Miss City of Maricopa Outstanding Teen).

The colors will be presented by the Maricopa High School Air Force ROTC unit.

The Legion will also be honoring 40 young high school graduates from Pinal County that have just joined the U.S. Army.
 
***ADVERTISEMENT***Since 1925, The American Legion Organization has sponsored a nationwide youth baseball program. During these nine decades, millions of young players have enjoyed playing baseball.

The American Legion and their 2.8 million members have raised millions of dollars each year for players to learn the importance of teamwork, discipline, leadership and good sportsmanship. The American Legion sponsors American Legion Baseball to give players an opportunity to develop their skills, personal fitness and leadership qualities and to have fun.

American Legion Baseball has over 5,400 teams in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Almost 66,000 youths, ages 15 to 19, participated in 2014. Since its inception, the league has had 10 million players, and nearly 60 percent of current college players are program graduates.