Montclair Recreation Little League throws out first pitch for second season of new affiliation
The weather cooperated for the Montclair Recreation Little League parade that went around Edgemont Park in a celebration of the game.
The parade started the second season where Montclair Parks and Recreation Department became affiliated with Little League.
Last season, the inaugural season of the new affiliation saw an uptick in participation to 130 kids and league officials believe that it increased to at least 160 this spring.
Players, coaches, parents, and friends came out on a slightly cloudy afternoon to start off a new season for the township Little League on April 15 near the intersection of Parkway and Valley Road.
The kids were sporting the jerseys of the Angels, Athletics, Padres, Bees, the Rockhounds and the Emeralds among other squads including members of the Montclair Challenger program, walked the parade route and were ready to hit the diamond.
At the end of the parade, Montclair Little League officials gave talks about the league and about the upcoming season.
The featured speaker was former Major League player and current MLB network announcer Harold Reynolds who talked about the day that the Montclair Little League was throwing the first ball and getting the first hits of the 2023 season.
Reynolds wore a white hoodie emblazoned with the number 42 which was worn by every Major League Baseball player as they honor Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in the MLB every season on April 15.
He told all the players, managers, and officials about what the number 42 meant to him.
In addition, four members of last year's 11U team that won the 2022 district championships were on hand and honored in Jayden and Jamel Williams, Tanner Addair and Benji Rockmaker.
Montclair Recreation Little League officials, Morris Rockmaker, Holy Shaw and Adam Scigliano along with Essex County Commissioner Brendan Gill, as well as Montclair Councilor-At Large Peter Yacobellis and Bob Russo were on hand to lead off the baseball season.
In addition to the opening day, it was an unveiling of the new league logo that entailed a figure of a batter in the middle surrounded by the Montclair Rec Little League insignia.
And for the first pitch of the season, Montclair Challenger program founder, Steve Singer, handed the ball to one of the Challenger players, Lincoln Schneider, who fired the first pitch to start the second season of the Montclair Recreation Little League.