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Opening Day In Pictures: Little League Parade Opens 2002 Season Posted on Monday, April 15 @ 11:49:15 EDT by jfbailey
WPCNR Pressbox April 15, 2002 11:00 AM EDT REPRINTED FROM THE WPCNR NEWS ARCHIVES The National Pastime returned to White Plains Saturday. The White Plains Little League staged its annual Opening Day Parade Saturday with about 3,000 residents and players participating in the traditional march from Highlands Middle School to beautiful Gedney Field.
DOWN GEDNEY WAY THEY CAME: For 45 minutes approximately 1,000 Little League players, coaches and volunteers marched, team-by-team, down Gedney Way and into Gedney Field Saturday at the third annual Little League Parade for Opening Day of the 2002 seasons.
TALKING OLD TIME BALL: Mayor Joseph Delfino talks old time little league with players just prior to the start of Saturday's Little League Parade mustering grounds at Highlands Middle School. The hundreds of players marched from Highlands to Gedney Way to the ballpark.
THE PEERLESS LEADER:Mayor Joseph Delfino leads the paraders down Gedney Way towards Gedney Field.
FIELD OF DREAMS: Players march into the Gedney Field outfield to the thundering cadence of the Thomas G. Slater Center Marching Band.
THE LITTLE GUYS MARCH IN: A great turnout, teams took 45 minutes march in to the little big league park on Gedney Way in a very professional, dignified manner, too.
A DAY FOR FATHERS AND SONS, MOMS AND DAUGHTERS: Father and son, The Joseph Nicolettis march into Gedney Field. Joseph “Bud” Nicoletti, Jr., Comissioner of Public Works, architect and supervising engineer who built Gedney Field, its spacious parking lot and immaculate new infield, is seen marching in with his father as part of the parade.
COMMON COUNCIL MARCHES IN: The Common Council, Right to Left, Rita Malmud, Benjamin Boykin, Jr., Robert Greer and Glen Hockley. (Mr. Roach was working the crowd), marching into Gedney Field Saturday.
MAYOR JOSEPH DELFINO DECLARES OPENING DAY HIS FAVORITE DAY: After leading the Parade into the field, “America’s Favorite Mayor,” Joseph Delfino addresses the crowd Saturday, reminiscing about the days when there was no little league and girls did not play, and how the league has grown to be a league which includes everyone where everyone plays.
The Mayor said that the Opening Day Parade was his favorite city event for the way it brings the entire community together. He thanked the volunteers who make the Little League possible, the Common Council and Commissioners Joe Davidson and new Commissioner of Recreation and Parks, Arne Abramowitz for their efforts in maintaining and building the fields. Mr. Abramowitz, welcomed the fans and players, (at the far right in the cap). In his remarks said that he always regretted he was not able to play on Opening Days when, as Administrator of Flushing Meadow Park, he supervised Opening Days at Shea Stadium. He said to the players you get to play on this Opening Day.
LEADER OF THE LITTLE LEAGUE: Rich Massaroni, President of White Plains Little League asked for a moment of silence to remember the victims of the World Trade Center Attack, and introduced the Board of Directors of the WPLL: Dave Corcoran, Joe Palatucci, Tom Gramolini, Pete Bassano, Billy Wooters, Tom Pasqua, Bob Eifler, Greg Prout, Mike Torrez, Jim Tobin, Lou Petralia, Bob Gelston, Todd Oronzio, Mike Leone, Ed Bruno, Al Orfe, Ken Frawley, Frank Rose, John Habermann, Gary Stenson, Bill Yanuck, Lisa Fee, Chet Gottshall, Steve Ryan, Kathy Zaccaria and Bill Ward.
Massaroni thanked them all for their volunteer efforts that have grown the Little League to what it is today. He thanked Candyce Corcoran for organizing and producing the Little League Parade for the third straight year.
CHANGING OF THE GUARD: Rich Massaroni, WPLL President with retiring Commissioner of Recreation and Parks, Joe Davidson prior to throwing out the first pitch. Davidson, in his short talk to the crowd, remembered when there was no little league when he became commissioner in 1979, and how the program had grown to include both boys and girls in his tenure.
THE CEREMONIAL FIRST PITCH: Who is that crafty, veteran righthander? Is it Walter Johnson? Is it Phil Niekro? It’s Joe Davidson throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at beautiful Gedney Field, prior to the Minor Girls Opening Day Game. The pitch was a strike!
During the game, the Official Caterers of the Little League, Outback Steakhouse, RC Cola and Sam’s of Gedney Way donated hamburgers and grilled chicken sandwiches and soda as a fundraiser for the Little League. Outback, serving thousands, ran out of hamburgers at about 1 PM.
With the Annual Little League Parade striding off today, WPCNR remembers when Gedney Field first opened back in 2002 when the first pitch was thrown. This is an original WPCNR article reprinted from the WPCNR News Vault. Note there are no leaves on the trees. No green of any kind.
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