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December 2, 2022
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Los Gatos Little League, town celebrate a glorious Opening Day

One could feel the excitement as families and players started to filter into Baggerly Field on March 12 to celebrate Los Gatos Little League’s first Opening Day since 2019. The ceremony was canceled in March 2020 due to the pandemic as well as in 2021, but nobody was thinking about the past on this sun-drenched day. 

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say Los Gatos has one of if not the strongest baseball communities in the Bay Area, as the Little League organization has enjoyed partnerships with local businesses and the Los Gatos High baseball program. 

Speaking of the high school program, the ceremony kicked off with a “player tunnel” made up of the entire baseball program from Los Gatos High led by coach Justin Oliver. As teams were announced, the Little Leaguers ran through the tunnel as they were cheered on by the high school players. The league has 490 players, 43 teams ranging from Tee Ball to Juniors, and players aged 5 through 15. 

As all of the teams were announced and made their way to the field, two of LGLL’s 2021 post-season teams were honored, including the District 12 Minor Tournament of Champions Reds managed by Rob Caruso and assisted by Tom Willerer. The Reds went 9-1 in the regular season and undefeated through the playoffs and Tournament of Champions. 

Next to be honored were the 2021 Los Gatos 11U All-Star team, managed by C.T. Kalin, assisted by coaches Elliot Carlisle and Tom McNeil. The 11U all-stars were District 12 Champions, Section 5 Champions and finished 3rd in the Northern California Regional tournament.

Further reinforcing the community theme of the event, special guests who were introduced along the first base line included District 12 representatives Jenice Condie and Dan Campagnolo, President of Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Mike Wasserman, Los Gatos Vice Mayor Maria Ristow, Councilmember Marico Sayoc, Los Gatos Police Chief Jamie Field, Sgt. Bill Hoyt, Monte Sereno Town Manager Steve Leonardis and Monte Sereno Mayor Pro-Tempore Bryan Mekechuk.

One of the highlights of the ceremony came when Encore, the a capella choir from R.J. Fisher Middle School led by Corey Miller, performed their rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Everybody, from the special guests to all the families in attendance gave a huge ovation as the group hit the last note. 

The Opening Day ceremonies were followed by 22 games from all divisions, including Tee Ball, Single A and Double A teams. In addition to the baseball games, three bounce houses past center field provided hours of entertainment for the hundreds of kids in attendance. 

And not too far away, the league hosted picture day for all 43 teams. But based on the lines at the snack shack, it looked like the real star of the day were the Icees, hamburgers and hot dogs. It’s baseball season again in Los Gatos. 

More information on how to join Los Gatos Little League can be found at www.lgll.org.

A Los Gatos Little League player takes in the festivities during Opening Day on March 12. Photo by Jim Mort.
Players from the Raptors team finish the chicken dance during Little League Opening Day. Photo by Jonathan Natividad.

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