Local News

Sunday, Mar 16 2014 05:55 PM

League of Dreams opens for eighth season of baseball

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    By Rod Thornburg/ Special to The Californian

    The Athletics team in the Single A Division walks on the field at the League of Dreams Baseball Season Opening Day for the 2014 season.

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    By Rod Thornburg/ Special to The Californian

    Seven-year-old Grace Yamauchi and 6-year-old Scott Leland get their picture talen with Condors' mascot Baby Cal at the League of Dreams Baseball Season Opening Day for 2014 at Fruitvale Norris Park.

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    By Rod Thornburg/ Special to The Californian

    Cub's player Deagon Sullivan of the Double AA Division comes on the field at the League of Dreams Baseball Season Opening Day for 2014.

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    By Rod Thornburg/ Special to The Californian

    The players with their parents and Angels line up on the field at Fruitvale Norris Park for the League of Dreams Baseball Season Opening Day ceremonies on Sunday.

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    By Rod Thornburg/ Special to The Californian

    Executive Director #12 Jessica Mathews, left, and the founder of League of Dreams and Chairman of the Board Tim Terrio present to board member and parent Susan Lara a baseball jersey with #98 on it for the year her son was born. Opening ceremonies for the 2014 baseball season were held Sunday at Fruitvale Norris Park.

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    By Rod Thornburg/ Special to The Californian

    Thirty-two teams with 239 players, parents with their Angels line up on the field at Fruitvale Norris Park for the League of Dreams Baseball Season Opening Day ceremonies on Sunday.

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    By Rod Thornburg/ Special to The Californian

    The crowd listens to Jerai Johnson singing the National Anthem as they line up on the field at Fruitvale Norris Park for the League of Dreams Baseball Season Opening Day ceremonies.

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    By Rod Thornburg/ Special to The Californian

    Athlete Jordan Woolard recieves the first pitch ball thrown out by Jim Luff, president of Children's Advocates Resourse Endowment. Opening Day of League of Dreams Baseball was held at Fruitvale Norris Park on Sunday.

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    By Rod Thornburg/ Special to The Californian

    The game is going to the dogs. Blacky, the team mascot for the Dodgers in the Majors Division, waits in line for a hot dog at the Opening Day for the 2014 League of Dreams baseball season held at Fruitvale Norris Park on Sunday.

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By The Bakersfield Californian

Forget spring training. The season has started for the League of Dreams.

Opening Day ceremonies for the 2014 season got underway Sunday in north Bakersfield with more than 230 special needs kids and at least that many volunteers gathering at Fruitvale Norris Park.

Now in its eighth season, the League of Dreams motto is "Every child should have a chance to play."

And even though the first games aren't till next week, the ballplayers were ready Sunday. Some were in wheelchairs, some required other equipment. But everyone wanted to play ball.

"I just hope that he has fun and learns about team cooperation," proud dad Daniel Guerrero said about his 5-year-old son Raymond, who has a type of autism. "We just wanted him to enjoy sports the same as everyone else does."

The League of Dreams is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit and sports league for children ages 5-22 with special needs. In addition to baseball, it also offers basketball, bowling and swim lessons.

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