This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending opening day ceremonies for New Rochelle Little League. It’s about as All-American a scene as you can imagine. Hundreds of kids arrayed on the field, flags blowing in the breeze, coaches and parents beaming with pride, Color Guard standing at attention.

On this kind of occasion, nobody wants to hear a long speech from a politician, so I generally confine myself to two words: “Play Ball!” Most years, I am also asked to throw out the first pitch, and for a lousy athlete like me, the risk of embarrassment is high. This year, fortunately, I was spared that particular ordeal by Ray Rice, the Baltimore Ravens football great and New Rochelle native, who was on hand to do the honors. Ray delivered a perfect strike, to no one’s surprise.

I love this picture of Owen (courtesy of Jen Parente.) He still has to work on his batting and throwing. But gripping the ball … he’s got that down.

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