The savory smell of hot dogs roasting, the crack of the bat and the sight of young players running down fly balls will fill Rumsey Park beginning April 17 — Little League opening day.
Games begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 7 p.m. with opening ceremonies set for 1:15 p.m. on the Rumsey III field.
All softball games on that day will be played on Rumsey II and baseball on Rumsey III.
For the festivities, Little League official Felicia Moore has issued invitations to everyone with an interest in the sport or youth.
“If you don’t have kids in Little League, please just come enjoy the fun and cheer on the kids,” she said. “It will be a fun day for all.”
Among the activities will be hot air balloon rides, bounce houses, live radio broadcasts by KMOG, raffles and prizes including a 42-inch flat screen television.
“Tickets (for the TV prize) are $5 or three for $12,” Moore said.
Also, the Little League snack bar will be open, selling the usual array of ballpark foods including hot dogs, soft drinks, peanuts and popcorn.
The games to be played will include all age/skill divisions including coach pitch, minors and majors.
For local fans, players and parents, that means, as Harry Carey often mouthed during Chicago Cubs seventh-inning stretches, “Take me out to the ball game. Take me out with the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks, I don’t care if I ever get back.”
Paying the bills
In an effort to fund the local Little League softball and baseball programs, a benefit golf tournament is set for May 1 at Payson Golf Course.
The four-man scramble tees off at 8:30 a.m. with a shotgun start. The fee is $65 per player and all profits benefit Payson Little League.
Tournament chairman Duane Kaufman anticipates a banner day, saying the fray has attracted two sponsors for each hole and there will be a variety of fun contests and competitions including closest to the pin, longest drives and a big screen television prize for any entrant who scores and ace on No. 14.
Kaufman also is planning a “Las Vegas Hole” in which players can wager on setting their tee shot into an eight-foot circle around a par 3 hole.
Following the 18-hole tournament, a lunch will be served during the awards ceremony.
“Gary Richardson and Cisco foods have donated the lunch,” Kaufman said.
For more information, call Kaufman at (928) 978-1946, or Bob Ferkol at (928) 978-3772.