Cotton candy, snow cones and popcorn, alas, no cracker jacks in sight. Gulfport Little League opened their 2020 season Saturday morning, February 29 at Tomlinson Park, 19th Avenue and 54th Street S. This marks Gulfport Little League’s second full year under the guidance of President Trevor Mallory, former Toronto Blue Jays player.
“Opening day is my favorite day of the season, but my favorite part overall is watching the kids progress throughout the season,” said Mallory.
Two years ago, when Mallory revitalized Gulfport Little League, only 18 participants ran the bases. This year a staggering 65 kids and four teams are signed up and ready to knock the season out of the park.
Opening remarks started promptly at 10 a.m., followed by first pitch thrown by Gulfport Merchants Chamber board member John Haugen.
“Opening day is the best day of the season,” said Vice President Maleke Fowler. “To me as long as you’re out on the field, every day feels like opening day. I grew up playing little league in Louisiana. The first day was the best and the last day was the best day. I never wanted it to end.”
Fowler, an old high school friend of Mallory, thinks it’s a great opportunity to bring children in the area an affordable and way to get outside and learn life skills.
“Little league was dying in the area, because not everyone could afford the travel ball experience,” said Fowler. “We’re looking forward to instilling the passion, the dedication and show the kids they can have fun while playing.”