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FairfaxVienna Little League resumes opening-day ceremony

Vienna Little League resumes opening-day ceremony

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So much has happened in local baseball and so much time has passed since Vienna Little League last held its traditional opening-day ceremony back in 2019. The pandemic canceled the past two.

But this spring, opening day will make a grand return at the league’s three-field Yeonas Park complex, beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday morning, April 16. League officials say there will be a lot to catch up on that morning, including recognitions of past state championship teams and various league alumni.

In addition to traditional opening-day pitches, a short parade of players onto Nance Field, welcoming comments from league president Mike Jreige, VIPs getting recognition and the induction of three league honor-roll members, the Vienna Little League will recognize the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Vienna National Majors All-Stars. That team won district, state and regionals tournaments that summer to qualify for the Little League World Series.

“We’ve done our best to get as many of those players back to be recognized, and they are excited about reconnecting,” opening-day coordinator Jenn Raines said.


Also at the event, two 2021 Vienna Little League state-championship teams (the Intermediate League All-Stars and the 10-under All-Stars) will be recognized, along with the 2021 Virginia High School League Class 6 state Madison High School baseball team. Many of those Madison team members played in Vienna Little League.

Players from other local high-school teams, like Marshall, Oakton and Flint Hill, who played in Vienna Little League, also will be recognized that morning, as is tradition.

Little League and parent pledges will be recited by players and parents.

Washington Nationals executive vice president Mike Carney will be on hand to deliver some opening-day remarks.

The opening-day event will produce the first big crowd at Yeonas Park since Vienna Little League hosted last summer’s Majors state tournament and opening ceremonies, attracting teams from across Virginia. Former Gov. Ralph Northam, who played Little League-age baseball in the state, threw out a first pitch and gave remarks during that ceremony.

The weather forecast for the morning of April 16 is bright and sunny. Prior to the 2019 event, the opening-day ceremony had been postponed a few times in preceding years because of late spring snow or April showers, or took place in spite of the inclement weather.

As the former and late league president Bill Cervenak used to say: “If it’s opening day at Vienna Little League, that means it must be raining or snowing.”

Following this year’s ceremony, Little League games on the three Yeonas Park fields are scheduled to begin later in the morning and continue through the day and weekend.

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