Detroit Pal held its annual Diamond Sports Opening Day Ceremony on Saturday, June 13 at Maheras Gentry Park. More than 1,500 baseball, softball, and t-ball players started their seasons at parks all around the city.
The Opening Day ceremony brought out some very important speakers. Jennifer Whitteaker from the DTE Energy Foundation was present to talk about their involvement in the diamond sports program. The DTE Energy Foundation has been a key sponsor for the program for many years and we would not be able to run the program successfully without their partnership. Sam Abrams from the Detroit Tigers was on hand to talk about the Tigers sponsorship of the Tiny Tigers, Detroit PAL’s t-ball program. “It definitely warms my heart to be working together to enhance the game of baseball,” he stated about their involvement with our young diamond sports players.
The Opening Day ceremony also served as a platform to launch Detroit PAL’s Team Up program. Police Chief James Craig stopped by to talk about the Detroit Police Officers involvement in the program, which partners a police officer with a baseball or softball team to act as a mentor and assistant coach. “This program builds relationships that are absent in other communities,” the Chief stated, “I’m very excited about it!”
Our Opening Day festivities continued with a coaches’ training clinic run by prominent baseball coaches in the metro area. The clinics, funded by Max and Erica Scherzer, are a great tool to teach our coaches how to be the best coach possible for the kids. Madonna University’s Charlie Haeger and Eastern Michigan University’s Jerry Brown were both able to hold clinics throughout the day.
This year we have a new sponsor helping us to provide the fuel that our kids need in order to keep a healthy and active lifestyle. Gleaner’s Community Food Bank brought their Meet Up & Eat Up Truck out to the event and were able to provide each kid at the park with a healthy lunch. Each family in attendance also had the opportunity to take home 30 pounds of food. Gleaners was able to provide food for 400 families that day, for which everyone was very grateful.
Diamond Sports started out with a great Opening Day and the fun will be continuing all summer long! Learn more about our baseball program here.