Peachtree Opening Day 2012

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The pride of the Crozet Gazette, the T-Ball Marlins, ages 4 to 7, doffed their caps as they were introduced over the PA system. Players left to right: McKenzie Brown, Gryfin Costa, Morgan Dorrier, Hadley Hunt, Michael Malmstrom, Audrey Miracle, and Kendall Via; Coaches from left: Don Costa, David Dorrier, Ryan Miracle.

The Peachtree League held its Opening Day March 17 at Claudius Crozet Park in May-like weather and fielded a record number of teams, 41, and players, nearly 400.

Albemarle County Parks and Recreation workers Mike Morris and Jimbo Barber threw first pitches of the season at the same time. They maintain the ball fields at the park. “We’re here every day and we mow the fields three times a week,” said Barber. He has two sons playing this year and was a Peachtree player himself in the 1970s.

Peachtree president Cheryl Madison reminded players and parents that, “We’re here to learn how to play baseball, to make friends and to have fun.”

The league has four teams playing this year at the Greenwood Community Center field, a first. Normally two teams play there.

Jim Barber and Mike Morris threw the first pitches.

The lower field at Crozet Park sports new covered dugouts and a new press stand (where the stat keeper sits to keep score), all provided by the generosity of Drew and Michelle Holzwarth, the owners of Piedmont Realty and Construction Company. The upper field also got a new press box.

Madison said that for the first time, the sign board of sponsors at the concession stand has no room left for company names.

Former major league star reliever Billy Wagner, now settled in Crozet, was thanked for equipment donations and for his work getting the fields in condition to play.

Madison called the players on last season’s 8-U All-Star team to the upper field mound for special recognition. They were state champs in 2011.

The new dugouts and press box at the lower field.