Hundreds of little leaguers sloshed through Park Slope in the rain on Saturday for the Prospect Park Baseball Association’s opening day parade, and organizers said it was great to see so many sluggers show up to celebrate the start of the season given the unwelcome April showers.
“Considering the weather, it was a great turnout,” said president Eddie Albert, who oversees the league’s 200 teams playing across the park’s seven diamonds,
Youngsters and teenagers marched in their rainboots in the annual procession to Brooklyn’s Backyard, where local officials cut a green ribbon to the newly revamped Long Meadow Ball Fields, which finally reopened after years of renovations.
The spruced up playing space now boasts a state-of-the-art drainage system that can absorb rainwater so the fields don’t turn to mush, and can easily change shape to suit teams of different ages, Albert said.
Former Park Sloper and coach Mayor DeBlasio turned up to throw the heat, delivering the ceremonial first pitch and offering a few words of wisdom about the ball sport’s place in Kings County.
“Baseball is the quintessential Brooklyn pastime,” he said.
Albert said Hizzoner’s pitching form “looked great,” albeit with a wry laugh.
The young baseball and softball aficionados haven’t had a chance to test out the new field yet because of inclement weather, but Albert said games will begin this week once the rain clears up.