By JONATHAN ZWEYGARDT
For the first time, Hays youth baseball and softball players will celebrate their own opening day tonight — thanks to the Hays Recreation Commission.
Hays Rec is inviting all of the youngsters participating in summer leagues to take part in the Opening Day celebration, scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday at Bickle/Schmidt Sports Complex.
Keith Smith, Hays Rec youth sports director, said this is a fun way to kick off the season. There are 750 total kids signed up this summer.
Smith said all of the teams, coaches and sponsors will be introduced that night. Although they won’t play any games, the event will be fun for the kids and a way to get everybody excited about starting out the season.
There will be a hot dog feed, a home run derby and inflatables for the kids.
There will also be drawings with a chance to win tickets to a Royals, Wingnuts or T-Bones game, and Smith said that the Hays Larks and local businesses will also be helping out with the event.
According to Smith, there are 29 baseball teams, 23 softball teams and 21 T-ball teams signed up for the season.