Taking them out to the ball game for HRC Opening Day (VIDEO)

hrc opening dayBy BECKY KISER
Hays Post

It was perfect weather at the ball park Wednesday night for the Opening Day celebration of Hays youth baseball and softball players participating in the Hays Recreation Commission summer leagues.

HRC summer ball teams are introduced during Wednesday's Opening Day event.

HRC summer ball teams are introduced during Wednesday’s Opening Day event.

The first-time event, which HRC youth sports director Keith Smith hopes will become an annual tradition, invited 850 players, plus coaches, sponsors and families to the Bickle/Schmidt Sports Complex.

“We should have started cooking the hot dogs a day early,” Smith joked, as he checked out the long line at the concession stand.

All of the teams, coaches and sponsors took the field for introduction by Eagle Radio’s Dustin Armbruster, and then they recited the Sportsmanship Pledge:

“Although we have 10 fewer players this year than last summer,” according to Smith, “we’re up from two years ago.”

Food and fun kicked off the summer baseball season Wednesday during the the Hays Recreation Commission's first-ever "Opening Day."

Food and fun kicked off the summer baseball season Wednesday during the  Hays Recreation Commission’s inaugural Opening Day.

There are 850 kids playing on 72 teams — 29 baseball teams, 23 softball teams and 21 T-ball teams.

Smith said the event is a “fun way to also give back to the many sponsors and volunteers who help” with the Hays Rec summer leagues.

Other activities included a home run derby for the older boys, an accuracy throw for the girls and a speed-throw challenge from first to third base.

Attendees also had the chance to  win tickets to a Royals, Wingnuts or T-Bones game.


  • Hays Citizen

    What a great idea HRC!!! From the picture it looked like you had a great turnout. I certainly hope this turns into an annual event. Big applause for the brains behind the idea and the work behind the scenes! THANK YOU HRC for providing this for our children!

  • Tshock

    Excellent idea. I wish they would have done this back in my day. From the pictures, the turnout looks fantastic.