Fallon Youth Baseball opened its season over the weekend, but a special recognition going back to the beginning was the main event; the FYB board recognized John Huckaby for his and his family’s involvement and dedication in the program.
Huckaby, the son of Elmer Huckaby, one of the founding members of FYB, was presented with a plaque to commemorate his lifetime of support to the program. He was also given the honor of throwing the first pitch to his grandson Tanner.
Huckaby said he was honored by the event and impressed by how much it has grown over the years. He said it was amazing so many children are involved in youth baseball now and recalled when it started there were only a handful of players and a small group of parents arranging the games.
“It’s a dream come true for me to be able to coach and be a part of it,” Huckaby said. “A lot of dedicated coaches and families have made this possible.”
He said the key to youth baseball’s success has been acting as an encourager while having fun and praising what the players do rather than being overly critical.
Huckaby recalled some of the other families involved in FYB’s founding were the Summerbells, Guistis, Lumoses and Yorks.
The rest of the opening ceremony consisted of each team being introduced. The players on each Babe Ruth, Major, Minor, Rookie and T-Ball team announced their name as they ran onto the field — when the Rookie and T-Ball players came out they ran through a gauntlet of the other players high-fiving them.
Once all the teams had been brought on the field the national anthem was sung along with a color guard followed by the first pitch.
Daren McKnight, a board member for FYB and emcee at the opening ceremony said there were more players this year compared to 2016, though they had a similar number of teams. There was one more Babe Ruth team this year and one more Major.
“We tried to make smaller teams so more kids could play,” he said. “We want everyone on the field, not sitting in the dugout.”
FYB’s season will run until June 3, ending with championship games. McKnight said post-season all-star games will continue into July.