By FRANK LEWIS
PDT Staff Writer
As family members and friends looked on, Skip Hickman spoke into the public address system Saturday at the Portsmouth Little League field. “It’s been a long time coming, but Ebby Glockner Field of Dreams is now open.” And with that, the 2012 Portsmouth Little League season officially began.
“We have 24 teams,” said John Born, president of Portsmouth Little League. “We start at T-Ball, which ranges from 4- to 6-year-olds; We have both girls and boys 7- and 8-year-olds who use a pitching machine; and we have 9- and 10-year-old girls and boys; and then we have 11- and 12-year-olds. And we’re trying to get 13- and 14-year-old teams this year.”
Each team was introduced and individual members of each team stepped out as his or her name was called.
“Today is our opening day,” Born said. “It’s time to celebrate the kids and my board members that have helped me get this ready to go, and all the volunteers that have helped out, too. And it is just time to celebrate and let the kids see why it’s important to have fellowship.”
People were coming up to league officials and commenting on the excellent condition of the new facility.
“This field here is dedicated to Eb Glockner,” Born said. “We started last year with it. We finished it up, finishing the dugouts. We finally got it dedicated. We’ve got a marker that indicates what it is, Eb Glockner’s Field of Dreams.”
Glockner was the longtime owner of Glockner Chevrolet, now Glockner GM Superstore, on U.S. 23 north in Portsmouth, and the new baseball facility was paid for by his family in his honor.
Born said about 325 children are participating in this season’s Little League play.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.