Newmarket baseball is back and the local association will welcome it with an annual parade through downtown May 13.
The Newmarket Baseball Association will have its players make their way down Timothy Street to kick off the return of the season. With dignitaries on hand, the association will also be honouring its 22U national champion team with a special banner raising.
Administrator Danielle Edwards said the parade is in full force, with the sport recovering to reach pre-pandemic levels of players.
“This is the big celebration where we all come together,” she said. “It’s very exciting.”
The annual parade features hundreds of players walking from Timothy Street to Fairgrounds Park, with a ceremony to begin the season and games throughout the day. Mayor John Taylor is set to throw the opening pitch. The pandemic forced it into a temporary hiatus but it returned last year.
The event will honour its national team from last season, the first for the Newmarket Baseball Association. The 22U AAA Hawks won Baseball Canada’s championships in Nova Scotia last summer.
“We have a huge banner that we’re putting up at the McKnight diamond,” she said. “That is going to be a permanent fixture.”
Besides celebrating a national champion, the Newmarket Baseball Association will also honour its 2019 14U AAA squad that won the provincial championships, a recognition missed amidst the pandemic.
The sport has recovered well for the upcoming season, with more than 800 players registered, about 20 per cent more than the previous year, according to Edwards.
“This season is kind of back into full swing,” she said. “We got everything in place … We’re excited to be back on the diamonds and be able to play a full season without any interruptions.”
The event will start on Timothy Street at 9 a.m., with players making their way to Fairgrounds Park for ceremonies to begin at 9:30 a.m.
The association still has some registration spots left for the season, available through newmarketbaseball.com.