September 21, 2017
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  • As banner contest winners, the Pirates won more than $150 in gift cards and cash.
    Caden Marin
    As banner contest winners, the Pirates won more than $150 in gift cards and cash.

Falcons Play Big Sister And Brother Roles at Green Hornets’ Opening Day

Judy Tacyn
Judy Tacyn's picture
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May 3, 2017

Kinder Farm Park in Millersville was abuzz with baseball and softball fever on Saturday, April 8, as the Greater Severna Park Athletic Association celebrated Opening Day 2017 with Green Hornets players, parents, family, friends and the Oriole Bird. The event included the Opening Day parade of teams, the annual banner contest and the fourth annual LCPL Taylor Wild Memorial Pitch, Hit & Run contest.

The 2017 Green Hornets squad includes nearly 70 baseball and softball teams with more than 850 players ranging from 5-year-olds to 17-year-olds.

The young players were greeted and cheered on by the Severna Park High School softball and baseball squads. The Falcon players and coaches play an integral part on Opening Day. Younger players look up to their high school counterparts, aspiring to don the Falcon blue and gold uniform one day.

Now in its fourth year, the Pitch, Hit & Run competition is in memory of Taylor Wild, a former baseball player for Green Hornets and Severna Park High School. Marine Lance Corporal Taylor Wild died in 2013 in a mortar explosion while training for his third deployment at Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada. He valued his role as a big brother and was always there to throw a ball or play a game with his siblings.

In honor of Taylor Wild, the Pitch, Hit & Run participants are paired with a SPHS baseball or softball player who helps and encourages them through the skill stations.

Betz Wild, Taylor’s mother and Pitch, Hit & Run organizer, said, “130 players registered to participate, not counting all the younger kids that got to run through early that weren’t eligible, but had a blast working with the high school players.”

During the event, it’s impossible to tell who is having a better time, the Falcons or the Green Hornets.

“It’s really neat how [the high school players] have come full circle,” said Wes Adams, a longtime Green Hornets baseball coach whose son is now a freshman on the Falcons junior varsity baseball team. “Ten years ago, they were the little guys who were so excited to shake hands with the high schoolers. Now they get to be the ones who shake the new kids’ hands.”

Betz was appreciative of the support offered by the Greater Severna Park Athletic Association. “We would like to thank Green Hornets baseball and softball for the tremendous amount of support they provide in advertising, scheduling and helping facilitate pulling off this event,” said Betz. “We would like to especially thank [baseball commissioner] Jeff Moore, [softball commissioner] Judy Tacyn and [assistant baseball commissioner] Michael Phillips for their continued support.

“Of course, we can’t make this happen without the players of the Severna Park High School baseball and softball teams and their coaches for being on the field and working with the participants, serving as their big brothers and sisters as they move through the various stations,” added Betz. “Taylor loved nothing in the world more than spending time with his brother, Griffin, and sister, Libby, and being the best big brother he could be.”

Moore called the collaboration between Green Hornets and the Pitch, Hit & Run a perfect match. “Having the Wild Pitch, Hit & Run at our Opening Day combines some of the greatest aspects of our community, including young Green Hornets players and their parents, high school players and coaches, and a host of other terrific volunteers who helped make the day great,” Moore said. “It offers opportunities for kids and adults to take part in something meaningful. It is an opportunity to give some of our time and contribute to the success of others. Anne Frank wrote that, ‘No one has ever become poor by giving.’ I feel richer because of it.”

Nearly 20 players advanced to the next round of competition, the second of four levels of competition culminating at the highest level, the National Finals, at the 2017 MLB All-Star Game.

See more photos from Opening Day here.

 

Opening Day Banner Contest Winners

The Pirates won:

·         A $100 gift card to Ledo Pizza in Severna Park for a team pizza party

·         A Dick’s Sporting Goods cinch sack and cash for each player

·         A snowball coupon for each player

·         A $50 Dick’s gift card for the team

The Fireballs won:

·         $50 gift card to FroYo in Severna Park for the team

·         A Dick’s Sporting Goods cinch sack and cash for each player

·         A snowball coupon for each player

·         A $20 Dick’s gift card for the team


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