Ball players from tee ball to juniors celebrated the 60th anniversary of Canyon Country Little League on its opening day Saturday, which hosted former Major Leaguer Chris Seddon to throw out the first pitch.
Seddon was drafted to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the fifth round out of Canyon High School in 2001 before being called up to The Show by the Florida Marlins in 2008.
The lefty pitcher then went on to play for the Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians before playing in Japan, Korea and China. Seddon said opening day is always special, no matter the league.
“It honestly brings back memories of me and my little league. It’s just, you know, always just watching all the kids run around,” said Seddon. “It’s just fun. It’s fun to watch the next generation of kids starting baseball.”
Scot Mahotz, president of CCLL, said it’s always hard work to make opening day happen, but after all the effort, it was “definitely worth it.” He also had a very similar sentiment to Seddon.
“It just brings me back to my youth, of when I played baseball and the enjoyment I had out there and it really brings me back,” said Mahotz. “On this field, it’s spending time with my son and coaching him through the years here and the memories we made as father and son, not just as baseball player and coach.”
This will be Mahotz’s last year as president of CCLL. His son is graduating high school and will soon be joining the U.S. Army. Mahotz said he wants to be able to visit his son as much as possible and needs the time to travel in order to do so.
Family is an important bond and theme in baseball and CCLL’s opening day was no different. David Farrell, head coach of the Canyon Country Mets, had his 11-year-old son, Justice, on his team and his daughter, Righteous, sang the national anthem to open the event.
“What I like most about opening day is that it’s lots of fun and then you get to get prepared to play the game and being around so many people and you get to see the entire league at once,” said Justice. “My favorite part about playing baseball is that it teaches you teamwork and respect and honor, and it teaches many life challenges.”
Justice’s teammate, Eli Delahanty, talked about what he liked best about opening day and thought it was really cool to be able to see Seddon throw out the first pitch.
“I get to see my friends again, you know, because there’s Christmas and then you get to come back and play baseball, is just a great feeling,” said Delahanty. “And then you get to see a major league pitcher come out and throw the first pitch, just crazy.”
Twenty-three teams participated in the event and each player was awarded an anniversary goody bag.