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Moose Jaw Minor Girls Fastball holds first opening day in two years

Hundreds of players, coaches and officials take part in annual tradition at Optimist Park

The season is officially underway for Moose Jaw and District Minor Girls Fastball.

And not only is everything on time, the league has the most players it’s had in decades and they were even gifted with a nice afternoon weather-wise to get things started.

More than 300 players, coaches and officials took part in the annual opening ceremony at Optimist Park on Sunday morning, the first the league was able to hold in two years due to the pandemic.

As is tradition, piper Michelle Gallagher led the teams on the field, with 300-plus players, coaches and officials ringing the diamond for the event. which concluded with former MJDMGF standout and current University of Calgary Dinos player Madison Thul tossing out the first pitch.

“It’s amazing, literally the biggest honour ever,” Thul said shortly after throwing her perfect strike. “I stood on the infield for opening ceremonies every single year, and I’ve seen so many other amazing people do this, too. It’s incredible and a great honour and I’m so appreciative.”

Making the opening pitch even more special for Thul was who received the honour prior to her in 2019 -- legendary Moose Jaw fastball coach Eddie Moore, who passed away on April 20.

MJDMGF president Ryan Ward made special mention of Moore during his remarks, recognizing his contribution to the development of many a pitcher over the years, including Thul.

“Eddie was amazing,” she said. “I was really looking forward to seeing him around this summer because I’m finally playing in the Ladies league this year and was hoping he’d be able to see that. But I was able to talk to him last year, so it’s okay.”

Once the opening ceremony was complete, it was time to play ball, with each of the six divisions hitting the field for a full slate of games on the Optimist Park diamonds throughout the day.

For more information on Moose Jaw and District Minor Girls Fastball, be sure to visit www.mjfastball.ca and to follow them on Facebook.