2018 World Series trophy to be in town for Sunday’s Northampton Baseball and Softball League opening day

Red Sox manager Alex Cora, left, and pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez arrive at Cora's hometown with the 2018 World Series trophy, accompanied by Chairman Tom Werner and President and CEO Sam Kennedy, as well as seven Red Sox players and coaches, in Caguas, Puerto Rico on November 3, 2018.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora, left, and pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez arrive at Cora's hometown with the 2018 World Series trophy, accompanied by Chairman Tom Werner and President and CEO Sam Kennedy, as well as seven Red Sox players and coaches, in Caguas, Puerto Rico on November 3, 2018. AP

By GARRETT COTE

Staff Writer

Published: 04-19-2024 3:14 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Youth baseball and softball is just around the corner in Northampton, as the city’s nine youth baseball teams and three youth softball teams will be in action against other local teams next week to kick off their respective seasons.

But before competition starts this spring and is taken into the summer, the Northampton Baseball and Softball League (NBSL) is putting on an opening day event Sunday to celebrate the league and the players and coaches who participate.

A plethora of games and fun activities will be offered to those who attend the event at Sheldon Field in Northampton from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The 2018 Boston Red Sox World Series trophy will be in attendance, with each person given the opportunity to take a picture with it. The mayor of Northampton, Gina Louise-Sciarra, is also slated to throw out the first pitch. 

Different contests such as a home run derby, fastest to first base, Wiffle Ball games and many others are available, while non-baseball related activities such as corn hole will be offered. Food trucks, free pizza, ice cream and music are all provided as well.

“Baseball benefits from having a long history and having been America’s pastime for over 100 years,” President of the NBSL, Tim Recuber, said. “With baseball and softball, sometimes it loses out because it’s not always this shiny, new thing people turn to when enrolling their kids in sports at a young age. We want to remind people that these sports can be really fun. It’s about the kids and the community, and hopefully the event will be a good send-off as we go into long seasons.”

While this kind of event has happened in the past, there hasn’t been one of this magnitude in quite some time. Recuber, who’s been involved with the NBSL for six years, said that in his time with the league, they’ve never done something like what’s planned for Sunday.

Considering the decrease in participation in youth baseball and softball, Recuber – and the rest of the NBSL – feel this event has the opportunity to provide some real momentum for the league for future seasons.

“I’m hoping that this event and events like this in the future will bring kids in and get them to play,” Recuber said. “Getting a love for baseball and softball and learning the games at a young age is important, and it’ll only help our program build up.”

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The World Series trophy is likely to be the hottest topic of the afternoon. Recuber said it was actually a coincidence the NBSL even had the chance to bring the trophy to town for opening day.

A member of the board was at a Red Sox game last summer, and bumped into someone who works with the Red Sox organization. One conversation led to the next, and lo and behold, the most coveted prize in baseball will be at Sheldon Field this weekend.

“It was totally fortuitous,” Recuber said. “It turned out the trophy was available, and our board member said yes. So that worked out well and sure enough the trophy will be there.”

What exactly the weather is going to look like is still up in the air, but Recuber expects a good turnout filled with laughter and joy as the league kicks what has the looks of yet another successful season.

“All of the players, or at least most of them, should be there,” Recuber said. “Their families and friends will likely be there too, and we invite anybody else in town who wants to come to be here as well.”