More than 100 players, coaches, parents, and friends marched in the Opening Day Parade and Ceremony for the 21st Ward Junior Baseball and Softball League's 55th season. Accompanied by fire trucks and police cars with lights blinking and sirens wailing, the parade travelled from Shawmont Elementary School over Ridge Avenue and onto the Al Pearlman athletic complex on Port Royal Avenue.
Once at the field, the opening day ceremonies began with an invocation by Msgr. Joseph P. McGeown of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church. Gianna Fresta, daughter of Louis Fresta who coaches the Indians, sang the National Anthem. League Commissioner Mike Leinheiser introduced the VIPs of the league, a number of political figures who represent the area in at both the state and city levels.
Among those attending were City Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. (D-4) and state Rep. Pam DiLissio (D-194). Former congressman and now Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania Attorney General Patrick Murphy was on hand to greet the crowd.
Sports awards from the previous season were presented. The Commissioner's Cup for the 2011 B level championship was awarded to the Tigers and accepted by Coach Rick Werner. The Mike Gioquindo Courage Award went to Lisa Rissa for her outstanding effort in overcoming disabilities to serve as the league statistician. The ceremony was capped off with a treat of free water ice for all the players.