Little League overcomes obstacles for opener |

Little League overcomes obstacles for opener

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

They have persevered through three significant spring snowstorms and thaws.

They have practiced on parking lots to get their arms and gloves in shape.

They have pleaded with mom and dad to take them down into the valley to get in some batting practice.

It hasn’t been a normal spring in the Tahoe basin, but the South Tahoe National Little League will pretty much begin on schedule today with opening ceremonies and a pair of regular-season games.

“What it means to me is probably the best day of the year,” said Bruce Brown, a major manager and field manager. “I can smell the excitement. This is what I live for.”

Games were to begin on Tuesday but the league board decided last week to push back the season three days.

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“I think what we decided upon is going to be the best scenario for all of the kids,” said Little League President Jerry Weldy following last Thursday’s special meeting.

The snowiest April in 20 years kept volunteers from preparing the fields and setting up the fences until last Saturday. Only two weeks ago, Al Tahoe Elementary School students were cross country skiing on the fields.

“It’s not a one-person and two-person job. Without the rest of the volunteers this wouldn’t get done,” said Brown, a veteran of eight Little League seasons.

Brown, Dan Holmgren, Steve Weldy and Mike Dupree spearheaded a weekend filled with maintenance during the Easter holidays.

“Everybody was terrific to be so flexible and accommodating with their times,” Jerry Weldy said. “We all live in the mountains and know how it works. I just hope we don’t have to be more accommodating.”

Today’s festivities begin with a barbecue at 4:30 p.m., followed by opening ceremonies at 5 p.m. at the major field.

To cap the evening of fun, spectators will be treated to a minor and major league game. Both games commence at 5:30 p.m.

And if rain or snow spoil the fun, league officials and players will deal with it as they always have.

“You know you’re a Tahoe local if it snows and you show up for the barbecue,” Brown said. “We either deal with it or we can move someplace where its sunny and warm and there’s pollution.”