Registration cranks up for Mission 66 baseball league

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Youths ages 4 to 12 interested in joining a new baseball league at the recently renamed James “Fuzzy” Johnson Memorial Park at Mission 66 and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard will have until April 9 to register, said league organizer Earnest Galloway.

Galloway spent Monday going to local schools and sports stores to distribute registration forms. He said practices will begin shortly after registration closes, and league play is expected to begin around the first of May.

Galloway said he hopes to get enough kids registered to put together four T-ball teams for children ages 4 to 6, four coach pitch teams for those 7 and 8 and six teams for children ages 9 to 12. About 13 players are needed per team. All league teams will be Cal Ripken Baseball affiliated, said Galloway.

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“I’m optimistic we’re going to get enough players,” said Galloway. “We’re going to the schools and sports stores today, and we’re also going to start a strong recruitment drive in the nearby neighborhoods.”

Improvements at the long-neglected park began this spring. The dugouts and concession stands are complete, and Parks and Recreation Director Joe Graves said other work on the field, including repairing the mound and removing grass from the infield, will be done in time for league practice next month.

“They’re going to get all that done in time,” said Graves. “They’re also going to be putting in a batting cage net and putting two warm up mounds near the dugouts.”

Along with player registration, Galloway said the league is in need of volunteer coaches, umpires and other assistants. Those interested in registering a child or volunteering may contact Galloway at 601-618-4455 or the Vicksburg Parks and Recreation Department at 601-634-4514.