Westlake says 'play ball'

Indians mascot Slider joined more than 50 kids at Clague Park on Aug. 8 for a morning of hitting, catching and running the bases as part of MLB's Play Ball initiative.

On Saturday, Aug. 8, more than 50 kindergarten and pre-K children came to Clague Park to play ball on a beautiful summer day as the city of Westlake hosted Major League Baseball's Play Ball initiative. Children had the opportunity to run the bases, hit off a tee and field ground balls. 

As an added bonus, Slider, the mascot of the hometown Cleveland Indians, made an appearance to help the children learn the game of baseball. Slider even picked up a bat, ran the bases and offered tips as only a mascot can.

Each child participating had an opportunity to run the bases one time as well as get several cracks at hitting the ball off a tee. On their fifth hit, the player got to run out their hit and circle the bases. Fielding the ball proved to be a little more challenging than hitting or running as ground balls turned into large groups of children chasing after the ball. Finally, Slider decided to take his turn at hitting and even called his shot!

Parents had the opportunity to see their children learning and playing America’s pastime as well as getting a photo of Slider with their children. I’m sure a few selfies with Slider were also taken. As the morning came to a close the children all came together to yell “team.” A morning of fun, teamwork and baseball made possible by shouting, “Play ball!”

Jim Dispirito

Athletic/Events Manager Westlake Recreation Department

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Volume 7, Issue 16, Posted 9:41 AM, 08.18.2015