By Mari Erin Roth
Opening day of Little League in Plumas County looked like a who’s who event April 30 at the Rotary Little League field in East Quincy. Hundreds of children in brightly colored uniforms wandered from one field to another with parents, siblings, and friends. The weather cooperated perfectly with nary a drop from the sky, the grass having recently been watered by a series of storms the week before.
Tri Tip was one of the big draws with the line moving along but holding over 50 people at a time as a captive audience. Devin Vert was on the wood-fired barbeque as he has been for the past decade. Where on earth do they get enough tri tip to feed hundreds? “We pre-order them from SavMor,” said Vert, who has been serving on the Little League board for a dozen years.
Another very long line of 30 or more was at the shaved ice stand hosted by Amy Carey of Quincy Provisions. The line grew as the temperature was not yet warm enough for the ice to be shaved. It had to warm up! But it reached peak temperature before the crowd grew restless and everyone seemed perfectly happy to stand in the line for however long it took to get a chance to pick a few of the 50 flavors available including newly added Blood Orange and Birthday Cake. Ooohh.
Parents triple-dip filling in where needed as coaches, board members, and personal cheering sections for their own little ones. For example, Katherine Clubb is a parent, coaches two teams, and is a board member. It was amazing to watch her corral a group of 2-5 year olds for a picture. It’s an art, it truly is.
Five divisions make up the Little League activities, T-ball, Farmers, Minors, Majors, and Seniors. Kids are captivated from the tiniest of sizes and ages, like age 2, and can be seasoned players by the time they reach the ripe old age of, say, 5. There were literally little tykes that looked like they just learned to walk wearing all the very best ball gear with hands shoved in their pockets like old timers. It was a hoot.
The April 2022 Opening Day event treated 21 teams of 12 or so members to activities all day. A guesstimate of 450 people is probably low. Those young athletes, plus parents, siblings, and friends, made the event one of the major happenings in the County for folks of all age groups. There were over 50 competitors in the Home Run Derby (where athletes swing to hit the ball over the fence) and even more in the Bat-A-Thon where money is on the table for the best hits of 5 pitches.
Wandering around the diamonds, taking in all the variety of activity happening simultaneously, could be the whole of the experience. But the real sweet spot was to sit down and take it all in from a stationary point. The food offered was amazing. The children were content, happy and techno-free. Adults waited socially in lines longer than anyone in Quincy ever has to endure with smiles on their faces like it was the only thing that they ever wanted to do. But the best part, the music. The playlist that backdropped the event was superb! Happy, light, enjoyable, uplifting music lilted through the air. It was only audible from the bleacher seats where one could enjoy it and didn’t compete for attention with all the other activities or conversations. It was perfect. It made me want to stay there all day, forever.