The Antioch Police Activities League (PAL) kicked off its 2013 Jr. Giants Baseball League Saturday July 6 as all the league participates were able to run from third base to home plate in front of friends and family.
According to Antioch Police Chief Allan Cantando, the league has 600 kids participating this season, but had a waiting list of 200 additional kids who had to be turned away. Next year he hopes to ensure all kids are able to participate and will looking for additional funding mechanisms going forward as the league is growing.
Prior to games beginning, he shared the importance of the league which is not about winning or losing, but about family bonding and bringing the community together.
“The involvement of the parents and coaching is vital because without them, it wouldn’t be possible no matter how much we organize this,” explained Cantando. “I think you deserve a round of applause because as we continue to go through this program its imperative that all parents show up and support their kids. This is not a competitive program; it’s a time for bonding with the family and a time for the community to see the very positive things going on in the community.”
Here are some comments from the Antioch Mayor Wade Harper and the City Council who spoke Saturday about the program.
Antioch Mayor Wade Harper:
It’s said you can learn a lot from life through baseball and when my kids were playing baseball I love the fact that some of the same values that I was teaching at home the coaches were teaching on the field. Being on time, working hard, playing fair, it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, but you play fair and play the game. Teamwork makes the dream work
Councilman Tony Tiscareno
This is not a competition, you are out here to have a good time, have some fun, maybe learn a little bit about baseball techniques and enjoy the day. This is a time where it’s nice weather and make sure the kids are having fun and enjoy yourselves.
Councilman Gary Agopian
This is a testimony to the great City of Antioch. Antioch residents made this happen and my hat is off to you to the type of commitment to your children and this community that makes it happen. Together we are going to rise above what others think we can’t do and going to do what we can do. Thank you for coming out.
Mayor Pro Tem Mary Rocha
I swear this is a wonderful time every year I come I enjoy it more and more and the way the league is growing it’s amazing. All you have to do is take a look at all the faces it’s all smiles; they are all eager thinking what they’re going to do they are so excited. Thank you parents for bringing them, signing them up, you volunteers for making the effort so they can have an opportunity to learn and play together. Have a great summer!
Councilwoman Monica Wilson
How exciting is this? I just want to go home and grab my catcher’s mitt and baseball bat and join in and play with all of you. What a great sense of community and I wish you all good luck and have fun. Have fun and enjoy your league.
Here are photographs from the opening ceremony.
For more information on the Antioch Police Activities League, visit their website.