Story and photos by
Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Members of team Ramstein gathered to kick off the 2019 Spring Youth Sports opening ceremony at Donnelly Park on Ramstein Air Base, April 20.
U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Mark R. August, 86th Airlift Wing commander, gave opening remarks during the ceremony for more than 300 youth players.
“For you players, I’m asking you to do one thing,” said August. “Play hard. Some of you will say this is tough. This is just a pitcher and a batter. It’s tough when you think it’s just an individual thing, until you hear the ball come off the bat and you realize you are a part of a team. I hope whether or not you lose a game, you’re excited about being a part of a team.”
The league is scheduled to play approximately 300 games during the eight-week-long season.
“I ask the coaches, no matter the outcome, to stay positive with these kids. You are creating the next generation of leaders and people with a passion for the sport,” said August.
There are approximately 2,000 players spread across 44 teams this spring season.
“I want every player sometime today to turn around to the coaches and volunteers and say thank you,” said August. “When you look across the stands and you see the people in 86th Force Support Squadron jerseys, please thank them too, while the coaches are working with all of you all the time, there are a lot people in the background working to find volunteers and umpires.”
August encouraged the audience to enjoy each moment, be passionate about what the kids are doing, and have an amazing season, then threw out the opening pitch to kick off the season.