Magnolia Little League participants throw their hats in the air at a previous kickoff ceremony. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Little League
Magnolia Little League participants throw their hats in the air at a previous kickoff ceremony. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Little League

The Magnolia Little League is gearing up for another season, which will officially start with the annual parade on March 29 at 10:30 a.m.

Players will begin staging at 10 a.m. League vice president D.J. Fitzgerald requests that players wear their uniforms but not their cleats.

“Cleats on concrete make for a rough afternoon,” he said.

The parade will travel down West McGraw Street heading east, ending at Magnolia Playfield (2518 34th Ave. W.).

The Magnolia Little League serves about 500 boys and girls ages 5 to 12. All of the players march in the parade wearing their softball or basement uniforms and carrying banners from the local business sponsors.

This year, the Mariner Moose and the Seattle Seahawks Blue Thunder Drumline will participate, with the Cub Scout Color Guard leading the parade. A police escort and Seattle Fire Department’s Engine 41 fire truck will also be in the parade.

It will last about a half-hour before it arrives at the playfield for the ceremony.

At the ceremony, the Lawton Choir will sing “The Star Spangled Banner,” and the jersey number of a former Little League player who passed away from a drug overdose will be retired.

Following the ceremony, a three-inning softball game will kick off the season. Official season games will begin the week afterward.

The athletes who march in the parade will throw candy and get support from their families, neighbors and community, Fitzgerald said. Everyone is invited to attend the festivities.

Tying in the local professional sports teams “brings a lot of pride to the kids,” he said. 

Playing Little League or softball teaches kids valuable lessons about what it means to be on a team, how to be a good sport and deal with adversity. The Magnolia Little League focuses on skills and understanding the game, rather than winning or losing, Fitzgerald said.

The parade gives kids “a little limelight,” he said. “It kind of gets the baseball fever going.”

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