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At the old ball game: Little League

Little League celebrates opening day at Wigdor Field

Posted: February 21, 2009 11:45 p.m.
Updated: February 22, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Canyon Country Angels catcher Ricky Cardenez, left, and pitcher Jacob Mertens discuss strategy as they play the Dodgers at Canyon Country's Little League Complex Saturday.

Canyon Country Little League kicked off its 2009 spring season Saturday with opening-day ceremonies and a dedication of the newly named "Wigdor Field."

"It was great," said Jennifer Ryan, whose 12-year-old son played on the majors-division Mets against the Angels at the Canyon Country's Little League Complex.

"The Wigdors have done a ton for this organization for like 20 years, and so it was really neat," Ryan said. "They threw out the first pitch."

Sheldon and Janella Wigdor are long-time volunteers for Little League baseball.

"Opening day is awesome because you get to play on the first Wigdor Field," said Dylan Rightmyer, 10, whose father helps run the league.

Members of the Tigers team were lined up for the next game and focused on getting on the field.

"I'm nervous and excited," said Harrison Noll, 11, of Canyon Country. "My grandma is hopefully coming, and my grandad and my mom."

"I can't wait to catch the ball," said a nearby teammate, Derek Schlossman, 11, of Canyon Country.

On the field, Sheldon Wigdor was the umpire for the game that ended in a 6-2 win for the Mets. Not too far from his spot on the field was an honorary plaque that displayed his and his wife's names.

"We're very touched and honored," said Wigdor after the first game, as he sat near a snack shack selling hamburgers, hot dogs and sodas.

Besides volunteering, Wigdor also serves as Sulpher Springs School District's school board president and as the chief umpire for the California District 40 Little League, which represents the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys.

Wigdor has served on the league's board of directors and started the Canyon Country Coyotes, a travel youth baseball team.

Wigdor's wife, Janella, acted as the league's secretary and registrar.

"This was just the way that we give back to Canyon Country and Santa Clarita Valley," Sheldon Wigdor said. "Our oldest boy started here 21 years ago."

Canyon Country Little League has 39 teams from T-ball to juniors division, said Rusty Rightmyer, vice president and a team coach. He said the opening day was a hit and had a good turnout.

Those watching from the bleachers also liked the fact that it applauded the Sheldons' efforts.

"It shows community support and recognition," said Andrew Garcia, the father of a player for the Angels. "It was a great game."


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