Ballplayers from teeballs to juniors celebrated Canyon Country Little League’s 60th anniversary on its opening day Saturday, where former Major Leaguer Chris Seddon threw out the first pitch.
Seddon was drafted to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the fifth round of Canyon High School in 2001, and in 2008 he was called to The Show by the Florida Marlins.
The left pitcher then played for the Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians before playing in Japan, Korea and China. Seddon said Opening Day is always special, no matter the league.
“Honestly, it brings back memories of me and my little league. It’s just, you know, always just watching kids run around,” Seddon said. “It’s just fun. It’s great to see the next generation of kids getting into baseball.”
Scot Mahotz, president of CCLL, said it’s always difficult to have an opening day, but after all the effort, it was “definitely worth it.” He also looked very similar to Seddon.
“It just takes me back to my youth, to when I was playing baseball, and to the pleasure that I had there, and it really brings me back,” Mahots said. “This field is where I spend time with my son and coach him over the years here, as well as the memories we made as father and son and not just as a baseball player and coach.”
This will be Mahots’ last year as president of CCLL. His son is finishing high school and will soon join the US Army. Mahotz said he wants to be able to visit his son as often as possible, and for that he needs time to travel.
Family is an important bond and theme in baseball, and CCLL’s opening day was no exception. Canyon Country Mets head coach David Farrell had 11-year-old son Justice on the team, and his daughter Righteous sang the national anthem to open the event.
“What I love the most about opening day is that it’s a lot of fun and then you get ready to play the game and be surrounded by so many people and you can see the whole league at once,” Justice said. “What I love most about the game of baseball is that it teaches you teamwork, respect and honor, and teaches you about many of life’s challenges.”
Justice’s teammate, Eli Delahunty, spoke about what he enjoyed most about Opening Day and thought it was really cool to see Seddon throw the first pitch.
“You know, I see my friends again because it’s Christmas and then you come back and play baseball – it’s just a great feeling,” Delahunty said. “And then you see a major league pitcher come out and throw the first pitch, just crazy.”
23 teams participated in the event and each player was awarded an anniversary gift set.