Buddy Ball started new season this weekend

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A new season of Buddy Ball began Saturday morning at Friendship Park in Picayune.

Saturday was also Opening Day for all PYAA participants. This was the first year that both events started on the same day.

“The turnout was great, the weather was beautiful and it was just a great way to start the season,” Picayune Parks and Recreation Director Trevor Adam said.

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Buddy Ball is a baseball league open to children and adults with special needs. The season consists of about six weeks where participants get to play in eight games.

At the moment, the league consists of four adult teams and two youth teams. Each team consists of about nine or 10 players.

The adult teams are the Kiwanis Club of Picayune Dodgers, Kiwanis Club of Picayune Diamondbacks, Kiwanis Club of Picayune Rockies and the Kiwanis Club of Picayune Astros.

In the children’s league, the two teams are the Kiwanis Club of Picayune Reds and Kiwanis Club of Picayune Marlins.

During the opening ceremony, Corey Dorn and Adam asked for a moment of silence to honor the recent passing of Buddy Ball participant Timothy Rafanello.

“We’re sad that he passed away because he was a great part of Buddy Ball and he always knew how to put a smile on our face,” Adam said.

During each Buddy Ball game, volunteers assist the players.

The volunteers help the players bat the ball, throw the ball or run the bases.

Adam said that many PYAA players also helped Buddy Ball participants and based on the feedback he received, everyone had a great time.

“I also want to thank Fire Chief Keith Brown and the Picayune Fire Department because local firefighters will volunteer their time to help at every Buddy Ball game this season,” Adam said.

If anyone is interested in volunteering or participating in Buddy Ball, they can contact Adam at tadam@picayune.ms.us or call 601-799-0602.

“I’m excited to see what the future holds and words cannot describe how happy and grateful I am because of the support of the community to make Buddy Ball a success,” Adam said. “Our goal is to get everyone in the community involved and we hope to make it an annual event where Opening Day and Buddy Ball will start on the same day.”