Story and Photo by Matthew Yoder
The 2021 Central Accomack Little League season commenced last Thursday evening with an opening ceremony two years in waiting. An eager group of ballplayers and parents filled the grounds at Onancock to celebrate the spirit of remembrance and new beginnings for the popular Eastern Shore spring tradition. A moment of silence was first offered for Sarah Catherine Taylor, who died March 28. Her number nine adorned homeplate with a commemorative wreath. All age groups then began entering the field from the third and first baselines, with sponsors and coaches recognized. The colorful scene of jerseys decorating the field of play was met with children standing in recognition, as well as a few rambunctious kids running and sliding, eager to get underway with the season. A prayer was given by Pastor Andy Cobb of the Onancock Baptist Church and was followed by a beautiful rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Angie Mabalot. All participants then recited the Little League pledge.
Three honorary first pitches were thrown. The first two came from members of both the boys and girls 2019 championship teams. An emotional third ceremonial pitch was thrown by Courtney Taylor, Sarah’s sister. The Taylor family then stepped onto the field, accepting honorary plaques from Central Accomack Little League President Billy Justice. Additionally, the number nine will be on the sleeve of many jerseys this season to honor Sarah. From there, the season began with the comforting scene of a community again coming together, and games played under the lights.