Play ball!

GVAA baseball celebrates opening day of 2024 season

The opening day parade made its way to Babe Ruth field, where family and friends could take photos of players.

Amidst cheers, laughter and the crack of bats, the Rabinowitz Baseball Complex in Voorhees came alive on April 13 as the Gibbsboro-Voorhees Athletic Association (GVAA) hosted its opening day parade and ceremony to start the 2024 season.

Players and coaches arrived promptly at 8:30 a.m. to the field located in the rear of the Kresson Road complex. The first games of the new season began at 10:30.

The parade – a cherished tradition started by past GVAA president Larry Davies – wound its way to Babe Ruth field, where family and friends of players were able to take photos.

It was at the field that the open-day ceremony began with guest speakers, including representatives from the township police, firefighters and EMS and Mayor Michael Mignogna.

“One of my favorite days of the year is opening day for GVAA baseball,” he noted. “Seeing the excitement at the parade of the players, coaches, parents and grandparents is priceless.”

“I have been part of GVAA baseball for over three decades,” Mignogna added, “and have watched it evolve into one of the finest youth baseball organizations in the state. We are fortunate to have state-of-the-art facilities and wonderful volunteers who give their time so our kids can learn the game and have fun.”

GVAA president John Conners also reflected on the significance of the day’s events.

“The GVAA opening day parade was created by our past president … Larry Davies,” Conners said. “(It’s) a great tradition that we have had the pleasure hosting the past seven years.”

Conners – who has dedicated five years to the GVAA board – explained the organization’s commitment to youth growth and development.

“GVAA is an amazing organization that is always striving to grow and teach our local youth,” he pointed out. “This past year, with the help of Voorhees Township, we have added lights to our AA field, revamped the dirt infields on our AA and AAA fields, partnered with USA Prime (a Westampton baseball club) to bring training to all players, and introduced new up-to-date uniforms with every child’s last name on the back.”

Tamika Duckett, owner of Togetherness Catering, oversees the concession stand and snack bar during the baseball season. She was touched by the spirit of opening day.

“Opening day has made my heart smile for the three consecutive seasons that Togetherness Catering has been a vendor to GVAA,” she related. “As a former food service manager, I have fed, made friends, and watched high-school girls mature in stature, intellectually, and through their palates. I feel like I am reliving that same experience through the GVAA organization.

“Their (the players’) energy keeps me motivated and their smiles keep me coming back,” Duckett emphasized. “I hope our efforts and presence do the same for the children and the families of GVAA.”

Tiffany Cash, a GVAA baseball mom, shared her family’s experience with the organization. Her son, Cameron was part of the opening day festivities.

“It was a great day for the kids and families,” she recalled. “I feel GVAA gives kids a safe place to learn baseball and build friendships.”

GVAA has plans for future enhancements, including the addition of a pavilion to the T-ball and K-League areas and an indoor facility for year-round baseball training.

As Conners aptly put it: “None of this would be possible without the overwhelming support of Voorhees Township and our Mayor Michael Mignogna.”

Find more photos of opening day on page ….

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