Following the official announcement late last year to change their affiliation from Little League to Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken Baseball, the East Bay Youth Athletics Organization is looking ahead to the new season with great SPorts_baseballlogoanticipation.

To kick off the year and donning their new logo, the organization is hosting its annual opening ceremony on Friday, February 28.

According to Volunteer Coordinator and Opening Ceremony Co-Chair, Cheri Wilder, the program will begin at 5 p.m. at the league’s baseball/softball complex located at Vance Vogel Park in Riverview located at 13012 Bullfrog Creek Rd.

“Given that this is the league’s first year as part of the Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken Baseball and Softball League, this is a special year for the organization,” Wilder said. “In addition, Hillsborough county conducted extensive modernizations of the facility and it will be showcased at this event.”

Based on current registration and historical data, the event is expecting approximately 1,500 participants as league officials said that more than 800 children are currently registered.

With an overwhelming vote of 58-4 to switch from Little League to Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken, the East Bay league joined its neighboring league Bloomingdale LL., which went into effect in January.

In an earlier interview, East Bay LL president, Dean Walters, said that other than the Cal Ripken logo on their jerseys, most young players and parents within area communities and neighborhoods will not see much difference.

“The large majority of the rules don’t change and the cost will be the same,” Walters said in December. “The new affiliation, however, will affect our boundaries as the districts will expand in size allowing to pull players from communities and neighborhoods from which that was  previously not possible.”

League officials said that the change has been in the works for close to two years and was not made without serious consideration, however, at the end they were all convinced that to switch  was in East Bay’s best interest.

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