Tarkington Community Baseball Association on Saturday, March 27, held its opening day events with games, cake and basket auctions and an opening pitch thrown out by World War II veteran Earl Joseph Ayers, 95, of Tarkington.
Like every community organization, the success of Tarkington Community Baseball Association depends on the enthusiastic support of its sponsors, parents and families.
“We appreciate the parents’ time and effort in getting their kids to practice and by helping with the baskets for our auction. We also appreciate the team sponsors, families and community members for helping to make our opening day a success,” said Buddy Smith with TCBA.
This year, TCBA has 35 teams made up of 358 Tarkington-area youths.
Recognizing Ayers was a special part of the ceremony on Saturday. Ayers was joined by his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as he raised the U.S. flag while young ladies on the Tarkington baseball team sang the National Anthem. Ayers then threw out the first pitch of the first game of the season as his grandchildren waited at home plate to catch the ball.
Ayers joined the U.S. Navy at the age of 18 in March 1944. He was stationed at Pearl Harbor, the scene of a devastating attack that took place on Dec. 7, 1941, by the Imperial Japanese Navy-Air Service, which ultimately led to the United States formally entering World War II.