Children ages five through seven on T-ball teams from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and Ak-Chin Indian Community participated in the T-Ball Challenge, held at the Salt River and Von Hayes ballfields May 13-14. Ten competitive teams participated against each other in a guaranteed three games. Teams began playing Friday evening and continued the following morning, wrapping up at noon.
The SRPMIC Recreation Department asked the coaches to stress practice participation, skill development, good sportsmanship and friendly competition in every game.
Many of the young children were still learning the game, but as time went on they quickly picked it up. Some teams played as if they were in high school baseball, already knowing where to throw the ball when it was hit from the tee. But scores were not kept, and the games were meant for fun. Throughout the T-Ball Challenge, children were reminded that everyone was a winner.
The department passed out shirts to all 10 teams and their coaches with the team names printed on them: Salt River Fat Dawgs Lil’ Pups, Salt River Yellow Jackets, Salt River Bulldogs, Salt River Wild Ones, Lil’ Red Sticks, FMD D-Backs, GR Beeliners, Ak-Chin Blue Jays, Ak-Chin Dust Devils and Blackwater Quails.