Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies fans walked through the gates of Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on opening day, Wednesday, March 2, to kick off the 2016 spring training season.
“Today is the Spring Training Kickoff, and today I will be throwing out the first pitch along with Young River People’s Council President Dione Dallas,” said Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community President Delbert Ray, Sr. “The emphasis here is to showcase our youth. We don’t do enough with our youth, so I wanted to bring them out and showcase [that] the SRPMIC has positive youth.
Ray continued, “This is a huge honor for me; it is the second time I threw out the first pitch. We are very proud of our relationship with the Diamondbacks and Rockies; we hope to continue to grow that relationship and we wish them well in the years to come.”
President Ray also shared how he had been out in his front yard the night before, practicing to throw the first pitch.
“It was an honor to be given the opportunity to throw the first pitch at the spring training game,” said Dione Dallas President of the Young River Peoples Council. “As it is my first year serving as the President of the Young River Peoples Council, it was a privilege to stand beside the president of SRPMIC. Dallas mentioned how it was nerve racking to stand before hundreds of people that she never meet before during the first pitch, and playing a sport unfamiliar with.
Ray pitched to Jake Lamb from the Diamondbacks while Dallas pitched to Will Swanner of the Rockies. After the pitches, both asked for the autographed baseballs.
The Diamondbacks beat the Rockies 6-3.