From the ceremonial first pitch to Brayden Andrews’ catch in left field for the final out of the day, the Amsterdam Girls Softball Association (AGSA) celebrated its opening day on Saturday morning at Shuttleworth Park despite the inclement weather.
“You’re all already winners,” Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said as he addressed the crowd at the Shuttleworth Park softball diamond. “You have worked hard, practiced, and made it here to opening day.”
Santabarbara and Congressman Paul Tonko were among the dignitaries present as the AGSA opened play for 2017. Joining Santabarbara and Tonko for the ceremonial first pitch were Brittany Colby representing New York State Senator George Amedore’s office, and AGSA league sponsor Tony Willman of Taco Bell, along with league president Chris Pasquarelli.
“It is so important for people to know that there is a program like this for you to come and learn teamwork and to grow,” Tonko said. “The commitment and time it takes for programs like this is a credit to the players, parents, coaches, and sponsors. Know that you are loved, get that message from this program. Athletes stay strong and grow strong.”
The AGSA was founded in the 1960’s and began as the Amsterdam Cinderella Girls Softball League. The 2017 AGSA season begins with 11 teams among its three divisions: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced, opting to place players on teams based on their experience level instead of their age. Sponsors for this year’s teams include St. Mary’s Institute, Imperial Lanes, GAVAC, PBA, Knights of Columbus (K of C), Mohawk Valley Orthopedics, PAV, Elk’s Lodge, MCT Federal Credit Union, Amsterdam Professional Firefighters, and Mohawk Dairy. The AGSA also fields Amsterdam Alleycats travel teams that play in Amateur Girls Softball Association tournaments and in the Capital District Youth Softball leagues. This year, the AGSA will be hosting four youth softball tournaments, and also continuing its AGSA fall league.