It’s time to “play ball” at Plant City Little League.
The league kicked off its 2020 spring season with its annual Opening Day ceremony at 9 a.m. Feb. 22. After the parade of teams lined up around the horn, the Little League pledges and invocations were given and the 2020 Florida Strawberry Festival Queen and Court introduced themselves, it was time for a round of Q&A with pro players.
This year, PCLL featured two guest speakers. One was former Major League Baseball outfielder Jason Michaels, who played in the bigs from 2001-11 and spent five of those years with the Philadelphia Phillies. He is a Tampa native who now owns and operates a baseball academy, The Big League Approach, in the area. The other special guest was former Florida Gators closer Michael Byrne, who holds the UF record for career saves and won the NCBWA Stopper of the Year award in his final collegiate season. Byrne was drafted in the 14th round of the 2018 MLB Draft and is currently in the Cincinnati Reds organization. Several PCLL baseball and softball players took turns asking Michaels and Byrne about their careers and experiences.
After the Q&A, the first pitches of 2020 were thrown by Michaels, Byrne and Strawberry Festival Queen Meghan White and emcee Rhett Rollyson declared it was time to play ball.