A significant and historical moment unfolded in New Bedford Sunday morning as the Whaling City welcomed a new chapter in its youth baseball league.

On April 29th, excitement filled the air for the opening of the 2024 Whaling City Youth Baseball League. Parents gathered along Ashley Boulevard and Brooklawn Street, eagerly awaiting their children's parade march to "The Whale," the beloved baseball field.

Leading the parade was the New Bedford Police Autism Awareness patrol vehicle, setting the tone for inclusivity. Following closely behind was the debut of the GrandMA’s Donuts Unified Youth Baseball team, their beaming faces reflecting the historic step towards unity and acceptance.

Once on the field, the kids received encouraging words from Dave Dumont, President of the Whaling City Youth Baseball Association, highlighting the importance of this moment for inclusive sports in the area.

In a heartwarming gesture, the City of New Bedford Police Department gifted personalized baseball bats to each of the 60 participating families, showcasing community support, with each bat having the kids name engraved into it.

I'm grateful for the efforts of individuals like Lemieux, who spearheaded inclusivity, it's clear that this initiative goes beyond just playing baseball. It's about fostering belonging and empowerment.

Looking ahead, Lemieux expressed optimism for the league's future, thanking volunteers and sponsors for their support.

“If you can’t tell this is gonna be the best season yet,” Lemieux reflected, “I’m so happy my Mother and I pulled this off and it’s only gonna get better from here on out. From the bottom of my heart I can’t thank everyone that helped pulled this off enough. Between my volunteers & sponsor’s, we love you all.”

The GrandMA’s Donuts Unified Youth Baseball teams will start their games on Sundays at 2:00 PM in June, inviting the community to cheer them on. In New Bedford, the SouthCoast, and everywhere a baseball field presents itself- every child deserves the chance to play ball and feel part of something special.

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