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updated: 4/25/2014 3:44 PM

Opening day for baseball, softball set in Lake Zurich

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We survived one of the toughest, harshest winters in Chicagoland history! But with the smell of fresh cut green grass in the air and the sound of the crack of the bat (or "ping" of the bat) spring is officially here and so is the start of the youth baseball & softball season in Lake Zurich!!!

LZBSA league games start this Saturday, April 26.

OPENING DAY festivities and celebration will take place the following weekend on Sunday, May 4 at Staples Park!

Highlights include a free hot dog and drink for players in uniform and the popular annual PITCH HIT & RUN contest.

The festivities will be held on the Staples Park fields from noon to 2:30 p.m. Stop by at anytime. Winners of the contest have the chance to move on to Sectional and Regional competitions, with the opportunity to compete at Wrigley Field.

This season's Opening Day celebration is being held in honor of Tom Kowalski, who passed away last June at the age of 52, after a tough 5 ½ year battle against multiple myeloma. Tom joined the LZBSA board for the 2006 season as Boys Tournament Director and continued to serve the 2007, 2008 and 2009 seasons as Vice Commissioner of Baseball. His contributions to our community go well beyond his volunteer service to our board. He was truly a gentle giant who cared deeply for others at all levels of athletics across the entire sports landscape. Please join us at the Staples Park complex at 12:30 on Opening Day as we dedicate a plaque in Tom's honor.