The Cal Ripken league held its ‘Cake and Cap Night’ for its Rookie and T-Ball divisions Friday night, allowing players to meet their teammates and mingle with opponents while also receiving their jersey and getting a slice of cake personally decorated to represent their team.
“It’s just nice to get a chance to meet all the other family and friends that are on the team,” Damon Seamands, coach of the T-Ball Giants, said. “Then it’s fun bidding on the cakes. Just the camaraderie of it all is fun. Each team brings a cake and then you bid on your cake. Sometimes you get a couple teams that have a rivalry going, so they’ll go back and forth bidding. They’ll try to buy each other’s cakes as sort of a way to get at the other team. It’s fun. Then everyone sits around and eats. It’s pretty cool, especially at this age.”
For Rookie Coordinator and Padres coach Justin Roper the excitement from the youngsters when they get their jersey is the best part.
“It’s fun to see the excitement,” Roper said. “The first thing they do is peel off whatever shirt they’re wearing and put their new shirt on and put their cap on. Then they run around and find their friends to compare. It’s just good to see, except for when multiple kids want the same number. Then it’s the flip of a coin. It’s just good to raise money for the league that we can put back in for the kids. Whatever money we can raise to put back in for the kids, that’s the whole purpose of tonight.”
Justin’s son, Tyler, shared in his dad’s sentiment after donning his new shirt.
“I was pretty excited because I lost my other one,” Tyler Roper said. “I was excited for the cupcakes too. I’m most excited about the games and having fun. My favorite part is probably hitting the ball for a home run and the excitement.”
Tyler’s teammate Aaron Dankers was also eager to throw on his new Padres shirt, but he also went into ‘Cake and Cap Night’ with other objectives.
“I’m excited about our new t-shirts. Last year I was number 16 but this season I’m number four. I’m most excited to try and buy the Giants cake. It’s really exciting and fun.”
It is the enthusiasm and thrill from the kids that Cal Ripken President Rich Huston said he enjoys the most about the event.
“To see these guys when they get their jersey, especially when they’re a little four-year-old playing T-Ball, that’s the greatest thing in the world to these guys,” Hutson said. “As a coach that’s a fun part. Then when they run up when their cake is sold and their eyes light up and you’re just hoping they get it back without dropping it. They enjoy getting to buy their own cake and then see it and dig into it. They just have a big smile across their face. That’s always good to see.”
Spanish Springs High baseball coach Ben Hofmann, whose two daughters play for the T-Ball Cardinals, echoed Hutson.
“It’s refreshing,” Hofmann said. “It is absolutely refreshing to come out and watch. I have two little girls in T-Ball and then I have two boys that are a little older and watching them play is just fun. They get excited about the little things like fielding a groundball and making the out at first base. Just the excitement level at that is awesome. My girl was so excited last year when she hit the baseball. She thought it was the greatest thing in the world. That’s what it’s about. We forget sometimes that we we’re all this little kid that got out and played some baseball and enjoyed the game.”
While the adults took in the exhilaration from the kids, Dodger’s T-Baller Elliot Lacey, with blue icing tinting her teeth, kept her focus on the cake.
“It was delicious!”