Twenty two players showed for what was surely the coldest and first snow day in Veto League's Opening Day history. Game time temp was 38 degrees with a gusty 16 mph wind and sleet off and on throughout the four hour long double header. By the 3 pm conclusion, temperatures had risen only slightly to 45 degrees.
Despite the weather, players were anxious to get the league's 26th season underway. Opening game featured the veteran captains Alex Miller (Cannons) against Mason Overmire's Hitters. The Cannons put up an early four spot in the top frame, but the Hitters would go on a 9-0 run to take a 10-6 lead after four innings. The Cannons were able to mount multi-run innings to go into the final bottom frame holding a seven run lead, 18-11. However, the Hitters fought back, plating six runs and coming up just short for a 18-17 Cannon victory. Cannons were lead by Zach Graham's perfect 5-for-5 with two doubles, 3 RBI and 3 runs. Branden Bollman added three runs and RBIs as well.
The second game featured the Goonies (Josh Paul) at Bollman's Dilly Diggs. The Goonies jumped out early with an 8-2 lead and were able to hold on for a 13-9 weather shortened six-inning game. The Goonies were lead by Ryan Barton going a perfect 5-for-5, Graham's two homeruns with four RBI and Noah Harrison making his VLB debut with a homerun.
Saturday's opening day included three new player debuts as well as several players making an appearance for the first time in over a year. Sunday added one new player to the all-time roster and another player, Kadance Hocker, who hasn't played since 2017. The new players push the needle to 895 career players since the league was introduced in 1998.
Graham added two more homeruns on Sunday, giving him four through the first weekend of games. Barton went an efficient 16-for-18 over the weekend, good for an .842 average to go along with a league-high five doubles and 13 RBI.
Also unveiled was VLB's first ever pack-n-play L-Screen. The contraption, manufactured by GoSports, withstood a number of hits, providing the pitcher some extra safety from line drives. The purchase was inspired by VLB veteran Jim Goff's portable pitching screen he's provided the league access to over the last several years.
Also of note this weekend was Josh Paul being the first Veto League player in history to surpass 2,000 career hits.
Play will continue on Saturdays at 11:00 only at least for the first several weeks of the season with a potential week night game added, pending player interest and availability.