ROCHESTER — Baseball will become a family affair this season for husband-and-wife coaches Carlos Rivera and Ariel Irizarry.
Irizarry will coach their 4-year-old son’s team, while Rivera will coach a team in the ages 11-12 division of the Rochester Hispanic Youth Baseball League, they said.
"They (league officials) needed volunteers and I said I would do it," explained Irizarry. "I like kids. My husband loves baseball. … So I wanted to introduce my son to it so he could be like his dad."
During the opening day parade June 7, the couple and their son, Josue Rivera, marched with their respective teams down North Clinton Avenue to Don Samuel Torres Park.
Players from the 19-year-old league’s 16 teams marched in their uniforms — the youngest ones playing kazoos — under sunny skies before hitting the field. More than 300 children from ages 4 to 16 registered to play this year and had been practicing for about a month, said Eugenio Cotto Jr., the league president.
While the season is dedicated to long-time fan, Fermin Sabastro, state Sen. Joseph Robach and Gladys Pedraza-Burgos from the Ibero-American Action League threw out the first pitches to rookie Clayton Ellington, 7.
Leilani Quiñones of Rochester said that her 6-year-old son, Julio, also is trying out baseball for the first time.
"What a better league to represent our Hispanic culture and bring all the different cultures together," she remarked.