SRPMIC Day Celebrated at Spring Training Home Opener

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There’s nothing quite like the sound of the crack of the bat echoing around the ballpark in the spring. Baseball is officially back at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

On February 23, the Colorado Rockies hosted the 14th Spring Training Opening Day with the Colorado Rockies vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks for a special SRPMIC Day.

“Baseball in Salt River is the best time of the year!” said Salt River Tourism Supervisor Jessica Sepulveda. “Opening Day of Spring Training in Salt River is always a highly anticipated time. Celebrating every opening day at the Fields as SRPMIC Day is so special.”

The people and traditions of the Community were showcased at various locations in the ballpark for the visitors to become more familiar with the SRPMIC. As fans filed into the ballpark, they had the opportunity to visit with Community artists Raeann Brown, Alice Manuel and August Wood, who all demonstrated traditional basketry. Behind center field, artist Dwayne Manuel painted a portrait of SRPMIC Council Member Jacob Butler as baseball fans walked by and took pictures.

During the pre-game ceremonies, Salt River Fields board members Butler Lee Larsen and Benjamin Anton were recognized on the field. Then the SRPMIC basket dancers and gourd singers performed at home plate.

While the Salt River Police Department posted the colors at the pitcher’s mound, former Miss Indian Arizona Sistine Lewis sang the national anthem in O’odham.

The first pitches were strikes, thrown in tandem by SRPMIC President Martin Harvier and Assistant Community Manager Doran Dalton.

“Being invited to throw out the first pitch was an amazing experience,”
said Dalton. “I’m very grateful to the SRPMIC Council for allowing me the opportunity to represent our Community on that day, and in that way.”

Sepulveda said that the pregame ceremony was a beautiful and proud moment. “Our tourism team is so thankful for the basket dancers and artists that took part in the festivities.”

As for the game, the Rockies pitched a five-hit shutout to win against the Diamondbacks 3-0.

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