PLANT CITY Robbie and Renee Rice have a long history with Pinecrest Little League.
They are both coaches for the league and Robbie acts as safety officer for its board of directors. Two of their four children are current players for the league.
“I played here when I was a kid,” Robbie added. “This is really a family oriented park; we try to make it as family oriented as possible.”
The Rices were just one of many families who have played or been involved with Pinecrest Little League for generations. The league celebrated its 46th anniversary at a March 1 opening ceremony for the spring season.
The festivities included a parade of players, home run derby. and tributes to past players, coaches and military families.
The event at the league’s field at 9312 S. County Road 39 was catered by Moe’s Southwest Grill. Entertainment included bounce houses, face painting and a dunk tank.
“It’s just a fun time for players to come out and meet past players,” Renee Rice said.
“A lot of the coaches that are out here have played,” she said.
League president Tyrone Morgan said the number of players has grown after being down the last couple of years.
“We’re pushing 170 players,” he said. “This year we had a big growth, especially in our younger T-ball ages, machine pitch and softball.”
The spring ball season lasts from March through May, and the league encompasses T-ball, softball and baseball in different age divisions. The league’s primary goal is to teach the basics of playing baseball in a sportsmanlike manner, Robbie Rice said.
“We’re not trying to teach them how to be superstars but how to play the game,” he said.