ST. PETE, Fla. — While baseball fans across the country watch the World Series, rin St. Pete, the Kids and Kubs senior softball league is gathering quite a fan base of its own.
This week they took the field for their 93rd season and used their opening ceremonies to honor the people of Ukraine.
It was a heartfelt trip to the diamond for Gregory Chomanczuk, waving the flag of his ancestors while celebrating the pastime of the country where they emigrated and he was born.
“It’s tough to explain emotion in words but my culture has always seemed very quaint but when it became endangered it’s much more important now,” said Chomanczuk.
Gregory’s father, Jerry, had the privilege of throwing out the first pitch.
“In the game of softball, baseball, the opening pitch is very important and symbolic and the Kids and Kubs were honoring the Ukrainian community and we are so grateful to them for that,” said Chomanczuk.
“Baseball is all about teamwork, and wow what teamwork they have in Ukraine there, dealing with this invasion, it’s really incredible and we wanted to honor those folks here today,” said Will Michaels with Kids and Kubs.
The Kids and Kubs softball league has been rounding the bases in St. Pete since 1930.
The players, all 75 years of age and up, know the importance of fighting for your country because many of them have.
“We stand with you, we appreciate what you are doing, we recognize that this is really something that is helping us as much as it is helping you,” said Michaels.
Those of Ukrainian descent, watching from the stands, said a simple game like this, means so much, as they relay the American support to their friends and families still living in Ukraine.