Courtesy photos
Teams compete on opening day of Hawthorne Little League on April 9. The league has 166 registered players this season.
Members of the Giants squad were excited to be back on the ball field for the 2022 season.

On April 9, longtime Mineral County resident and Little League baseball player George Gazaway threw out the first pitch on Opening Day, welcoming back kids of all ages to this year’s Hawthorne Little League season.

“This is the 70th year of the Hawthorne Little League and we had a gentleman who was on one of the first teams in 1952, George Gazaway of the Rocket Motel Rockets,” says Hawthorne Little League Vice President Shasta Garrison.

For the past two years the kids couldn’t play baseball because of the pandemic, so the community is thrilled to have Little League back for the Spring of 2022.

“We have 166 kids signed up for Little League; just a huge turnout of kids this year, more than we anticipated. I think this is the biggest turnout Hawthorne’s ever had, even before the pandemic,” says Garrison.

Both Garrison and her husband grew up in Hawthorne and moved away for a while. Their sons have been playing baseball since they were three years old and when they heard that the League was threatened to be dissolved, Garrison attended the Little League’s elections last fall via Zoom from Texas and joined the board last December as its VP when her family came back to Nevada.

“We couldn’t imagine coming back here and not having baseball. We are a baseball family and are happy to have it again,” she says.

Garrison reiterates that the Little League can always use volunteers to run the concession stand, scoreboard, and to help with the games. The Little League also has a few fundraising events planned for this summer and maybe this fall to help with purchasing new equipment, field improvements, painting the bleachers, and roofs of its buildings.

To help with its expenses, the Little League is holding a golf tournament this Saturday, April 30th at the Walker Lake Golf Course. It costs $50 per player going out in a four-person scramble with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m.. The Little League will be hosting a 50/50 raffle and the winners will receive tickets to go to the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship Tournament this July in South Lake Tahoe.

This year’s Hawthorne Little League has three tee ball teams for kids ages 4-5, four minor league teams for kids ages 9-12, a junior/ senior baseball league for ages 13-16, and this marks the first year that Hawthorne has ever had a girls junior softball league for ages 12- 14. The Little League season ends in June.

“The goal is for every kid to enjoy their experience, want to come back, and fall in love with the game,” Garrison says.