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Victory Baseball holds seventh season opener in West Pittston

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Brandon Harvey sits in the Yankees dugout waiting his turn at bat.
Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Joseph Chopyak, of the Cubs, left, shakes hands with the Giants’ Joey Bubblo at second base during their Victory Baseball game Thursday.
Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Joey Hoffman, of the Giants team, leads the national anthem Thursday at Victory Baseball’s season opener.
Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Jeff Farley, of the Cubs Victory Baseball team, swings at the ball.
Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Tony Russo, left, helps Yankees teammate Jared Walski bat against the Phillies team during Victory Baseball’s seventh season opener Thursday at the West Pittston Little League Field.
Fred Adams | For Times Leader

WEST PITTSTON — Victory Baseball, an athletic and social organization for adults with mental and/or physical challenges, opened its seventh season Thursday night at West Pittston Little League Field.

The organization gives challenged adults a chance to step on the diamond and play ball. Victory allows participants to continue playing baseball after they age out of Challenger Little League.

This year, the league expanded from two to four teams with 85 participants. In the first game, the Yankees took on the Phillies, and in the nightcap, the Cubs played the Giants. Victory has participants from throughout Luzerne County.

Victory Baseball is part of Victory Sports, a non-profit organization formed in 2011. The group also sponsors basketball in the winter and year-round dances. Plans are in place for yoga classes, movie nights and a night at a RailRiders game. Last year, participant Joey Hoffman sang the national anthem before a RailRiders game.

Opening ceremonies featured Victory President Fred DeSanto, who welcomed the crowd and thanked the parents and caregivers for their continued support of the program. All participants and their families and friends were treated to pizza, soda, water and ice cream after the games.

“We are very fortunate to have so many people who have helped grow this program,” DeSanto said. “Without their help, we wouldn’t be able to have such a quality program.”

With the expansion to four teams this year, Victory had to purchase all new uniforms. Businessman Bill Rinaldi donated the funds to pay for the uniforms and DeSanto acknowledged the gift during his remarks.

For more information on Victory Sports, call 570-655-8224.

Brandon Harvey sits in the Yankees dugout waiting his turn at bat.
https://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/web1_victory1_faa.jpgBrandon Harvey sits in the Yankees dugout waiting his turn at bat. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Joseph Chopyak, of the Cubs, left, shakes hands with the Giants’ Joey Bubblo at second base during their Victory Baseball game Thursday.
https://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/web1_victory3_faa.jpgJoseph Chopyak, of the Cubs, left, shakes hands with the Giants’ Joey Bubblo at second base during their Victory Baseball game Thursday. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Joey Hoffman, of the Giants team, leads the national anthem Thursday at Victory Baseball’s season opener.
https://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/web1_victory5_faa.jpgJoey Hoffman, of the Giants team, leads the national anthem Thursday at Victory Baseball’s season opener. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Jeff Farley, of the Cubs Victory Baseball team, swings at the ball.
https://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/web1_victory4_faa.jpgJeff Farley, of the Cubs Victory Baseball team, swings at the ball. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Tony Russo, left, helps Yankees teammate Jared Walski bat against the Phillies team during Victory Baseball’s seventh season opener Thursday at the West Pittston Little League Field.
https://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/web1_victory2_faa.jpgTony Russo, left, helps Yankees teammate Jared Walski bat against the Phillies team during Victory Baseball’s seventh season opener Thursday at the West Pittston Little League Field. Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Adults with mental, physical challenges play ball

Times Leader Staff

[email protected]

Reach the Times Leader newsroom at 570-829-7242 or on Twitter @TLnews.

Reach the Times Leader newsroom at 570-829-7242 or on Twitter @TLnews.