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Ceres, play ball!
Ceres Youth Baseball/Softball Organization President Lance Goblirsch left George Costa Ball Field Complex just after midnight.

He helped polish the bathrooms, chalk the fields and hose everything down.

"We pushed day and night to get it ready," Goblirsch said.

More than 4,000 people, including 1,000 players aged 5-18, attended the 2011 Opening Day Rededication Ceremony last Saturday.

The city used $2.4 million in redevelopment funds to overhaul the entire complex.

The outdated and inadequate restroom facility and concession stand were razed and rebuilt.

Additional work included installing new dugouts, bleachers, scoreboards, lighting and fencing.

Old asphalt was replaced with 1,000 yards of concrete.

"The City Council pushed it through and got it done," Goblirsch said.

Goblirsch was nearly overcome with emotion while welcoming the huge crowd.

"I had to have (Ceres School Board member) Eric Ingwerson help me because I almost cried," he said. "It's so different. To have something this nice is wonderful."

Amanda Martinez, Maci Medeiros and Mariah Gonzales, members of the Rockies, Yankees and Lil' Giants' 11-to-13-year-old softball teams, talked and snacked on food while sitting under shaded bleachers near the Pony Field.

"They made it bigger and better," Martinez said when asked what she liked most about the newly-renovated ball park.

Added Medeiros: "It looks good. I like the eating area."

Said Gonzales: "It makes you feel important."

Former Ceres Mayor and current State Senator Anthony Cannella, former Ceres School Board member and current Assemblyman Bill Berryhill, Mayor Chris Vierra, Councilmembers Ken Lane, Guillermo Ochoa and Bret Durossette, Deputy City Manager Sheila Cumberland, Ceres Unified Supt. Scott Siegel, District Trustees Faye Lane, Mike Welsh, Lourdes Perez and Eric Ingwerson, JHK Construction President Jim Kulina, Pacific Design Associates Architect Don Phillips and Project Manager Jason Chapman were in attendance.

Ken Lane threw out the first pitch for baseball to Durossette.

Vierra caught Ochoa's underhand toss for softball.