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Senior softball league honors Ukraine during opening ceremonies at St. Pete

ST. PETE, Fla. — As baseball fans across the country watch the World Series, in St. Pete, the Kids and Kubs senior softball league is gathering a fan base.

This week they took the field for their 93rd season and used their opening ceremonies to honor the people of Ukraine.


It was a journey from the heart to the diamond for Gregory Chomanczuk, waving the flag of his ancestors while celebrating the hobby of the country they emigrated to and where he was born.

“It’s hard to explain the emotion in words, but my culture always seemed very quaint, but when it became endangered, it’s now much bigger,” Chomanczuk said.

Gregory’s father, Jerry, had the privilege of throwing the first pitch.

“In softball, baseball, the opening pitch is very important and symbolic and the Kids and Kubs were honoring the Ukrainian community and we are very grateful to them,” Chomanczuk said.

“Baseball is all about teamwork, and wow what a teamwork they have in Ukraine there, dealing with this invasion, it’s really amazing and we wanted to honor those people here today,” said said Will Michaels with Kids and Kubs.

The Kids and Kubs softball league has been touring bases in St. Pete since 1930.

The players, all aged 75 and over, know the importance of fighting for their country as many of them have done so.

“We’re with you, we appreciate what you’re doing, we recognize that it’s really something that helps us as much as it helps you,” Michaels said.

Those of Ukrainian descent, watching from the stands, said a game as simple as this means a lot, as they convey American support to their friends and families still living in Ukraine.


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