By RANDY GONZALES
The Hays Larks summer-collegiate baseball team will be honoring members of the military before Sunday's home game.
All active, reserve and retired members of the military are invited to attend the game against the El Dorado Broncos at Larks Park as part of the sixth annual Military Appreciation Night. A pregame ceremony will begin at 6:50 p.m., 10 minutes before the start of the game. Military personnel should check in at the east side of the grandstand at 6:45 p.m.
"We really encourage people to come out for the pregame ceremony, honor the vets," Larks manager Frank Leo said.
Leo thinks his players appreciate what members of the armed forces have done throughout the years.
"For the players, it's an era they weren't around when it happened, but it was a pretty tough time for this country," Leo said. "I think they're all aware of the importance of the military."
Mike Arensdorf came up with the idea six years ago, Leo said.
"It was a fantastic idea," Leo said. "To see all these veterans out there, particularly the World War II veterans that come out, makes it a very special evening."
Mike Arensdorf's wife, Jill, helps her husband organize the event each year.
"I think it's really important to recognize our military personnel, our veterans, to give us freedom, to be able to enjoy summer baseball, be able to have all these freedoms we take for granted," she said. "This is one way that we feel like we can give back to those folks that have given so much for our freedom."
Admission to Larks' games throughout the summer is free, courtesy of local sponsors.