Photos courtesy Kate Shub

Opening Day of the Yarmouth Little League Baseball season is always a highly-anticipated event and Saturday morning’s ceremony wasn’t just the starting point of a new season, it was poignant as well, as the community got an opportunity to come together and honor former Little Leaguer and Yarmouth Clippers standout Gibson Harnett, Class of 2017, who passed away in January from clear-cell sarcoma, a rare, incurable cancer.

Harnett, a three-sport standout at Yarmouth who is best remembered for pitching the Clippers to a surprise Class B state baseball title his senior season, had his number 17 hung on a banner on the rightfield wall at DeLorme Field. Former teammate Conor O’Donnell, Harnett’s uncle Brian Pettingill, aunt Tina Harnett Pettingill, grandmother Jan Mordarski and friend Nico Whitlock are pictured with the banner.

Gibson’s former Little League teammates O’Donnell and Whitlock threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Dom Morrill, Harnett’s high school teammate and current Clippers assistant coach.

Tina Harnett Pettingill, Gibson Harnett’s aunt, speaks the crowd at Saturday’s ceremony. 

Tina Harnett Pettingill spoke about her nephew and the “Time to Compete” foundation Harnett founded last year. The foundation is a rallying cry of strength and unity, but more importantly it stood for an awareness and a recognition that nobody should be alone or have their basic needs unmet when dealing with cancer.

In addition to the record number of players (nearly 300) who make up this year’s Little League, 11 seniors from Yarmouth’s varsity team were on hand.

Ultimately, it was a day of sunshine and triumph, which perfectly describes Harnett, who is fiercely missed, especially during baseball season, and whose legacy will forever be a part of Yarmouth Little League..

File photo

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