By: Kristine Uyeno
(KHNL) - It's time to play ball in Hawaii.
After a nine-year hiatus, Hawaii Winter League Baseball is back in full swing.
Thousands of hungry fans watched the Waikiki Beachboys square off against the Honolulu Sharks.
"I like watching them bat," said Eli Applegate, a young fan.
"The hitting," said 8-year-old Micah Arakawa.
For fans young and old, opening day meant more than just nine innings.
"It brings tears to my eyes because it still shows that people have a commitment of community and have a commitment to doing good things for other people," said Duane Kurisu, chief executive officer.
At Hans L'Orange Field in Waipahu, more than a thousand fans watched the North Shore Honu face the West Oahu CaneFires.
"You never get to see the players this close up, and you learn a lot more," said Alicia Grunow, fan.
"I just love the excitement and the fact that it's a great family outing too, great way to spend a Sunday afternoon," said Nora Hahn, fan.
But you don't have to be in the stands to enjoy the game. For the first time, the games will be aired internationally. Millions of people in Japan and across the Mainland can watch the games and millions more can view it on the internet.
This season, more than 100 pro players are stepping up to the plate.
"Terrific. Good for the kids, good for everybody," said Brian Yoshii, fan.