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The Martinez AAA Nationals pose for informal team pictures at City Hall before the start of the 2013 Martinez Little League baseball and softball parade, in Martinez, Calif. on Saturday March 9, 2013. (Sam Richards/Staff)

Sam Richards/Staff

Play ball!

The Ironbirds of the Martinez Baseball and Softball Association instructional division march down Main Street as part of Saturday's 2013 parade, which was followed by a cookout picnic and by team picture day, both held at Waterfront Park. Teams from six boys baseball divisions and five girls softball divisions took part. Some photo shoots were hampered by stuck Union Pacific Railroad gates that prevented traffic from using the Ferry Street crossing for at least 90 minutes that afternoon. Many vehicles were ushered around the crossing altogether, on a route that took them past the Universal Sports Academy and NorCal Sports buildings across Alhambra Creek on what is normally a pedestrian path to Berrellesa Street, and across the railroad tracks there.