A sixth grader killed in a hunting accident was honored Wednesday evening during what would have been his first game of his little league season.
Twelve-year-old James Parker was from Tarboro, and his friends and family were at the game honoring the game that he loved during an emotional ceremony.
Parker's family has been through a lot, coping with James' death, and also the fact that investigators say his uncle accidentally pulled the trigger.
"James loved the game," said coach Kevin Williams Coach. "He played the game hard. He went hard. You'd ask him to play any position on that field and he would do it."
However, this season Williams and his players will have to do without their teammate.
"It's hard because we were so close," said teammate Kevin Braswell.
Besides baseball, Parker also loved to hunt. In December, he was killed in a tragic hunting accident in the woods just outside of Wake Forest.
To make sure Parker was still on the field for opening night, Williams took Parker's old number six jersey, and dedicated it in his memory, and to his family.
Each team member then released a balloon in the air, and Parker's little sister threw out the first pitch all in honor of the player who meant so much to so many.
"See that smile on his face, his blue eyes," said Williams. "A very special kid."
James's uncle, Jason Parker, was charged with obtaining a license under false pretense, and involuntary manslaughter. He was at Wednesday's game with the rest of the family, but he did not want to speak.
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