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FARMINGTON — The Connie Mack World Series kicked off its 50th anniversary in Farmington with an opening ceremony befitting the historic event.

The ceremony featured the induction of the 2014 Hall of Fame class, skydivers and the introduction of Mack, the new mascot for the tournament.

"This really is a special year. The opening ceremonies took a lot longer than we wanted, but it really is a special year," CMWS President Kim Carpenter said. "It was a full year of planning."

The 2014 Hall of Fame inductions included speeches from former MLB star Ken Griffey Jr., Aztec native Larry Harlow and longtime MLB coach and player Tony Muser.

"It was an opportunity to play against some of the best young talent in the country," Griffey said of his time playing in Farmington. "Not being able to play in the Little League World Series, this is the next best thing."

Griffey was part of Ohio's Midland Redskins team in the 1980s. He helped the team to a runner-up finish in the 1986 world series.

Barry Larkin, a member of the MLB Hall of Fame, and Farmington native and two-time World Series champion Duane Ward were also included as part of the 2014 class.

Prior to the players' induction, the fans were treated to a sky-diving show from Aerial Extreme.

Skydivers dropped into the stadium, bringing with them the game ball, along with the American, New Mexican and CMWS flags.

The ceremony closed out with the introduction of the 10 teams playing in this year's series, as well as the unveiling of Mack, the neon green alien who will be the new mascot for the series.

"I don't have a doubt in my mind it was a great show," Carpenter said. "Now, we can get on with baseball and do what we're meant to do, which is see these guys play and have a good time."

Joshua Perry is the sports editor of The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and Follow him @jperrysuu on Twitter.