By Tom Murphy
La Jolla Youth Baseball
La Jolla Youth Baseball is enjoying Spring Break this week. You will not see our kids in South Padre Island videos on YouTube, but you will see 20 lucky LJYB kids on the infield for the Padres’ Opening Day ceremonies today at Petco Park. They are part of the Padres’ highly acclaimed Youth Baseball Initiative and will represent their team uniforms – 1948 PCL, 1972 Home, 1975 Road and 1998 Home. Hopefully MLB will approve the Padres new TV deal so we can watch them.
Most of the divisions in LJYB re-set the standings after spring break and all games count going forward. For most of March, managers tested a lot of pitchers and catchers, tinkered with batting orders, and generally played kids at every position as long as it was safe. That is the essence of recreational baseball. For that matter, every team makes the playoffs so the standings over the next six weeks merely determine seeding for the tournament brackets.
This year LJYB is going to end the season with a World Series Saturday on May 19. All of the divisions will schedule playoff games in order to play championship games on the same day. No doubt there will be a lot of fun, fanfare and BBQs at the Cliffridge Park fields, so plan on an exciting day of baseball on May 19.
After the first month of baseball, PacVentures led the Pinto division with an undefeated record, followed closely by Patterson Bike — who also led the league in runs scored. Home runs in Pinto are rare but Alex Brown (Sector 9), Jordan Stahl (PacVentures) and Nathan Latimer (RAK) each hit one out in March. In Mustang, Mitch’s Surf Shop leads the league with 5 wins and 76 runs scored — and only 49 runs against — so they appear to be the team to beat after the break. The remaining teams posted similar records so the rest of the season will be interesting. The Bronco teams are keeping their results under wraps with only one game being recorded. The Vegas line appears to favor Team Aladdin but there is a lot of baseball to be played. Garrett Brown (Aladdin) is leading the home run derby with 3 round-trippers, followed by Jack Mahony (Mission Imprintables) and Michael Campagna (Harry’s Coffee Shop). In the 11-team SD Pony Metro Division, the three LJYB teams are running in the middle of the pack, compared to an undefeated Tecolote Toreros team and a winless Mira Mesa squad. Home runs have been recorded by Michael Marshall (SDG), Ephraim Steigerwald and Brandon Nance (RBC).
PONY Day at Petco is on Sunday, April 22 at 1:05 p.m. Last year LJYB had over 400 players and their family members in attendance and it was a fantastic day, especially with the pre-game parade on the field. This year the kids will all be wearing their new Padre uniforms and that will be a sight. Discounted tickets are only $16 and are available for purchase at the LJYB Online Store: www.LJYB.org. While purchasing Padre tickets for the family, check out the great looking 60th Anniversary logo items for purchase.