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By Ashley Mackin
The La Jolla Youth Baseball (LJYB) League held its Opening Day on March 2, 2013 at Cliffridge Park. LJYB President Jim Benham emceed events, which included welcoming all the parents and families, giving thanks where thanks were due, and introducing San Diego Padres CEO Tom Garfinkel.
Noting that the young athletes were wearing authentic Padres uniforms supplied by the Padres organization, Benham asked, “How cool is it for these kids to dress up in an actual big league uniform?” and he thanked Garfinkel for outfitting the kids.
Garfinkel then took the mound and the mic to address the kids and throw out the first pitch. “It’s an honor to be out here,” he said. “My family and I are really grateful to be part of the community in La Jolla with all the wonderful people here.
“I talked to the players and asked them their points of view on what to tell the kids, and there were four things they wanted me to tell you,” he said. “The first is to play hard, always play hard. The second, is be a good teammate and pay attention to the game and lift up your mates. The third, is respect the game. (Padres Outfielder) Chris Denorfia said that means respect the umpires, respect your coaches (and) respect the other team. The fourth, and most important one, I think, is to have fun out here.” He then threw a clean strike as the ceremonial first pitch.
With that, those in attendance heard the two words everyone came to hear, “Play ball!”
For information about La Jolla Youth Baseball, visit