Registration open for 2017 youth baseball season

Since 1952, La Jolla Youth Baseball (LJYB) has been helping young athletes develop the skills necessary to play the great game. Now, registration for the 2017 season is underway.

LJYB’s goal is to provide organized recreational baseball played in a healthy, competitive spirit with an emphasis on skill development, teamwork and sportsmanship. As a non-profit organization, LJYB depends on many gracious and generous community volunteers and donors, who help make youth baseball in La Jolla possible.

For the sixth season, LJYB will continue its partnership with the San Diego Padres. Through its Youth Baseball Initiative, sponsored in part by Clorox, every player in the league – from Shetland through Pony – will again wear authentic Padres jerseys and caps representing various eras throughout Padres team history. It is quite a sight to behold!

LJYB looks to build on the fantastic success of its 2016 season, which saw nearly 400 kids in five divisions on the field.

Following the recreational season, La Jolla’s All Star teams marched through the Tecolote Tournament and sent 14 teams to the annual Pony Tournament. La Jolla games were held throughout San Diego County, with two teams, Shetland and Bronco 12s, making it all the way to Super Regionals!

La Jolla’s Shetland All Stars, managed by Carl Adams, stormed through Regions knocking off perennial powerhouses Tecolote and Escondido. The team was led by Sebastian Rock, Brody Circuit, Barrett Grieve and Wesley Pearson. Advancing to Super Regions in West Covina, the squad lost its first game, but won its second. The win was the second for a team from San Diego at the Super Region level for the Shetland division.

Every few years, La Jolla sees a group of players advance through the age divisions that raises everyone’s eyebrows. For the last several years, this group has been the Bronco 12s players. An insanely talented group of boys managed by longtime manager Brad Kates, this group was responsible for hundreds of balls over the fences in La Jolla this rec season, and on the road in All Star play throughout the post season. The well-rounded team finished with a 17-6 run in tournament play!

The offense featured homerun hitters Nathan Latimer and Jack Boynton and power hitters Johnny Luetzow, Jake Bold and Connor Hobbs. The defense was off the charts strong anchored by Jake Klimkiewicz, Nicky Reynolds, Spence Carswell, Hunter Kates and Manny Butler. Add to that clutch pitching by Jackson Stratton, Owen McNally, as well as Latimer and Boynton, and it was the winning formula for one of the strongest teams La Jolla has seen in years.

One of the things that made this 12s team run so special is that most of these young men started their baseball careers when they were five years old on La Jolla’s Shetland field, learned and developed skills and a passion for the game through Pinto and Mustang and played all the way through Bronco, eight years later.

Today, the lure of for-profit travel ball is strong, particularly with the more advanced players in any league. We continue to be honored, year in and year out, that these players and their parents, make the decision to play with the friends they’ve made through the years in LJYB, as well as for La Jolla printed on the front of their uniforms. It seems rare that players in any sport have the chance to play for their hometowns anymore. We are honored that these fine young men continue to fight for La Jolla!

We look forward to seeing your kids on our fields this spring!

A player’s division is determined by age as of April 30, 2017: Shetland (5-6), Pinto (7-8), Mustang (9-10), Bronco (11-12) and Pony (13-14). The deadline to register is Jan. 20 at ljyb.org

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