Opening Day across America provides optimism, unblemished records and a brief peek into the future of the season ahead. For the nearly 400 La Jolla Youth Baseball players and their families, Sunday, March 3, 2019 marked the start of the league's 57th season and a brief respite from the rain.
For the Lisa and Brian Gallaway, Opening Day was a glance back in time, a reminder of why the game of baseball and the fields at Cliffridge Park are so uniquely special as a bridge between past, present and future. On Opening Day, the Bronco Field was dedicated in the honor of their father and renamed W.C. Gallaway Field. The following tribute will hang in perpetuity alongside the Bronco Field:
"An esteemed member of America's Greatest Generation, W. Creighton Gallaway (1923-2018) led a life worthy of celebrating. Recipient of a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his bravery in liberating Europe during World War II, Creighton's impact stretched globally. Locally, he was a successful business executive, investor, husband, father, friend and community activist.
"Sensing that his two children needed more room to roam, Creighton was central to La Jolla Youth Inc.'s cause of securing the property that would become Allen Field. His efforts ensured that generations of young children in La Jolla would have their own open field untouched by modern-day development. Creighton was likewise a fixture among the baseball community, spending long hours as a coach and board member for La Jolla Youth Baseball. When those days were done, Creighton returned to these bleachers, and sat among us, as a fan, often spending his Saturdays watching baseball and likely relishing a life well-lived."
In my dedication remarks, I said had the pleasure of getting to know the Gallaway family over the past few months and they, like their father, have impacted our league in a profound way. We are thrilled to be able to return the favor in a small regard by renaming the Bronco Field for Creighton.
With baseball numbers and viewership dwindling throughout the country, La Jolla Youth Baseball is thriving as the league has reached capacity in every division from age 4 to age 14. Games are officially underway and the lessons that accompany such action has the league situated for future success as well.
It's a game of immense failure and occasional success, it calls on a young athletes to keep clawing to overcome. Those are wonderful lessons to impart on young kids. It's a big reason why this league, these families and this special community is drawn to this sport and to this place. We might not be turning out professional ballplayers by the dozens, though we have had a few of those, yet a bunch of world class humans will continue to pass through these fields.
The La Jolla Youth Baseball season will run through Championship Saturday on May 11, 2019. You can learn more by visiting ljyb.org