Signups underway for Wilshire Warriors — it’s more than baseball

| January 25, 2018 | 0 Comments

WILSHIRE WARRIORS season signups are underway. Above, Warriors 12 U Orange team after a win in Bakersfield Pony Tourney Summer 2017; left to right: Charlie Marcus, Charlie Hoge, Harry Tarses, Roman Bello, (obscured, Aron Jung) Jesse LaMon, Lucas Royal, Michael Johnson, Mikhi Varady-Brown.

Batter up! Wilshire Warriors’ new season is on the horizon. Opening weekend begins Fri., March 16 at Pan Pacific Park field. The 10-week season ends June 10.

The 500-person league of boys and girls is broken down into age groups, four through 14 years old.

That’s right, four-year-olds are up to bat, says League president Mike O’Malley.

Established 50 years ago, the league is much more than baseball, he adds.

“There are so many people dedicated to this neighborhood…. We’ve really tried to tailor the experience to not be about super competition — sure, there are rules, there are umpires — but to foster an environment of fellowship.

WARRIORS All Star teams: Left to right, front row: Hugo Owens, Jackson Eisenhauer, Beckett Hutchens, Shiraz Lawrence, Nathan Severy, Jack Schrift. Middle row: Jack Lafitte, Matthew Hoegee, Declan O’Malley, Lazlo Suveg, Wyatt Kline; back row: Tom Eisenhauer, John Degomez, Matt Kline.

“I think we’ve succeeded,” says O’Malley.

Volunteers are always needed and, as players grow through the league, younger players and parents step in.

League leaders say that the opportunity allows one to spend time with one’s children, their friends and other parents. Every year a child plays with different teammates, and the parents’ and children’s circles of friends grow.

Eventually “you go to a game and it’s a party. You know all the kids and all the parents,” said O’Malley. The Hancock Park resident, who has three kids in the league has been a coach, commissioner and more the past seven years. “What’s so fun about coaching is you have set time to be with your kids, you’re out in the fresh air and you see them achieving.”

Benefits are not just for the president of the board but any parents who show up and cheer their kids on.

Sign up

PITCHER Nathan Severy serves up some heat.

To sign up, determine your child’s category based on age. Spirit, Shetland, Pinto, Mustang, Broncos and Pony are the age groups on the website,

Affiliated with the national youth baseball league, PONY (Protect Our Nations Youth) Baseball, the league has a new birth date cutoff of Aug. 31 for the 2018 season. It was implemented to parallel school-year age cutoffs. Some children have been “grandfathered” to soften the blow, the board of directors states on the website.

Practices are held mid-week, and games are on Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays at Pan Pacific Park and John Burroughs Middle School.

CELEBRATION in Bakersfield. Mike Johnson in Catcher’s gear, Roman Bello, Charlie Hoge, (obscured behind them Aron Jung, Sean Bello), Jesse LaMon, Mike Varady-Brown.

A new board was elected in mid January. In addition to president O’Malley, they are: vice president, recreation, upper divisions, Tom Eisenhauer; vice president, recreation, lower divisions, Luke Schugren; vice president, club program, Brendan Malloy; operations chief, Cris D’Annunzio; special events chair, Susie Balaban; secretary, Jack Mansour; treasurer, Frances Hoge; director of advancement and fundraising, Chris Williams; outreach director, Karen (Goldie) Goldberg; and president emeritus, John Wells.

New baseball field

Also set to debut this season is a new field at Pan Pacific Park, paid for with a $1 million grant; More information will be coming soon, added O’Malley.

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