Improving the Welfare of La Jolla Youth Since 1952

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Dear La Jolla Youth Baseball Families,

We’re now poised to touch home on an overwhelmingly successful 2022 season. Don’t miss the championship games in Pinto (1030am start, 1pm if necessary), Mustang (9am first pitch, 1130am if necessary), and Pony (10am first pitch, 1pm if necessary) tomorrow.

For starters, I simply wanted to say thank you. Thank you for having faith in us to deliver a safe, healthy, and positive experience for our 525+ players. It’s sometimes difficult to quantify how much people love this league, yet it’s also quite humbling to know that so many of you appreciate this experience like you do. We hear you. Thank you.

It should be noted that none of this would be possible without those who are “in the dirt,” the ones who at the very heart of all we do at LJYB, our volunteers. We’d like to thank our managers, coaches, team parents, snack bar volunteers, scorekeepers, anyone who has raked a field, sent an email, filled a mound, cleaned a dugout, picked up some trash, and generally bettered our league with your time and efforts. We see you. Thank you.

Next, our sponsors power this league with their generosity. The upgrades you have seen at Cliffridge during the past two seasons are not free, yet we have been able to innovate and improve thanks to the continued support of our donors. We completed a substantial redevelopment of the roundabout and now, we are poised to embark on Phase Two of the Redevelopment of Cliffridge, which will focus on the walkway between Pony and Shetland. It’s thrilling to leave our facilities in a better place than when we arrived, a credit to those who generously pour back into this league. We appreciate you. Thank you.

Finally, LJYB’s Board of Directors is the hardest working group of volunteers out there. Personally, I just love working with them and it’s difficult to imagine a more passionate group. They care about your kids and each of their decisions comes with bettering the baseball experience for your children in mind. Frankly, that’s what they have done, they have bettered LJYB to a ridiculous degree. LJYB has easily become the premier destination for rec baseball in San Diego and you have them to thank: http://www.ljyb.org/Page.asp?n=15532&org=LJYB.org. We tip our hat to you. Thank you.

Please mark November 1, 2022 in your calendars as registration for the 2023 season will open that day. It is fair to consider LJYB to be a version of Junior Lifeguards, where the slots fill up almost immediately. Putting families on the waitlist is not pleasant so please move swiftly in early November. We will remind you about registration again as November 1 draws near and figure out some means of providing an early registration window to each of you, meaning those who have previously played LJYB.

Beyond that, we will have some announcements during the summer months as to weekly clinics, details about year two of select fall baseball in La Jolla, and other opportunities for kids to grow their games on our fields. For the time being, please note that many summer camp offerings currently populate our website with the always popular Padres camp up first (June 13-17), Bobby Schuman on-deck (July 13-15), and numerous others in the hole. Further, we are excited to bring flag football back to LJ in August (https://playfna.com/League/LaJolla/).

Seventy years later, LJYB remains a unique league where we don't wish to enforce baseball as the entire world to your children, but rather to shape and better their world through baseball. It is our great privilege to uphold that obligation for your kids, and our own, as we continue to work to make LJYB the very best it can be.

The hard work continues.

Thank you all,

Scott Blumenthal

LJYB President

www.ljyb.org

 


 

Dear La Jolla Youth Baseball Families,

We have officially reached the midway point of our 2022 season. As such, I wanted to provide a few important notes and a roadmap for the remainder of the season.

Overview: First, it should be noted that the first seven weeks have been tremendous. The momentum for baseball in La Jolla is unparalleled, the fields are alive with the joyful sounds of the game (now including walk-up songs), and the action on the field is as complete and competitive as ever. Generally, the teams are well-balanced and the scores indicate as much. That being said, there are always a few teams who rise to the top and a few others who don’t. Nonetheless, we continue to reinforce the fact that a snack bar token will generally offset any defeat so it’s important to keep things in proper perspective and our volunteers continue to shine in that department. If you see one of our volunteers, please thank them for their time and dedication to LJYB.   

If you have any questions about the proper perspective, I’d recommend digging in for 30 minutes as Houston Astros coach Mike Ramazzotti shares his outlook on the game via this link: https://youtu.be/FXiBp1C76vU. We recorded this at our fields on February 12th so the information continues to be relevant. Please be prepared for a few curse words along the way and a hefty dose of knowledge about the best way to interact with your kids and their friends as a baseball parent.

Timeline: The Shetland season will conclude on Saturday, May 14th. The regular season in all other flights will conclude on Saturday, April 30th. From there, the playoffs will begin on Monday, May 2nd. Championship Saturday in Bronco and Pony will be Saturday, May 14th while we will host a second Championship Saturday on Saturday, May 21st in both Pinto and Mustang.

Snack bar: We need your help. Please aim for one shift per family. You can find our SignUpGenius here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0b4fafab28a0f85-lajolla & on our website, www.ljyb.org. At some point soon, this league will be handed over to the next generation of LJYB families and it’s important to start to pass along a culture where everyone, not just the giving few, cares for this treasured organization.

Ongoing projects: You have felt the impact of the work that the Board, in coordination with our generous sponsors, has done: the fields are in ridiculously great shape and new projects continue to pop up. We are very nearly done with Phase One of the Redevelopment of Cliffridge as we are soon set to place flagpoles and paint a donor wall in the roundabout area. From there, we will move into Phase Two of Cliffridge’s Redevelopment, meaning the walkway between Shetland and Pony will receive a facelift. Plans are already in the works for these efforts. Phase Three will include new dugouts and bleachers. Beyond that, the live feed camera on Pinto has been an overwhelming hit and we will soon be able to provide the same overhead view from home plate on Mustang, Bronco, and Pony. Please standby for an exciting announcement in that regard.

Fundraising: In order to complete the above projects, and then some, fundraising is at the center of our program. With that said, we are thrilled to announce that LJYB’s annual celebration/fundraiser is set to return to Duke’s in La Jolla on Thursday, April 28th. We altered the schedule so the fields will be dark that afternoon, freeing up those who are interested in attending. An announcement about that event is on the immediate horizon and we would encourage you to move quickly once that invite reaches you. We sold out last year’s event in two days.  

Growing Pains: We have experienced some growing pains as the record number of players in our league has introduced a few obstacles. One is the high quality of play, which is generally not a problem, yet Bronco and Pony are akin to travel ball leagues and the potential does exist for injuries in those flights and all others. Please ensure that your kids are properly protected with the appropriate gear (cups, chest protectors, elbow guards, mouth guards and/or whatever else you deem necessary).  Further, the record number of players has led to some parking issues in the neighborhoods surrounding the Pinto fields. Please do adhere to the signs on those streets and please refrain from parking in the nearby neighborhoods. To alleviate such a crunch, the Torrey Pines Church has been kind enough to offer up their parking lot to LJYB families during the week and on Saturdays. Please do not park there on Sundays.

Miscellaneous: Padres camp, always a favorite of LJYB families, is on the horizon. Please sign up via this link (www.padres.com/camps) with the LJYB specific coupon code (22LJYB50) before Thursday to save $50. At www.ljyb.org, you can find our latest ongoing project in our league’s newfound dedication to community service. This week, we are working in coordination with Feeding San Diego. Here is a direct link to volunteer for one of the remaining shifts: https://feedingsandiego.volunteerhub.com/lp/ljyb?format=0&filter={}. Finally, an announcement about the pending late summer arrival of flag football at Cliffridge Park should be forthcoming. Please standby in that regard.

I think that’s all for now. Here’s to a great second half of the season for each of you and your ballplayer(s). I’m here in the bullpen should you need me along the way.

Thank you again for the continued support of LJYB.

Scott Blumenthal

La Jolla Youth Baseball President and Volunteer

www.ljyb.org

 


 

Dear La Jolla Youth Baseball Families,

 

Welcome (back) to LJYB and another season of baseball in La Jolla, our 70th!

 

A few months ago, I wrote an email announcing that baseball was thriving in La Jolla. As it turns out, I underestimated all of you as LJYB has now touched absurd heights. We will have 520 players this season, easily an all-time high for our league. For context, we had 386 players just last season. Thus, a sincere nod of gratitude to everyone in our baseball community and especially to those at the very center of the action: our volunteers, sponsors, and board members. Thank you!

 

The purpose of this email is simply to provide a road map for the next four months. As such, here are some important dates for your respective calendars:

 

-Assessments (Pinto, Mustang, Bronco & Pony): Saturday, February 5

-Final pre-season clinic with UCSD’s coaching staff: Sunday, February 6 (please read more and register at www.ljyb.org)

-Draft week (Pinto, Mustang, Bronco & Pony): Saturday, February 5 – Friday, February 11. Teams are selected and you will hear from your manager at some point late in the week.

-Coach and parent clinic with three special guests: Saturday, February 12. This event is mandatory for all managers & assistant coaches and highly recommended for all parents (please read more and register at www.ljyb.org).

-Practices begin (all divisions): weekend of February 12 – 13

-Opening Day (all divisions): Saturday, February 26

-Celebrating 70 Seasons of LJYB: Saturday, March 5

-Picture Day: Saturday, March 19

-Spring Break, no games: Monday, March 28 – Sunday, April 3

-Second Annual LJYB Fundraiser at Duke’s: Thursday, April 28

-End of the regular season (Pinto, Mustang, Bronco & Pony): Saturday, April 30

-Playoffs (Pinto, Mustang, Bronco & Pony): Saturday, May 2 – Saturday, May 21

-Championship Saturday (Pinto, Mustang, Bronco & Pony): Saturday, May 21

-End of the regular season (Shetland): Saturday, May 21

 

A few important notes:

 

-COVID: If your ballplayer is symptomatic, please stay home. If your ballplayer is COVID+, please alert your manager so we can ensure that we keep all players safe and healthy.

-Safety: We are recommending protective cups (all levels), chest protectors (Pinto, Mustang, Bronco & Pony), mouth guards (Bronco & Pony), and pitching plates (Bronco & Pony). Each of your respective managers will have further information for you in regards to these items.

-Bats: USA stamped bats only. USA stamped bats with a tee-ball designation are allowed in Shetland yet not beyond that division. USSSA bats are not allowed during practices or games – no exceptions.

 

Our list of offseason accomplishments is sort-of ridiculous: hosted 67 teams for all-stars, brought fall ball to LJYB, placed new grass on the Shetland field, turfed a Pony batting cage, added lights to three batting cages, added protective netting to the Bronco field, replaced the wood backstops on all five fields and new padded backstops with LJYB’s logo are on the way, refurbished all of our pitching machines, added turf mounds to Shetland and Pinto, began the roundabout redevelopment project which is due to be completed in the next few months, started phase two of redeveloping Cliffridge with our work surrounding the Pony field, brought flag football to Cliffridge (due in August), added a new shed to Shetland and one is soon headed for Pony, brought you a robust series of pre-season clinics (some of which drew the media’s attention locally, see www.ljyb.org), refurbished the scoreboard on Pony, brought the fences in on the upper fields so we can see some dingers, added a mound and cleaned up the batting cage at LPP and on and on and on. Plus, wait until you see the fields, they look incredible.

 

This is a league where you get out what you put in. I’m beyond grateful to our great board as they put in a ridiculous amount of volunteer hours to make this a better experience for you and your families. Please thank them if you see them (http://www.ljyb.org/Page.asp?n=15532&org=LJYB.org).  I’m not asking you to sacrifice what they do, yet please do enjoy what has been created here, chip in where you can, definitely sign up for a snack bar shift (https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20F0B4FAFAB28A0F85-lajolla), and join our unique culture where families hang out for numerous hours before and after their games on Saturdays. This is not a commuter sport or league. Please swing by the snack bar, find a seat in the stands and catch another ballgame, allowing kids from 4-14 to run around, be kids, and eat some junk. Considering the last few years, we won’t take those moments for granted.

 

We are fired up and remain appreciative that your family has entrusted LJYB to deliver a safe and memorable experience for you and your family.

 

Can you feel it? It’s almost that time again. Baseball is on the horizon and our 70th season in La Jolla is nearly upon us.

 

Let’s play ball!

 

Scott Blumenthal (volunteer)

LJYB President

www.ljyb.org

IG: @lajollayouthbaseball


Dear La Jolla Youth Baseball Families,

First, a hat tip to our tremendous baseball community here in La Jolla. The excitement about the 2022 season, and the sheer number of registrations (400+ and counting), is completely off-the-charts. As we continue this season of gratitude, please accept our sincere appreciation for believing in our team of volunteers to deliver an exceptional product.

Popularity doesn’t arrive without perils though. While Shetland will be uncapped as to the number of players (we are at 140 right now), we have set hard caps of 120 players in both Pinto (105 players currently registered) and Mustang (100 players currently registered). If we keep at our current pace of registrations, both divisions will be sold out during the next week so this acts as a final plea: if you have a child in one of those two flights, NOW is the time to register at www.ljyb.org.

For all those who are registered for the 2022 season, I wanted to return with our loaded lineup of clinics and events for December and January. They are as follows (*please note that additional information about each event can be found at www.ljyb.org):

 

  1. On this Saturday, December 4th, we are thrilled to announce that 5ive Tool Baseball will be hosting an all-day clinic on the Pony field. Details can be found here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.leagueathletics.com/Text/Documents/6914/101550.pdf. Registration can happen here: http://www.5ivetool.com/clinics.html while you can also email Coach Jared Eichelberger ( ) directly with any questions. Background information on 5ive Tool and Coach Jared can be found at http://www.5ivetool.com/.

 

  1. On this Sunday, December 5th, Sundays with Schu (Bobby Schuman) will continue on the Pinto field through December. These clinics have been busy ones all fall as they are geared for the beginners in the 5-7 age range. Please register by emailing Bobby directly at  .  

 

  1. Beginning on next Tuesday evening, December 7th, Coach Mike Ramazzotti and the UCSD coaching staff will be hosting three additional clinics. Please contact Coach Ram ( ) directly to register. These clinics have been rolling all fall and are extremely popular.

 

  1. Beginning on Saturday afternoon, December 11th, and continuing through January, Coach Cesar Rivera from Tiny Sluggers will be providing group instruction for Shetland and Pinto players. Please contact Coach Cesar ( ) directly to register.

 

  1. On Saturday, December 18th, we will host our Second Annual Mental Skills Day with Brian Alexander.  Brian is a certified mental performance consultant working as an athlete mental coach. In his workshop for LJYB, he will introduce athletes, parents, and coaches to the fundamentals of the mental game. Baseball is a game of immense failure and Brian will provide our young athletes with some of the tools necessary to deal with those moments as well as various other breathing and focusing techniques. Please visit www.ljyb.org for details and please email Brian ( ) directly to register.

 

  1. Padres camp is a hit among LJYB families and they have added a pair of winter sessions (December 20 -23 and December 27-30) at Cliffridge. Please see the linked flyer below for additional information and please register here: https://padrescamp.campintouch.com/ui/forms/application/camper/AppPlease use LJYB’s specific code LJWINTER to save $50.

 

  1. On January 8th, we will be hosting our first softball clinic. After starting fall baseball and bringing over flag football (registration will open in Feb. for that), we now have our eyes on softball in La Jolla. This first event will prove that there is demand for the product. Please register by contacting Rob Robinson,  . Please note that this clinic is available to non-LJYB families so please feel free to spread the word.  

 

  1. Field Clean Up Day is set for Sunday, January 9th. Our bleachers, sheds and surrounding areas need a little touching up before the season gets rolling. If interested in helping out, please email Andrew Newman ( ) as he is LJYB’s Fields Director and will be overseeing the event.

 

  1. Also, on January 9th, please bring any baseball related-gear for donation purposes. We will have bins set-up at our snack bar for drop-off from 10am – 12pm.

 

  1. On Saturday, January 15th, we have something very special in store as we have partnered with the Challenged Athletes Foundation to bring Landis Sims to speak to and play some ball with our LJYB community. Landis is a 15 year-old baseball player from Elizabeth, Indiana. He was born missing his hands and feet. As a quadruple amputee, his dream in life was to play baseball. . . and that he has done. In 2019, Landis made his high school baseball team as a freshman. Please watch this trailer for the film being made about Landis: https://landisdocumentary.com/We are understandably beyond fired up for this event, which may include a Padres pitcher as well, and after Landis shares his story, there will be a leaguewide clinic for all ages on the Pony field. Further, we just received news that LJYB alums and current MLB players, Bradley and Kyle Zimmer, will be joining us for this special event. Please register at www.ljyb.org.

 

  1. On Sunday, January 16th, we have another tremendous day lined up for our baseball community. After reading this article (https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/communities/san-diego/story/2021-11-14/little-leaguers-in-logan-heights-striking-out-with-city-over-much-needed-ballfield-repairs), we reached out to San Diego American Little League and asked if our community could partner with theirs to prepare Memorial Community Park for the upcoming season. Their answer was a resounding yes, meaning that on 1/16, we will be headed to Logan Heights to get some work done. Please find further information at www.ljyb.org and there you will find a registration link for this event.

 

  1. On Saturday, January 29th, Coach Mike Ramazzotti and the UCSD coaching staff will be hosting a leaguewide clinic for all ages from 230-430pm. Ram is a favorite among LJYB families and this clinic will provide our players an opportunity sharpen their games before we shift into regular season mode in February. Please find further information at www.ljyb.org and there you will find a registration link for this event.

 

  1. And finally, on Sunday, January 30th, Kirk McCaskill, the head baseball coach at Bishop’s, his coaching staff and some of his current players will be putting on the final clinic of the winter. There will be two flights for this one as the Shetland and Pinto kids will get some work in together and then we will move into the upper divisions. We are thrilled about the start of this relationship with Bishop’s and their baseball program. Please register at www.ljyb.org.

 

Before we go, a few quick closing notes and answers to your various questions.

Q) Can my ballplayer participate in the clinics above if they are not yet registered for LJYB’s 2022 season?

A) No, sorry. The Padres camps and the softball clinic are the only ones available to non-LJYB families.

 

Q) Will LJYB be issuing a vaccine mandate?

A) No.

 

Q) What type of bats should I purchase for my young ballplayer?

A) USA stamped bats only. USA stamped bats with a tee-ball designation are allowed in Shetland yet tee-ball bats are not allowed beyond that division. USSSA bats are not allowed during practices or games. Typical bat weight usually runs like this and hinges on the size of your child (*I’m basing these sizes of the bats my boys swing): Shetland 14-15 ounces; Pinto 16-17 ounces; Mustang 18-19 ounces; Bronco 20-21 ounces; Pony 22-23 ounces.

 

Q) How many of your children, 12 years and older, would be interested in umpiring Pinto games?

A) Please contact me directly if interested in this potential umpiring program.

 

Q) I’m interested in getting my child some individual work in with a coach in preparation for the upcoming season, do you have a list of coaches?

A) Yes, please visit www.ljyb.org > President’s Message for a list of resources.

 

Q) Do you ever stop?

A) Yes. Finally. I’m done.

 

Thank you all for your excitement for the 2022 season. We will not let you down. Please claim your spot before it is too late.

We will see you on the diamond soon enough.

 

Thank you again,

Scott Blumenthal (volunteer)

President – La Jolla Youth Baseball

www.ljyb.org

 


 

Hello La Jolla Youth Baseball Families,

Welcome back to another baseball season (our 70th!) in La Jolla.

We’ve been busy since our season concluded in late May. Thanks to your continued support, here are just a few of the things we’ve accomplished:

  1. For the first time in league history, we had a fall ball season, sporting 12 select teams from 7U – 14U. The teams were comprised solely of LJYB’s players as 144 kids from our community played on during the fall. Additionally, a grouping of high-caliber coaches hosted a series of clinics at our fields and at UCSD’s Triton Ballpark.
  2. For the first time in the league’s history, LJYB hosted PONY’s Regional All-Star Tournament at nine different age levels. At Cliffridge Park, our teams collected two Regional titles, placed second in two other flights while seven of our teams advanced beyond Regionals with three teams eventually reaching PONY’s World Series. The 6U Shetland team nearly took home the big piece of cake before they bowed out in the semifinals at the West Zone World Series. It was the first time that a 6U team from San Diego has ever reached such heights.
  3. We are cleaning up Cliffridge. The Shetland field now has grass and a new shed. We spruced up the batting cage at Little Padres Park and added two mounds over there. The Pony field is now playable at five different age levels and distances as we now have this field under baseball’s jurisdiction 12 months a year. We turfed one of the batting cages at Pony. We added some netting surrounding Bronco to limit the number of foul balls into the pool and adjacent parking lot. Further, it’s the proper time for some dingers and the fences will be shortened this year at Pinto, Mustang and Bronco in an effort to see some more round-trippers.
  4. Now, we are focused on a series of redevelopment projects around Cliffridge, including but not limited to, cleaning up the roundabout at Torrey Pines Elementary, fixing up the walkway between Pony and Shetland, providing shaded, stadium seating at Mustang, Bronco & Pony while also aiming for cameras/live feeds at every field. I cannot promise you that we will get all of this done before/during 2022 yet I can promise you that LJYB’s Board of Directors will not slow down in our efforts to bring these project to life.
  5. Next, we are aiming to bring a flag football franchise to Cliffridge under LJYB’s umbrella with an expected arrival date of August of 2022.
  6. Finally, we have started to make some in-roads in an effort to provide six months of baseball related activities to our 400+ LJYB families.  

 As such, the game plan for the 2022 season is as follows:

-Clinics during December and January: some clinics are already readily available at www.ljyb.org, yet we are aiming for 5-7 additional leaguewide clinics (hosted by the coaching staffs at UCSD, LJHS, LJCD, Bishop’s, 5Tool Baseball and our annual mental skills day) during December and January with details to follow later this month.  

-February 5-6: Assessments (note that there are no assessments in Shetland)

-February 7 – 11: Drafts and team assignments (Shetland’s teams will also be released at this time)

-February 12: Practices begin

-February 26: Opening Day

-March 5: Celebrating 70 Seasons of La Jolla Youth Baseball

-March 26: Potential mid-season tournament (ideas still in the works)

-March 28 - April 3: Spring Break 

-April 30: Regular season ends

-May 2: Playoffs begin (no playoffs in Shetland)

-May 21: Championship Saturday (final games in Shetland as well)

We believe the above lineup that we’ve put together is a stout one and we hope that you will agree. By signing up now at www.ljyb.org, you will be eligible for all of the aforementioned events while also allowing those of us who sit on LJYB’s Board of Directors the opportunity to pre-plan our expenditures for the upcoming season.

Before we go, a few other important issues:

-COVID: We will be following the one-page document, linked below and found on our website, from the California Department of Public Health. We intend to repeat our performance from last season, meaning zero COVID transmissions among LJYB players. Though it likely goes without saying, LJYB will NOT issue a vaccine mandate for players and/or coaches. 

-Coach and player requests: Please fire away at the Shetland level. The floor is yours though please do hurry as we honor requests on a first-come, first-serve basis. Beyond Shetland, we have assessments and drafts with the goal of creating equal teams. As such, though siblings will play together within the same division, there are no coach and/or player requests at Pinto and beyond. Additionally, and though we couldn’t do anything mentioned above without our overwhelmingly generous sponsors, sponsorship arrives with no favors as to who will be placed on what team.

-A lot of parents remain interested in individual instruction for their ballplayers as we turn for the 2022 season. Below is a list of the local coaches we’d recommend and their areas of expertise:

Pitching: Tim Tisch, 

Pitching: Jake Grosz, 

Pitching: Matt Hensley, 

Hitting: Ryan Lehr, 

Hitting & Infield: Ron Hudgins, 

Fundamentals for Younger Kids: Bobby Schuman, 

Fundamentals for Younger Kids: Cesar Rivera, tinysluggers@gmail.com

All ages, all skills: Mike Ramazzotti, 

Older kids, all skills: Pearce Wright, 

At this point, LJYB has become the premier destination for rec baseball in San Diego. The word is out. As such, we were forced to turn players away last season as all levels were completely sold out. Thus, our ship will soon set sail for the 2022 season. Please ensure that your kids are aboard. Registration is now open at www.ljyb.org.  

It's almost that time again. We can’t wait to see you on the diamond.

Thank you,

Scott Blumenthal

LJYB President

www.ljyb.org

INSTAGRAM: @lajollayouthbaseball

Attachments:
SelfQuarantine_Instructions_for_Individuals_Exposed_to_COVID19.pdf