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):
- 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/.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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/App. Please use LJYB’s specific code LJWINTER to save $50.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
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
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, email@example.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.