Piru Youth Baseball Inaugural Games Score a Home Run with players, parents and fans

These past few weeks Piru’s Warring Park, or “One River Stadium”, has embraced the return of youth baseball as young boys and girls return to the field to enjoy t-ball and youth baseball. With over 100 youth stepping to the plate, they have been overwhelmingly supported by their coaches, organizers and community. This response reflects the historic tradition of baseball in this family-oriented community.

Thanks to volunteers working as Piru Youth Sports, monies have been raised from various businesses, clubs and organizations to re-introduce baseball at an affordable level for local families. With seed money from a dormant organization, contributions have come from Fillmore-Piru Citrus Association, Piru Neighborhood Council, Rancho Temescal, the Carnales Motorcycle Club, Ventura County Parks, Piru Parks Commission, and Fillmore Little League.

Just off the field from her late morning game, Coach Debbie Chessani commented’ “I think it’s lots of fun. They are all learning, having fun, and working as a team.” All fans enjoying these Saturday games shared these sentiments. Chessani added, “Everyone is a Ten in T-Ball.”

In support of this effort, organizers have re-opened the park’s Snack Bar. Under the direction of longtime Piru businessman Jim Sanchez, they are proud to offer a wide assortment of snacks, jumbo bubble gum packs, early morning coffee, donuts and cold drinks. They then start the grill to offer burgers, chilidogs and take me out to the park hot dogs. The snack bar is open during Wednesday and Saturday games.

Enjoying some of the items from the snack bar was player Colby Walsh, preparing for his afternoon game while enjoying a Frito boat. This nine-year member of the Piru Cardinals tells me, “It’s fun. And its neat having baseball in Piru and better than having to go to Fillmore for games.” His dad “Spanky” agreed, and added, “It gives the kids something positive to do and a great way to start our summer. Keeps them active and outdoors, away from their video games.”

Also spotted enjoying the games was 91-year old Manuel Pillado. He started the original Piru baseball back in 1954. His “Barbers” competed with teams sponsored by other local businesses including Murphy’s, D&A Texaco and Lechler’s. Reflecting on his early days and working with Manuel “Sleepy” Martinez as organizers, he says, “Look at that. Best thing about it is I’m here getting to watch it.”

Games during this inaugural 2009 season will be held on Wednesday’s beginning at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday’s at 8:30 a.m. The season wraps up on July 11, 2009.

For more information or to lend support to this team effort, contact “Commissioner” JoAnn Torres at 805-521-0763 or e-mail to piruyouthsports@gmail.com