Piru Youth Step to the Plate, Swing Into Action as Baseball Returns

On this foggy Saturday morning, just after 6 a.m. a handful of community volunteers applied the finishing touches to “One River Stadium” at Warring Park in Piru. They began by chalking the infield in preparation of the first day of the long-awaited baseball season in Piru. This sport has not been organized in Piru for some years, but organizers say they now have 115 boys and girls signed up for T-ball and youth baseball.

This overwhelming response reflects the historic tradition of baseball in this family-oriented community. And, 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, and major contributions from Fillmore-Piru Citrus Association, Piru Neighborhood Council, Rancho Temescal and the Carnales Motorcycle Club, entry fees for this 2009 Season were only $25 per child.

Preparations began in February as organizers recruited to fill team rosters. Not sure at first what the response would be, sign-ups have resulted in four t-ball teams and four youth baseball teams. By mid-April, over 100 youth had signed on and it was time to “play ball”. These volunteers have also been working tirelessly on bringing Warring Park baseball diamond and field up to a higher standard.

Youth started arriving at 8 a.m. to pose for team and individual pictures in their crisp new uniforms. Heritage Valley Studios offered low cost photo packages for players’ families. “Look at the excitement in their eyes and smiles on the faces” said Gil Escoto, one of the organizers and President of the Piru Petroleum Club.

Just after 9 a.m. and as the skies turned from gray to blue, the teams took to the field for Opening Day Ceremonies. After the traditional first pitch it was time for the inaugural games. The season opened with two tee-ball games, featuring the Pirates v. Cardinals and followed by the Dodgers v. A’s. The afternoon youth baseball games matched up the Dodgers against the A’s. The final game of the day featured A’s against the Pirates. Games for this 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

“Everybody’s excited and they’re all having fun,” observed Danny Ramirez, who serves many capacities in Piru including maintenance of the park. And, in the interest of “full disclosure”, this author was a proud member of the 1972 Piru Senior League, also sponsored by Piru Sunkist.