Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Own Personal Cross-Town Rivalry

From the time I understood that I had to pick sides, I lined up in UCLA’s corner of instead of USC’s. Whether the notion came from my dad, our family friends or from watching TV, the message was clear that you rooted for one and against the other. There was no middle ground.

I don’t know why I liked UCLA then. Maybe it was because Gary Beban won the Heisman Trophy. Or perhaps it was because our neighbor went to UCLA. But at 8 years old, it was probably because I liked powder blue and gold much better than cardinal and goldenrod.

If you’ve read my blog or Facebook postings, then you know I root for the Bruins still today. If I’ve learned anything about myself, it’s that I’m loyal to my teams (unless their sinister owner moves them to St. Louis). I’m definitely not one to jump ship, no matter how agonizing the experience may be.

Unfortunately, rooting for the Bruins against USC has been particularly painful lately. For most of the years Pete Carroll coached the Trojans, I expected USC to win, so I didn’t let my emotions get the better of me. Before that, UCLA won eight years in a row, so the outcome was just as predictable. But recently, despite their misfortunes, I’ve been especially devoted to the Bruins, because Richard Brehaut has been their quarterback the past two years, including most of this season as the starter. Even though I didn’t go to school there, I’ve thrown myself headfirst into being an avid fan once again, complete with season tickets and hours of pregame tailgate festivities. Moreover, my passion has brought overwhelming joy when the team has done well, and less than desirable emotions when they don’t.  I wasn’t a good guy to be around when the rival Trojans won this year’s annual cross-town battle. Of course, I wasn’t the only one, as emotions erupted before, during and after the game all around Rose Bowl.

As hard as this is to believe, I love USC.

Okay, maybe not on the football field, but my allegiance to the university is true.

As much as I wanted UCLA to win last week, I wish equally hard for my son Sam to have the same opportunity that I had, and that’s to go to USC.

I contend to this day that getting my master’s degree at USC was the smartest thing I’ve ever done. It was a great education and afforded me remarkable experiences and opportunities, not only while I was in school, but in the many years that have followed.
For the better part of the past year, Beth and I have taken Sam on numerous college campus tours to let him figure out where he wants to go. When he and I visited USC and UCLA on the same day last spring, there was no comparison. Both campuses are beautiful, but there was a definite “connection” at USC that was missing at UCLA. We both felt it. I could sense he grasped the magic that I knew when I went there. It was obvious that day that Sam knew where he wanted to go to school next fall. Heck, I wanted to go back.

I can’t figure it out… I really do feel a strong affection for USC, but you’ll never catch me wearing Trojan colors or uttering “Fight On!” Give me the Eight Clap any day. I was a UCLA fan before I was a USC student.

Sam and I have made a couple of return visits to USC, and his feelings haven’t changed. Neither have mine. Now, of course, we have to hope he can get in, and then figure out how to pay for it. But those things worked out when I went there, and I’m confident they will again for him.

He doesn’t seem to be enamored with Heritage Hall and the athletic history at USC, but it’s impossible to ignore. We navigated our way to the sports information office to say hello to Tim Tessalone, who was busy chatting with an older guy who still looked to be in pretty good shape. Ironically, it was Sam Dickerson, the wide receiver who caught the game-winning touchdown for the Trojans in their 14-12 victory over UCLA back in 1969. I was only 10, but I remember the catch in “Sam’s Corner.” That one still hurts, too.

If he’s accepted, our Sam’s biggest problem will be dealing with his brother, who is a true-blue Bruin fan, and will never understand the appeal of USC. I still don’t think he’s fully accepted Sam going to Claremont High instead of Upland, which is Sid’s alma mater. Claremont was a better fit for Sam, just as Upland was right for Sid. Sid’s as loyal of a person as there is, and he’s stubborn with his convictions. This won’t sit well with him if it happens, but the opportunity would be foolish to ignore, if Sam is fortunate to be accepted and the other pieces fall into place. But it’s probably a longshot.

If it happens, it won’t go over well with my UCLA friends, either, but I think they’ll understand. After all, my good friend Jim Moore married into a USC family, and I am reasonably sure he still roots for the Bruins over the Trojans. In truth, there is probably nothing in the world Jim hates more than USC, even though two of Andi’s brothers went there. Jerry Shaw – one of the football-playing Shaw brothers from Claremont – earned three Rose Bowl rings playing rover-back for the Trojans during the late 1960s. And Dennis Shaw went to USC but transferred to San Diego State because John McKay thought Dennis was too big to play quarterback. Dennis did okay as an Aztec QB, and was the Rookie of the Year with the Buffalo Bills. Nevertheless, Andi bleeds blue and gold.
I wish picking sides in this rivalry could be as easy as rooting for both Southern California baseball teams at the same time. It’s much easier to like both the Dodgers and Angels.

But it doesn’t work that way with college football – at least USC vs. UCLA, and I'll continue to keep my loyalties. I’ve just resigned myself to being a walking contradiction.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mad Men

Most people outside of the profession don’t know the difference between public relations and advertising. For example, a component of public relations is “earned” media. That is to say, PR helps develop stories that the news media determine to be appealing or newsworthy, so the media report your story. With advertising, you pay for your space or time in the media. Both disciplines demand creativity and a strategic approach. In most organizations, there are clear walls between those handling public relations and those in advertising. That’s by design.

I’ve spent my entire career on the public relations side and only dabbled with paid advertising. But with recent developments within the California State University system and the sudden reversal to once again admit more students, we need to get the word out. Unfortunately, our university (much like most CSU campuses) doesn’t have an advertising department – or even an advertising budget, for that matter. The free media, including social media, helps, but it doesn’t reach our entire audience.

So this month I crossed over to the advertising side as Cal State San Bernardino introduced its first television advertising campaign. Since funds are limited, it’s limited to cable subscribers in designated Inland Empire areas, and only on a handful of cable networks. Naturally, I’ve posted the spots here and on Facebook. You can find them all at the CSUSB YouTube channel. Take a look and let me know what you think. Thanks.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Old College Try

This is a bittersweet time in our household. Sam just turned 18, his senior pictures arrived and he’s looking ahead to college next year. At this point we really don’t know where he’ll be in the fall, but it’s not because he hasn’t had a chance to look at colleges. He and Allie Seligman spent the past weekend with Megan Moore, who gave them the grand tour of Sonoma State and the local area. More than anything, it was a great opportunity for a road trip and for all of them to spend time together – and to spend a few days seeing what it’s like to be living on their own. Sam came back with Sonoma high on his list of choices.

Sam got a taste of that the previous weekend, when he spent his 18th birthday weekend with his brother Sid at Cal State San Marcos. I didn’t ask many questions, but I’m sure it was more than a “taste” of college life.

There are still a few more campuses that Sam will visit, but he’s been to Northern Arizona, USC, Redlands, UCLA, UCSB, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and others. Some will make the cut and others won’t… Of course, he won’t make the cut at some of those, but the value is in seeing what he likes and doesn’t like. He seems to have settled on a top three, but the final decision will be based on where he is accepted and what we can afford. By springtime the pieces will fall into place.

This entire process is pretty interesting and inspiring; not only with Sam, but hearing what schools other high school seniors are visiting. Most are still in the same boat as Sam – sending out applications and waiting to find out where they are accepted before charting out the next chapter in their lives. Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday Night Lights, College Gameday, The NFL Today

The best thing about the fall is that every weekend is filled with football. And this time of year, the football feast goes well beyond the weekend, with NFL games on Thursday nights, too.

Fridays mean high school games, and I go to a prep game almost every Friday night. I saw most of Claremont High’s games this year, but skipped a couple to catch Upland High and watch some of the kids who played baseball with or against Sam when he was younger. Both teams advanced to the CIF-Southern Section playoffs, and I opted to stay closer to home for the Upland game against Temecula Chaparral instead of traveling to Eastvale (near Corona) for the Wolfpack’s game against Roosevelt High. Both the local teams faced tough challenges in the first round. Claremont lost its game to Roosevelt, 28-21, and apparently had a chance to tie the game late. Roosevelt was the regular-season second place team in the league that was won by nationally ranked Corona Centennial. This was the best season for the Pack in several years, finishing with an overall record of 7-4.

Meanwhile, Upland outlasted Chaparral, 40-35, but was clearly the better team, despite the close score. The Highlanders gave up a pair of touchdowns on turnovers, but also took advantage of very questionable coaching decisions on the part of the Pumas. Upland moves on to host Corona Centennial on Nov. 26.

Saturdays are reserved for college football. When UCLA has a home game, that eats up the entire day, which is set aside for hours of tailgating, plus the game itself. There is plenty of college football action on TV when the Bruins are on the road, although I’d just as soon forget about their performance Thursday night at Washington. Ouch.

It’s actually hard for me to sit down and watch an entire NFL game on Sundays, mainly because I have a need to use my time constructively, even if that’s doing chores and running errands. The only thing that matters anyway is how my fantasy guys are doing, and those updates are available all day. 

I love when it rains on the weekend. It’s the perfect excuse to sit and watch football and not feel guilty about not being productive around the house. That lack of guilt only goes so far, because the rain also means that I should sit down and update my blog.

Tonight I’ll turn my attention to women’s volleyball and hope that Cal State San Bernardino wins the NCAA Division II West Regional. If the Coyotes beat Seattle Pacific, they’ll advance to the national tournament Dec. 2-4 in Louisville for a shot at the university’s elusive first national championship.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Good Seats Still Available

No matter which school you favor, the UCLA-USC game is always an event. There’s nothing quite like the college football experience, and when rivals square off, it’s nothing short of chaos and mayhem. Depending on what time you arrive to start tailgating, that description doesn’t even begin to set the scene.

Of course, I mean that in a pleasurable, positive way. For the past two years I’ve had UCLA season tickets, and there is absolutely nothing better on a Saturday in the fall than to be with family and friends at a college football game. And it’s all the more fun when some of your tailgating friends are the parents of the quarterback.

The past two years have been incredible watching the remarkable development of Richard Brehaut as the Bruin QB. After watching from the sidelines for most of last year and a bit of this season, the job is his. He’s performed admirably, demonstrated leadership qualities and has shown tremendous potential. Yeah, this really is fun to watch, and just as enjoyable watching Danny and Yvonne along the way.

It’s great to watch the games on television – and UCLA plays on TV Thursday night at Washington and on Friday, Nov. 26, at Arizona State. But you gotta be there. There is only one more home game at the Rose Bowl, so your opportunities are running out for this year. Yep, that’s the rivalry game against the Trojans on Saturday, Dec. 4. Tickets are still available.

I found this graphic on Facebook
If you’re reading this, you likely know me, which means you might know Danny or Yvonne, too. So why wouldn’t you go to watch their son lead the Bruins in the biggest game of the year? This is one of those rare and extraordinary experiences in life, and you have the opportunity to be there.

The game’s at 7:30 p.m., but the tailgating starts many many hours earlier. We’ll be in Lot H on the south side of the Rose Bowl. Give me a call once you have your tickets and join us for the pre-game activities. I really do hope to see you there.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Eight is Enough

It’s been more than eight months since I last updated my blog. Truth be told, I’ve let it go dormant because it’s a heck of a lot easier to post bite-size notes or links on Facebook and other sites instead. 

For a blog to have value, you really do need to give it regular attention. Unfortunately, I spend most of my day at my computer – both at work and at home – and don’t relish the thought of adding to that time. Like most of you reading this, it’s hard to find the extra hours for yet another “assignment.” Another problem is that I when I write, I like to put some time into formulating my thoughts. So there you have it;  I haven’t felt like spending another couple of hours at the computer each day. Thanks for understanding.

Enough of my whining. It’s time to take this thing off life support and give an honest effort in reviving "Sid’s Side." This time I’ll try not to let it consume so much of my time so that it drives me away again. I’ll be brief – perhaps a compromise between the previous postings and the Facebook model.  I’m giving it another shot.

So why dust off the blog after so long? Because today is a significant day and it seemed appropriate.

My dad would have been 100 years old today if he was still alive. That’s an incredibly strange concept to wrap my head around. Obviously, he was older (48) than most of my friends' fathers when I was born. My dad – the previous Sid Robinson – died when he was 60 and I was just a couple weeks shy of my 12th birthday. I don’t know that I ever really thought a lot about his age when I was younger, except that I was the first of my friends to lose a father. But I’m thinking about it now. Today it got me.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Our Own Field of Dreams...

I think most people I know do some kind of volunteer work. For some, it’s helping a cause they find worthy or assisting a non-profit organization. It might be helping with an event or just donating a little time or money. And most of us tend to jump in where our kids are concerned, helping out in classrooms or with their sports teams or other extra-curricular activities. The fun starts when you take that extra step and volunteer for a PTA committee or to be the coach of your kid’s team. The next thing you know you find yourself on the board of directors. It becomes part of your life, so you just keep going when they move along to high school.

This year I’m the president of the Claremont High baseball booster club. Overall, the ride’s been pretty fun, but a couple of weeks ago my son Sam decided he wasn’t interested in playing baseball at the high school anymore. He just wasn’t having fun playing anymore. Given my tremendous passion for the game and Sam’s truly natural talent, I’m sure the decision wasn’t easy for him. But it was his decision, and I’m proud of the way he handled it. I’m sad he won’t be playing baseball, but it feels good to see him happy. When the game is no longer fun, it’s time to find other adventures.

Nevertheless, I’m still the baseball booster club president, and that’s still something I enjoy. So as we embarked on the busiest part of our pre-season preparations, I had doubts as to how much I’d still enjoy my role.

Then came our alumni game and opening ceremonies on Saturday, Feb. 20. This event was something I helped revive last year, and I’ve been in charge of getting the former players back to participate in the game. Given the weather forecasts, we figured we’d be rained out. As much of the Bosson family gathered at our house on Friday night to celebrate Marilyn’s birthday, and with the rain pouring outside, we turned up the volume on the birthday party. But the overnight rain cleared on Saturday morning, and I was shocked to find myself headed to the ballpark for what will probably be the highlight event of the season for me.

From an event-planning standpoint, it was a great success, and the entire board and many volunteers who participated made that a reality. What made the event a true success and my day so fulfilling was that so many former players showed up. I felt absolute joy seeing the smiles on the faces of the guys in the alumni team dugout, while they jarred their memories for old stories and shared a lot of laughs.

The real stars of the day where the former CHS players who came back to reminisce and try to make the plays on the field.  A few of them had trouble staying on their feet, and I know there were a lot of sore muscles the next day. I sense the experience was probably worth it.

The highlight for me was seeing Ed Wolfe from the class of 1953 throw out the ceremonial first pitch, and then later watching him hit a line drive to second. He told me later that was first time he’d used an aluminum bat.

There were a number of guys who played in the alumni game last year, but quite a few new players this year. The event brought back generations of former players spanning eras from the 1970s through last year, with an especially strong turnout from the mid-1970s and from the class of 1992.

Here are some photos from the day (see the link).

Rather than let me tell the story, I’ll let a couple guys from the class of 1976 reflect on their experiences, as posted on their class Yahoo forum. This isn’t to give myself a pat on the back, but rather to share the events of the day through the eyes of two friends who really enjoyed themselves on Saturday...

From Rob Haerr…

“It all started with Sid Robinson ingesting mass quantities of spiritual nectar and performing anti-rain dances the night before and into the wee hours of the morning. The ceremony was disguised as a birthday party for Marilyn Bosson, but the rain during the night did a superb groundskeeping job in preparing the infield with the perfect amount of moisture. Sid's sacrifice for the team does not go unnoticed. Beth (Bosson) Robinson said his last words at 3 a.m. were..."I-love-you," or something like that. His energy was sapped.

I woke up at about 5 a.m. ... too dark to get up. My return to sleep took me into a dream of seeing some of the CHS ‘75 guys at the game...Matt Weinberg, Tim Helton, Danny Thomas, David Aguilera. To my surprise...Danny Thomas did show up. I immediately told him about the dream...funny stuff. Tim Helton passed away shortly after high school from a brain cancer I think...but lots of stories started flowing...great stuff. Other guys from '75 also showed...Brian Fitzgeralls, Mark Robertson. Both look great and it was very cool to catch up with their history.

I woke up again at 7 a.m. and the sun was shining! Before I was fully awake, I checked Facebook...Sid and Mil (Pompa) both said..."GAME ON SPREAD THE WORD!"

Coffee, oatmeal...Aleve.

The highlight of the day was meeting with CHS ‘53(!!!) baseball alumnus, Ed Wolfe. He warmed up with Danny Healey and I. We talked about how these kids have 3 or 4 uniforms, batting cages with pitching machines, nice park, dugouts, etc. He said, "I wore the exact same uniform my dad had worn 20 years earlier in 1932. Had his name still inside. It was about ‘this thick,’ made of wool." He threw out the first pitch. When his turn to bat came up...he hit a line shot to second base. Great stuff. I meant to ask him if our old Pony League field was the field they played on.

Other CHS ‘76ers Mike Woodley, Rocky Smith showed up and hung in the dugout. CHS ‘77ians Danny Brehaut, Dave Bosson (actually 1978), Paul Sokolowski came out (and Brian Zell was there, too). Great to see Paul...he still has a sweet swing. My brother, Kenny, was the lone CHS ‘78er to show up...he pitched and inning and played 3rd.

Brett Vondereith and Trish Young were there. Man, they look great. I have encouraged them both to chime in here. They were up for Mr Young's funeral. Mr Young was a fixture and wonderful man around all of our practices and games in our youth.

My (Ravelers) bandmates, Martie and Hai even came to give me a razzing and a birthday card. There was a nice crowd...and it was very nice to see Paul Sokolowki's parents...also fixtures at practices and games thru our youth.

I lasted an inning. Got a base hit, stole second (that catcher should get razzed for the rest of this season for that), then scored on a base hit down the right field line. As I started to round third, I felt a ‘pop’ in my left calf...pulled it pretty good. It's not like I was rippin' up the base path or small attempt at a burst of acceleration took it's toll on my 52-year-old original springs and bushings. My suspension parts are not what they used to be.

While warming up, Danny Thomas asked me, "Haerr, can you still run?"

"No." And I proved it.

Sokolowski did the same thing. Nurse Debinator gave Paul some information if he had torn his Achilles tendon or not. Hopefully he just pulled something like I did. Paul's Mom, "Mrs. Sok" was just shaking her head as she would have 35 years earlier...priceless. Mr. Sokolowski was always a hitting coach to all of us.

Mil looked great on the mound. I will let Mil tell more about the day from his view.

Looking forward to next year and who might walk up.

This is a great tradition that Sid has started!

...and Debi enjoyed making fun of our "glory days".

Mike Woodley so aptly said..."our brains are writing checks our bodies can't cash."

And here’s the day from Mil Pompa’s vantage point …

“On Wednesday when I did my last work out I had to do what any man would do. Make sure to watch Jackie Johnson on TV. Watch her weather report of course. I don't know what anyone else could be thinking? As she delivered her gloomy report of rain on Friday, drizzle on Saturday with rain till Sunday I knew there was only one thing to do. Yes, I check in with Swedish Thunder (the late Jon Erickson from CHS '76) and asked for a simple favor. In return I promised to dedicate one inning to him. Deal.

As it started to rain on Friday night I knew it was only going to be the pre-field dusting we would need. I finished my chicken dinner, mashed potato's and green bean dinner went upstairs and gazed out at the rain.

I woke up around 3 a.m. with a crazy dream of Sid Robinson and most of the Bossons huddled around a black cauldron smoking like the vile of Dr. Frankenstein. They were dressed in traditional Native dress and were dancing in a circle around the cauldron waving some smoking sage as they chanted and danced with desire. Beth Robinson read from some old tablet and a giant blue flash made me jump up out of my mid-nocturnal male testosterone period deep sleep. Uh, that's another story...anyway, I looked at the clock; it read 3 a.m. I gazed out of the window and saw the sky. The clouds seemed to be scooted along by some spiritual hand clearing off a table of cotton balls. I could see the stars start to twinkle and had that feeling that my simple favor had been granted and now it was up to me to keep my end of the deal.

My Saturday was filled with the pre-game ritual I had performed for over 22 years in Northern California: Two packs of Oatmeal, 1/2 cup of coffee, 1 cup of juice, two slices of peanut butter toast. Now off to La Puerta to take my daughter to her Opening Day Ceremony for her first softball game. My wife's helping me coach my daughter and due to the fact that we only found out two weeks ago there was no one to coach our team, My wife and I volunteered to coach. I wanted someone who wanted to coach, who wanted to teach the girls (6 and under)  and most of  all, make sure they all have a good time!

I arrived at the high school just as the this booming voice came over the P.A. system, "all alumni who have not signed in please do so by the cages, thank you." I walked through the gate, sign in and look up to see Danny Thomas! I HAD TO PINCH MYSELF! Then I see Brian Fitzgeralls! ANOTHER PINCH! Then I see Mark Robertson! ONE MORE PINCH AND NOW I BELIEVE IT! Then Rob, Ken, WHAT THE @#%$(*!!, Paul Sokolowski walks up, "hey old man!" What a sight!!

I have traveled back into time to see some of the best athletes come home. It now doesn't matter if I played or not. This was too good to be true and I am so upset with myself for not playing the year before. I now see Rocky (Smith), Mike Woodley and everyone else starts to file in: Davey (Bosson), George (Hernandez)… I could just go down the list! Meeting all the players and getting to sit in the dugout. That would of done if for me. I can't believe it's all real and the feeling of being back in the dugout brought back that old long-wristed magic.

The opening ceremonies were priceless and watching Eddie Wolfe throw out the first pitch was like I had stepped into a lost scene of Field of Dreams. We had a wonderful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by a local Claremont girl (Stephanie Inglese) who sang very well.

Game on:

Now what I have not said is that Sid Robinson has been in five places at once all during this time. He's taking pictures, he's making the lineup, he's getting everyone all the information at once. He's over by the announcer. That dream of the smoking cauldron came back for a flash, how did you do it Sid?! No doubt, the MVP!!!

The game started and it was interesting to see the method of pitching to ourselves. Simply put, when we batted, our pitcher pitched when the high school team was on the field and their pitcher pitched when they were at bat, we were on the field. Runs were scored on both sides and the show got going when it seemed one-by-one we started pulling up lame!! Ha Ha. Rob first, but hey don't think he didn't show up to play! He gave his all, hustled (cough, cough) out to second and I'm pretty sure made the first out defensively for us fielding a ground ball and throwing to first.  Ken Haerr hustles out, takes his cuts, throws an inning - what else could he do?!! Oh yeah, give 110% and pull a thigh muscle! BASEBALL - GOTTA LOVE IT!!

Paul Sokolowski was the best hitter I ever played with. Todd Ervin was the best, but I only got to play one year with him and no, he was not at the game. Paul was willing to pitch if we had no one to go. He was willing to go to first or just sit and hit. And hit he still can. His second at bat he singles to right. And during a delayed steal, he collapses in between first and second. He's puzzled why it felt as though during his attempt at a delayed-steal, the catcher threw the ball and hit him in the ankle? When he collapsed, I ran out to help him and in and this is what he told me. He then realized he pulled and Achilles when he tried to walk on it. It was funny ‘cause he was tagged out and ended the inning and Dan Brehaut tried to get the fans and teammates to forgive him for falling flat on his face innings earlier while fielding a very routine ground ball! I know there's pictures of that!

Ok, now my turn: I've been waiting to pitch cause I was hoping my wife and kids would arrive from the softball ceremonies to see me play but it's now the fifth inning and we have more than enough guys to pitch. I've been preparing for a month. Throwing the rock in my back yard, the same one I threw at my little brother in high school. Having a little brother was cool cause he was always up to a game of, "Dodge Rock." I also was doing push-ups in the shower and sorry Carrie, the damn camera lens kept fogging up to prove to you I was really doing them! Two trips around the park soccer field and 200 jumps on the jumping stick, everyday, I'm ready.

As I strut out to the mound I have this routine that I do but this time it was different. I just couldn't get that dream picture out of my mind, "those clouds being swept like cotton balls."

Dan Brehaut was first up. He begged me and bribed me to be easy on him and not bring it in on the hands (darn!) I couldn't help but smile as I took my warm ups with the high school catcher. I kind of felt weird flashing back to Cahuilla Park for a moment. Dan Brehaut scooted out of the way on the first pitch, which I tried to throw high and in but came in low! He moved pretty good and I wondered if his big bro, my buddy the late Burt Brehaut played Dodge Rock with him?!!

A couple of pitches later, he ground's out to third, one out. The next alum up I got to strike out on four pitches and the last hitter struck out on five pitches.

I thought to myself as I walked off the field, (geez Thunder, I think I was suppose to let them hit!) It was in slow motion and strangely silent as I walked off the mound. I raised my cap in thanks and got a huge roar from the fans and teams. There's no crying in baseball.


What a great day! Great weather! Great friends! And topping it off I got to meet Leslie, Robyn Floyd came up and said hello, Jennifer was there as well as lots of kids and to see the Sokolowski's, Rob's true in his words. Growing up in Claremont, if you played baseball, you knew the Sokolowski's! It had to be. There had to be. I'm not going to be convinced easily on this thought: Trish and Bret come to the game. Mr. Young, my mentor, his service was that day. I asked them why they came? "We were in town." No, Mr. Young and Thunder hooked up, made our day and brought together so many wonderful people!! No other way to explain it. Don't try.

Did I say there's no crying in baseball?

I can't wait for next year!

Moonlight (with a little help) Mil

Sunday, January 31, 2010

CHS Baseball Alumni Game, Opening Ceremonies Set for Feb. 20

The Claremont High baseball program will kick off its 2010 season with special "opening day" ceremonies, an alumni game and a family barbecue on Saturday, Feb. 20, at Claremont High School.

The CHS varsity baseball team will take on former Wolfpack players in the annual alumni game Saturday as a preview to kick off the 2010 season. The game will culminate two days of special activities at the CHS varsity field to open the new baseball campaign.

Festivities are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., followed by the game and a home run derby.

The CHS junior varsity and freshman teams will play at 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 19.

On Saturday, Feb. 20, the varsity will take to the field against Wolfpack players from the past. All former CHS baseball letter winners are invited to participate in the game or in pre-game batting practice.

The Saturday activities also will include special opening ceremonies and introductions on the field of all players on the freshman, junior varsity and varsity team, followed by first-pitch ceremonies.

A family barbecue will take place throughout the day, and refreshments will be available. In addition, Wolfpack baseball merchandise will be on sale. A home run competition will follow the alumni game.

Alumni game participants should arrive at the CHS varsity field on the Claremont High campus by 9 a.m.

Additional details are available on the Claremont High baseball Web site.

Former CHS baseball players interested in participating should contact Sid Robinson at (909) 227-9589.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Claremont Baseball to Host Annual Golf Tournament Jan. 29

The Claremont High School baseball program will host its Seventh Annual Golf Tournament and Auction on Friday, Jan. 29, at San Dimas Community Golf Course.

All proceeds support the Wolfpack baseball program and will help fund current and future projects, including field improvements, equipment purchases, uniforms and other projects.

Golfers and event sponsors can download a registration form and find more information at the Claremont High baseball Web site.

For additional information or to donate an auction item, contact Bob Miletich at (909) 621-2345. Or contact me and I'll make sure you're part of the group. Thanks.