LAGUNA BEACH LITTLE LEAGUE

PO Box 509
Laguna Beach, CA. 92651

[email protected]

THE HISTORY OF LAGUNA BEACH LITTLE LEAGUE

Laguna Beach baseball was organized in Pennsylvania in 1939 and arrived in Laguna Beach 13 years later. The Optimist Club of Laguna Beach researched the program and persuaded three other local service clubs to join them in starting our league,  the third League to be chartered in California and the oldest League in Orange County

Four teams were organized in 1952 sponsored by for service clubs: Optimist, Kiwanis, Lions and Rotary. Joe Roberts was elected the first league president, Nolan Doss was the first Majors commissioner and Jack Norworth was appointed honorary League President. Tryouts were held in the first teams had players from ages 8 to 12.  The first home game was played on Tuesday, June 13th, 1952 where the current high school diamond is located, with Lions taking Rotary by a 10-3 score. Steve Ramsey hit the first home run

Two more teams were added in 1953 and the last two in 1954. From 1954 to 1970 the league divided into 2 4-team leagues that held a playoff to determine the “City” championship. The National League represented El Morro attendance area (north of Thalia) while the American League was represented by the Aliso School attendance area (south of Thalia).

For most of the years the leagues shared playing facilities, issued a combined yearbook, combined opening day ceremonies, but had separate boards, charter and All Star teams. The two leagues re-unified in 1971.

Minor leagues were established in 1954 and were operated by the City of Laguna Beach Recreation Department until 1989. Senior leagues were originally the separate Babe Ruth league from 1957-1976 but were absorbed by the Laguna Beach Little League under the Senior League Banner in 1977

Damon Berryhill (Kiwanis 1975-1976) is the only Laguna Beach Little League player to make it to the Major Leagues. A nine-year veteran as a catcher, Berryhill has appeared in the World Series.

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