Tuesday, August 19, 2014

CONGRATULATIONS TO AYSO FOR ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY



Congratulations to American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) for reaching its 50th Anniversary!  Much thanks to the organization for providing millions of boys and girls with the opportunity to play and enjoy the game of soccer. Thanks to all of the parents, coaches, referees, team Mom’s and volunteers that have supported AYSO over this period.

AYSO was established in the Los Angeles area in 1964 with nine teams. It was the dream of a group of devoted soccer enthusiasts who started the organization in a garage. Today, AYSO has 50,000 teams and over 500,000 players. It also employs 50 people at the AYSO National Office in Torrance, CA.

Over the years, AYSO has created many valuable programs and concepts. Most notably, AYSO revolutionized youth sports with its "Everyone Plays®" and "Balanced Teams" philosophies. In AYSO, each child who registers is guaranteed to play at least half of every game. To help create evenly matched games, all AYSO players are placed on new or "balanced" teams each year. These decisions are made based on each player's skill level and the overall ability of the team.

In 1971, two San Fernando Valley residents developed AYSO's first girls program in Granada Hills, CA. Today, a corporate sponsor has joined with AYSO as the organization's first official sponsor of its national girl's initiative. Currently, 40 percent of AYSO's players are girls.

In the mid-70s, an AYSO coach chartered new territory as he welcomed the organization's first player with Down Syndrome. As a result of this landmark union, soccer was introduced into the Special Olympics. Today, AYSO offers its membership the Very Important Player (VIP) program for kids with special needs. The VIP program boasts 75 programs and 1,500 players. For more information on the organization, please visit www.ayso.org.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

DON DRYSDALE - 1954 GRADUATE OF VAN NUYS HIGH SCHOOL; 1984 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE



Don Drysdale (July 23, 1936 – July 3, 1993) Hall of Fame pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Number 53 was one of the dominant starting pitchers of the 1960s. Following his playing career, he became a radio and television broadcaster for the Dodgers.

This is the 60th anniversary of his graduation from Van Nuys High School and the 30th anniversary from being inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.

Don compiled a 209-166 record with 2,486 strikeouts with a lifetime 2.95 ERA. He hit 29 home runs in his career. He played both for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers and was part of the winning 1959, 1963 and 1965 World Series teams.*

In the mid-1960s, there was a salary cap set at $100,000 for all but a handful of major league stars. In 1965, Sandy Koufax made $85,000 and Drysdale made $80,000. In his autobiography, Drysdale said, “in 1965, asking for $100,000 wasn’t like asking for the moon. It was like asking for the moon plus the rest of the solar system.” 

After a number of rounds of negotiations with then General Manager Buzzie Bavasi, the sides settled with Sandy Koufax earning $125,000 and Don Drysdale earning $110,000.**

Please click HERE to listen to his hall of fame induction speech as he mentions growing up in the San Fernando Valley.

* Source: Baseball-Reference.com; **The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, 2007-2008, William M. Simons

Friday, August 15, 2014

JOHNNY MACK BROWN AMERICA'S COWBOY MOVIE STAR

BUILDING A GREAT MUSEUM FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

     During the 1940s and '50s, one of the most popular movie stars was the cowboy hero Johnny Mack Brown. Hardly a week passed when there wasn't a film or cliff hanger movie that was released that didn't feature him. Johnny was often seen riding at one of the San Fernando Valley's horse ranches or at the Pickwick Stables in Burbank. The Universal star die in 1974 in Woodland Hills and is buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale.

Johnny Mack Brown - 1904 to 1974

Vintage postcard - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2014.  (click on image to enlarge it.)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

DICK FORAN FAMOUS SINGING COWBOY

BUILDING A GREAT MUSEUM FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

Dick Foran made his breakthrough in motion pictures in singing roles. One of his earliest successes was as a co-star with the great Northridg-based Janet Gaynor in the 1934 film "Change of Heart." Foran worked in film and television from the 1930s through the 1960s.

Dick Foran died in 1979 in Panorama City. He is buried in San Fernando Mission Cemetery, the Catholic cemetery next to the mission in Mission Hills.

Dick Foran  1910 to 1979 - vintage postcard - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2014.  (click on image to enlarge it.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

100 YEARS OF VAN NUYS HIGH SCHOOL - TYRONE AVENUE FLOODS 1952

BUILDING A GREAT MUSEUM FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

School year books often have unexpected treasures hidden in them. Here in this 1952 Van Nuys High School book, photographs taken by students of what was then a nearly annual flood of Tyrone Avenue reveal the perfect excuse for missing call but a significant Valley transportation problem as well. 

1952 Van Nuys High School Yearbook - courtesy of Sue Falk 2014- Tyrone Avenue

Van Nuys Junior High School kids

Tyrone Avenue was no joke, as this submerged car demonstrated. 

Sandbags diverting Tyrone Wash 

On Campus of Van Nuys High School during rain storm

Van Nuys High School girls in the rain.