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Friday, February 19, 2010

WESTERN BOYS BASEBALL ASSOCIATION INFORMATION SOUGHT

We have a friend of The Museum who is seeking information about a boys' baseball team (in the 1950s) who were wearing t shirts with the "Western Boys Baseball Association on an outside circle and the inside reads, East Valley Van Nuys."
No information is known about this League somewhere around 1953 - 55.
Thanks for your help here.
Jerry 1 (818) 347-9665

15 comments:

Larry said...

I played in the Western Boys Baseball Association in 1964-65. The field was located on Hazeletine Ave, just east of Valerio behind the Schlitz Brewery and nextdoor to Foremost Dairy. There were two fields..one for the WBBA and the other belonged to South Van Nuys Little League.

Luke said...

They were apparently active as late as 1978: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=336&dat=19780821&id=v6MqAAAAIBAJ&sjid=J1sEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4872,5187382

Jeff DuChateau said...

I played on the 1978 Van Nuys All-Stars who went to the WBBA Championship game in Idaho. Though we fell apart in the final the experience getting there was amazing. I remember our home field next to the Schlitz brewery and across from a vacant building with broken windows. I always wondered what happened to the league.

Jeff said...

I pitched and hit a grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the sixth which sent us to provo utah for the championship. our field was located at nordoff and balboa. i played for the northridge all-stars in 63 & 64. the picture of me pitching was in the valley times. i wish i could show it to my grandchildren. great memories! jeff dunn jeffscementworks@gmail.com

Tom Hansen said...

Yep. That's me . . . Tom Hansen . . . c. 1963/4

http://www.tomandrodna.com/photos/Tom_LittleLeagueBaseball_VanNuys.jpg

Debra Christiansen said...

My dad, Max McBeth was on the board of directors for Western Boys Baseball Association from the early 60's until his death at age 54 in 1979. When I was about 8 we hosted 4 or 5 boys from Southern California as they played in the Championship Series in Tooele, Utah. He spent a lot of his time and energy in behalf of that organization, doing his best to ensure young boys had the opportunity to participate in well organized, challenging and competitive games.

kathytaylormom said...

I believe that the very first WBBA Championship went to the Woodland Hills Sunset League All-Star team. Beating teams from Vancouver, BC, and a team from Utah for the Championship. The year--1956. The Championships were played in Santa Monica, CA. The Sunset league played their games at a field right off Ventura Blvd.

Steve Rouse said...

I played for the 1970 Woodland Hills Twilight League and we went to the WBBA Championship in Salt Lake City. We lost the final game to Mt Olympis (sp?)... Our field was off of Victory Blvd and White Oak.

JOrr said...

My brother and I played in the Northridge WBBA league located at the corner of Balboa and Nordhoff from about 1961 to 1967. They moved the field to some land on what is now Cal State Northridge in 1968 and I played there one year before going to Pony League. I played on the Northridge all star teams in 1967 and 1968. The 1966 Northridge team won the entire WBBA championship, playing all games over in Santa Monica. Opening day was always a big deal for the entire town. All the players would parade through town riding in convertibles and a baseball or show biz celebrity give a speech when we all returned to the fields. Great memories and I'm sad whenever I drive by the Balboa and Nordhoff intersection and see no sign of the baseball fields and adjacent corn fields we grew up with.

SportsDoc said...

It is so great to finally find some information regarding the WBBA Boys Baseball. It seemed to have been long forgotten, except for those that participated. It was a very special time. I played on the 1962 Southern League All Stars out of San Pedro that won the WBBA championship that year. We played a team from Northridge in the San Fernando Valley, in the finals, televised on channel 9 TV in Los Angeles. Unfortunately there is no known film history of that final game, unless someone might have film stashed away somewhere, which would be priceless to see. Amazing experience for a bunch of 11 and 12 year olds. Northridge had a pitcher named Terry Hankins (sp) and a catcher named Rick Dempsey (future LA Dodger) but that is as much as I can remember.
I would love to hear from others that may have been involved in that years World Series I played many years of baseball after that but the memory of "that championship year" will always stand alone as one of the most special times of my life. Tim

Ballgame said...

1958-1961 were special years for a boy growing up in Northridge and and playing passionate baseball. We played WBBA on the field across the street from Northridge Hospital behind the Lutheren church. Opening day was always awesome. I remember Walter Brennan(The Real McCoys) was the celebrity one year. We played all star games against other teams from local communities. I still have the programs from some of those games. They listed the rosters of each team. Priceless.

Spencer Shiffman said...

I played on the 1973 WBBA E. Van Nuys All Star team that finished 4th in the 11 western states played in Brigham City, Utah. Team members - Rick & Tim Coop, Shawn & Jeff Skelton, Jim Kordakis, Mitch Rider, Erik Cooperman, Craig Schiller and a few more that came from Hazeltine Elementary et al. We were quite talented. We beat Woodland Hills Sunset, Sunrise and Northridge Little League twice to gain the berth to Brigham City. Wondering if you have more info on our team?

Sincerely, Spencer Shiffman

Distillerman said...

@Ballgame: I played at the same field from 1957-1961. Not only Walter Brennan joined in on Opening Day, but you may recall that "Sky King" tossed out the first pitch one year as did Don Drysdale. I do recall All Star Games at the field over near Hazeltine as well as the field on Nordhoff, just east of Balboa. Great times, and a connection to our past. I'd enjoy seeing those programs if they are available. Snow cones, Sugar Daddy's and baseball cards.

Ballgame said...

@Distillerman: I still have a couple All Star programs and team photos of a couple Northridge All Star teams. We might know each other. Don't know if we are geographically close. I'm in the Chatsworth/Simi area. e-mail is teddyneale@hotmail.com. Regards, Ballgame

Bob Schwartz said...

I played for the East Van Nuys All-Star team in 1963, 1964 & 1965, as a 10 year old 11 year and 12 year old. In 1963 we stayed with local families in Bountiful Utah and came in 3rd place but 1964 we won the World Series and because we had a councilmen who was a fan, we got to go to a Dodger game, stay in the dugout and be introduced to the fans before the game. I've still got a scrap book filled with 8x10 black and white glossies of us with a 37 year old Vin Scully, Walter Alston, Frank Howard, Big D, Tommy Davis, Maury Wills and more. Koufax would not come out of the dressing room because he was pitching that night. I've still got the ball with all of their signatures.

When the Santa Ana winds blow, I could swear I can still smell that Schlitz Brewery next to our home field down at the end of Hazeltine Ave., reminds of a wonderful childhood with blessings to count.