CA District 33 Little League: District Feature Stories

District Honors Volunteer for 50 Plus Years of Service

Bob Bouchard receiving the
 Plate Brush Award at CLLL 

On a sunny Saturday morning, Mr. Bob Bouchard headed out to Chollas Lake Little League, not to umpire but to be recognized as someone who has volunteer his time to the kids of little league baseball for over 50 years. Instead of being behind the plate, making calls and trying to stay out of the lime light, Bob was the center of attention during the opening ceremonies at Chollas Lake Little League on March 3rd 2012.

Brent Forrest, on behalf of District 33 presented Mr. Bob Bouchard the coveted "Plate Brush" award. Bob was honored by Marti Emerald and the San Diego City Council for his 50+ years as a volunteer umpire at Redwood Village and Chollas Lake Little Leagues. March 3rd, 2012 was officially proclaimed by the City of San Diego as "Bob Bouchard Day".

There were many district umpires and representatives there to celebrate Bob's day, and to share in honoring Bob as a long time volunteer, mentor, and friend. There are several umpires that started at Chollas Lake, who have umpired at the World Series, who were influenced early in their careers by Bob's teaching and style.

Ned Kern
President of Chollas Lake Little League

Dorothy, You Will Always Be Remembered

It is with great sadness to report that District 33 has lost a dear friend and staff member Dorothy DuPont. Dorothy lost her battle with kidney cancer and passed away on February 14th. Dorothy was born in Sheridan, Wyo., July 22, 1943, to Herbert Hagen and Sarah Howes Hagen. She graduated from Sheridan High School in 1961 and received a BS in Mathematics from the University of Wyoming in 1965. Dorothy belonged to Gamma Phi Beta and the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was an avid bridge player and a longtime supporter of PTA and Little League.

Dorothy was a valuable Little League volunteer in District 33 since 1978. She served in many capacities, starting with Mission Village Little League (the previous name of Serra Mesa).  Dorothy was instrumental as the President of Mission Village of obtaining the use of the property and moving the league to the present location. Dorothy was rewarded the highest honor that this District has to offer, the Jim Jones Volunteer of the Year Award.

Dorothy was the only person that remained on the District Staff when I became DA. While her main duty on staff was as our scheduler, she also was a valuable adviser who would often remind me what Little League was all about. Dorothy was an amazing scheduler. I can't tell you how often she would rewrite a schedule due to last minute changes. Leagues would add a team or subtract a team or change their field availability or add some new thing after the schedule was written. Every time without complaint Dorothy would rewrite the schedule. When I wrote the tournament schedules using a computer program, I always sent them to Dorothy for reviewing. Dorothy would catch my mistakes and let me know where I had made an error or else did something that would not work.  She was amazing at being able to make a schedule work no matter how many variables or how many teams were involved. 

She is survived by her husband of 44 years, Henry; two sons, Scott and Daniel; five grandchildren, Carlos, Hector, Robert, Madeline and Catherine; her brother, Frank; and various nieces, nephews and cousins.
Here is a link to her obituary in the UT: Dorothy DuPont's Obituary  

Clay Berry
District Administrator
California District 33

District 33 is Permanently Represented at Western Region


What is a Bollard?

District 33 is now represented at Western Region headquarters in San Bernardino forever. The District purchased a Bollard for the North parking lot. You're asking yourself, what the heck is a Bollard? Well here is the story behind the WR Bollards.

Jim Gerstenslager, Western Region Director, was given a directive by Williamsport to create a barrier between Little League Drive and the northern parking lot of the Western Region complex. It had been suggested that a series of posts and a sturdy chain would stop vandals that were using the area for their own personal enjoyment with no regard to the Little League’s property. An idea was concocted that a series of concrete baseballs and softballs would certainly due the job but the cost did seem out of the question. However, after some research and some negotiation Western Region found a company that was local to the complex and would delight in creating the diverters for them. 

District 33 Bollard Plaque

These diverters are called Bollards; you will see them at schools, public parks and roads throughout the country. The Western Region bollards are unique because not only will they do the job as requested by Williamsport but it is an opportunity for leagues, districts and individuals throughout the region to have their own personal testimonial to Little League, but also a small portion of the donation will go to the maintenance and upkeep of the Western Region complex. The 1200 pound white baseballs are made of white concrete, and placed on a foundation formed in the shape of a home plate. They are secured by bolts and are sprayed with a chemical so that graffiti can be easily removed. A 4”x 6”cutout strategically placed on the ball is inserted with our District name.

Congratulations to Jacob, Jack and Darren

District 33 would like to share the accomplishments of three boys from our little league family who on June 28th went out and won the 40th Annual OMBAC Junior Over the Line World Tournament 9-11 age division. The 3 boys in the picture represent Mission Trails, Rolando and San Carlos Little Leagues.

The boys from left to right are: Jacob Balesteri (MTLL), Jack Stronach (Rolando) and Darren Henry (SCLL). Way to go guys!!

2009 Jr OTL Champs
Junior Over the Line Tournament Champions

A Video Message From Little League International

Little League International has an important message for all parents of little leaguers. Dugout, our Little League mascot, has posted a Little League video on YouTube. Just click on the image to see the 15-second video, which shows parents what it’s like to be shouted at during a game.
To view more videos from Dugout, please click on the following link....


Little League International
P.O. Box 3485
539 US Route 15 Hwy
Williamsport, PA 17701-0485
Phone: 570-326-1921
Fax: 570-326-1074

2009 Local League Opening Day Ceremonies

  After a long winter that included many hours devoted to field maintenance, coaching clinics, finding out what are the new hot items to sell in the concession stand and working on game schedules for all your teams without any conflicts. The time has come for the players to take to the fields. Good luck to everyone and hope you have a great season.

Please send us a few photos of your Opening Day ceremonies to and we'll post them for everyone to enjoy.


Volunteer Builders Set Things Right

Kearny Mesa Little League recently went through some rough times getting their Snack Shack rebuilt. With the help of Michael Turko for KUSI NEWS, they were able to get their Snack Shack finished in time for the upcoming season. It is great when the community comes behind us and supports our efforts. I want to thank Mario Torres, President of KMLL, for staying on course and getting this done when everything looked impossible just a few short months ago. Please take a look at the video that aired on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009 on the KUSI Turko Files.

Clay Berry
District Administrator
Ca District 33

2009 Padre Clinic Re-Cap
    by Clay Berry

Big Al Clinic 2 The Padres hosted a coaching clinic taught by Al Price from Big Al Baseball on January 25th, 26th and 27th. Sunday (1/25) was the largest one-day clinic that Big Al had taught and the three day combined attendance of 1055 was also a record. The Padres were great host with every clinic held on the Petco Park field, it was a real treat for all those who attended.

There were 11 Little League Districts that sent coaches as well as all the Pony Youth Organizations in San Diego County. District 33 by far had the best turn out with over 35% of those present from our District. In just counting those that attended from Little League, District 33 had over 40% of the attendees.

Big Al Clinic 1This was the sixth year that Big Al has come to San Diego and every year attendance has grown. This is the third year that the Padres have hosted Big Al and the first that District 33 did not host Big Al. However the new partnership between District 33, the Padres and all youth ball in San Diego worked so well we look forward to the coming years and continuing this relationship.

Special thanks are owed to the following people. Ned Kern who organized the volunteers and was instrumental in every aspect of the clinic and was a major contributor to the success of the clinic. Michele Anderson VP San Diego Padres that coordinated the clinic from the Padres end. Michele worked extremely hard to make this a success and far exceeded our expectations in every way as our host. Finally to Big Al for sharing his talents with all of those that attended and made every session a special time for each of the attendees. Be sure to take a look at our
Big Al Clinic Photo Album and The Padre's 2009 Coaches Clinic Photo Gallery .

AGLL "Little Padre Fields" Dedication

The dedication ceremony for the newest "Little Padre Fields" was held at Allied Gardens Little League on Saturday, December 6th, 2008. It was a good time for everyone. The folks at AG would like to share some of the photos of the ceremony with everyone in District 33. You can view the press release from the Padres, and see a few more photos from the event on the Padres website.

          Our Trip to the 2008 Little League World Series
          by Bonnie Akashian


LL WS Logo
Bonnie, Levon and Alex Akashian along with Clay and his wife Elisa attended this year's Little League World Series in Williamsport PA this summer. Bonnie has been so kind to share some of her insights and photos of her recent trip with all of us.

Our trip to Williamsport was quite an experience. One of the reasons we went to Williamsport this year was to watch our friend Mark Bernstein from our neighboring District 31 umpire. We were lucky weather wise, experiencing for the most part, wonderful weather. The first day of the tournament was the one day with rain. Although only one game was rained out, unfortunately, it was Mark’s 8:00 p.m., prime-time plate. It’s amazing to watch the grounds crew in action. If we had that much rain, we wouldn’t have played for a week! It was a very crowded tournament this year with record breaking crowds. We watched games in both stadiums but the original stadium, Lamade Stadium, is by far nicer and more comfortable than Volunteer Stadium, which opened in 2001. Alex spent a lot of time in the pin trading area but admitted that he enjoyed trading pins more in San Bernardino. That’s probably because he’s known in San Bernardino. They do an amazing job at this tournament, using hundreds of volunteers including ushers. Of course, they need the ushers because parts of each stadium are not open to the general public and someone has to police this. Dugout appears at every game and does a wonderful job. We learned that Dugout is actually two different women and there are two uniforms, one with teeth and one without. Both of them do a great job with the players, umpires and fans and everyone has a great time with Dugout. Many of the games we saw were wonderful games. Hawaii played an amazing semi-final game and won in the 6th inning. Unfortunately, Mark would have gotten the championship plate if Hawaii had lost. Thankfully, Hawaii finished it off and won it all. One of the things that is interesting at the World Series is not only the difference between the American teams and the International teams, but the difference between the International teams themselves. Japan and Mexico were on a different playing level than Italy or Canada. There are many different levels of little league represented there. The day of the championship game was humid! That was the worst day we had. I’m glad the weather waited until we were heading home to change. It was a wonderful experience and I would recommend the trip to any person involved in Little League. If any of you decide to go, Levon, Clay and I would be happy to share what we learned with you.

Adam Bender's Amazing Story
Adam Bender
Adam Bender, 8, is one of several kids who plays catcher in Southeastern’s rookie league at Veterans Park in the state of Kentucky. What makes Adam stand out is that he plays one of the toughest positions on the field with only one leg. Because of cancer, he had his left leg amputated when he was one. Adam doesn’t use a prosthesis, and only uses crutches when he reaches base for the Astros.
      Since the story of 8-year old cancer survivor Adam Bender was published in the Lexington Herald-Leader, and on, on June 1, 2008, the one-legged catcher has been invited to throw out first pitches at a Chicago White Sox game, a Cincinnati Reds game, a Houston Astros game, and has been invited to a Garth Brooks benefit in Las Vegas. He is also being profiled for a story that will air on ESPN. On Sunday June 6, 2008, Adam threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Adam Dunn of the Reds. Take a look at the inspirational Video and Interview with Adam Bender.

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