An intriguing collection of automobiles surrounds the original field at Loma Portal Little League during Opening Day ceremonies in 1958. The league, now known as Peninsula Little League, will observe its 60th anniversary this year when play opens Feb. 24.
Sixty years ago, a dream became reality when a group of community members constructed Loma Portal Little League.
Now, some of the boys who were in uniform for the league's first Opening Day are planning a reunion when the league, now known as Peninsula Little League, stages its 60th Opening Day ceremonies Feb. 24.
Ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. on the field, located in what is now Bill Cleator Park at 2314 Famosa Blvd.
The complex of youth baseball fields was founded in 1958 by the late A. E. (Red) Berndes and ranks as one of San Diego's oldest and longest-operating Little Leagues.
Berndes' son Jon is organizing the reunion while younger brother Scott will serve as emcee. So far, about 30 members of those first teams are expected to attend and renew friendships with former teammates, opponents and perhaps coaches.
Many former players went on to play at Point Loma High while two members of the 1963 Loma Portal Little League All-Star team, Jim Fuller and John Balaz, even went on to reach the majors in professional baseball.
All "alumni" of Loma Portal Little League are invited to attend the reunion and renew friendships with former teammates and coaches.
Thousands of area youngsters have begun their baseball experience at the Loma Portal Little League fields, pounding leather gloves, launching pitched balls, fielding fly balls and grounders, all while inhaling the memorable scent of fresh-cut grass.
Some of those original "Boys of Summer" are now entering their 70s, but the great memories of their baseball days make them seem like they took place yesterday.