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Ocean View High baseball players not done with the game they love

Ocean View High School baseball teammates Jimmy Legg, left, and Max Takacs have both committed to Division 3 schools.
Ocean View High baseball teammates Jimmy Legg, left, and Max Takacs have both committed to Division 3 schools and will now have a chance to continue playing in college.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Ocean View High School baseball players Jimmy Legg and Max Takacs had barely left the cradle when they were introduced to baseball.

Both said that baseball became a part of their lives by the age of 3, each picking up the game because of a family affection for it.

And now both have committed to play baseball for Division 3 schools, ensuring that their involvement with the sport will continue.

Legg, a switch-hitting middle infielder, has committed to Pomona-Pitzer, while Takacs, a right-handed pitcher and first baseman, is bound for Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey.

An enthusiastic grandma, Janet Clark, who followed both the Angels and the Dodgers and particularly loved longtime broadcaster Vin Scully, according to her grandson, transferred that love of the game to Legg.

Ocean View High School baseball player Jimmy Legg.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

He had two older brothers, Jake and Joey, who both played the game. When he was 4, his mom, Jennifer, started a Wee-ball division at Ocean View Little League, which allowed kids younger than 5 to begin playing baseball before they matriculated to T-ball.

While the coronavirus pandemic shortened the season for high school baseball players in the spring, Legg, who stands at 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, has been able to keep his skills sharp with a travel ball organization called the So Cal Birds.

He made sure to give a shout-out to both his high school and the So Cal Birds when he announced his commitment on Twitter in late October.

Legg, who said he has a 4.5 weighted grade-point average, indicated that he is considering being a math major at Pomona-Pitzer, and he is planning for a future in baseball beyond his college days.

“I would like to stay in the game of baseball as long as possible, whether that be playing or in a front office position or a coach or something,” Legg said. “Another thing about Pomona is they have, I believe, 10 alumni that are in MLB front office positions.”

Seniors from Corona del Mar, Edison, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Marina, Mater Dei, Newport Harbor, Pacifica Christian O.C. and Santa Margarita signed or committed to continue playing their sport with a college on fall signing day.

Academics also played a big role in Takacs’ decision in choosing a college program. Takacs, who said he carries a 4.67 weighted grade-point average, committed to Stevens Institute of Technology on Nov. 8.

“I love numbers,” Takacs said. “I’ve always been a fan of just statistical stuff, so when I look at my … opportunities for majors, that [school] definitely aligns more with what I’m interested in in my daily life than anything else.”

Speaking of numbers, the 6-foot-4, 190-pound right-hander said that his fastball was clocked at 88 mph in recent weeks.

Ocean View High School baseball player Max Takacs.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Takacs, who grew up playing ball in Fountain Valley Little League, was asked what his Little League self would think about the prospect of being able to play baseball in college.

“One of my biggest goals in Little League was to even make the high school team, so I think even telling him that he would be playing varsity baseball for a couple years, that would be really exciting to him,” Takacs said. “The fact that I would be playing in college, too, that would be like the coolest thing ever for Little League me.”

Both Legg and Takacs said that they grew up as Angels fans. If the popular choice for Little Leaguers was to pick Derek Jeter as their favorite player in the early 2000s, Takacs made it sound as if today’s choice is also a no-brainer.

“I think as a kid, Vladimir Guerrero was definitely my favorite player,” Takacs said. “Now, it’s probably [Mike] Trout. It has to be, right?”

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