The Ocean View High baseball diamond, which has seen plenty of impressive performances throughout the years and is home to three CIF championship teams, is now Gibbs Field.
Saturday was a day of celebration for the Ocean View baseball program and a surprise for one of its longtime assistant coaches, hitting coach Bob Gibbs, whose name now blazons across the scoreboard in right field. The school dedicated the field to Gibbs prior to the start of Saturday's game against Troy in the second round of the Newport Elks Tournament.
The pregame ceremony drew numerous alumni players, school administrators and Huntington Beach Mayor Joe Carchio. Ocean View Athletic Director Tim Walsh addressed the crowd before the game.
"I was very honored to be a part of last Saturday's ceremony," Walsh said. "Bob Gibbs has given so much time and energy to Ocean View baseball and the local community and he is very deserving of this honor. I was fortunate enough to be coached by Bob when I played at Ocean View in the early '90s. As a player, I was truly appreciative of the time he spent with me and my teammates. He took an incredible amount of time with each player and worked diligently to break down and improve each swing.
"As a colleague, I have had the opportunity to get to know him better and he has continued to prove to me that he is the person I always thought he was: a man of great character who is a positive role model for us all."
Gibbs has worked under four head coaches while at Ocean View, including current Coach Shane Borowski.
Ken Moats, Bill Gibbons and Steve Barrett are the other three Ocean View coaches he has worked under.
"Bob has been such a positive influence on Ocean View Baseball for the last 25 years, I can't think of anyone more deserving of this honor than him," Borowski said. "He has put countless hours into this field and even more time spent with the hundreds of kids that have come through here and other Huntington Beach-area schools.
"He is such a hard worker who cares so much about the success of every single player he coaches. We are lucky to have him here."
Saturday's ceremony had Gibbs, 70, awestruck.
"A total surprise," he said. "I was told they were unveiling the CIF championship banner. Coach Borowski told me to look up at the scoreboard, then my whole family walked in through the dugout. At that point, I was just trying to figure out what was going on. Even my wife was part of the conspiracy. I knew nothing about it. Everyone hid it pretty well."
Borowski said that Gibbs has touched the Ocean View baseball program in numerous ways through his countless volunteer work, hours spent mowing the playing field and bullpens, working with the players on hitting technique, spending his own money building batting cages and fixing or improved all things associated with the field.
Gibbs was instrumental in helping the school capture three CIF championships and a combined 13 league (Sunset, Golden West) titles and has helped develop several major league players.
In addition to Ocean View, Gibbs spent time as a hitting coach at Fountain Valley High.
"This is quite an honor and I'm very appreciative," Gibbs said, "But in my opinion, they probably should have named the field in the honor of one of the head coaches. They are the ones who do all the fundraising, get the uniforms for the kids.
"It's been a really nice road to travel during my time here. I've met some nice people and have made some great friends. Being around the kids and helping out any way that I can has made this such a good venture."
Saturday was made even sweeter for the man of honor as the Seahawks ended the celebration by riding a combined one-hitter from Blake Walker and Colton Johnson to score a 6-1 victory over Troy in the first game at the newly christened Gibbs Field.