Peñaloza: Sailors to honor last league championship baseball

I met Bob Nettles about a week ago behind the backstop at Newport Harbor High. At age 83, he has a hard time hearing these days.

Mention 1948 and his ears perk up, though.

That year, he played on Newport Harbor's baseball team that won a Sunset League championship. The school hasn't won a baseball title since.

You can meet Nettles and some of his former teammates from the 1948 team on March 22. The Sailors are honoring that team before their league home game against Huntington Beach at 3:15 p.m.

It's the 65th anniversary and reunion for the team. Some old-timers are going to meet with fans and sign autographs that day.

I asked Nettles which of his former teammates would show up.

"I [cannot] tell you who will show up," Nettles said in an email. "I can tell you who we have notified, in alphabetical order: Bob Burdick, 'Bud' Mears, Pete Nourse, Ronnie Othmer, Al Smith and Fred Thomas. All want to be here March 22 … but, and a big but, health issues at the time will dictate travel arrangements. Remember these are the survivors, the rest of our teammates are deceased. We have invited those we can locate on short notice that are children of the deceased."

If you have time on March 22, come out to Newport Harbor's baseball field and say hi to Nettles and his former teammates.

If Nettles cannot hear you, just say, "1948" and you will have his ear.


The Battle of the Bay baseball rivalry between Newport Harbor and Corona del Mar won't be in the Back Bay on Monday.

It will be under the lights at UC Irvine's Anteater Ballpark.

The schools are playing a doubleheader, with the first game at 4 p.m. and the second at 7 p.m.

"We just called and asked," Newport Harbor Coach Patrick Murphy said of how the Sailors were able to get the field. "The UCI athletic director [Michael Izzi] is a community member and he's looking to help out the Battle of the Bay."

Izzi's daughter, McKenna, attends Newport Harbor.

"I think it will be a good experience," Murphy said. "I'm hoping it's something that we can do on an annual basis."


The Sage Hill School boys' lacrosse team finally has a league to play in, thanks to CdM leaving the Pacific Coast League.

The Lightning replaced CdM, which decided to play as an independent school. The Sea Kings dominated the Pacific Coast League the past five seasons, going undefeated each time.

"It's a big deal," Sage Hill Coach Chris Disimile said of being part of a league with the likes of Beckman, Northwood, Woodbridge, Irvine and University. "Last year was a big turning point for us. We were basically [a] .500 [team]. I think that gave us enough respect that … teams wanted to play us in a league."


The Battle of the Bay in track and field is at 3 p.m. Thursday at CdM.


It seemed every time I covered a high school boys' basketball game this past season, I saw Agustin Heredia in the stands by himself.

I told him he should write for us since he was in a gym almost every other night during the week.

He was too busy scouting games for other schools. Plus, he said that paid more.

He'll be back on the bench next season as the coach of Estancia. Heredia decided to return to his alma mater after taking a one-year leave absence for personal reasons.

As for who will replace him as a scout for CdM, Northwood and Estancia, Heredia said, "That's not my problem."

Twitter: @DCPenaloza

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