First published in the July 1 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.
South Pasadena’s Pride baseball club recently celebrated a pair of impressive tournament championships in the Just Wanna Play Ball Tourney. The team boasted emphatic wins for both the organization’s 12- and 13-and-under teams.
The 12U squad won in dominant fashion, with a 14-0 victory in the championship game against the Stars and Spikes travel ball club. The 13U team capped off their tourney run dramatically, with a walk-off win against the DYA Yellowjackets, marking their third walk-off victory of the tournament.
The tournaments, which were hosted at Veterans Park in Fontana, featured a number of premier travel ball clubs from the Southern California region.
Manager Devin Robinson Sr. summed up the program recently by stating, “We started the South Pasadena Pride team as a local community-based baseball program to help not only establish a strong developmental feeder system into our high school program, but also to teach our players about work ethic, core fundamental training and sportsmanship. Our team has come a long way since its inception, and I am proud of every player who has been a part of the program.”
The Pride team, which was founded in 2017, has ascended and expanded greatly in recent years. In 2019, the team finished their year ranked fourth in California, and 38th overall in the West Region Double AA USSSA play. Since its inception, the program has been solidifying itself as a solid developmental foundation for South Pasadena’s high school baseball, with a number of its former players playing on the varsity and junior varsity team.
For many middle school-aged students, the organization provides year-round access to tournaments and advanced strength and skill conditioning for aspiring players. Weekly training for players includes fielding practice, batting cages at Legends Training Facility, agility training, and pitching practice. The team plays in both local and national tournaments, which allow players to face off against some of the highest ranked teams in the country.
With most of the program’s players currently representing South Pasadena Little League as Majors and Juniors All-Stars, the next scheduled tournament won’t be until later next month. The accelerated development and camaraderie are evident through the presence of South Pasadena Pride players on the Little League all-star teams.