(Second of two parts)
Thirty years ago, 14 players from Northwood Little League had a summer to remember, leading the major all-stars to the national championship at the Little League World Series in Williamsport.
Seven of the players, who were 11 and 12 years old in 1987, shared their stories when they gathered at Harvard Park in Irvine last week where the team used to play and practice. Others weren’t able to meet for a reunion photo because of vacations, but were able to share their experiences.
Ryan Jones, played catcher: “It seems so long ago … getting all the newspapers and everything out of the boxes, all these memories started flooding back. You realize how lucky we were to have a good enough team to be there and to have a support group, the families, to make it happen.”
Jones, 42, resides in San Clemente. He is the head baseball coach at Capistrano Valley Christian and is also a maintenance worker at San Clemente State Park.
He played professionally in the Toronto, Detroit, Arizona, Cleveland and San Diego baseball organizations and coached in the Atlantic and Frontier Leagues.
Jones played in the minors 13 years and coached for three years and “kind of got sick of the bus rides. When you’re playing, it easier to deal with 8-hour bus rides, but as a coach, it kind of dragged on me and I wanted to get back here and moved back and got into coaching high school at CVSH and it’s…