David Haskell is the only player for the 1988 West Los Angeles Little League Royals who remembers what it was like to play for the Royals of 1986. He does not cherish the memory.
The 12-year-old Haskell was 10 in his first season with the Royals, who had a dismal record of 0-19-1. But he endured, the team improved, and he is sure to treasure memories of the 1988 season.
This year the Royals were 20-0 in the regular season and won the District 25 championship by defeating the North Venice Angels in the title game. The Royals advanced to the Section 3 tournament and won the opener over the Torrance Angels but lost in the championship game to the Westchester Red Sox. The Royals finished the season with a 26-2 record.
Other Royal players are Philip Anson, Tyler Atwood, David Cotterman, Jeffrey Ehrenpreis, Paul Lopez, Tyler Michaud, Jeremy Milken, Scott Teaberry, Darren Ursino, Griffin Whitney and Ryan Wolf. The team was managed by Ron Anson and his assistant, Phil Rittenberg.
The Royals, who played in the West Los Angeles major league division, weren't the only team from their area to do well. Other District 25 champions from West Los Angeles were the girls softball team and the boys minor league squad.
How do you say "Play ball" in Finnish? Scott Beber could tell you.
Beber, a senior catcher on University High School's 1988 Los Angeles City 3-A championship baseball team, may be putting on his gear in Helsinki right now.
His father Jerry says Scott is spending his second summer in Helsinki and playing again for the Coasters, members of a six-team league of players ages 18 to 30 "who play the best baseball in Finland. Each team contributes players to the national team."
Beber said his son played so well last year that the team invited him back.
He said Scott was on a foreign exchange program in Helsinki last summer and told the mother of the family with whom he was staying that he missed baseball. The mother told the manager of the Coasters and Scott was given a tryout and made the team, his father said.
A National Merit Scholar at University High, Scott will attend UC Berkeley this fall.