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Northridge Little League National Champions : Voices

August 29, 1994

"I think one of the reasons they chose me to be manager was because I had a station wagon. Little League is both good and bad. You're supposed to be teaching the kids good sportsmanship; meanwhile the parents in the stands are bad sports."

--Larry Markes, coach of the 1967-69 West Valley Little League team, The Stars

Memories of Little League and Sandlot Days

"The game has always been kind of magic to me. I really enjoyed it a lot and I suppose I even do now. . . . In one game I hit a couple of home runs, and I don't even remember rounding the bases."

--David Alford, pastor of the Northridge Assembly of God Church

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"When I was young, there was no such thing as Little League . . . Now that it's more organized, they say there's more sportsmanship. But you had to have sportsmanship then. Where is home plate going to be? You've got to work all those things out--there's no rules."

--Santa Clarita City Councilman H. Clyde Smyth

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"I was the first black to make the Star Spencer Bobcats in Oklahoma City. That did a lot for my confidence. It gave me the sense that I could do anything I wanted."

--J.D. Dorsey, a Valencia computer technician, who played ball at the University of Oklahoma on athletic scholarship

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"I guarantee you, there are tears on both sides. We cried."

--Dave Nagel, a technology teacher at San Fernando Middle School, on winning the Little League World Series for Granada Hills in 1963

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"It's the first time in your life that you're part of a group of guys who all have the same common goal."

--Bob Lofrano, Pierce College baseball coach

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"It was exhilarating. It was fun to be part of a team, to compete and run fast. . . . I didn't play with men, that's for sure."

--Feminist attorney Gloria Allred on playing sandlot games with her girlfriends

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"We didn't have Little League during my time. . . . If there were not enough of us, we played over-the-line in the playground. It was one of the things that kept us out of trouble. We'd start at 7 a.m. and played until the sun went down."

--Rudy Acuna, CSUN Chicano studies professor

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"We were tied after the sixth inning, so I came in for the extra innings and struck out eight out of nine. Then, in the ninth, I hit a leadoff double, was bunted to third and scored on a squeeze play. It was one of those days where I could do no wrong."

--Victor Gill, spokesman for Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority

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"We had fun back then. Everybody would abide by the rules--if you struck out, you struck out and there was no argument from anyone."

--Los Angeles Police Sgt. Miguel Arroyo on playing sandlot ball in Lincoln Heights

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"Little League was quite an experience. It gave you something to look forward to. I was an excellent ballplayer. But I reached the point when I had to make a choice between pursuing baseball or music. It was easy. In the minor leagues you made $50 a month; as a musician I made $75 a week."

--Ernani Bernardi, former Los Angeles City Councilman and professional musician

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"One of the biggest things I learned was how to play with other kids and get along with them. Sportsmanship was also stressed, of course, but the thing I remember most was that I always seemed to be a year ahead of the team that went the furthest in postseason play."

--Gary Donatella, Sylmar High baseball coach

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