July 19, 1997 |
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to help run American Legion baseball, although that's exactly what Mel Swerdling was before he retired early to become the District 20 commissioner. No, you just need a tireless work ethic, bottomless patience and an iron will. "You need to be an engineer and a lawyer to do this job," said Swerdling, in his 23rd year overseeing the district. Like virtually everyone associated with the Legion program, Swerdling is a volunteer.
July 15, 1998 |
For years, coaches under Mel Swerdling's rule have described the District 20 chairman as ineffective and confused. At the end of his 24-year tenure, he didn't even know he had been relieved of his duties. Swerdling, who in recent seasons was criticized for contributing to confusion over rules implementation and conflict of interest, was relieved of his duties Tuesday by William Davis, the American Legion District 20 commander.
July 31, 1986 |
Tony Diaz remembers with a laugh how he happened to be recruited by Brigham Young University in 1976. Then a catcher on Santa Monica's American Legion baseball team, Diaz was being interviewed by a Utah newspaperman after his selection as most inspirational player in the regional championships in Salt Lake City. "He asked me what I wanted to do next and I said I wanted to go to BYU," recalled Diaz.
July 24, 1997
"I'm not telling. Just put down that I'm 92 and can still throw pretty good batting practice." Mel Swerdling, American Legion Baseball District 20 commissioner and North Hollywood East coach, regarding his age, which had been reported as 62 in 1985, 55 in 1990, 66 in 1991 and 58 last year.
May 10, 1991 |
Mel Swerdling, the longtime baseball commissioner of American Legion District 20, is expected to be released from a Las Vegas hospital today after suffering a heart attack over the weekend. At the invitation of a friend in Las Vegas, Swerdling, 66, was pitching batting practice Saturday to a youth team when he was stricken. According to Swerdling's daughter, Paula Andric, Swerdling would have died had a bystander not administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
July 13, 1985
The big bats of the East will square off against the strong arms of the West at 1 p.m. on Sunday in the American Legion District 20 All-Star game at Cal State Northridge. "The contrast in the two teams' strengths is pretty unusual," District 20 Commissioner Mel Swerdling said. "It's going to be interesting to see how they handle each other." North Hollywood's Merritt Robinson (.