Who's On First?
By Chris Jay 04/17/2014
Kid’s MLB contest comes to Ventura
Spring means one thing in the sports world — baseball! The major league season has started and Ventura County’s closest big league team, the Dodgers, is in first place while Little League fields across the county are alive again on evenings and weekends. With that said, there’s an interesting event taking place in Ventura later this month that combines both Little League and major league baseball. The Ventura YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day will be an official site for MLB’s Pitch, Hit and Run competition where local kids record their scores in three categories: pitching accuracy, hitting distance and running speed. The overall winner in each age category will move onto the next level with the winners of that region, getting a chance to compete at Dodger Stadium. Those winners will attend and compete at The 2014 All Star Game in Minneapolis as well as shag fly balls at the All Star Game’s popular homerun derby contest. Pitch, Hit and Run is free and open to boys and girls aged 7 to 14, but advance registration is required. Visit www.ciymca.org/ventura for all the details. Healthy Kids Day takes place on Saturday, April 26, at the Ventura Family YMCA from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to the MLB contest, multiple former and current NFL players who grew up in Ventura County will be returning for a free kids clinic and autograph session that will include Super Bowl ring owner Freddy Keiaho, who broke numerous records at Buena High before playing for the Indianapolis Colts. Also at the event will be the debut of the Fusion Fox, the VC Fusion’s first-ever mascot. Speaking of the Fusion …
The county’s only professional sports team, the Ventura County Fusion, is back. The soccer team has announced its schedule for the 2014 season, and home games will take place at Ventura College with the opener set for Friday, May 9. Also be on the lookout for the random and simply mind-blowing exhibition games Fusion plays against some of the best teams in the world, who often visit the county for off-season summer training. If you’ve never attended a regular Fusion home game, soccer fan or not, you’ll be impressed with the professionalism and big-game feel.
Great to be Garcia
After last month’s successful Ice vs. Fire boxing event in Oxnard, not one but two more pro boxing events are still to come in Oxnard before this month is over: “Danger Zone” at El Rodeo this Saturday, April 19, and another, “Boxing at the Beach” at the Port Hueneme Pavilion on Saturday, April 26. It’s a good time to be a fight fan in the 805. It’s also a good time to be Robert Garcia. The famed boxing trainer, himself a former world champion, the first-ever from Oxnard to be exact, has won the trainer sweepstakes as his fighter, the hard hitting Argentine Marcos Maidana will be facing the sport’s pound-for-pound king, Floyd Mayweather, on Saturday, May 3, in Las Vegas on pay-per-view. It’s essentially the Super Bowl of the sport whenever Mayweather fights, and Maidana is currently training away in Oxnard, and the city will be featured yet again on HBO’s popular series, 24/7. While Maidana is a huge underdog, no matter the outcome, Garcia stands to net another massive payday and he has a chance to do what no other trainer has done before, devise a plan to hand the 45-0 Mayweather his first-ever loss. If he does, he’ll be in the history books. Oddly enough, it’s not the first Garcia to get the chance to do so as Robert’s older brother, Danny, trained Victor Ortiz in his controversial loss to Mayweather in 2011.
Octagon debut for Beal
Congratulations to mixed martial artist, Chris Beal, who will be making his UFC debut on Saturday, April 26, at UFC 172 in Baltimore, Md. The former Ventura High wrestling standout and cancer survivor, who was featured last year on the popular TV show The Ultimate Fighter, is undefeated in eight professional contests. When asked about the coveted contract with the UFC, the soft-spoken striker summed up the opportunity simply enough, saying, “It’s a dream come true. I’m ready.” Go get ’em, Chris!
Pro Wrestling is really big!
(In best Hulk Hogan voice:) Let me tell you, brother, who doesn’t love professional wrestling? Don’t answer that, but on the heels of an excellent Wrestlemania this month, minus the fact that 2014 Hall of Fame inductee Ultimate Warrior died 48 hours after the event, professional wrestling fever has gripped Ventura County. There are now, unbelievably, two separate monthly events taking place in the 805, including an indie promotion that does TV tapings in Port Hueneme at the Oceanview Pavilion and a Lucha Libre promotion that holds events behind Sam’s Club in Oxnard. Doesn’t get much cooler than that but if you want more details … much like a Monday Night RAW cliff hanger … you’ll have to wait till next month for another camel clutch-inducing, leg-dropping, frog-splashing edition of Who’s On First?!