Maintaining a long tradition, the Pacific Palisades Baseball Association will host its annual pancake breakfast this Saturday, March 9, from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Palisades Recreation Center, 851 Alma Real Dr. The public is invited.
Breakfast tickets ($5) include pancakes, sausage, fresh fruit, coffee and juice and can be purchased from players or at the park. The first set of games will begin at 9 a.m., and the final set will conclude at 6 p.m.
All money raised goes towards the Field of Dreams fund to help maintain the four diamonds. Prizes are awarded to the players who sell the most tickets.
“It’s Americana at its best,” said longtime league commissioner Bob Benton. “It’s motherhood and apple pie, kids playing baseball, spring time, all of that. It’s really just fantastic. It doesn’t get any better than kids having fun out there.”
Benton has been not only a league commissioner for decades, but also an ambassador of the sport for youth in the Palisades, and his contributions have not been lost on those in the community.
“As the PPBA commissioner, Bob’s efforts have a positive affect on over 300 of our youngsters each year, and he has been doing this for over 20 years,” said Palisadian Mike Skinner, who spearheaded construction of the Field of Dreams with Benton.
“In the old days, the PPBA commissioner’s job would rotate between board members,” Skinner continued. “It is an enormous amount of responsibility, and no one wanted to take it on for more than one year or two. Bob has changed that and his role in that position is critical to the ongoing strength and success of the league. He does it with great enthusiasm and dedication.”
Each opening day breakfast features a ceremonial first pitch, which in years past has been thrown by a celebrity or notable person, including Tom Hanks, Goldie Hawn, Maria Shriver, Ray Liotta, Chris O’Donnell and Richard Riordan. Last year, Palisades resident Adam sandler did the honors.
This year’s guest has not yet been determined.
The PPBA features four age groups: Pinto (7-8 year old), Mustang (9-10), Bronco (11-12) and Pony (13-14). The schedule runs into June, when playoffs begin. Last season, the Pinto Tigers, Mustang Orioles and Bronco Tigers were all crowned champions with their World Series victories.
For more information, visit www.ppba.net.