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Agoura Pony Baseball

APB History

Founding

Agoura Pony Basesball League was founded in 1992...




In the News



Agoura Players to Get a Field of Their Own:
Ground will be broken today for four new baseball diamonds at Lupin Hill Elementary, made possible by youths' financial pitches.

June 29, 1992 - Aaron Curtiss - Times Staff Writer

Sluggers of the Agoura Pony League were getting pretty tired of piling up an impressive record on the road but never winning at home.

So expect some cheering for league officials and players who, benefiting from a combination of wily pitches and heavy hitters, are expected to break ground today on their field of dreams~--a $250,000 complex of four baseball diamonds and the first youth baseball park to serve residents of Agoura, Calabasas and Oak Park.

"For years, we've been trying to find a home," Agoura Pony League Vice President Bill Christensen said.

"Now we have one."

Complete with concession stand, restrooms and scoreboards, the new park at Lupin Hill Elementary School is expected to be ready for next season. It will be the first permanent home field for the 1.000+ player league; which now uses local schools and parks.

"This is a real grand slam" league President Tom Pichotta said.

And about as rare, considering that most communities could never afford to raise $250,000 for a ballpark.

Although Agoura league officials said they began saving money six years ago, most of the funds were raised in the past year. National youth-baseball officials said it is unusual for local leagues to raise that much money in so little time.

"I would say this sort of thing is very rare," said Roy Gillespie, president of Pony Baseball Inc. in Washington, Pa. "Building a new park is a major undertaking that, if successful, is a real achievement in itself."

Young players peddled about $17,000 worth of chocolate bars and hit up relatives and friends for

$5,000 more through fund-raising letters. Six-year-old Steven Dean. "Who has played T -ball for two years, alone raised $300 by writing grandparents and friends across the country.

"I wrote a lot,” Steven said. “I wanted everyone to play, and I wanted it so people can play when all the other parks are used up."

An additional $35,000 was raised by increasing league registration fees. One family, who asked not to be identified, donated $50,000 toward the park. Several others gave $10,000 and $20,000. Some of the labor to build the field will be donated by parents and local businesses.

Such donations set the league apart. All of its players come from well-to-do bedroom communities nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains. Officials conceded that the fund-raising probably would not have been as successful in less affluent areas.

Median family income in Agoura Hills~ for example, is about $76,000 a year, contrasted with $39,000 for Los Angeles County according to the 1990 census.

Players in the Agoura league are especially lucky because it is becoming increasingly difficult nationwide for youth-baseball leagues to find permanent playing fields. said Carl Magee, Southern California regional director for Little league Baseball. "It's becoming tighter and tighter," he said.

Magee said much of the available land that could be used for baseball diamonds is being claimed by landowners seeking to develop their properties. Christensen said his league has been without a permanent home because the communities in the area have grown much faster than the number of public parks.

Like many other leagues, the Agoura teams could not afford to buy land of their own so they leased property from the Las Virgenes Unified School District. Assistant Supt. Don Zimring said the league will pay $7,500 in annual rent for their new ballpark.

If the district needs the land for a school later on, it can take it back, Zimring said.

"There is a real dearth of parkland in this area," Zimring said. "Basically, it was a good match."

Source of the Money

Agoura Pony League's baseball complex will be financed by: Savings: $60,000 Increased fees: $35,000 Candy sales: $17,000 Letter campaign: $5,000 Donations: $100,000 Donated labor: $70,000



West Valley Focus

May 4, 1993 - Kurt Pitzer - Los Angeles Times

Young baseballers in the Agoura area have gotten the payoff pitch--four newly completed fields paid for with more than $300,000 from candy sales, donations and other sources.

The Agoura Pony Baseball league fields, built on 11 acres next to the Lupin Hill Elementary School in Calabasas, provide much-needed playing space for the 7- to 14-year-old sluggers, who had been bouncing from field to field with nowhere to call home.

Three of the four were used for the first full days of play this weekend, about halfway through the league's 10-week season.

Before the fields were built, the pony leaguers had to compete for limited space with softball, adult baseball and soccer, said Bruce Beck, a league board member. 'We're trying to develop a place for kids to congregate," Beck said. "Here's a facility where kids can not only play, but they can watch their friends play without having to get in the car and drive to some other field."

During the regular season, games will be held in the early evenings on weekdays and all day on weekends, Beck said. The league hopes to rent the space to tournament organizers and others the rest of the year, he said.

The fields eventually will include a snack bar and electronic scoreboards. They were built after the league's 950 players and others brought in $17,000 from chocolate bar sales and more than $170,000 in donations and free labor. The league's coffers were tapped for about $100,000 more.

Although the new fields may allow the league to accept more players and offer more games, the number of baseball facilities in the Agoura and Calabasas area is still too few for the hugely popular sport, Beck said. "The facility makes a dent, but it still doesn't cure all the problems of finding a field," Beck said. "So we're still looking for more fields."



Field Status

Open Open

Lupin Hill Elementary School (11:41 AM | 03/22/17)

Open Open

Forest Cove Park (Shetland) (11:41 AM | 03/22/17)

Open Open

Sumac Elementary School (Shetland) (11:41 AM | 03/22/17)

Open Open

Willow Elementary School (Pinto) (11:41 AM | 03/22/17)

Open Open

Backstop (11:41 AM | 03/22/17)

Open Open

Indian Springs Park (Mustang) (11:41 AM | 03/22/17)

Open Open

Old Agoura Park (Bronco) (11:41 AM | 03/22/17)