Burbank Baseball, Local Veterans Find Common Ground

By On April 18, 2019

Photo by Ross A. Benson

Last November the Burbank High baseball team made a short trip over to Mc Cambridge Park to watch the Veteran’s Day ceremony.
The trip ended up creating a relationship between the Bulldogs and the Burbank chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Prior to the start of their recent home game with Hoover High, the Bulldogs got to pay their respects to the veterans once again, as some of them participated in throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. The veterans then stayed to watch the Bulldogs earn a Pacific League victory over the visiting Tornadoes.

Photo by Ross A. Benson

“A lot of the veterans thought it was nice to see the team spend their time with them,” said Mickey DePalo, who is the Captain of Burbank VFW.
DePalo was one of two veterans who threw out first pitches. He threw to catcher Alberto Ayala and fellow Veteran Larry Christensen was lucky enough to throw to his grandson, Bulldog catch Dominik Severo.
Through the help of parents, the VFW sponsored a fundraiser for the Bulldogs following their participation in the Veteran’s Day event.
Junior Josh Balos talked about the experience.
“Coach (Bob) Hart just told us one day that he wanted us to go to the event to support the veterans because they all fought for our country and they fought for us,” Balos said. “So we went down there and realized how many veterans there are in this community.”
Teammate Willem Clendenin said he has also enjoyed the experiences the Bulldogs have had with the veterans.
“It was a great experience,” Clendenin said of the event at Mc Cambridge Park. ” I think there is mutual respect. They’ve made the ultimate sacrifice and we showed them what we could do and we came out with a win.”