The Hap Minor Baseball and Ponytail Softball awards were presented Friday at Schafer ball field, located at Ralph Foy Park.
More than 750 youth in the community participated in the program, which is run by Burbank Parks and Recreation.
This year marked the 50th anniversary of the presentation of the Jackie Arrington Memorial Award. Arrington’s life was cut short by a terminal illness and an award has been given since 1971 to keep alive Jackie’s memory and spirit for the game of baseball.
Arrington’s mother BeeBee and other family members, as well as five past winners of the award, were present as Anthony Sanchez of the Jaguars joined the elite list of past recipients.
Also honored was Ethan Rodriguez of the Burbank Dodgers. He became the seventh recipient of the Christopher Wilke Memorial Award. Wilke’s life was cut short by a terminal illness and an award was named in his memory to a recipient who best displayed good sportsmanship, team leadership, and a true love for the game.
Eva Contreras of the SFX Angels became the second winner of the Barbara Rownd Memorial award. Rownd, who fought for the opportunity for girls to play sports, began the Ponytail softball program in 1957, which was the first opportunity for girls to play sports in Burbank. It became the model of what would become girls’ fastpitch softball, which grew around the country.
“I’m very honored to win this award. This trophy and the title means a lot to me,” Contreras said. “It is important that she (Rownd) fought for that.”
The baseball teams that were honored include the T-ball Sandoval Dodgers, the coach-pitch Burbank Sandlot, the 3rd/4th grade Robins, the 5th/6th-grade Jaguars, and the 7th/8th grade Burbank Dodgers.
The softball teams that were honored were the T-ball Firestormz Benito, the coach-pitch Burbank HERicanes, the 3rd/4th grade Rainbow Rebels, and the 5th/6th grade Dream Catchers