Tag Archives: Burbank High Baseball

Burbank Baseball, Local Veterans Find Common Ground

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.”


Back in a Hartbeat

The high school baseball season is still young and yet the Burbank High has already had its biggest victory of the season and it is worth far more than any Pacific League or CIF Southern Section championship.

That victory came as a result of the work of local paramedics and doctors at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center.  They are credited with helping save the life of coach Bob Hart, who is now in his 13th year with the program.

Coach Bob Hart (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Hart suffered a massive heart attack on January 30 while the team was having practice.

Although it set him back temporarily, Hart has not missed a single inning this season.

“It happened on the field, but it really took place in my office. I went and sat down in my chair in my office and I could feel something was just not right,” Hart recalled. “I didn’t hesitate much and called my (assistant) coaches over and had them put the boys in the locker room. I didn’t want to subject them to the site of the whole thing. I called 911 and the paramedics showed up very quickly.”

Hart said when he first started feeling uncomfortable he tried to do what he could to minimize the pain.

“I initially was sweating quite a bit and I felt like I had heartburn times a million. I laid down to try to stretch it out so to speak and I could tell that wasn’t going to be the case,” Hart said. “Normally my instincts are I grew up in an era where you sucked it up and toughed it out, but I kind of had an instinct that something wasn’t right.

Coach Bob Hart (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

I suffered a major heart attack, a massive heart attack. (There was) 100 blockage. They call it the widowmaker,” Hart said. “I’m fortunate that I got on it quickly. The paramedics did an amazing job and the doctors did an amazing job. I spent a few days in the hospital and then I was fortunate enough to come home and I was back to work within three weeks.”

The 58-year-old coach who graduated from Burroughs High in 1978, said the incident has changed his life in so many ways.

“To be honest, I haven’t felt this good in 20-25 years physically and mentally, clarity wise. The support I have received from parents and my friends is the off the chart, heartwarming and amazing,” Hart said. “In a strange way, it has been a blessing of sorts, a second chance at life and a reset for me personally.”

Burbank High Co-Athletic Director Patrick McMenamin is one of the many people who have supported Hart in his return.

“We are very glad to have Coach Hart back on our baseball field,” McMenamin said. “Coach Hart has been the face of Burbank High baseball for more than a decade now.  Our program is in very good hands under his leadership and guidance.  Above all, he does an excellent job of teaching our student-athletes how to become responsible young men of character and integrity.”

Hart said he is now focused on doing what he didn’t take as seriously before.

“I’ve always taken care of other people and never really focused on my own health. This is giving me an opportunity to be that way and I’m taking advantage of it,” Hart said. “I changed my diet completely. I do quite a bit more walking than I was doing before.  I’m blessed to be here.”

When it came to deciding when to come back to work, Hart said the doctors left it up to him.

“Everyone is different.  They said whatever I can handle,” he said. “They encourage you to get up and start moving. They were all for me getting back to work when I was ready to go. I’m back on the field and feeling great.”

Coach Bob Hart thanks the firefighters & paramedics that treated him. (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Hart said he recently had a chance to go see the paramedics who helped save his life.

“That was amazing. Those guys are everyday heroes. I wanted to make sure they understood how grateful I was and how lucky the community is to have them,” Hart said.

Hart added that he has received an outpouring of support from the Burbank High community.

“My players have been unbelievable,” Hart said. “My wife was out of town for a couple of weeks and the parents did a meal train for me. They were bringing me healthy food. I have completely changed my diet and I have probably dropped 15 to 20 (pounds) already.”

Although the Burbank High baseball team is looking forward to winning as many games as possible, it has already gone undefeated thanks to the return of coach Bob Hart.

Burbank High JV Baseball Players Donate to BTAC

By Gigi Santoro
Special to BurbankNBeyond

Burbank Baseball Pride was on display once again in our community. Chandler Robbins, Reese Loock, and Ryan Porras (along with a few other volunteers) hand delivered 500 grocery bags, provided by Santoro And Sons Real Estate Group, for a food drive benefiting The Burbank Temporary Aid Center.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

JV baseball players wheel baskets into BTAC Sunday morning (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Pick up was this past Sunday and the boys were in the community at 9:30 am canvassing the hillside area looking for filled bags. BTAC was so low on food, they opened up, special, for the boys to bring what they had collected on Sunday. They were able to bring over 6 full grocery carts of food on Sunday!

Edward Stapleton, Facilities and Pantry Manager for BTAC, was pleased and impressed at how well the boys did – Edward said, “This is an unusually large collection of food, we are so low on food and really needed this for our pantry.”

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Head Varsity Coach Bob Hart was on hand to support his JV players in their community efforts (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Coach Bob Hart was on hand to help unload the collection and praise the boys who took time out of their weekend to help those less fortunate. Coach Hart said, “People are good at taking, but it takes a special person to give back”. The boys got a tour of the facility– things we take for granted like a place to take a shower or do laundry – really hit home for them. We all learned what a great service BTAC is for people in need.

Santoro And Sons Real Estate Group’s next event is in July – we will be collecting donations for Military personnel – Service Men and Women who are stationed overseas. If your son is interested in helping, let us know. The boys that worked on the food drive will be back – it was a rewarding experience for all!

Craziness Ensues When Halloween and Baseball Collide

Gumby was tough on the mound as Chinese Take-out food watches closely

For the second straight year, Burbank High Head Varsity Coach Bob Hart celebrated Halloween by encouraging players to dress in their costumes and come out for practice.

Practice consisted of a baseball game with a basketball and some shortened bases.  The players came in all sorts of costumes with some more elaborate than others.  The game had to come to a quick end when Gumby spotted some Chinese takeout on the field and thought that Pokey had been slaughtered, since no one had dressed as a cat.

It’s a joke people – get over it!!

This is what Coach Bob Hart actually sees everyday when he looks at his players

All the baseball players at Burbank High dressed as something