NO MINOR FEATS
Former area standouts Mark Loretta, Gregg Zaun and Freddy Sanchez continued to have solid careers in the big leagues, but the biggest local news from the professional baseball circuit came from the slew of former area stars in the minor leagues.
Hirsh was named the Texas League Pitcher of the Year after an outstanding season for double-A Corpus Christi in the Houston Astros organization.
Hirsh, a St. Francis graduate, went 13-8 with a 2.87 earned-run average and struck out 165 batters.
Later on in the year, he was moved up to the 40-man roster, along with former Golden Knight teammate Errol Simonitsch.
Simonitsch, pitching in the Minnesota Twins organization, combined to win 14 games, leading all Twins minor leaguers.
He was 8-3 with a 2.69 ERA in single-A Fort Myers before going 6-5 for double-A New Britain.
Hirsh and Simonitsch also made news off the field.
The two, along with Trevor Bell, participated in Strikeouts for Troops, an organization started by Oakland A's pitcher Barry Zito that helps injured American soldiers and their families.
FUTURE AREA STARS SHINE
Competing in the World Series is the ultimate goal of any baseball and softball player, but unfortunately for two local youth teams, they fell one step short of that goal.
Crescenta Valley's Major Softball team took third in the Little League Western Regionals, despite facing obstacles along the way.
The locals, coached by Bill Ashby, lost to Oregon's Pendleton Little League in the semifinals at Fort Vancouver Little League Field in Washington.
The team went 16-2 during the All-Star season, despite facing tragedy.
The older sister of player Maddie Polizzotto, Annemarie, was killed on July 23 after she was struck by a car in San Bernardino.
Annemarie, a 15-year-old junior varsity softball player at Crescenta Valley, was there supporting her sister's team in the divisionals.
The La Crescenta 13-year-old Babe Ruth team lost in the Pacific Southwest Tournament in Richfield, Utah, one step short of the World Series.