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Are Angelenos a big deal for Glendale?

September 30, 2010

Before a modest crowd of potential ballplayers, media and other assorted on-lookers, Tony Riviera proclaimed that Wednesday afternoon's press conference stood as the beginning of, "what we believe will change the baseball face in the city of Glendale."

Unveiling the somewhat confusing if not silly team name of the Glendale Angelenos, the city officially got its very own summer collegiate ballclub.

"I don't ever think there's ever going be a moment where you're not going to experience some sort of level of excitement here between the innings and certainly on the field," said Riviera, the team president of the eighth ballclub in the California Collegiate League, a wood-bat summer league brimming with top-flight NCAA talent bettering its skills during the dog days of June, July and August and getting a minor league feel for baseball, while holding on to its amateur status.

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While news of Glendale getting its own collegiate franchise came about weeks ago, Wednesday was really the day in which everything got rolling. It was the day in which Riviera, Glendale Major Ara Najarian, Glendale Director of Community Services and Parks George Chapjian, CCL Commissioner Pat Burns and Riviera said all the right things, which is exactly what you're supposed to do at a press conference. And on a hot autumn afternoon, it was proclaimed that there would be something new to do on a hot summer day.

But while many Angelenos are baseball crazy, I'm not all that certain about Glendalenos.

Stengel Field, which will have its baseball face lifted, will now play host to the Angelenos, the Crescenta Valley High Falcons and the Glendale Community College Vaqueros. Between the Falcons, Vaqueros, Glendale Nitros and Hoover Tornadoes, the former is far and away the biggest baseball draw in Glendale.

Hoover, and particularly Glendale, have struggled over the last few years and support in the stands is hardly anything that would supplement baseball fever in the Jewel City. GCC battles season in and season out to get above .500, but quite frankly Coach Chris Cicuto and his staff do exactly what junior college programs are supposed to do — they get players to the next level. But the Falcons do get big crowds at Stengel and Little League is a huge draw locally. So maybe there is hope that Glendale will transfix into this hotbed of baseball.

Likely not, though.

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