Annual MVHS Alumni Baseball Game ...

The baseball varsity team won its first ever CIF championship last year. On Feb. 4 the team received championship rings during a ceremony held in conjunction with the annual alumni game.

The Mar Vista High School alumni baseball game is a not only a fun time, but a way for old friends to catch up. This annual event, held last Saturday February 4, included something extra special - rings were presented to last year’s baseball varsity team who won CIF in Division III. This is the first baseball championship the school has ever won and the first CIF championship for a major sport. The team, coaches and managers received their rings and posed for a group photo before the alumni game started.

The alumni game is a yearly tradition that started in 2004 or 2005 thanks to baseball Head Coach Coach Allan De Los Reyes, class of 1966. Over the years many former students have traveled a distance to be part of it. One year current baseball Head Coach Bobby Rector, came back all the way from San Bernardino, recalled De Los Reyes who has coached baseball for 50 years, 18 of those at MVHS.

Excitement was in the air last Saturday as players got to see each other and warmed up. One of them was Diego Barquin who graduated from MVHS in 2021. How does he feel coming back to play ball at his old school? “It feels different, it’s fun. I’m seeing guys I have not seen in a while,” he said. Barquin hasn’t played baseball since he graduated, but when he saw the announcement about the upcoming game on social media he wanted to be part of it. Slater Putland, who is both an alumni and the baseball varsity coach at the school for the past six to seven years, was getting ready to play. He is a 2011 graduate and he has played in the alumni game for almost 10 years. “I love baseball, and it’s a way to give back to the community of Imperial Beach, bring local talent to the school… it’s nice to see a lot of people I played with or coached… great to see the community come together,” he said.

A friendship formed at the school in the 1970s, that has lasted through the years between two baseball players, is the one between Charlie Padilla, class of 1970 and Bill Howard class of 1971. Both continue to play in adult leagues and enjoy coming back for the alumni game. “I started coming back five years ago [to play]. I’m passionate about it… to keep the spirit. There is nothing like it,” said Padilla. Howard also enjoys playing in the alumni game. He is the president of the MVHS alumni association and he’s often at the school, but being part of the game is different. “I enjoy coming back and get to see old friends,” he said. Howard proudly explained that at the last golf tournament fundraising event, the school raised $10,000 that benefited all athletic programs, and $3,000 of that money went to baseball. The money raised also paid for the CIF rings.

The alumni game is also big fundraiser, and this year Rector said he hoped to get about $3,000, money that goes to pay for tournament fees, uniforms, baseballs and other equipment. This year’s baseball season will start on February 13 with tryouts, and the first game on February 22. Does Rector think his players can be champions again? “We hope to continue the success. I see no reason why we can’t compete and win another championship with returning players from that championship team. We’ve the talent to do it again,” he said.

Among the alumni players, there were a father and son duo. “It’s the first time playing together on the same team,” said Patrick Speer class of 1984 whose son David graduated in 2020. Speer has many fun memories of playing baseball in his hometown. “I’ve been here since first grade, played in Little League, and at MVHS with Allan as coach,” he said.

While De Los Reyes was not going to play in the game this year, he was keeping an eye on things and enjoyed seeing everyone. Rector asked De Los Reyes to present him with his ring. He and Rector are close. De Los Reyes coached Rector at MVHS. “He was the best pitcher… when we played an All Star game on this field and we beat Lemon Grove… he was a fierce competitor,” he said. Before deciding to retire from coaching at MVHS, De Los Reyes was waiting for the the right person to replace him. “I got a phone call at the end of 2018 from the athletic director who said ‘You can retire now, Bobby’s here,’ ” De Los Reyes recalled.

To that comment Rector responded, “He set this program up, all I had to do was come in. It was an easy transition.”

De Los Reyes and Rector were both pleased with the turnout of players and spectators. “It’s always nice to see kids come back and keeping the tradition running,” said De Los Reyes.

Vol. 39, No. 6 - Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023

(1) comment


The annual MVHS Alumni Baseball Game and Ring Ceremony was held on October 20th in the evening. Here you get and learn more games. The event was well attended by parents, friends and former students who had returned to attend this tear-jerking event.

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