Lakehill Little League celebrates 60th anniversary

Opening Day is April 14 at Ambassador Park

They didn’t officially meet until well after their Lake Hill Little League youth baseball careers were over.

But they knew who each other was.

“Well, he was older, so he was too cool,” said Debra Tolman, in recalling her husband Eric during their time as Lakehill Little League players.

When Eric and Debra met in Vancouver a decade later, they were able to make the Saanich connection as Mount Douglas secondary grads and, as Lakehill players.

Now they’re the parents of two more Lake Hill Little League players, Sadie, 13, who plays with Lake Hill’s U14 team and Daniel, 10, who is in Little League majors (for ages 11-12).

“I remember playing in 1978,” said dad, Eric. “What was cool then was, both the Mariners and the Blue Jays had just entered the major leagues, so there was a buzz.”

Eric also recalls celebrating Lake Hill’s 20th anniversary that year, honouring the organization’s 1958 startup.

“Before we moved back to [Saanich] we were visiting and I got nostalgic during a drive past Ambassador Park,” Eric recalled. “I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if our kids one day played here.

“It was good baseball, we were on the Vampires, and we played against some very good athletes from around town,” Eric said.

The Tolmans will be there for the 60th annual Opening Ceremony, April 14 at Ambassador Park.

Opening Ceremonies, Ambassador Park on April 14.

Festivities start at 11 a.m. with the traditional parade of players.

There will be games with 50-50 sales, a chuck-a-duck, a radar gun, while it’s also team photo day.

Past presidents will speak

The concession is open.

Lakehill boys majors (11 and 12 years old) play at 1 p.m. in Diamond 1. The U12B and U14B girls softball teams both play at 2 p.m. in Diamonds 2 and 5.

Lakehill Little League is also hosting a special 60th anniversary fundraising event for alumni, park patrons, family and friends on May 26 at the Saint Leopold Mandic Croatian Parish, 4081 Gordon Head Rd.

Chef Dave, who is famous for his Lakehill ball park food fare, will be on hand to serve snacks. There will be a cash bar, music, dancing, door prizes, raffles and a 50-50.

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