Some residents call the annual pancake breakfast, which opens the Pacific Palisades Baseball Association’s season, the second-best day of the Year in Pacific Palisades.
July Fourth, with its parade and fireworks holds the top spot. But for pure excitement, community spirit and nurturing youth, this 69-year-old tradition gives the 4th a good race for the top day.
The pancake breakfast, which is a fundraiser for PPBA, will be held from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 11, at the Field of Dreams at the Palisades Recreation Center, 851 Alma Real Drive.
Bob Benton, who has been the baseball commissioner for 37 years, said that Meridith Hill is chairing the 2023 breakfast.
The opening ceremony starts at 8:30 a.m. Singing the National Anthem before the ceremonial first pitch is Reagan Whalen, a 7th-grader at Calvary Christian School who played in the Red Sox organization last year.
Rob McElhenney, creator and star of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Mythic Quest and Welcome to Wrexham, will throw out the first pitch.
Last year a new addition to the day was a baseball equipment swap/trade. Staci Woo explained that she got the idea when her family was in Hawaii. “There was a surfboard swap that happened once a month and it was such a community event,” she said.
Older players were invited to bring bats, gloves and pants they might have outgrown and make them available to new players. Most of the gear was nearly new and in great condition—because a bat that works when a player is seven and playing Pintos, needs to be replaced when he (or she) moves up to the Broncos.
“It’s also an effort to be more sustainable,” Woo said, and a way to have the older kids mentor younger ones, such as helping them select a bat.
This year is the 2nd Annual BatterUp Pali and players are invited to bring gear they may have outgrown, such as mitts, cleats and catcher’s gear and donate them to a younger player. Donations can be brought to the breakfast or contact email@example.com
For the 2023 season, which concludes with playoffs in May, there are about 500 players across five divisions: four Pony teams (ages 13-14), six Bronco teams (11-12), 10 Mustang teams (9-10), 10 Pinto teams (7-9) and eight Shetland teams (6-8). Games are mostly played on four fields located at the Rec Center.
Pancakes, sausage, coffee, community and celebrities—as Commissioner Benton said on Instagram, “Let’s get this party started. See you all this Saturday.”