By Zach Cavanagh
The San Juan Capistrano Little League Closing Day ceremonies added a new and lasting tribute on Saturday, May 18 at Hausdorfer Field at the San Juan Sports Park.
Along with recognizing its season champions and winners of the day’s skills competitions, SJCLL honored the first recipients of the Dave Rosa Awards. The award recognized one player in each competitive division for sportsmanship, love of baseball, ability as an ultimate teammate and exemplary player to coaches and individual contributions to their teams.
The award is named for the late Long Beach Fire Captain David Rosa. Rosa, who was fatally shot responding to an emergency incident last June, was a member of SJCLL for nearly nine years, serving as president, umpire-in-chief, board member, manager and coach.
“We spent so many years in Little League,” said Lynley Rosa, Dave’s wife, who was on hand to help present the award. “From tee ball until our sons aged out, it’s part of our lives. (Dave) gave a lot and sacrificed a lot in time. Being part of the community was huge. We love San Juan so much. We are so happy to live here. He just loved everything baseball represents. Community, helping one another, learning skills, growing, all of that.”
SJCLL has paid tribute to Rosa all season with “Rosa 10” embroidered on the sides of the caps of many coaches and players. Lynley and son Sam took part in the season’s opening pitch ceremony in March.
“This means a lot to us,” Lynley Rosa said. “It’s very humbling to be here and have all the support that we’ve received throughout this past almost year. It’s great to have them recognize him. I’m kind of surprised at all the lives he touched. Honestly, a little overwhelming sometimes. To get all the letters and phone calls and that kind of stuff, it makes me realize how important our lives are and how we really can make an impact by being who we are and helping others.”
SJCLL will continue to pay tribute to Rosa with this award, which comes with a special trophy, $200 scholarship, a sign at Old Majors Field and a Dave Rosa Award patch on their uniforms next season.
Zane Larson, Dean Rogers, Gael Galeana and Jeremy Galeana were the first winners of the Dave Rosa Award and were presented with their trophies and large checks by Lynley Rosa and San Juan Capistrano Mayor Brian Maryott.
Zach Cavanagh is the sports editor for Picket Fence Media. Zach is a California Journalism Award winner and has covered sports in Orange County since 2013. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ZachCav and follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SouthOCSports.
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