City pulling out all stops to honor Encinitas Little League


What do Facebook, a parade and a park have in common? They’re part of the city’s plans to recognize the Encinitas Little League’s historic summer.

When presented with four choices for honoring ELL on Sept. 10, the council voted unanimously for all of them, as well as one council member’s suggestion.

The options included: recognizing the team at a council meeting; inviting the players to kick off the 2014 holiday parade; having ELL attend the Encinitas Community Park opening; and featuring the team’s story on the city’s digital newsletter and Facebook page.

“I like all four of the suggestions, and that would be my motion, to move forward with all four,” Councilman Mark Muir said.

Also, upon Councilwoman Lisa Shaffer’s request, a picture and short description of the team will hang in council chambers.

This year’s ELL all-star team, the Southern California champions, made it all the way to the West Regional Tournament semifinals for the first time in league history.

During its run, everyone from former Padre Trevor Hoffman to local surfer Rob Machado offered the team words of encouragement in person.

Ultimately, the Nevada all-star team beat ELL and went on to win that tournament. Doing so secured Nevada a spot in the Little League World Series, which was held in South Williamsport, Pa.

Depending on ELL’s preference, an honorary celebration could be held at Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA — ELL’s home field — rather than at the community park’s debut.

The council reasoned that an opening date hasn’t been set for the 44-acre park, located off of Santa Fe Drive. And Shaffer said the council might want to recognize the team “sooner than later.”

“I think it’s great for the city to be honoring these kids in so many ways,” ELL pitching coach Brian Mazone said three days after the council meeting.

Mazone also said the recognition shows what ELL meant to the city and those who closely followed the team.

He added the league has a recipe that could lead to more great all-star teams.

“With the unity the league has — the kids and the coaching staff — I truly believe the kids from this year may start a trend,” Mazone said.