On Saturday, May 18, 2019, former Head Baseball Coach Chris Pascal, invited members of La Palma’s John F. Kennedy High School team that won the school’s first CIF 3-A Championship in 1989 and the 1989 Garden Grove League Championship, to come to a barbeque to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of their historic championships. Coach Pascal invited the team’s parents, past coaches, former baseball team members, friends and family to come to the barbecue. Approximately 60 people came to reminisce and celebrate their CIF 3-A Championship and Garden Grove League Championship 30 years ago. It was noted that day that Kennedy’s 2019 baseball team was playing in a CIF Championship game and did win later that night. It was finally another Kennedy baseball championship after 30 years!
The barbeque was hosted by Craig and Melanie Roah at their beautiful home in Rossmoor that seemed to be built for entertaining large groups of people in the home, in the pool and in Craig’s custom-built backyard patio area. Craig said that he and his cousins built the patio area and fitted it with a bar area, comfortable sofas, tables, many extra seats, and multiple televisions.
When guests arrived, they immediately were shown to the patio area where videos were being shown of the team’s winning game against Saugus at Dodger Stadium on June 3, 1989. The game was a tough pitching duel with Greg Hansell against Roger Salkeld, Saugus’ pitcher. Kennedy finally won 1 to 0 against Saugus. A wild pitch by Salkeld enabled Hansell to score the winning run in the 9th inning.
Team members enjoyed talking to each other and catching up with what they and their families were currently doing. A few parents, who had attended and cheered for their sons at their baseball games for years, also came with their sons to enjoy the barbecue and renew old friendships. Parents, Kathy and Joe Roah, Jennifer and Don Wood, Kendel and Frank Montera, and Edna Ethington, recalled watching the exciting game at Dodger Stadium in 1989. They were able to see the video version of the game taken by Edna Ethington in 1989 that was shown in the Roah’s covered patio.
The event was catered by April Berg, of Berg Catering starting with delicious appetizers, chips and dips, that were followed by and wonderful barbeque dinner. There was an endless supply of barbecue ribs, chicken, beef, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, broccoli salad, coleslaw, and rolls. For those who still had room for dessert after feasting on everything, April Berg had pans of warm apple crisp and ice cream ready to serve everyone. There were also water and soft drinks provided by the host and wine was also available brought by guests. There was even a bartender preparing specialty drinks by request.
The highlight of the evening occurred after everyone had enjoyed their barbecue dinner. Four members of the 1989 Championship team took turns expressing their thanks to Coach Pacal. Host Craig Roah thanked everyone for coming to the barbecue and thanked Coach Pascal for all that he did to help the team become CIF champions. Steve Rath said that he was not able to say much at the end of the year banquet in 1989, but he felt free to speak and thank Coach Pascal profusely that night. Greg Hansell spoke on behalf of all team members and expressed their thanks. (Hansell was the team member who was drafted by the Red Sox, traded to the L.A. Dodgers and pitched in Japan.)
Scott Wood was the last team member who spoke. He praised Coach Pascal and presented him with a bronze plaque to commemorate and thank him. The plaque said: “THANK YOU FOR GIVING US THE TOOLS NECESSARY TO DO WHAT WE DID IN THAT SEASON 30 YEARS AGO.” Scott Wood works for Moncler Bronze Company. He designed the bronze plaque in the shape of a baseball home plate with two baseball bats printed with 1989 and 2019, a baseball, and all the names of the team members, the coaches, and even the statistician.
Coach Pascal thanked Scott Wood for the plaque and thanked all those who spoke that night for their complimentary words. He thanked Craig and Melanie Roah for generously hosting the barbecue, and Jason Denny for helping to plan the reunion. Finally, he thanked everyone for coming to the 30th Anniversary Reunion to celebrate with him and remember the achievements of the Kennedy’s 1989 CIF 3-A Champions and 1989 Garden Grove League Champions.