By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY – Staff Writer
The Crestline Highlanders are the champions of the SoCal Vintage Base Ball League, having defeated the Lake Arrowhead Loggers last fall in the league championship game at their home field at Harich Field in Twin Peaks. They have just released their new season’s schedule. Each team in the league will play four home games and four away games during the season, having games about once every other week.
The Highlanders season opener will be in Riverside on May 6. While the other teams in the league, which spans from Redondo Beach Wharf Rats to Temecula Dear Bros., have been holding their spring training, the local teams have been practicing by shoveling snow.
The mountains are fortunate to have two teams. The Loggers are a younger team, having been an expansion team from the Highlanders a couple of years ago. Both teams play their home games at Harich Field, located at 675 Grandview Road in Twin Peaks. The Arrowhead Loggers team captain is Dustin Warner aka “Sandlot.” Every player on the team earns a nickname.
“The Loggers are a good young team of excellent players, which is why we faced them in the championship game last fall,” said Highlander Captain Chris Dodd.
The Highlanders will be playing against the Loggers on May 20 at Harich field at 4 p.m. They hope lots of local residents will come out to see the first rematch of the teams since playing in that exciting championship game last fall.
Before the season opener, the Highlanders will be holding tryouts for two to three open spots on the team on April 30 at the Valley of Enchantment Elementary School field at 2 p.m. To try and eliminate forfeited games due to not having enough players to play a game, the team rosters are being raised to 17 players per team.
To get more information on the team and tryouts, call Dodd at (909) 437-2832. The Vintage Base Ball League plays by 1886 rules using replica balls, gloves and wearing old-style uniforms.
The Highlanders and Loggers will be playing double headers at Harich Field on Aug. 12 with the Highlanders at 11 a.m. against Temecula and the Loggers playing at 2 p.m. against the Riverside Smudgepots. On Aug. 26, the Loggers play at 11 a.m. against Fullerton, and the Highlanders play against Perris at 2 p.m. On Sept. 9, the Highlanders play the Riverside Smudge Pots at 11 a.m. and the Loggers play at 2 p.m. against Temecula.
On these double headers there will be a food trucks for the Cranks (spectators) and they hope many of them stay for both games as it is good clean family fun. They only play seven innings per game.
The league champion Crestline Highlanders were one of the founding teams of the SoCal Vintage Base Ball League back in 2019 and are sponsored by the Crestline Chamber of Commerce. A team photo of the Highlanders taken at the historic Thousand Pines Camp is prominently displayed in the new décor of the Crestline Visitor’s Center in the Crestline Chamber of Commerce office. Their championship trophy will also be displayed after the yellow-tagged building is reopened to the public, as soon as repairs are completed; the back deck fell off during the recent winter storms. Those repairs are scheduled to be completed before Memorial Day weekend.