The Padres earned no invite to baseball’s Fall Classic this year, but San Diego already had its 2009 global champs in Chula Vista’s Park View Little League Blue Bombers, who beat Taiwan in the Little League World Series finale on August 30.
There have long been connections between Chula’s youth baseball and South Bay music acts. It goes back at least to the Zeros, ’70s punk rockers who reunited to tour this year, scoring a Lifetime Achievement award at the SD Music Awards in September. Onstage in Brooklyn four days later (two weeks after the Blue Bombers won it all), Robert “El Vez” Lopez corrected the mistaken N.Y. media (even the respected New Yorker) that had previewed them as a “Los Angeles punk band”: “Hello, we are the Zeros, from Chula Vista, California.”
After their set, Zeros drummer Baba Chenelle talked baseball, judging himself a better player than his competitive brothers — including Kevin, who put out the superb baseball/alt-music magazine Chin Music, interviewing both baseball-head musicians and top players, like USDHS grad and Cy Young–winning pitcher-musician Barry Zito. Later confirming Baba’s preeminence, bro Kevin dubbed him a “fire-balling lefty…freak…could [still] hit 90 into his 30s.” And Kevin remains proud of releasing “[John] Kruk” in 1991 on his historically important Scheming Intelligentsia label, a song by local psych-rockers Dark Globe, celebrating the offbeat former Padre/Phillie, now a TV baseball analyst: “Prescient in its recognition of him as cultural force…”
Slinging Zeros merch in N.Y., former Dragons leader Mario Escovedo (overseeing his Zero brother Javier’s band through his Requiemme Management) proudly discussed Chula’s triumph. Escovedo’s late father played semipro ball; Mario reportedly clocked 94 mph pitching for Chula Vista High School (“I still bleed Spartan blue”). “My daughter goes to Rancho Del Rey Middle School, where most of the Park View championship team goes. She says the boys are treated like celebrities.”
Jim Garry, aka “Zoltron,” of ascendant new electro-duo Lion Cut, played ball in that Sweetwater league and attended Bonita Vista Middle School, current home of Blue Bomber slugger-pitcher Kiko Garcia. “I do not feel any school pride — wished we’d had as good a music department as sports — but good for those little leaguers!” Garry, who dresses year-round with his wife (“Kittytron”) in fearsome feline garb to perform their cat-themed songs, was too busy last week with multiple Halloween shows to watch much of the MLB World Series.