Grandfathers for youth baseball in Palm Springs

To: Palm Springs City Council
From: Bill Hatch, Grandfather of two young citizens of Palm Springs
Re: Elimination of Palm Springs Youth League Baseball this year
Date: February 29, 2024

My name is Bill Hatch. I have three grandsons who live in Palm Springs and are going to be denied the chance to play baseball this year due to some issue between the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Palm Springs Youth League baseball program. I have some questions for the Council. I understand you can’t answer them now but I hope some of them might stick in your conscience.
1. Why can’t Palm Springs manage to have a viable baseball program for kids like they do in Palm Desert, Desert Hot Springs, Indio, La Quinta, and Coachella, in Thermal, and usually in Cathedral City? Not to mention Tri-Valley Little League in Yucca Valley.
2. Is Palm Springs too poor to have a youth baseball program?
3. Why has youth baseball stopped this year, when in past years there has been a viable program?
4. Why would the City want to eliminate a program that brings out so many multi-generational families to the park who enjoy themselves so much watching their kids play baseball?
5. How many of you on the dias have ever gone to a youth-league baseball game with the families of players?
6. Do other cities in Coachella Valley charge youth baseball programs fees for fields or is Palm Springs the only city so poor that it needs to charge?
7. Does the city Parks and Rec Department wish to sideline youth baseball in favor of adult leagues?
8. If there is room for a vibrant Gay Adult Baseball League, shouldn’t there be room for youth baseball?
9. Why has the City recently locked bathrooms in the parks?
10. The Parks and Recreation Department Director states: “We aspire to unify our youth and young-at-heart communities with open arms and open hearts.” We aren’t interested in unification as much as actual youth getting a fair deal in Palm Springs, in baseball, softball, and in soccer along with the “young-at-heart.” In fact we find it difficult to understand why youth do not occupy a privileged position in the heart of the Palm Springs Parks and Recreation Department. They are, after all, defenseless against adults who are crowding them, their mothers, grandmothers and babysitters out of what should be safe space for children in a civilized city.
11. Thank you for your time.

Some clips about Coachella Valley baseball players

From a cornfield in Iowa to the Olympics in Tokyo, an update on the desert's 11 pro baseball players
Shad Powers
Palm Springs Desert Sun
Sept 1, 2021

Two desert baseball products were drafted by Major League teams this year, another played in the Olympics, while still another was on the biggest MLB stage possible this summer — a cornfield in Iowa.
The Coachella Valley is quickly becoming a baseball hotbed as 11 players are currently playing at some level of a major league organization. In fact,10 of the 30 MLB franchises are represented by a former desert high schooler -- the Rockies have two -- and that is the most this area has boasted simultaneously.
So as the baseball season winds down, let's look at our 11 professional baseball players and see how their 2021 seasons have gone.
Note: All statistics are through games of Monday, Aug. 30.
Brooks Kriske
Franchise: New York Yankees
Position: Right-handed pitcher
High school: Palm Desert
Current team: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple A)
2021 season: Kriske had immaculate timing this summer as he has been brought up to the big-league ballclub on three different occasions, and one of which enabled him to be part of something special.
Kriske was called up to the Yankees on Aug. 11. The next day they played in the famous "Field of Dreams" game in Iowa. Kriske was on the Yankees roster that night and walked out on the field through the corn and everything. It was such a special moment that his parents rushed from the desert to Iowa to be there in time for the game. He did not pitch in the game, but he was able to be on the field with his father and share that special moment, just like in the movie.
Kriske was sent back to the minors Aug. 16. Talk about great timing.
In all, though, Kriske has pitched in seven games for the Yankees this year. He has a 1-1 record, picking up his first career Major League win on July 21 against the Phillies by throwing a scoreless 10th inning. He set a dubious mark the next night when he threw an MLB record-tying four wild pitches in one inning and took the loss against the Red Sox. He has allowed eight runs in 6.2 innings for a 10.80 ERA.
When he's not with the Yankees, he's on the Triple A team in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pa., where he's 1-0 with a 3.08 ERA in 22 appearances.
Taylor Ward

Franchise: Los Angeles Angels
Position: Outfielder
High school: Shadow Hills
Current team: Salt Lake Bees (Triple A)
2021 season: Ward started the season on the Angels' roster and slowly started to see his playing time dwindle before being sent back to Triple A on July 22. He had 204 at-bats with the Angels this year, hitting .240 with eight home runs, 31 RBIs and 31 runs scored in 63 games. Ward is still a valuable player with his multi-positional abilities, but with newcomer Jo Adell finally emerging, it's starting to look like playing time with the Angels may be hard to come by. Will the Angels continue to have him be part of the plan or is a fresh start somewhere else a possibility? This offseason will be telling. He is currently on the 7-day injured list with the club's Triple A team. He has only had 23 at-bats with the Salt Lake Bees this year, but has 10 hits including two home runs.
Tyson Miller

Franchise: Texas Rangers
Position: Right-handed pitcher
High school: Shadow Hills
Current team: Round Rock Express (Triple A)
2021 season: You may be thinking, oops, you made a mistake, Miller is with the Cubs and not the Rangers. But Miller, who made his major league debut in 2020 with the Cubs, was picked up on waivers by the Rangers on June 4 and has been a member of their franchise since. The start of Miller's 2021 season in Chicago was slowed by an injury, but he's healthy now and pitching for the Rangers' Triple A team. He's appeared in 15 games and pitched 32 innings for the Express. He has a 3.38 ERA and a 1-2 record to go with 30 strikeouts and eight walks.
Scotty Burcham
Franchise: Colorado Rockies
Position: Infielder
High school: Palm Desert
Current team: Albuquerque Isotopes (Triple A)

2021 season: What a summer it was for Burcham, who took time out of his Triple A season to play for Team Israel in the Olympics. Burcham said he had a blast in Tokyo playing for the team and hanging out in the Olympic Village. He said he would bump into other athletes in the cafeteria, like one time he was eating near NBA star Luka Doncic. On the field, Burcham started at shortstop in all five games for Israel, which went 1-4. Burcham was 2 for 15 at the plate with two runs scored and two RBIs for Israel. Back in the U.S., he was elevated to the Rockies' Triple A team at the start of the season and has been with them since. He has played in 32 games for the Isotopes, hitting .247 in 77 at-bats. Burcham is still waiting to make his MLB debut.
Brian Serven

Franchise: Colorado Rockies
Position: Catcher
High school: Palm Desert
Current team: Albuquerque Isotopes (Triple A)
2021 season: Serven, like Burcham, has been on the Rockies' Triple A team all season. The catcher has 188 at-bats for the Isotopes and is hitting .255 with 11 home runs, 29 RBIs and 29 runs scored. During the season, Serven had his 1,000th at-bat at the minor league level. Now one step away from the majors, Serven may be in line to be the next desert player to make his major league debut.
Travis Moniot

Franchise: Chicago White Sox
Position: Shortstop
High school: Palm Desert
Current team: Winston-Salem Dash (High A)
2021 season: Moniot is slowly climbing the ranks in the White Sox organization, starting in Rookie ball, then Low A and now as a member of the High A team where he's spent this season. In 141 at-bats he has 22 hits, but seven of them have been home runs. He has 24 runs scored, 22 RBIs and eight stolen bases for the Dash.
Sean Roby

Franchise: San Francisco Giants
Position: Third base
High school: Shadow Hills
Current team: Eugene Emeralds (High A)
2021 season: Roby is getting major playing time with the Emeralds, playing in 82 games this year and logging 319 at-bats. He's hitting .232 with 17 home runs, 50 RBIs and 56 runs scored.
Jeremiah Estrada

Franchise: Chicago Cubs
Position: Pitcher
High school: Palm Desert
Current team: Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Low A)
2021 season: The bad luck continues for Estrada who is again on the 60-day injured list after looking fantastic on the mound this summer. He was finally healthy after multiple surgeries related to his Tommy John surgery and was looking like the player the Cubs thought so highly of on draft day. Check out these numbers: He pitched in 11 games for the Pelicans, and had a 1.57 ERA in 23 innings. In those 23 innings he had a remarkable 38 strikeouts and just six walks. He was put on the 7-day injured list on Aug. 1 and moved to the 60-day injured list on Aug. 12. The nature of the injury was not disclosed.
Andrew Bash
Franchise: Toronto Blue Jays
Position: Pitcher
High school: Palm Desert
Current team: Vancouver Canadians (High A)
2021 season: Bash has had an excellent summer, starting on the Blue Jays' Low A team in Dunedin before being promoted to the High A team in Vancouver. In a combined 13 games for the two teams, Bash has a record of 6-1 with a 5.70 ERA. He has 41 strikeouts in 42.1 innings pitched.
Travis Adams
Franchise: Minnesota Twins
Position: Pitcher
High school: Palm Desert
Signing day: Adams was drafted by the Twins in the 6th round of the draft in July and signed with the team for $253,300 -- the exact amount of money designated for his draft position.
Johnny Cuevas
Franchise: Tampa Bay Rays
Position: Pitcher
High school: Palm Desert
Signing day: Cuevas was drafted in the 12th round of the 2021 draft in July and apparently, the Rays think quite highly of him. He reportedly signed with the team for $197,500, which was $72,500 more than the slotted amount for a 12th-round pick.
News Channel 3
Coachella Valley native Jeremiah Estrada picked up by the San Diego Padres
By Jesus Reyes
Coachella Valley Jeremiah Estrada is joining the San Diego Padres.
Estrada was removed from the Cubs' 40-man roster on Friday, sending him to the waivers. The Padres claimed Estrada on Monday.
Estrada, 25, graduated from Palm Desert High School in 2017. He was drafted straight out of high school by the Chicago Cubs in the sixth round of the 2017 MLB Draft.
Jeremiah Estrada pitching for the Palm Desert Aztecs
Over his six-year career. Estrada recorded 180 strikeouts in 117 innings in the minor leagues and 21 strikeouts in 16.1 innings in the major leagues.

He's dealt with some injuries in that time period, barely pitching until 2021 after recovering from Tommy John surgery. He also underwent a life-threatening battle with COVID-19 in Aug. 2021 that left him hospitalized.

After overcoming those struggles, Estrada was finally called up to the Cubs in 2021, making his debut in an impressive showing in Aug. 2022.
Unfortunately, he struggled this past season with the Cubs, recording a 6.75 ERA in 12 outings.
He'll look to bounce back with a return to Southern California.

MAY 18, 2023
Coachella Valley Native Brian Serven Makes MLB Debut With Colorado Rockies