Over 100 youth baseball players and parents came together March 15 at Eastbluff Park to honor Duane Hastings, founder of the Newport Beach Bat Rays baseball program.
Duane and his wife, Mary Pat, were presented with several gifts of appreciation for their efforts in improving the level of baseball in Newport Beach. Duane Hastings is handing over the reins to Scott Liolios, after serving as the head coach, key fundraiser, team manager and passionate booster of the Bat Rays.
Several former players, now playing for Corona del Mar High, spoke to the audience relating their experiences while playing on the Bat Rays team.
Hastings was a scratch golfer who had dreams of playing on the Golden State Tour. However, his boys and the love of baseball changed those plans.
Hastings' dream was to assemble a team of friends who had a passion for baseball. His objective was to engage them at a higher level of competition and keep them together to ultimately play on their high school teams.