As PQ’s youth gears up for the upcoming season, 92129 Magazine talks with Rancho Penasquitos Little League President Michael Lim about the history, future and philosophy behind youth baseball in 92129.

What is the history behind Rancho Penasquitos Little League?
RPLL’s first league was chartered in 1973. We are the 2nd largest Little League in San Diego County.

What is the makeup of the 2012 Rancho Penasquitos Little League?
We will have approximately 60 teams and over 700 players from age 5 in t-ball to age 14 in Juniors. Each team will play between 18 and 20 games during the regular season. Our upper division teams and players have the opportunity to play in the District 32 All-Star and Tournament of Champions tournaments. Our 12-year old All Star team competes with the ultimate goal of getting to the Little League World Series.

What is the traditional Little League Season for Rancho Penasquitos Little League?
Teams are formed in late January and practice through the month of February. Opening Day will be on March 3rd and the regular season will go into early June.

What is the goal of the Rancho Penasquitos Little League organization as a whole?
The goal of RPLL is similar to all youth sports programs – to provide a safe, family-friendly environment for children to play and be active within their community. In addition to teaching the kids the fundamentals of America’s past-time, we strive to teach the kids the values of good sportsmanship, integrity, competition and respect. Baseball is merely the teaching tool that we use to develop solid citizens.

Are there any changes this season that players need to be aware of?
We have split up the CAPS division, which was comprised of 6-8 year olds. The Farm division will be for 6-7 year olds and the MAPS division will be for 7-8 year olds. We think this will provide a more even level of play, and increased enjoyment for the players and families across the board.

[quote]“We are planning on doing Opening Day ceremonies at Canyonside Community Park this year.  As of now, we are scheduled to have a parade of our teams and a raffle from some of our generous sponsors.  Food will be provided by Red Robin.  Sponsors and former San Diego Padres pitcher Randy Jones will take part in our “first pitch” festivities.”
~ RPLL President Michael Lim[/quote] What do the League registration fees cover?
In addition to the uniforms and playing equipment, the registration fee covers field usage (through the City of San Diego and Poway Unified School District), Little League Insurance, umpires, team pictures and the end of the season picnic.

How does a business or family sponsor a team?
There are several different levels and programs available to potential sponsors.  Sponsorship dollars help to offset some of the costs involved with running our large league.  Our field equipment, player’s equipment and jerseys will be improved this year as a result of some of our sponsors.  Please go to our website and contact one of our Sponsorship Coordinators to learn more.

Why/How does the Rancho Penasquitos Little League run such an organized program?
Since we have been in operation for so long, we learn from our mistakes each year and continue to fine tune our policies and procedures.  The success of our league is solely attributed to the dedication of our parent volunteers within the community.  The RPLL Board of Directors is comprised of 29 volunteers in our community who work year-round to ensure successful Spring and Fall seasons.

Who are the current Rancho Penasquitos Little League sponsors?  
Some of our sponsors are Sea World, Sports Authority, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Jersey Mike’s, and of course, the San Diego Padres.

What is the biggest challenge the Rancho Penasquitos Little League faces?
Two things – an aging PQ population and many other activities from which to choose.  We’ve recognized for years that the RPLL population is aging, which is why we specifically targeted the younger kids in our elementary schools.  In addition, kids and families have many other options – lacrosse, martial arts, not to mention competitive travel ball teams in soccer, baseball, and basketball that compete year-round.

Are there any new developments community members should be aware of that will impact the season?
Due to generous donations from local businesses, you will see many fantastic new improvements at every division within RPLL.  The younger divisions will be outfitted in professional quality San Diego Padres’ jerseys that were donated by the San Diego Padres organization.  We have tried to increase the visibility of local businesses through our new corporate sponsorship program.  You will see sponsorship banners on our outfield fences.  All of these contributions to our league will be reflected in better, safer playing fields at all levels.  Much needed field equipment will be replaced as well.

What is the most unique thing about Rancho Penasquitos Little League compared to other programs?
The sheer size of our league definitely separates us from other leagues around town, but the enthusiasm and the willingness to help we see in our volunteers is what we’re most proud of.  We couldn’t do it without everyone’s help.

[tabs] [tab title=”Michael Lim”]

Rancho Penasquitos Little League President
Age: 45
Profession: Portfolio Manager
Years Involved with League: 7
Family: Married to Janet; sons Brady (13) and Cameron (11)
Hobbies/Interests: Coaching youth sports, Golf

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