Memorial Day games this weekend
Editor’s note: The following story is the third of a three part series written by local resident Hector Leon an avid participant in what has become an annual event. This Memorial Day weekend is the 40th anniversary of the Memorial Day Games between the Douglas Vets and the L.A. Broncos. The games will take place May-28-29 at Copper King Stadium. Game times are 11 and 2:30 on May 28 and 11 A.M. May 29.
There is no admission charge to the event.
By Hector Leon
Sometime in the late 90’s another idea is thought of by Sergio and Ruben. Why not raise money and award a scholarship to a D.H.S. graduate to attend Cochise College in Douglas.
For a few years the boys from L.A. collected monies from various activities till they were ready to present a scholarship.
Sadly Sergio Brown passed away on Nov.22, 2000. Four years later, Jan. 10, 2004, Ruben Campas passed away.
The money collected is now turned over to Efrain Brown, manager of the Douglas Vets ballclub with instructions to award the scholarships.
With the monies collected two scholarships are awarded yearly in their names until the funds run out. To honor their memory the games in Douglas [Memorial Day] and Los Angeles [Labor Day]. are now “Sergio Brown- Ruben Campas Memorial Day Games and “Brown- Campas Labor Day Classic.
Thanks to these two close friends, fans in both Douglas and Los Angeles have witnessed exciting and memorable games.
Throughout the years players have been honored and remembered along with fans who supported baseball in our community.
Some memorable events from past games include Raul “Caballo” Celaya telling his pitcher: “I’m going to hit a home-run and win the game for you”, then doing it in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Seeing two former major-leaguers Raul Cano (Cleveland Indians) and Aurelio Rodriguez (New York Yankees) playing in Douglas was an honor.
Watching the sets of brothers and cousins playing together or against each other the Browns, Campas, Chavez, Leon, Acosta, Alvarado, Beltran, Martinez has been interesting.
Looking at the Douglas bench and seeing sitting next to each other four former pro ballplayers: Ricky Chavez, J.D.Ramirez, George Arias, and Martin Martinez was remarkable.
In a recemt game in L.A, to intimidate the Douglas bunch, former Dodger great Fernando Valenzuela was is in the Bronco dugout.
Seeing Piti Delgadillo seriously injuring his leg to the point no one thought he would play again still leaves a lasting image of how serious these games are taken. He is still playing at the age of sixty-something.
It was a Kodak moment to watch Sergio Brown strike out on a super slow change up that would have made Casey proud. Seeing Ruben Campas calmly get four hits against Douglas’ better pitchers was also exciting. The exciting double play performed twice by the Chavez brothers, Ricky to Hilary to Robert while their proud parents are in the stands. And the game in which the Acosta-Campas cousins occupy seven positions on defense while the runners on first and second and the batter are from the Brown family.
These games have been going on forty years now.
Signs of enthusiasm from the younger generation point to the possibility that this could continue.
It would be nice years from now to pick up the local paper and read about upcoming 50th anniversary of the “Sergio Brown-Ruben Campas Memorial Games.
PLAY BALL !!!!!!!!!!