Stepping Up to the Plate
Carlsbad Youth Baseball has made its mark in the Carlsbad community and surrounding areas, giving all children a chance to be part of a fun learning environment. Join our conversation with President Jeff Johnson to learn about the dedication, passion, and opportunities this organization provides.
Q&A with Carlsbad Youth Baseball President Jeff Johnson
What is the history behind Carlsbad Youth Baseball (CYB)? When was it first established?
Carlsbad Youth Baseball is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and was established in 1992. As a league, we have grown and become a significant part of this community. The 2018 Spring season just came to an end and we had over 700 kids signed up to play baseball. Ages range from 4-14, and the following is a breakdown of our divisions: Shetland (ages 4-6), Pinto (ages 7-8), Mustang (ages 9-10), Bronco (ages 11-12), and Pony (ages 13-14).
PONY Baseball and Softball is the name of our parent company, which was established in the summer of 1951 in Washington, PA where the headquarters are currently located. The name of our parent company, PONY, stands for “Protect Our Nation’s Youth.”
Carlsbad Youth Baseball At-A-Glance: President: Jeff Johnson
Years in Position: 2
Address: P.O. Box 4475 Carlsbad, CA 92008
Description: Carlsbad Youth Baseball is a nonprofit organization that serves hundreds of players and their families in Carlsbad and surrounding cities to provide a fun learning experience for all children.
What is CYB’s mission?
CYB is a nonprofit organization that serves hundreds of players and their families in Carlsbad and surrounding cities. Our mission is to provide the opportunity for all children, regardless of skill, experience, and financial status, to have a positive and fun experience learning the fundamentals of baseball, teamwork, and sportsmanship.
How does CYB serve the Carlsbad community?
CYB serves the community by providing a safe, fun, and educational environment for kids to learn and play the game of baseball. Youth baseball is not only fun for the kids, but it brings the community together. Anytime there are games being played, you can see multiple generations cheering on the players. From siblings to parents and grandparents, everyone enjoys sitting in the bleachers with a hot dog or nachos from the snack bar. A sense of community is definitely created when everyone pulls together to make it a fun experience for the kids.
What type of programs does CYB offer? Who can join and what is the registration process like?
CYB provides many different ways for our players to develop over the season. A typical season consists of a combination of practices and games that build upon themselves to help players develop over time. In addition to that, we provide extra training clinics for coaches and players to help develop their skills. We also truly appreciate the relationships we have developed with our local high school baseball programs. Many players from the Carlsbad and Sage Creek baseball teams played in CYB when they were younger. A lot of these kids volunteer their time to help our league out with various events throughout the year.
Where does CYB play?
Carlsbad Youth Baseball plays at many different fields in Carlsbad. Our main location is Chase Field in downtown Carlsbad. We also play games at Poinsettia, Pine, Alga Norte, and Calavera Parks. In addition, some of our younger divisions play at the local elementary and middle school fields.
What is your role with CYB? What are some of your duties or responsibilities?
My current role with CYB is President. Duties and responsibilities include presiding over all meetings of the league membership and all meetings of the board of directors, being Chief Executive Officer of the league, being a member of all standing and special committees, identifying and presenting candidates for chief umpire and division commissioners to the board of directors for approval, maintaining the ability to assign duties not otherwise assigned within the bylaws, managing volunteers, interact with membership, and working with the Parks and Recreation division of the City of Carlsbad.
What are the most challenging and most rewarding aspects of your role?
The most challenging part of my role is time management. Being president of CYB is as rewarding as it is time consuming. Balancing my role as president, family life, and my “paying” job as a real estate agent can be challenging at times. That being said, I am lucky to have such a great group of volunteers in this organization that all devote countless hours of their time to make things run smoothly.
The most rewarding aspect of my role as president is seeing the results of all of our volunteers’ hard work. By that, I mean the happiness on the kids’ faces when they are on the field playing baseball. When one of our players gets their first base hit, or catches a fly ball, you can see a smile from ear to ear. This truly makes all of the hard work worth every bit of the effort.
How is CYB maintained and funded?
CYB is maintained and funded in many different ways. There is a registration process where members pay a fee for the season. This helps the league pay expenses, such as: uniforms, insurance, equipment, field lights, field maintenance, etc. We do have a financial assistance program for those that need a little help covering the registration costs. Fundraising and donations from businesses in the community are a big part of our league’s stability.
How many people work or volunteer with CYB? Can you tell us more about their roles?
CYB relies on volunteers to make everything work. Our organization consists of a board of directors (seven executive members), a director of baseball, five division commissioners, team managers, assistant coaches, team parents, snack bar volunteers, and volunteer parents.
The board of directors (executive members) includes the president, VP of operations, VP of administration, secretary, treasurer, player and coach agent, and fundraising agent.
“A sense of community is definitely created when everyone pulls together to make it a fun experience for the kids.”
What do the players like best about being part of the CYB team?
The players in our league enjoy being part of a team. I feel these kids get a great blend of individual achievement as well as being part of a team. We work hard to instill sportsmanship and teamwork while developing individual skill sets for the game of baseball. Hopefully the lessons they learn with our league spill over into other areas of their lives. In addition to developing players, we support a junior umpire program. This is a fantastic opportunity that was put together by our chief umpire for both boys and girls to develop their leadership skills and learn the game from a different perspective.
Does CYB need volunteers? How should those interested in volunteering get involved?
CYB can always use good volunteers. The strong foundation of our organizations relies on people volunteering their time to the children in this community. Anyone that is interested in a volunteer position or donating community services can go to our website, www.carlsbadyouthbaseball.org and go to the contacts section. There you can email anyone on the board of directors and we will find a spot for them to volunteer or donate.
Years in Position: 2 (previously Treasurer for 3 years)
Profession: Real Estate Agent – Harmony Realty, Inc. & Prestige Manufactured Homes
Hobbies & Interests: Spending time with wife Donna and two sons Collin and Reece, playing golf, flying RC planes and drones
Favorite Spots in Carlsbad: The Crossings at Carlsbad Golf Course, Ponto Beach, Chase Baseball Fields, The Boardwalk along the ocean.
Is there anything else you’d want readers to know?
Carlsbad Youth Baseball has been giving back to the community in many different ways. We are honored to have the opportunity to support youth programs with the City of Carlsbad and baseball programs at both Carlsbad and Sage Creek High Schools. Also, in an effort to support the kids off the baseball field, we are proud to announce our first annual Carlsbad Youth Baseball Educational Grant Program. One graduating senior from each high school’s baseball team will be awarded a grant to help with their continuing education after high school is over. We feel this will help enhance our role in this community of Carlsbad and supports what PONY baseball is all about – “Protect Our Nation’s Youth.”