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Jun, 2022

Covina Baseball Celebrates the 1970 Colt World Series Championship Team

In late 2019, members of Covina Baseball Association in Covina California came up with an idea. 2020 was around the corner, and with it would be the 50th anniversary of Covina’s 1970 Colt World Series championship team. Managed by Bill Viverto, the team won the World Series in Lafayette Indiana, the first of five-world series wins for Covina.

The idea was simple, a celebration to mark the 50th anniversary. Coach Viverto was on board and went to work reaching out to his players, as the league went to work preparing.

Unfortunately, Covid-19 arrived, and with it all celebration plans were put on hold.

On May 22nd, over two years since that idea came to mind, Covina Baseball Association was proud to finally acknowledge the 50th Anniversary. The current Board of Directors welcomed Coach Viverto, his players, and family representatives, many of whom came from around the United States to attend back home to Hollenbeck Park.

“This is your legacy gentleman” President Gil Morales said as he addressed the players on the field with numerous people in the stands including representatives from other Covina World Series winners and World Series participants. “All these young men wanted to follow the legacy of what you started in 1970.”

Pony West Zone East Region Director, Bill Skelton addressed the crowd, running through a list of things that occurred in 1970 including the Beatles breaking up, prices of food, and sports winners. Skelton ended his list with “and Covina won the Colt World Series.”

Morales then read a citation from PONY Baseball/Softball President Abraham Key, marking the moment and congratulating all involved for a memorable run fifty years before.

Coach Viverto then took the mike, thanking those assembled and turning emotional multiple times, addressed his team, to whom he has remained close. He went down the line, giving a story about each man, many of which had nothing to do with baseball, such as why one player was nicknamed The Baby, or why one player took a liking to a certain snack in Indiana.

Viverto saved a special message for members of the team who have passed on, and thanked family members for representing them on this day. Players and family members received plaques marking the achievement fifty years prior.

Coach Viverto summed up the day.

Though PONY Baseball has been a memorable part of my life in one way or another since 1956 my first year playing at Hollenbeck Park in Covina, CA, and then as an All Star in 1957 and continuing as a coach from 1967 through 1973! However, the 50 Year Celebration this past May 22, 2022, in honor of my 1970 Colt World Series Champions will stand out as one the most remembered events in my life! I remember this quote "Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it!" So let me begin my reaction by thanking Gil Morales (President of PONY Baseball at Hollenbeck Park) and his entire board for making that celebration a memorable one for me and each of my players from that amazing team! I would also like to thank Abraham Key (President and CEO of PONY Baseball) for his Letter of Recognition! Keep up the wonderful achievements PONY Baseball and Hollenbeck Park!! If you can dream it, then you can make it happen.”

It may have been two years late, but good things happen to those who wait, and a 50th anniversary of a Colt World Series win was certainly worth the wait.

PONY Baseball and Softball

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