By Steve Breazeale
As the music blared out of their 1990’s-era jukebox perched on a bench in the dugout, the Hairy Larry’s discussed how they would need a big late-inning rally if they were to knock off The District Salon.
Hairy Larry’s is one of the more experienced kickball teams in Dana Point, having been formed five years ago to compete in the Dana Point Recreation Department’s co-ed league. So when it came time for them to dig deep for a win during the league’s opening match of the 2016 season on July 11, they went all out.
Each player for Hairy Larry’s has a walk-up song, ranging from modern pop hits to classic orchestral scores, that blasts out into the night sky for them when they stride to the plate. In need of a few runs on opening night, the boom box got turned up to 11. They pumped fog out of a fog machine, a move that didn’t seem to have much use other than making the dugout look like a stage KISS was performing on. The team’s mascot, an old rag doll that is ever-present in the dugout, was called upon to bring them good luck.
But all of the rally superstitions fell short. On this night, The District Salon, in their matching all-black uniforms, prevailed.
That didn’t stop the Hairy Larry’s from taking a “victory” lap around the field following the loss. Team manager and Dana Point resident Skylar Glasier proudly carried his team’s new 10-foot tall yellow flag as the Hairy Larry’s rounded the bases.
The lap around the field despite a loss epitomized the Hairy Larry’s team philosophy, Glasier said.
“Life can be so serious, but when you come out here, we can all really act like children again and get excited about weird things,” he said.
The co-ed kickball league runs twice a week, on Monday and Wednesday nights, and offers residents and their friends plenty of laughs, exercise and, depending on how serious a team is, some competition. The league takes over one of the baseball diamonds in Del Obispo Park, adjacent to the community center on game nights.
While the Hairy Larry’s embody the laid-back approach to competition, there are some teams in the league that want to win and take home the postseason championship trophy.
Many teams in the league, like The District Salon, are made up of co-workers playing for their businesses. There are others, like the Hairy Larry’s, that consist of longtime high school and college friends. Glasier described how a majority of his team went to Dana Hills High School together.
Glasier said the league serves as a fun excuse for groups to get together and stay in touch, as well as have a pint or two at Turk’s following games.