his 1987 Northwood Little League team was going to Williamsport – Orange County Register
Some of the players from the 1987 Northwood Little League team got together for a group portrait at the Irvine ball field at Harvard Park where they practiced and played 30 years ago. From left are Steve Habiger, Tommy Louie, Chris Greinke, Erik Sobek, assistant coach Gregg Colbert, Loc Tran, Geoff Ebdon and Ryan Jones. (Photo by Bill Alkofer, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Chris Greinke was a pitcher for the 1987 Northwood Little League team. (Photo by Bill Alkofer, Orange County Register/SCNG)
A look at the pin collection that assistant coach Gregg Colbert collected from the Little League tournaments in 1987. Tim Burt photo
Northwood Little League players watch the action from the dugout during a tournament game in 1987. Photo courtesy Northwood Little League
Northwood Little League’s major all-stars celebrate after winning the national championship in 1987. Photo courtesy Northwood Little League
Northwood assistant coach Gregg Colbert with a poster that was shot after the Northwood Little League team won the national championship in 1987. Players were front row (left to right), Chris Curry, Didget Tuttle, Aron Garcia and Steve Habiger; second row, Steve Mendoza, Ryan O’Toole, Ryan Jones, David Lambert, Chris Greinke and Erik Silberman; and top row, Tommy Louie, Geoff Ebdon and Erik Sobek. Not pictured Loc Tran. Tim Burt photo
(Third of three parts)
Northwood Little League major manager Bob Garcia gathered his players for practice one summer afternoon at Harvard Park in Irvine in 1987 and made a prediction: his group of 11- and -12-year-old all-stars would earn a trip to Williamsport for the Little League World Series.
Thirty years later, some of the memories fade, but the significance of the Irvine team becoming the only Little League squad from Irvine to earn a trip to the Little League World Series has not been forgotten. It was the fourth year of Northwood’s existence.
“I think we all remember sitting here by the light pole after our first practice on this field and Bob Garcia said, ‘boys, this team is going to Williamsport, we’re going to win it all,’” recalled catcher Ryan Jones last week at Harvard Park. “And he made it happen.
“We had a tough game against Mission Viejo in the district (tournament) and then we just kind of caught fire. We really turned into an excellent Little League team. We could do it all. We could hit, we could play defense, we could pitch and I didn’t realize it at the time and as I got older and played…