The Coast News Group
Machel's Ranch

Lessons from Little League

By the time you read this, the Rancho Santa Fe Little League Red Sox team will know if they won the championship or came in second place. I thought about writing this column after that game. However, sometimes the real story is not about winning, but simply about persevering in any game.
Let me start back at the beginning. This season for me was tough as a mom. I must admit that my schedule was too hectic and the two games a week and three practices were a bit much — even for me. As parents we might whisper this to one another, yet, we really don’t want to admit that baseball at a young age can be … boring. Can you say three hours of baseball twice a week? With that said, I had to struggle to motivate my son to enjoy the amount of hours he diligently put in to baseball. I tried my best to stay upbeat and encourage him. When he would ask me, “Mom, can we try soccer next year?” I couldn’t really blame him. Well, mom and son “stuck with it” as the saying goes.
So did his team. This year, one of the most moving moments for me was at my son’s little league championship baseball game. They made the playoffs after those many disastrous first attempts early on in the season, the boys’ faces beamed as each trophy was handed out after that triumphant game. I stood amongst other proud parents as we watched these boys succeed because of hard work and long practices over the season. I witnessed a true example of how with enough focus and basic fundamentals, great things are possible when you believe.
I must admit I am not talking about myself. I had doubts about this season. The one person that had faith and committed his time to making baseball dreams a reality was Todd Stout, my son’s baseball coach. His enthusiasm for the game registered with the boys. Each week I saw so much improvement in their games. My son Jackson started looking forward to baseball. His initial reluctance turned into a smile.
Coach Stout even helped pick up Jackson and some of the boys from school to help out the parents who were busy working.
I may never know how my son’s life will always be impacted by this one glorious season. I just know as his mother I learned my own lesson as I sat and watched on the sidelines. After three months of watching struggle and defeat, I witnessed how hard work, encouragement and faith can change a child’s life — and even my own. I watched those boys face their own fears and emerge as winners at the end of a very long season. I found myself touched by the determination of Todd Stout and his assistant coaches Dale Collier and Jim Stapakis, who took time out of their schedule, patiently working with each child one on one. I remembered why baseball is considered one of America’s most beloved games.
I don’t know if the Red Sox team will emerge the winners at their championship game. What I do know is each and every boy on that team is already a winner. My son asked me after the playoff game, “Mom, do you think I can make triple AAA baseball next year?”
“Absolutely,” I said, beaming with pride. I just want to say thank you to these coaches for making this baseball season one I shall always remember. Now, “Play ball! And, where are those after game snacks?”
Around town SUBHEAD
On May 14, Gary Sanfir, owner of GSB Clothier in Fairbanks Del Rayo Shopping Center, participated in an elaborate fashion show at the San Diego Lyric Opera. The event pulled in distinguished Leonard Simpson, creator of Fashion Forward. Gary’s clothes were part of this amazing evening, which was also co-chaired by well known philanthropist Sally B. Thorton. If you love fashion, this was one party you’ll wish you hadn’t missed. The event, “Fashion Hits a High Note,” celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Lyric Opera. Thanks Gary for informing me of such a fabulous event and congrats on mingling with high society in San Diego. Don’t forget Gary for Father’s Day. He has wonderful specials for just what you are looking to make dad happy! He is just around the corner in Fairbanks.
On May 19, R. Roger Rowe Elementary celebrated with Open House for the community. All of the parents were invited to see the latest and greatest school projects from the classroom to the art room. The third-graders in Mr. Cervantes’ class each read a poem they had written this year in front of a packed classroom full of students and teachers. The students lined up with excitement as they waited their turn to read their piece over the microphone. This was also an opportunity for all of us parents to thank the classroom moms for all of their hard work and dedication for this school year. How grateful I am to all of the wonderful teachers we have here in Rancho Santa Fe. Thanks for making this year terrific!
On May 20, Fawn McCully and Laura North, part of the wonderful The Coast News Group advertising team, ventured downtown in the Ranch to see what Tapas Tuesdays were about at Mille Fleurs. The evening had many other local residents there enjoying the disco music from Europe, while the three of us chatted the evening away. Fawn and Laura posed in the courtyard for a quick snapshot of the two of them. Heads did turn when these two women walked onto the scene. Can you say, watch out single men in Rancho Santa Fe? Here come The Coast News Group girls …
On May 21, I stopped by Hot Rock Jewelry located in the Cedros District in Solana Beach. Each third Thursday of the month the shops celebrate with “open house” with the surrounding communities. I plan on going each month to feature one of the businesses in my column. Store manager Renee Allen and owner Linda Rocco were all smiles when I popped in that Thursday. They were featuring a local artist’s work that evening. Linda has taken her lifelong passion and opened a gorgeous shop in the Cedros Shopping District last fall. She calls her collection “fough and fefined.” She is a jewelry designer and a graduate gemologist. If you are looking for an exquisite gift, from a fabulous set of earrings, rings to men’s jewelry, this shop will take your breath away. My favorite attraction is the demeanor of Linda Rocco and Renee Allen. How fun to visit their store just to see them! For more information, check out
On May 23, Karian Forsyth invited me to a wonderful spa party luncheon at her beautiful house in the Crosby. You can bet I RSVP’d for this fun fabulous day with the girls. Karian had Oxygen Medical Spa on hand to pamper her guests with facial treatments, while they relaxed by the pool on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. The guest enjoyed shrimp, seafood pasta, cheese and many other fabulous food assortments. I must say the day reminded me of a “Sex and the City” episode. The conversation focused on men, men and more men and of course the occasional baby story was thrown in just to balance out the good gossip. I think that Rancho Santa Fe needs to have its own reality show on “Women in Rancho Santa Fe.” Judging from this group shot of the girls, now wouldn’t you agree? Thanks Karian for thinking of me. You are just a fabulous host!
On May 27, I attended the launch party of Mirror Wine at Delicias, thanks to Carmelle Pina. When I arrived I was shocked by the volume of the crowd. Stephanie and Rick Mirer and Rob Lawson were on deck to pour their 2005 new cabernet sauvignon to local residents and guests. The courtyard was packed with guests enjoying the samplings of wine while enjoying some finger foods. Only a limited number of guests were invited to this exclusive evening in Rancho Santa Fe. I found Kara Guthrie with Lauri Colemen in “the mix” that evening. They were kind enough to let me share a gorgeous photo of the two of them at this event. Thank you Carmelle for inviting The Rancho Santa Fe News.

If you have an event you would like Machel Penn to cover you can contact her at [email protected].