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Here are the next 13 teams in the top 25 California high school baseball teams of all-time (through 2013 season):
For writeups of the No. 1 to No. 12 teams, CLICK HERE.
13. McClatchy (Sacramento) 1951
Record: 22-0-1; Head Coach: Cliff Perry
Due to being unbeaten in the days when Sacramento city baseball was as its best, the Lions can still make a claim at being the greatest team in Sacramento history.
The team’s only close game was an 11-11 tie with Christian Brothers that was called due to darkness. The 23-game unbeaten streak didn’t end until it reached 40 games during the 1952 season. It is still one of the five longest unbeaten streaks in state history.
As with all great teams, McClatchy could hit and pitch. Earl Rose led the hitting with a .521 average followed by junior Peter Stathos at .512. As a team, the Lions batted .309. Sophomore Ralph Rose (Earl’s brother) was one of the top pitchers, along with Chris Christian and J.C. Masters. Catcher Bob Jones and junior first baseman Dick Traversi were two more All-City players.
14. Rancho Bernardo (San Diego) 2000
Record: 30-3; Head Coach: Sam Blalock
This looks like the best combination of star players and team accomplishment among all of those that have been coached by Blalock, one of the state’s all-time win leaders who just finished his 37th season with another CIF San Diego Section title.
After the Broncos nipped Vista 1-0 in the CIF San Diego Section Division I final, they were ranked No. 1 in the nation. The only run of that game came on a home run by David Georgis. It also was the team’s 75th homer of the season, which tied the state record.
Two players from the roster were chosen in the first round of the 2000 MLB Draft – pitcher Matt Wheatland (eighth) and catcher Scott Heard (25th). Junior outfielder Danny Putnam also earned all-state recognition as did a sophomore pitcher, Cole Hamels, who eight years later would be MVP of the World Series.
15. Redwood (Larkspur) 1977
Record: 33-3; Head Coach: Al Endriss
The Giants were awarded a mythical national title after this season by the Easton Bat Company, but we have them No. 2 in the state behind Edgewood of West Covina, which was 29-1. With Edgewood making these rankings, Redwood’s 1977 team can be this high as well. The 1977 Giants also were better than Redwood’s 1978 squad that is listed as State Team of the Year.
One of Redwood’s losses was by 2-1 to the Taiwan national team in a game that was tied 1-1 after seven innings. Two losses were to league rival Terra Linda (a team the Giants also beat) while two notable wins were against top teams from Oregon and Washington.
The most famous player on the team was infielder Buddy Biancalana, who was a hero for the Kansas City Royals in the 1985 World Series. Third baseman Greg Zunino set a state record by scoring 65 runs and helped the team score 356 runs for a NorCal record. The Giants also had 358 hits, a total that still makes the state record book. Pitchers David Hoffmeister and Steve Travers (both who pitched at USC) along with outfielders Steve Hoffmire and Jim Connor were among the team’s other standouts.
16. Sacred Heart (San Francisco) 1961
Record: 32-2; Head Coach: Dick Murray
Future major league pitcher Frank Bertaina led the Irish to a memorable season. He pitched a two-hitter and struck out 16 when Sacred Heart closed out the San Francisco Academic Athletic Association playoffs with a 2-0 win over Balboa before 6,106 at Candlestick Park. In regular season league games, Bertaina went 10-0 with a 0.27 ERA and struck out 151 batters. He also batted .451 with 25 RBIs.
With other top hitters such as Bill Phelan, Ron Butori and Frank Tamony (who later went on to become a top teacher/coach at De La Salle of Concord and is now in that school’s athletic hall of fame), Sacred Heart had a team batting average of .333. Phelan also was another of the squad’s top pitchers.
The win over Balboa also capped a 12-year run by Dick Murray as the team’s coach. Murray, who had to step down after the season because he wasn’t on the teaching staff of the school, had a 300-65 record for the Irish.
17. San Diego 1949
Record: 29-3; Head Coach: Mike Morrow
If the name of the coach sounds familiar, it’s because the top division at the annual Lions Club tournament in San Diego is named in honor of the legendary head coach of the Cavemen.
Morrow had three No. 1 teams on the all-time state list in the 1940s, but the 1949 squad may have been the best. All three losses were to out-of-state teams early in the season and the team dominated in the CIF Southern California playoffs.
In the semifinals, San Diego defeated Pomona 13-5 with a 13-hit attack, including two triples from Clyde Thomas. The final was played at Lane Field in San Diego and was against powerful Santa Barbara, which featured future MLB Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews. Even though Mathews homered and had two hits, the Hilltoppers (as they also were called) won easily 8-2. Curt Everett and Tom Martinez both cracked two-run singles and Jack Smith pitched a fine game against the rest of the Dons’ lineup. Ray McCoy was the team’s other top pitcher.
In all, seven players on the team hit .300 or better and the squad averaged 15 runs per game. It also was San Diego High’s second straight CIF SoCal title.
18. Fountain Valley 1995
Record 26-3-1; Head Coach: Ron LaRuffa
Wins of 2-1 over Fontana and 14-7 over Bishop Amat of La Puente gave the Barons their second straight CIF Southern Section Division I championship. They became the first school in Orange County history to go back-to-back in the CIFSS’s top division and also won the rugged Sunset League title for the third season in a row.
In the final game, Greg Hanoian cracked a pair of two-run singles while all-state underclass catcher Roger Pechuls had four hits. Fountain Valley, which was No. 1 in the state for both 1994 and 1995, had a two-year record of 53-6 against some of the top competition in the nation.
19. Bullard (Fresno) 1989
Record 28-2; Head Coach: Mike Noakes
The Knights make the list twice because their 1980 team may have been their all-time best and was separated by nine years from 1989. The 1989 Knights also capped a two-year run for the school finishing No. 1 in the state, following the 1988 squad that had an even better record of 29-1.
Bullard’s 1989 team, ranked No. 1 in the nation, put its reputation on the line by traveling to take on top teams from the South at the Colonial Classic in Orlando, Fla. The Knights won every game and they rolled in the CIF Central Section playoffs, winning their final game 15-2 against Hanford.
Pitcher-catcher Todd Johnson was the team’s leader and was chosen as the 1989 State Player of the Year. He had a 34-2 pitching record for his career (with a 1.64 ERA as a senior). Johnson also batted .429 and blasted 12 homers. Pitcher Bobby Waits and outfielder Darrick Walker were two the squad’s other top players.
20. La Quinta (Westminster) 2003
Record: 30-2; Head Coach: Dave Demarest
At the conclusion of the 2003 season, we wrote that in many years the Aztecs would be No. 1 in the state. They ended up third, but since the two teams listed in front of them for the final state rankings are No. 5 and No. 12 in the all-time rankings, we have no problem putting them top 20 all-time.
State Player of the Year Ian Stewart belted 16 homers and nearly set a state record for career RBIs with 166 to lead the way. La Quinta’s ace pitcher, Ian Kennedy, also has not only made it to the major leagues along with Stewart but has become one of the top pitchers in the National League.
The CIF Southern Section Division IV champs also featured outfielder Cole Garner, who played at Artesia of Lakewood as a freshman, sophomore and junior. Garner ended his career with 42 homers to set the section record.
When La Quinta lost its only games, both of which were at the National Classic, Kennedy wasn’t available and neither was top shortstop Blake Crosby. If the team had finished 32-0 instead of 30-2, it would probably be in the top five all-time and regardless still ranks as one of the best teams we’ve ever seen.
21. Buchanan (Clovis) 2011
Record: 30-2; Head Coach: Tom Donald
Including teams from the 2013 season that finished in early June, the Bears are perhaps the top team from the state so far this decade. They were No. 1 in the ESPN FAB 50 national rankings and won their second straight CIF Central Section Division I championship.
Seth Moranda led the team in home runs and finished his career with 32 pitching wins. The squad’s other first team all-state selection was catcher Jeff Brown, who led the team with 40 RBIs, batted .430 and was behind the plate for every inning except two.
Defensively, with Moranda at shortstop and a very fast outfield, this is one of the best teams we’ve ever seen in person.
22. Wilson (Long Beach) 2007
Record: 32-3; Head Coach: Andy Hall
After battling rival Lakewood (which was ranked higher for part of the season) in the Moore League, the Bruins got hot and won the CIF Southern Section Division I title at Dodger Stadium with a 5-1 win over Canyon of Anaheim.
What made the team so memorable was its 1-2 punch at the top of the batting order of junior Aaron Hicks (now starting for the Minnesota Twins) and senior Ryan Dent (the 60th pick overall in the 2007 MLB Draft). Dent batted .496 with 29 RBIs and 28 steals. He was joined on the all-state team by senior Elliott Glynn, who went 9-3 on the mound with a 1.97 ERA and also batted .431.
23. Mt. Carmel (San Diego) 1982
Record: 24-2; Head Coach: Sam Blalock
This was the best team that Sam Blalock had at Mt. Carmel before he switched over to Rancho Bernardo. It was also a team recalled as one of the best seen by longtime San Diego Union Tribune prep writer Steve Brand.
The Sundevils were ranked No. 1 in the state and were No. 1 in San Diego in the same year that Point Loma of San Diego was No. 1 in the state in the second division and was led by pitcher David Wells.
In a memorable section final, Mt. Carmel took a 7-0 lead against Helix of La Mesa only to see Helix rally for a 7-7 tie. Mt. Carmel then won 10-9 in extra innings.
Two players were chosen in the MLB Draft off of the team – shortstop Shell Scott and third baseman Steve Castleberry. Another top player, Darren Balsley, is now coaching with Blalock at Rancho Bernardo.
24. Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 1975
Record: 27-3; Head Coach: Ernie Martinez
Bill Bordley ranks as one of the top pitchers in CIFSS history and was the ace of this team. Bordley, who is now the chief of security for Major League Baseball, was a junior for the 1975 Knights and went 16-1 with 176 strikeouts. The team surrounding him in 1976 was not nearly as good.
Bordley went on to USC where he went 14-0 as a freshman and in 1978 led the Trojans to the NCAA title. His MLB career lasted just one season, however, due to arm injuries. Another future MLB player on Bishop Montgomery’s 1975 team was third baseman Chris Smith. Outfielder Tim Collins was another All-CIFSS choice while John Guggiana set a school record that still stands with 27 stolen bases.
25. San Diego 1921
Record: 18-5-2; Head Coach: John Perry
This team may be more than 90 years in the past, but deserves to be on the list for sweeping West Tech of Cleveland, Ohio, in what was billed as a national championship series. Note that of the five losses, four were to college teams.
After beating Chico 10-4 to win the last CIF state baseball championship (yes, there were state baseball playoffs in those days), the Cavemen (nickname was switched later to Cavers) swept the Ohio team 10-0 and 7-6 before crowds of 12,000 and 10,000 in San Diego. The Cavemen also won their third CIF state title in four years.
25 more great high school teams from California history
Archbishop Mitty of San Jose 2010 (31-3)
Antioch 1995 (23-2)
Arlington of Riverside 1999 (29-2)
Bellarmine of San Jose 2006 (34-4)
Bishop Armstrong of Sacramento 1962 (22-2)
Bullard of Fresno 1993 (26-3-1)
Compton 1953 (23-2)
El Segundo 1966 (24-4-1)
Esperanza of Anaheim 1986 (25-3-1)
Granada Hills 1978 (24-2)
Harvard-Westlake of North Hollywood 2013 (28-4)
Kennedy of Granada Hills 1994 (31-3)
Long Beach Poly of 1936 (23-2)
Lynwood of 1964 (23-2)
Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks 2008 (27-4)
Redwood of Larkspur 1978 (30-5)
Rio Mesa of Oxnard 1980 (28-0-1)
Rio Mesa of Oxnard 1985 (27-3)
Roosevelt of Fresno 1960 (20-2)
Sacramento of 1935 (20-1)
Santana of Santee 1986 (26-2)
St. Francis of Mountain View 1983 (27-2)
St. Francis of Mountain View 2013 (30-4)
St. Ignatius of San Francisco 1959 (28-3)
Wilson of Long Beach 1950 (24-3)
Note: This feature and these rankings will be updated after every season. Next season’s feature will be part of the Gold Club membership to see. This season, we’re using it to help promote our e-book, “California: The Baseball Capital of the World.”