Did You Know? Baseball State Records

Chatsworth’s 2004 team set the state record with a 35-0 season, and helped the school reach 1,000 wins in 2016. Photo: Chatsworthhs.org.

Obtained from the only California high school state record files that exist, here’s a collection of some hard-to-believe, fun facts written up in a Did You Know? format. This spring, we’re likely going to spend a lot of the time we usually do on weekly state rankings and other features for baseball and softball updating state records and creating pages on the site for those all-time lists to be more easily available.

Note: We hope you enjoy this free post on CalHiSports.com. All of our actual state record files are for Gold Club members only. You can now sign up for $3.99 per month or $9.99 for three months to see all of our authentic California high school features and lists. Yearly rate of just 6.8 cents per day also can be done. For details, CLICK HERE.

Did You Know?
Chatsworth has the best all-time record in baseball for any school in the state.

Since 1963, the Chancellors have posted a reported record of 1,080 wins, 362 losses and eight ties (not including any results from 2020). That’s a winning percentage of 72.3 percent. The team had an extremely rare sub-.500 record last season at 13-16-1 and in the last few seasons has been chasing Birmingham (Lake Balboa) for CIF L.A. City Section supremacy. As recently as 2016 and 2017, however, Chatsworth has been a 29-win team. The school’s best record in the 2010s was 28-5-1 in 2012. The previous decade, of course, was insane, which included the program’s state record 54-game win streak. For the 2000-2009 years, believe it or not, head coach Tom Muesborn’s club went 296-31-1.

Did You Know?
San Diego High once won the first known High School Baseball Championship of the United States and probably the only one of those post-season events that will ever be held.

The Cavers are still believed to hold the state record for having the most all-time wins in baseball than any other school. They were the CIF state champions for 1918, 1920 and 1921. After defeating Chico 10-4 for the 1921 state title in June, San Diego faced West Tech of Cleveland, Ohio, in July in a best two-out-of-three series in San Diego that was billed as for the national championship. San Diego took the first game over previously unbeaten West Tech 10-0, and then completed the sweep two days later 7-6. Attendance was reported at 12,000 for the first day and then 10,000 for the second. San Diego had a record that season of 13-1 vs. other prep teams and was 18-5-2 overall (counting games against colleges).

Did You Know?
Baseball team from La Sierra of Carmichael in 1983 set a state record that still stands and a national record (now tied) just weeks before the school closed.

This one is our favorite state record in one sense because editor/co-founder Mark Tennis is a 1977 grad of La Sierra. That school, part of the San Juan Unified School District, closed after the spring of 1983, but just a few weeks before the final class graduated a group of baseball players put La Sierra in the state and national record books forever. It happened in one inning of a 1983 game vs. San Juan of Fair Oaks in which the Longhorns won 27-5. They scored 20 runs in the fourth inning and in that inning there were three different players who stepped up with the bases loaded and cranked out grand slam home runs. Todd Prangley hit the first one, followed by Tim Moore and Kurt Zalar. Also in the same game, Zalar had an additional grand slam. The three grand slams for one inning by one team set a state record and also was later confirmed to be a national record. The national record has since been tied three times, but the state record still stands. The only team we have with three grand slams for a single game is Firebaugh in a 1997 game vs. Fresno Christian.

Did You Know?
California can claim having the first black player, first black manager and first black umpire in MLB history.

Almost everyone knows that Jackie Robinson (Muir, Pasadena) broke the MLB barrier for African-American players in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Most also know that Frank Robinson (McClymonds, Oakland) was the first black MLB manager. He did that with the Cleveland Indians in 1975. We doubt that very many know that California also has the first black umpire in the major leagues as well. That would be Emmett Ashford, who is from Jefferson (Los Angeles) and who became MLB’s first black umpire in 1966.

Did You Know?
The first National League black umpire also is the first reported high school baseball player in the state and nation ever to have driven in 12 runs in one game.

This distinction belongs to Art Williams of Bakersfield. He drove in 12 runs for the Drillers in a 1953 contest against Arvin that was actually a nine-inning regulation game and one that Bakersfield won 20-2. Williams also pitched a three-hitter and was on the mound for all nine innings. Williams debuted as the second black MLB umpire in 1972 in the National League. One of those who later surpassed Williams’ state record with 14 RBI in one game was current St. John Bosco of Bellflower athletic director Monty McDermott.

Did You Know?
The quickest possible way to get three outs in one inning would be on three pitches and reportedly one California high school team did just that to start a game in 1984.

We have an entry in our files that in 1984 Chico High had to have turned the quickest triple play to start a game in baseball history. There may be another high school, another college team or another MLB team who may have tied this feat, but it can’t be beat. So how can a team get three outs on just three pitches? It goes like this: leadoff hitter gets a hit on first pitch, second batter then gets a hit as well on first pitch, and then the third hitter steps up on the third pitch and hits into a triple-play. We also have it that Chico High did this in a 1984 baseball game in the very first half-inning of a matchup vs. Oroville.

Did You Know?
That one of the state’s winningest football coaches was once a baseball coach and directed a team to a state record 37 wins.

We’re talking about Grant of Sacramento’s Mike Alberghini for this accomplishment. Alberghini has been the head football coach of the Pacers since 1991 and was the 2008 State Coach of the Year when his squad went unbeaten and defeated Long Beach Poly in the first-ever CIF Open Division state championship. But before football, Alberghini was the Pacers’ head coach in baseball and in 1989 his squad posted a 37-7-1 record. Grant also was No. 5 in the final state rankings, but its claim to fame was the 37 wins. That broke the previous state record of 35 first set in 1952 by San Diego High and then tied by Grant’s team in 1984. Due mainly to CIF and section limits on games, the 37 wins is still the reported state record. We’ll see if adding the NorCal and SoCal regional playoffs next year will enable another team to play that many games to threaten Grant’s record.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at markjtennis@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports

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