Lions High School Baseball Tournament
The tournament was founded by Mike Morrow and started in 1951. It has been held, rain or shine, every year since! Originally the tournament fields were limited to just San Diego County High Schools and a few nearby towns, but as the number of team participating has grown, so has the number of fields used. La Jolla High School won the first tournament and the trophies were presented at the Army and Navy YMCA with members of the Padres in attendance.
In 1953, 24 teams entered the tournament and several other local Lions Clubs assisted with both staffing and funding. By 1954, the tournament championship game had been promoted to a Padres double header at Lane Field! The 1955 tournament was cancelled because of rain and since then local churches have been enlisted for weather prayers and the event has not been cancelled again!
By 1960, 25 high school teams from around the United States participated. The tournament celebrated its 25th year and there were efforts to increase the support to a district wide committee. Sadly this venture faltered and the Downtown San Diego Lions Club regained control of the effort.
Jim Gordon, a founding member of the Downtown San Diego Lions Club, re-energized the tournament with both television and radio advertisements in 19xx and over 100 high school team participated – nearly one from almost every state in the union.
Judge Pete Gallagher, a long time baseball aficionado, took the reins from Jim in 19xx and currently an average of 130 high school teams participate. Pete also instituted a Coaches Dinner, hosted at and by the Downtown Lions Club, where Padre players and Baseball Officials share stories with the Coaches over steaks and libations.
The increased participation in the Baseball Tournament requires six levels of completion governed by school enrollment and that continues today. The tournament has become a hallmark of San Diego baseball and many Major League stars have been grown out of the competition! More details can be found at LionsBaseball.
26-29 March 2018 Tournament
The 2018 tournament was held at various high school fields around
San Diego county.