In 2010 North City Youth Baseball absorbed both Clairemont Mesa Little League (ages 5-12) as well as Clairemont Pony League (which had a single division of players aged 13-14). Both NCYB and CMLL have a long history in San Diego.
In the 1950s, when the community of Clairemont was being constructed, the need for youth sports organizations became evident with all the new, young families moving in. A number of little leagues popped up in the area, including the North Clairemont and Clairemont Mesa Little Leagues. The NCLL played its games on fields located at what we know today as the Clairemont Square shopping center and CMLL was located on land where the 805 freeway now runs.
“North Clairemont” Little League becomes “North City” PONY League
As Clairemont grew, new land was being graded and leveled for new homes. In the late 1960s, a group of Clairemont residents noticed the developers were dumping a great deal of the left over dirt from grading into a nearby canyon of Mt Etna Drive. In 1971, this group leveled and groomed the dirt in the canyon to create what is now our Mustang and Bronco fields.
In 1972, Mr. Frank Morales asked utility companies to dump the excess dirt generated from the undergrounding of utility lines into the hole set just outside the Mustang field. He later utilized a tractor to level and compact the dirt inside the canyon to make what is now the Pinto field. This new leveled piece of land then became the new home of the North Clairemont Little League.
However, in the early 1980s, under the leadership of league president, Tom Klauda, the North Clairemont Little League changed its affiliation from Little League to Pony Youth Baseball. This change allowed for more aggressive and competitive play for the league’s players. The change also required the league lose its “North Clairemont” name. It was decided the new league should be called, “North City” to maintain the “NC” logo the league had nurtured up to that point.
Clairemont Little League’s Honorable History
On December 4, 1959, a young pilot from the Miramar Naval Air Station named Joe Hickman was flying over the Clairemont community when his jet experienced a “flameout”. With his jet gliding towards a playground full of children at Hawthorne Elementary, Ensign Hickman did not bail out, but rather sacrificed himself and guided his jet into a canyon next to the school.
In the late 1960s, with plans to run the new 805 freeway through their fields, CMLL was forced to relocate. The U.S. Navy allowed CMLL to lease a small corner of the Miramar Naval Air Station’s land for a price of $1 per year. This new site for CMLL became known as Hickman Fields in honor of the brave pilot who sacrificed himself for the many children at the school, some of whom probably played the first games at that location.
In the 50s, 60s, and 70s NCLL and CMLL enjoyed large league sizes as the children of Clairemont competed for local bragging rights. However, throughout the 80s, 90s and 2000s, both leagues saw their numbers fluctuate as the population of Clairemont and surrounding communities changed.
In 2010, with their league's participation dangerously low, both Clairemont Pony and Clairemont Mesa Little League approached North City about joining forces in an effort to ensure baseball continues to be played on the Hickman Field site. With the absorption of those players, North City’s numbers are as strong as they have been in over 20 years.
Today, the new North City Youth Baseball league consists of five divisions and enjoys the use of 9 NCYB-controlled and maintained baseball diamonds, as well as other additional practice fields throughout Clairemont. As in years past, the continued support and volunteerism of community members like you will ensure we handover a strong, competitive and first-class youth baseball league to the next generation of North City families.