By Sue Pascoe
Your kid has been through Pacific Palisades Baseball Association, and maybe even played all-stars, but now he tells you that he’s done with that sport and plans to concentrate on swimming or music or photography. His bat and glove are stored in your garage: he doesn’t want them.
Rising high school sophomores Wyatt Standish, Leo Rochman and David Orlinsky will gladly take them. They run a charity, Gold Glove, that collects and distributes new and gently used baseball gear to kids at the Compton Urban Youth Academy, a nonprofit that offers softball and baseball opportunities.
Gold Glove was founded in 2016 by Jack Standish, Wyatt’s older brother, who played PPBA and is now a senior at North Hollywood High.
Jack said,“I started Gold Glove Charity as a way to support young baseball players in Los Angeles who do not have the means to purchase the gear that they need to play baseball. I hope that through our efforts other kids will have the same opportunity to enjoy the sport the same way I have all these years.”
Since Jack is headed to the University of Chicago this fall, he has turned to three other “super stars” to take over the charity: Rochman, Orlinsky and Wyatt Standish.
Every Saturday during the PPBA season, the young men place three collection boxes at the Palisades Recreation Center near the Field of Dreams: one by the entrance, a second by the Bat and Grill and the third by the stairs to the fields off Frontera Drive.
The three teens, all of whom played PPBA, and now play for their high school teams, share a love of baseball.
“We’re really lucky growing up in the Palisades and wanted to give back,” said Wyatt, a lefty first baseman and pitcher for the Palisades High JV team. He explained that he liked baseball because “It’s a team sport and I like how everyone has to contribute; you can’t do it yourself.” Rochman, who pitches and catches for Crossroads, added, “Even though it’s a team sport, there’s a lot of pressure to compete and you put a lot of pressure on yourself.” “Baseball’s my favorite thing in the world,” said Orlinsky, who is a pitcher and third baseman at Crespi. “It taught me a good work ethic.”
Surprisingly, the three never played on the same PPBA baseball team, although two of the three were teammates on several teams.
Rochman and Orlinsky said that when they first started PPBA as Pintos, they “weren’t that good,” but have developed with practice and good coaching.
Rochman remembers that Steve Kaplan was one of his favorite PPBA coaches. And Orlinsky said, “Bill Lawrence, my Pony all-star coach last year, was great.”
Wyatt, who was on two World Series championship teams, said that baseball al- ways seemed to come naturally, but cited coaches Bruce Wallen and Jim Ford as helpful in his development.
Over the past two years, the Gold Glove Charity has collected 120 pieces of baseball equipment and hopes to collect even more pieces this coming year.
“We have meetings about what to do,” said Orlinsky, whose parents are Michael and Kathleen.
Rochman, whose parents are Joan and Harvey, said, “We discuss how we want to grow our charity.”
Standish, whose parents are Melissa and Peter, said the three leaders plan to continue the charity during their high school years. “When we go to college, we’ll pass it off to the next generation,” he said.
If you missed donating baseball bats, gloves, masks, cleats, bat bags, catcher’s gear and helmets during the PPBA season, you still can go online to donate. For more information, visit goldglovecharity.org/donate.