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SERGIO <span class="interior">BARBA</span>

In 2002, I was at Closing Day ceremonies and some members approached me and asked if I would consider running for President. After hearing Sergio's remarks that day, I really considered running. What Sergio said hit me in my weak spot, my heart. He said, “Let's get this organization back to the way it used to be years ago. Let's all get involved."

I thought about his remarks and I looked at all the good people that were involved in the PONY organization at Los Amigos. I had been President in the past when I was younger, and I knew I could do it again, this time better than before, because now I was older, a little wiser and had more experience leading, organizing, planning, and more resources. I told Sergio that if he would be in charge of maintaining the field, I would run for President. He agreed and we went right to work getting ready for the upcoming season.

He wanted to change our logo and put some kids in it as well as add "Los Amigos Park" which means "The Friends" in Spanish.

We were hard at work when suddenly I received the tragic news that Sergio had died in an accident while helping a friend. It did not surprise me that he was helping a friend. Our community lost a great person that day. I personally lost someone who was becoming a good friend.

That night, a Board of Directors meeting was scheduled. Although we were all in shock, I decided we would go forward because we had goals to meet and I knew Sergio would want it that way. At our meeting we decided that we would give a perpetual trophy in Sergio's name so that he would never be forgotten. We also donated some funds on behalf of PONY Baseball at Los Amigos to a scholarship in Sergio's name at Santa Monica High School .

Sergio's brother Enrique, whom I met for the first time at Sergio's Funeral, stepped up at my request to fill in for his brother. Enrique went on to fulfill the vision that Sergio had about changing the logo. We did change it and we sold lot's of t-shirts and donated 10% of what was sold to the scholarship fund.

On Sergio's plaque, which we presented on Opening Day, 2003 to his wife Patricia, and his son Noah, as well as their entire family, we enscribed: “In Memory of Sergio Barba. Thank you for the leadership and friendship you provided for the children of Los Amigos, and the time and effort you gave as an Officer of Santa Monica Pony Baseball. You were an inspiration to us all, you will never be forgotten. We dedicate this year 2003 in your honor. We will miss you.”

As told by Fernando Padilla
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