Leo Najo Old Timers Baseball Celebrate Annual Reunion

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MISSION – The 46th Annual Leo Najo Old Timers Baseball reunion took place earlier this month honoring Rio Grande Valley baseball heroes.

This year the special guests were members of the Little League Baseball team from Monterrey, Mexico. 

Sixty years ago, in 1957, they won the Little League World Series. Their ace pitcher was Angel Macias and out of 14 players, seven are still alive.

At this year’s ceremony, there were nine former players who were honored. And two of Rick Diaz’s nephews were part of the special day – Oscar Guzman of San Juan and Ted Saenz of McAllen.

 “My mom and my wife and a lot of my relatives are here,” Guzman said.

Guzman was a member of the 1977 baseball team from Texas Southmost College in Brownsville that went to the Junior College World Series.

“A lot of the coaches, I give thanks to that helped me get to where I am right now. Because without them my career probably would not have gone the route that it did,” he said.

The team’s coach, Jimmy Dodd, was also honored. Other members of the team were named in previous years.

“During the course of my baseball career,” Saenz said.

Saenz played for McHi and then went to Livingston University in Alabama. During his senior year, he went to the College World Series.

“I went into coaching shortly after that and coached for 30 plus years and I enjoyed football and baseball. I had some really fine teams and a great coaching career,” he said.

Saenz’s father is also a former Leo Najo honoree.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for people to get to know more about the history of baseball in the Rio Grande Valley,” Charlie Vaughn said.

At one time, Vaughn was signed by Atlanta.

A total of nine honorees were cited for their excellence in baseball in high school, college and higher. 

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