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LAPD Centurions Baseball Team was established in 1913, re-established in the 1970’s, and finally reestablished in 2000 when probationary Officers Michael Scott and Chad Reuser asked Lt. Tim Moss why the Department did not have a hardball baseball team.
Lt. Moss, who at the time was managing the Department’s Championship West Valley Softball Team, explained that the Centurions use to play in the 70’s, but over time interest dwindled. Lt. Moss proposed a challenge two the two baseball loving officers. If they found the players, he would coach the team. This was what Officer Scoot and Officer Reuser needed to hear. Since then, the LAPD Centurions Baseball Team has gone on to win numerous championship tournaments and have hosted several charity events benefiting thousands of the most disadvantaged children of Los Angeles.
The LAPD Centurions Baseball Team has a rich history of helping the community. While doing research it was discovered that Newton Division had an all black LAPD Baseball Team in the late 1920’s. In 1929 during the great depression, the LAPD Team played a charity game against Dunbar Hospital staff and raised more than $10,000 for charity. At that time Dunbar Hospital was the only hospital in Los Angeles that treated black patients. (More stories about the Newton Division all black baseball will be posted soon!)
Today, the LAPD Centurions Baseball Team consists of 35 LAPD Officers who are dedicated to their job of protecting and serving the community in which they all work, and playing America’s favorite past time.
The Centurions have traveled throughout California and played in tournaments in San Jose, San Diego, Sacramento, and here in Los Angeles. They have also played on the road making stops in Arizona, Nevada, and on the East Coast in New York and Miami to play in tournaments hosted by those State’s Police and Fire teams.
One of the biggest highlights of the Centurions came in 2001 season when the Western State Police and Fire Games announced for the first time ever the addition of baseball to their program. The games were hosted by the City of San Jose, who had put together a highly talented baseball team. In the first game of the tournament the San Jose Baseball Team defeated the LAPD Centurions with the victory making big headlines in the sports section of the daily newspaper. One key article stated, “San Jose Baseball Team beat up on LAPD’s Baseball Team.” The quote from one of the San Jose players read, “LAPD has always been the team to beat, they just are!”
The San Jose Baseball Team went on to a winning streak for the rest of the tournament, but so did the LAPD Centurions. With all the elements in place for an unavoidable showdown, the two teams faced off again in the Championship game held at Municipal Minor League Stadium. And what a show! The San Jose Baseball Team had the home field advantage as the stands were filled with San Jose fans. The LAPD Centurions only had about 25 fans and one heckler. Opening ceremonies included the City’s Mayor and Chief of Police landing on the baseball field in a helicopter and four mounted San Jose Police Officers as Color Guards for the National Anthem. Under all that pressure the Centurions crushed the San Jose Team to win their first of many Western State Game titles.
This year the LAPD Centurions Baseball Team will continue to play competitive baseball and will be establishing a charity organization to help more needy children and launch a team website. The LAPD Centurions Baseball Team will also be hosting additional events throughout 2009 and will sell their baseball merchandise to help with the cost of equipment and traveling expenses. For more information about the team, contact Officer Michael J. Scott at Mission Police Station at 818-838-9800.