Once again the Long Beach sports community is stepping up to help one of their own in a time of need.
Al Huntley dedicated 50 years to being a Long Beach Little League coach, umpire and member of the Board of Directors. He suffered a stroke earlier this year and a former player of his, Billy Gwinn, started a GoFundMe page for Huntley.
It raised $6,784 of its $3,900 goal in two days.
“I can’t thank you enough, Al, for the four years I was blessed to have you as my coach,” Gwinn wrote to Huntley on the GoFundMe page. “Although your tough love was hard to accept at times and made me angry, I look back on how lucky I was to have a figure like you in my life.”
The goal of the fundraiser is to raise enough money to build Huntley, 79, a customized wheelchair ramp to get in and out of his house. The stroke limited his mobility and use of his right arm.
In 2019, the LBLL field at Stearns Championship Park was officially renamed Al Huntley Field. While with LBLL, he managed 25 District champion teams and was part of the coaching staff that led the All-Stars to a pair of consecutive Little League World Series titles in 1992-93.
No other team in the history of the tournament has won back-to-back titles.
Huntley was also an accomplished fast pitch softball player, and would routinely be spotted throwing batting practice for all of the teams at Sterns Championship Park.
“He would always throw on the same patch of grass at the corner of Stearns and Harcourt,” LBLL Board of Directors member David Rima said at the 2019 ceremony. “That was Al’s piece of grass. No other coach ever thought about using it. People knew not to park cars on that part of the street because there was a chance of getting hit.”
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