SANTA BARBARA, Calif.- Ryan O'Hearn won a national title with the Santa Barbara Foresters and he was one of three new inductees into the team's hall of fame.
O'Hearn, who plays for the Kansas City Royals, was honored along with former big league player Delwyn Young as well at Bob Townsend who founded the modern day version of the Foresters in 1991.
The ceremony took place at the Santa Barbara Carriage Museum.
If not for Bob Townsend, none of us would be here! Bob was the local baseball man who started the current version of the Foresters in 1991. Bob grew up playing ball here, including at SB High, SBCC, and UCSB. He became a coach for the Gauchos and, taking the name from a 1950s Foresters team, Bob gathered local college players and put together the start of the Foresters’ winning tradition. His first team was 21-7 and since then the ‘Sters have never had a losing record. Bob led the team to its first NBC World Series appearances in 1993 after winning their league title. It was Bob who coached Eric Pintard in Wichita in 1994 when Eric was named the tournament’s Most Inspirational Player; the award was later named for Eric. Bob passed the team to Bill in 1995, but has been a part of the Foresters family ever since.
Ryan is one of the most recent Foresters to make the big jump to the Major Leagues. He burst onto the scene in 2018, bringing a power bat to the Kansas City Royals. In his first big-league game, he cracked a two-run homer to help the Royals win. He added 11 more and took over the starting first base job, which he held onto through most of 2019. In 2012, the Sam Houston State star led the Foresters in RBI, but more importantly led them to the 2012 National Championship team. He also played for Santa Barbara in 2013, leading the team in doubles, while driving in 25 runs.
The Young family has been a part of the Foresters family for almost two decades. Delwyn Young was a coach. Delwyn Jr. was a longtime batboy. And our Hall of Fame inductee, Delwyn. He was a ’Ster in 2000 and 2001 and played at SBCC, from where he was drafted by the Dodgers in 2002 in the fourth round. He also played for Team USA and won a gold medal. After four minor-league seasons, he made his big-league debut in 2006. He saw action with the Dodgers in 2007 and 2008 before he was traded to Pittsburgh. Delwyn played outfield and second base for the Bucs through 2010 before moving into coaching. He was a hitting coach for the Mets and coached former ’Ster Luke Ritter in 2019.