OC baseball park renamed after beloved coach John Altobelli

It was an emotional day at Orange Coast College on Saturday as many honored beloved coach John Altobelli. 

The community renamed the baseball field after him. 

"The last two years has been hard on everyone. I still have guys on this team that went through it, I have staff that went through it. This day has been two years in the making," said coach Nate Johnson.

John Altobelli died in 2020 along with his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa in the same helicopter crash that killed Laker great Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna. In all, nine people died that day. 

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The idea to rename the park came long before today. Those who knew and loved coach Altobelli best wanted the pandemic to ease enough to allow for this dedication... with fans in the stand and a game where both teams wore the coach's number 14.

"27 years he did a ton for this program, a ton for this school. Everything you see that is around me, the turf field, the bathrooms, the press box, everything like that he fundraised for it, he got donors for it. And he got a ton of wins, 705 wins," said coach Nate Johnson.

From the Star Spangled Banner to the ceremonial first pitch, at the mound was Altobelli's brother Tony along with his dad Jim as the catcher.

"The names on the field now, it’s going to be here forever and we’re so honored, so proud of that. While I’m here at Orange Coast it’s my job to keep that legacy alive and make sure he’s never forgotten," stated Tony Altobelli.  

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