Home Sports Long time commissioner Elgie Bellizio dies at 97 – Monterey Herald

Long time commissioner Elgie Bellizio dies at 97 – Monterey Herald

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Long time commissioner Elgie Bellizio dies at 97 – Monterey Herald

The community lost an iconic figure in Monterey County sports and an even better human being with the death last week of former league commissioner, official, coach and humanitarian Elgie Bellizio.

Bellizio was a fixture at numerous high school events during his 32 year tenure as a commissioner for what is now called the Pacific Coast Athletic League.

“He was my mentor,” said current league commissioner Tim McCarty, who replaced Bellizio in 2004. “I went to him whenever I had questions for the last 18 years. Until he passed, I still relied on his knowledge.”

A member of the Salinas Valley Sports Hall of Fame, Bellizio, 97, brought stability to the position, held coaches, administrators and schools accountable, demanding sportsmanship and character.

“He was not afraid to tell you if you were out of line,” McCarthy said. “He impacted so many people, not just as a coach or educator, but as a human being.”

Prior to becoming a league commissioner for what was then the Monterey Bay League and Mission Trail Athletic Leagues, Bellizio was a high school and college football and basketball official for 36 years.

While employed as a physical education and science teacher at Salinas High for 39 years, Bellizio coached basketball, track and field, baseball and wrestling before retiring in 1990.

He also founded the Sunrise House in 1970 and coordinated the alcohol and drug prevention program for the Salinas Union High School District until his retirement.

“If anyone asked for help, Elgie would drop everything he was doing and focus on that individual,” McCarthy said.

A former US Navy Pilot, who served in World War II, the Cal graduate served for 35 years as a Naval Air Reserve.

Among his numerous awards included the President Ronald Reagan award for community service in 1988 and the Salinas Citizen of Year honor in 1983.

During all all-league meetings for sports throughout the course of the season in the Pacific Coast Athletic League, the Elgie Bellizio Sportsmanship award is given to one team in each division.

“I’m just sorry that people who are involved in sports today as coaches or athletic directors didn’t get to know him, or were mentored by him,” McCarthy said. “It’s a big loss to this community. I will never forget what he did for us.”

Aldrete homers at Richmond

Promoted to Double-A by the San Francisco Giants, Carter Aldrete hit his first homer for Richmond last week.

Prior to arriving, the former Monterey High slugger was putting together a career year at High-A Eugene, hitting .289 with 15 homers and 53 runs batted in.

With both clubs, the 6-foot-2 first baseman has 75 hits and has scored 56 runs in 81 games, compiling a .368 on-base percentage.

Drafted in the 15th round in 2019 out of Arizona State, the right-handed Aldrete has hit 29 home runs and driven in 123 runs in 209 career minor league games.

Aldrete, who has played right field, second, third and first base in the Giants organization, spent part of spring training with the parent club last March.

A two-time member of The Herald’s All-County baseball team, Aldrete was a four-year starter for the Toreadores baseball team, and quarterback the football team to two postseason appearances.

Jensen’s fastball warming up

Ryan Jensen has made 13 starts for the Chicago Cubs Double-A minor league team in Tennessee, with a fastball approaching 100 mph.

The Cubs No. 1 draft choice and 29th overall player taken in 2019 out of Fresno State, the former Salinas High multi-sport standout has struck out 42 hitters in 45 innings of work.

Jensen, who lost a season due to the pandemic in 2020, has been on a pitch count since returning from an arm injury, having not thrown more than five innings in any of his starts in July.

A member of the Herald’s All-County football and baseball teams, Jensen excelled in three sports while at Salinas. A second-team All-America in 2019, he was the Mountain West Pitcher of the Year at Fresno State.

Coaches needed

York School is looking for a boys water polo coach, a girls tennis coach and an assistant field hockey coach for this fall. Email speters@york.org

Pacific Grove is looking for a spirit squad/cheer coach, a co-ed JV water polo coach and a varsity boys wrestling coach. Go to https://www.pgusd.org/Departments/Human-Resources/Current-Opening/index.html

Salinas is looking for varsity head coaches boys soccer, girls basketball and baseball for next season. Resumes should be sent to art.hunsdorfer@salinasuhsd.org.

Basketball camp for posts

Bill McClintock’s Frontline Basketball Camp will be held Aug. 20 at Monterey Peninsula College. The camp is for boys and girls ages 10-19 who play forward or center.

Formerly known as the Pete Newell Big Man’s Camp, McClintock was a member of Newell’s NCAA title team at Cal in 1959.

Also helping conduct the camp is Hall of Famer Ann Meyers and MPC coach Erin O’Hare. Enrollment is limited. Fee is $100 per player, or $1,000 per team (10-20 players). Go to bmcc42@gmail.com for call 831-233-8760.

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