When Bill Rodriguez drives his cab, he wears his Aliso Viejo Little League cap. Passengers often ask how he got so many Little League pins on his cap, so Rodriguez explains that he’s been volunteering for Aliso Viejo Little Leauge for 20 years.
Rodriguez became a volunteer when his son started playing Little League in 1993, and has continued to help wherever he’s needed. He’s been assistant chief umpire, a player agent, junior commissioner, and he’s worked in the snack bar.
Rodriguez has been a board member since 1997, and for the past three years, he’s been chief maintenance supervisor.
Of all of these roles, umpiring is what Rodriguez likes best. “I’m helping the boys develop their skills and teaching them that failure is not bad,” said Rodriguez. “I also help parents in the Double A [AA] division when they don’t know the rules.”
During the week, Rodriguez umpires for early evening games, because he knows most dads are still at work. On Saturdays, Rodriguez umpires for late morning games, because he drives his cab until 3 a.m.
Rodriguez juggles work, kidney dialysis and his Little League schedule, but claims that he doesn’t feel busy. “I don’t look at Little League like it’s work,” he said. “I’m around a bunch of kids. I just go out and have a good time.”
“Occasionally, Rodriguez has customers in his cab who played in Aliso Viejo Little League when he was there umpiring. “A lot of them will say that was the best time they had when they were a kid,” he said.
Rodriguez credits the parents and the Little League managers for making the program in Aliso Viejo so successful. “It’s great to see the little boys grow up to be great men,” he said.