May 20, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

PHOTOS: Cypress retires number of the Angels’ David Fletcher, former Centurion star

David Fletcher (middle) of the Los Angeles Angels is joined by Cypress High pitcher Brett Wozniak (left) and Centurions Coach John Weber. (Photos courtesy Jim McCormack, For OC Sports Zone)

While packing away equipment and uniforms at the end of a 2013 season that included a CIF Division II championship, Cypress High baseball coach John Weber set aside the No. 24 worn by his CIF Player of the Year shortstop David Fletcher.

“I had a hunch that he might be something special,” Weber told an enthusiastic gathering of Cypress baseball and David Fletcher fans Saturday before the Centurions’ Alumni Baseball Game.

To see the slide show, please click on the first photo

Weber’s instincts were correct.

After two stellar years at Loyola Marymount Fletcher was drafted in the 6th round of 2015 MLB draft by the Angels. After a year in the minors Fletcher, a shortstop at Cypress and Loyola, was called up to replace injured third baseman Zack Cozart, hitting .275 with 25 RBI in 80 games. Last season he entered the season with no guaranteed position, but filled in spectacularly at second, third, short and left field, hitting .290 with six home runs and 49 RBI.

Before Saturday’s presentation, Weber said, “you’re going to hear me talk about, and I hope without crying, David is exactly what … and forget whether he is in the big leagues or not … the kind of man he is, the kind of player he was here and still is now and that is exactly what we aspire for all of our players to be.”

Fletcher’s four-year career at Cypress was extraordinary. He was a four-year varsity letter winner and was all-State and All-CIF his junior and senior years leading, as mentioned, the Centurions to a CIF Division II championship his senior year when he was Division II CIF player of the year.

Fletcher recalls his time at Cypress fondly. “It was awesome,” he said. “I played four years here … it was a big part of my development and why I am where I am today.”

Weber doesn’t claim much credit for the player Fletcher is.

“He came here as a freshman and played just the way he does today,” Weber said. “The credit for that goes to his parents, Fernanda and Tim Fletcher.”

Fletcher is three weeks away from beginning his third season with the Angels and, as usual, has no guarantees. He shrugs off that circumstance.

Saying that he has “heard nothing but good things about new manager Joe Madden,” Fletcher’s approach to the game will be the same it has always been …”I just go in ready to play anywhere … get myself prepared and help the team win. I just go out there and have fun every day.”

Saturday’s game drew a happy group of Cypress and Angel fans and once the Alumni game began, Fletcher spent time with old friends in the alumni dugout before signing autographs for a long line of fans.

An autograph cost $20 with all proceeds going to the Cypress baseball program.

The Centurions, the reigning Division I CIF champions and Perfect Game No. 1 team in the nation, open their 2020 season with a doubleheader against Orange Lutheran at Hart Park on Feb. 15.

—-Story courtesy Jim McCormack, For OC Sports Zone