Meet Dave Marrujo, the next Culver City Little League President. When he's not organizing Little League, he's working from home as a voice actor. You may have heard his voice on the Disneyland Adventures Xbox game (he said he loves it when his kids are playing and recognize his voice coming from one of the characters). He recently met up Culver City Patch to talk about his background, his hopes for transforming Little League and dreams of winning an Oscar.
Culver City Patch: Tell us a little background about your experience with baseball.
Dave Marrujo: I've always loved the game. As a kid, it kept me occupied and off the streets.
Patch: Which streets?
Marrujo: I grew up in Houston, Texas. Baseball was my first introduction to hanging out with the neighborhood kids. We needed something to do, and so we spent time on our neighbor's front yard, playing baseball.
Patch: Did you play on any field other than your neighbor's?
Marrujo: There was a Boys and Girls Club nearby that I played for. I also played for my high school team.
Patch: How involved were you with the high school team?
Marrujo: I played Junior Varsity for a while. But I was involved with a lot of other things like ROTC and trying to get my pilot's license.
Patch: Did you ever get it?
Marrujo: I got pretty close, but no.
Patch: What was your first involvement with Little League?
Marrujuo: My daughter, Mackenzie, started playing T-ball at age 5, three years ago, and last year I started assistant coaching for one of her teams.
Patch: Does your daughter still play?
Marrujo: Next year will be her fourth year playing in the league. She's an excellent athlete. It's been a great way for us to bond. It keeps us connected because we both love the game.
Patch: So how did you eventually become president of the league?
Marrujo: I started helping out one of the board members, and soon enough I was voted in to the board. I just couldn't say no. While I was on the board, the current president began his search for someone to replace him because he was leaving after having the role for a decade. He started grooming me for the role, and the board voted me in.
Patch: Does it feel a bit daunting to replace someone that's been in a position for a decade?
Marrujo: Yes. I don't know if I'll be in the role for 10 years, but I do want to build the organization up to the point that it's autonomous and it can run itself.
Patch: How has the transition been so far?
Marrujo: It definitely opened my eyes to how hard it is to operate something at a volunteer level. It's a full-time job.
Patch: What kind of expertise do you bring to the job?
Marrujo: I worked in the retirement division in investment management for a while, so that certainly helped. I always just wanted to do the best job possible. I take my jobs very seriously, even if they're technically voluntary.
Patch: What are your goals for the Culver City Little League for the year ahead?
Marrujo: When I was the information officer and webmaster last year I tried to automate the registration process. With 550 kids playing each season -- ages 4-16 -- manual entry just doesn't do it anymore. I wanted to take the process into the 21st century. Last year, our system became semi-automated, and next year I want the registration to be fully automated.
Patch: What do you like most about the job?
Marrujo: On any given day I'm reaching out to at least 10 families. I like the family aspect. I appreciate that so many community members are wiling to step up to the plate.
Patch: What do you like most about Culver City?
Marrujo: It's Mayberry!
Marrujo: You don't know about Mayberry? It's a reference from The Andy Griffith Show. It's a running joke in this town that everyone knows everyone. A councilman or the mayor could be your neighbor. It makes my job easier because everyone is so approachable, and it's easy to get to know people and reach out to them.
Patch: Anything I didn't ask you that you'd like to answer?
Marrujo: When will I win my first Oscar? That's a hard question, Kate.