San Diego honors founding member with sporting event

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SAN DIEGO — It’s the party of the year on Fiesta Island, the 69th annual Jthe line tournament organized by the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club.

“Imagine 50 3-on-3 softball games happening in the middle of Mardi Gras,” said OMBAC Over the Line Coordinator Jeff Johnson.

The party of the year is largely due to Mike Curren, dubbed “The Godfather” of the event.

“Strangers, tourists come in asking what we were playing, it was just over the line,” Curren said.

Aged 92, he is a founding member of the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club. Curren and his gang of misfit “beach rats,” as he likes to call them, began playing beyond the line while waiting for the volleyball courts to open in the late 1940s.

“I still have the moves but not the speed,” Curren continued.

Now, nearly 70 years later, the legendary tournament welcomes over 50,000 people from across the country.

“Anyone can play it,” Curran said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re tall, short, heavy, skinny, you just need some hand-eye coordination.”

This upcoming tournament will be extra special as Mayor Todd Gloria will issue a proclamation naming July 9 as “Mike Curren Day” in San Diego.

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