By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent 

Leake, Toth honored at Salute to the Champions banquet


Last updated 2/21/2019 at 3:47pm

Although the San Diego Hall of Champions museum no longer exists, that organization is now the San Diego Sports Association and still holds its annual Salute to the Champions banquet to honor the previous year's stars of the month and stars of the year and to induct new members into the Breitbard Hall of Fame.

The 73rd annual banquet took place Jan. 31 in San Diego and recognized the 2018 Star of the Month recipients including Fallbrook High School graduates Mike Leake and Chris Toth.

Leake was a Professional Star of the Month for May 2018. Toth received Professional Star of the Month recognition for August 2018.

"It's cool to be honored in San Diego for something like that," Toth said.

Leake played on Fallbrook High School's baseball team before his 2006 graduation. He now pitches for the Seattle Mariners. He started five games in May 2018 and posted a 2-1 record with the loss occurring in the May 4 game against the Los Angeles Angels in which Leake allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings.

On May 27, Leake pitched eight innings against the Minnesota Twins and allowed four hits, no walks, and one run. During the month, Leake threw 32 1/3 innings and allowed 32 hits, five walks, and 12 earned runs while striking out 17 batters. He allowed only one walk in his final four May 2018 starts and none in the last three of those.

All three of the Professional Star of the Month recipients for May were Major League Baseball pitchers. The San Diego Sports Association also honored Brad Hand, who was with the San Diego Padres during that part of the season, and former West Hills High School and San Diego State University pitcher Stephen Strasburg, who is now with the Washington Nationals.

Toth is a 2007 Fallbrook High School graduate and a Major Arena Soccer League goalkeeper who spent the 2017-18 season with the San Diego Sockers and was traded to the Ontario Fury in November. His father, Zoltan, was a goalkeeper on the Hungarian national soccer team before defecting to the United States.

Chris Toth joined Gyongyos Energia for the final two weeks of the Hungarian beach soccer league season and was in the nets when Gyongyos won three regular-season games and two playoff games in August. Toth also scored the tying goal in the championship game after taking a shot with four seconds left in regulation, and a teammate's overtime goal gave Gyongyos the league championship.

The following week, Toth joined the United States beach soccer national team for the Balaton Cup tournament in Hungary and helped the United States to victories in all three games. Toth was chosen as the Balaton Cup's top goalkeeper and he did not allow a goal in the two periods he played against the Czech Republic, who trailed the United States by a 6-0 margin after those two periods.

"It was a great event. It was a great experience. Looking forward to doing it again this summer if I'm available," Toth said.

Toth previously received Professional Star of the Month recognition for March 2011, February 2014, February 2015, and January 2016.

"It's always nice to be recognized," Toth said.

Toth, San Diego Padres (and former Lake Elsinore Storm) outfielder Hunter Renfroe and Chicago Cubs and former Rancho Bernardo High School pitcher Cole Hamels were given Professional Star of the Month recognition for August.


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