Doug Krikorian / Viewpoint

Tommy O'Toole's Magical 12-Hour Day That Might Well Land Him In The Guinness Book Of World Records And, Who Knows, The Zany LBUSD Superintendent Jill Baker Might Be Destined To Wind Up In It, Too

Mr. Krikorian, an award winning journalist and author of two books, earned multiple awards in his 22 years of writing for the Long Beach Press-Telegram and 22 years for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. He is happily retired.

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(April 19, 2021, 5:35 p.m.) -- The seniors at Long Beach's public high schools were allowed to return to the classroom Monday after more than a year of being remanded to the sidelines because of the Draconian, Covid-19-obsessed policies perpetrated by the zany LBUSD superintendent, Jill Baker, and her handlers in Los Angeles (Eric Garcetti and his underlings) and Sacramento (Gavin Newsom).

Well, at least kind of.

Apparently, the classrooms weren't exactly overflowing with students because they were given the option to come back, or remain ensconced at home continuing with their farcical virtual on-line education that has been a disaster because so many have chosen to ignore it.

I mean, if it's between paying attention to a teacher on a zoom hookup ruminating on algebra and the literary virtues of Edgar Allen Poe and Robert Frost, or engaging in video games like MineCraft Grand Theft Auto V, or Spider-Man, you certainly can understand what choice most teenagers have been making the past year.

One of the seniors who made an appearance at Wilson High Monday was one of the valedictorians of the school, Mr. Tommy O'Toole, who proudly carries a 4.67 GPA (nothing lower than an A in four years) and who's soon expected to wind up in the Guinness Book of World Records for an epic accomplishment last Saturday unequalled in the approximate 200,000-year existence of humankind.

Not one person during this lengthy span even has come close to what the 18-year-old O'Toole did.

First off at 11 a.m. on that historical April 17th day, Tommy O'Toole could be found on the mound at Skip Rowland Field as the Wilson High starting pitcher against Canyon High of Anaheim.

Tommy O’Toole pitching for Wilson High last Saturday against Canyon High of Anaheim

He worked three innings, holding the opposition scoreless during the first two and then faltering a bit in the third when a couple of successful bunts, of all things, conspired against him.

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The game was over around 1 o'clock, and Tommy O'Toole quickly devoured a burrito he got from the snack shack, and then, still wearing his baseball uniform, drove off to Anaheim where Wilson was set to play a basketball game against Servite.

Tommy O’Toole playing basketball last Saturday for Wilson High against Servite

The 6-2 1/2-O'Toole, a starting power forward on the Bruins' team, quickly went to the locker room and changed into his basketball togs, made it to the bench for the 2 p.m. tipoff, and wound up playing 27 minutes in a losing effort against the Friars.

He then headed back to his family home in Long Beach to get ready for still another sporting assignment---performing gondolier duties on four one-hour cruises.

Tommy O’Toole performing gondolier duties last Saturday on the Naples canal

He showered and then ate a fried chicken sandwich prepared by his father, Big Mike O'Toole, owner of the popular Naples Gondola Getaway, and then was out the door for his first appointment at 6.

Tommy O’Toole finishing up late last Saturday night.

Blessedly, it was canceled, and this gave Tommy O'Toole an opportunity to catch his breath. ``I must admit I was pretty physically drained at the time,'' he says.

But it didn't stop young Mr. O'Toole from expending considerable energy the rest of the windy evening, as he rowed three cruises around the Naples canals with such grace and elan that he wound up earning 65 dollars in tips.

``I was totally spent at the end of the night,'' he says.

So what does an 18-year-old athlete do for a culinary outlet before heading back home to watch SportsCenter and Netflix flicks?

``I went to In-N-Out and ordered a triple burger with fries and a Coke,'' he says.

Quite appropriate since, well, in the stirring parlance of sporting jargon, Tommy O'Toole had just consummated his own unique version of the hat trick, a term used in soccer and hockey when a player scores three goals.

While Mr. O'Toole didn't score any goals, he did in one magical 12-hour period participate in three different sporting endeavors that no other person, as far as can be determined, ever has done before on the same day on the planet Earth.

``I'm sure a lot of men and women have played in two different sanctioned athletic games in one day, but you can be certain none later worked as a gondolier the same day,'' says Big Mike O'Toole, who already has sent off an applicant information to the Guinness Book of World Records on behalf of his son.

Tommy O'Toole admits the past year of being kept from attending Wilson High has been difficult to endure.

``I feel like we students have been cheated,'' he says. ``The overreach by our administrators has been frightening, to say the least. We've been deprived of so much---our baseball season wiped out last spring, our socialization with one another wiped out, our senior memories wiped out. Why? I understand we have Covid-19. I also understand it hasn't exactly overwhelmed kids my age.''


Jill Baker and her like-minded extremists still have in place stringent rules for the long-beleaguered Long Beach students.

Yes, Tommy O'Toole went to school Monday, but was restricted to but three classes (Advanced Placement Research, AP Environmental Science, AP Calculus) with an average of just nine kids in attendance at each.

It's even worse at the LB elementary schools, where the kids can attend for a mere two and a half hours daily.

Jill Baker has given new meaning to the old cliche ``throwing people a bone.''

And, of course, none of the kids can participate with one another in playground activities which defies all sane calculations, even the insane lockdown ones instituted during The Great Pandemic.

Jill Baker should be ashamed of herself for the developmental damage she has caused---and still is causing---to thousands of Long Beach students.

Incidentally, Tommy O'Toole won't be allowed to attend Wilson on Tuesday because another segment of students---known as Group B---will be on hand.

But, yippee, he will be allowed back on the Wilson campus Wednesday and Friday.

I swear if the Guinness Book of World Records ever includes an entry for educational malfeasance, Ms. Baker would be a charter member.

Anyway, Tommy O'Toole has received lucrative scholarship offers from TCU and Pepperdine and also has been accepted by UC Irvine, UC Davis, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Long Beach State and San Diego State.

This Valedictorian sign is in front of Tommy O'Toole's house in Naples.

Incredibly, despite his impeccable grades, despite his being a two-sport athlete, despite his being active in various school activities, he is being wait-listed at UCSB and UCLA and he actually has been turned down by USC, which had been a lifelong dream of his to attend the alma mater of his father.

I can't figure that one out, but I can't figure out a lot that goes on in academia these days with so many people like Jill Baker around polluting it.

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Previously by Mr. Krikorian:

Why Don't Mayor Robert Garcia And His Marionette, City Manager Tom Modica, Come Out And Tell The Truth About How Long Beach Became A Lodging Sanctuary For More Than 1,000 Undocumented Kids?

Why Have ALL The Long Beach Leaders Been So Silent On The Feds Placing A Contingent Of Undocumented Kids In Downtown LB?
A Talk With Jerry West And An Emotional Remembrance For Me Of Still Another Friend, Elgin Baylor, Who Is Gone
Frankly, I'm Surprised Long Beach Chief Of Police Robert Luna Didn't Think A Contingent Of Extraterrestrials From Another Galaxy Was Responsible For The LB Crime Wave
The Creator Of Two Iconic Long Beach Dining Establishments, Schooner Or Later and Tantalum, LB Bachelor Denny Lund Also Has Been A Creator Of Glad Times
Krikorian Notes: From Cal Gov Gavin Newsom Keeping Long Beach Restaurant Diners Outdoors For No Plausible Reason To His Equally Despised Michigan Counterpart, Gretchen Whitmer, Actually Allowing Indoor Dining In Her State To Cock Of The Walk John Morris Speechless (!) To Dickie (Too Fast, Too Furious) Babian Turning Crow's Over To His Son To My New 7-1, 354 Bodyguard Aaron Gray Taking Over From The Undersized 6-0, 225 Mike (The Hammer) DiMarzo
Krikorian Notes: From Gavin Newsom Praising Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia As Though He's Destined For Mt. Rushmore To Newsom Hoping The Rest Of California Follows The Jill Baker LBUSD Path (???) To The Tiger Woods Car Accident To Bad Stu Ledsam's Son Kyle's Big Award To Vons Pavilion GM Steve Carr Performing Cashiering Duty To My Watching the Amazing Emerzian Twins Next Week In Michigan
Krikorian Notes: From A Most Surreal Development That Has Me In A State Of Giddiness---Our Beloved Long Beach Actually Now Serious About Building A New Swimming Pool After Coastal Commission Approval And Strong Endorsements From Such Local Leaders As Mayor Robert Garcia and City Manager Tom Modica and Their Political Accomplices To Mike O'Toole Doing a Solo, He-Man Rowing Act On A 32-Foot Gondola Carolina Filled With 14 People Around Naples Canals To Jill Baker’s Typical Back-to-School Delaying Tactics To My Receiving My Periodic SAG-AFTRA Residuals From My Once Flourishing Acting Career That, Sadly, Went The Way Of My Once Flourishing Radio Career
Long-Time Belmont Shore Resident Dorcas Baldwin, 85, Endures Frightening Experience Of Homeless Man Breaking Into Her Bay Shore Avenue Home And Taking A Shower Before Long Beach Cops Come To The Rescue
CIF Southern Section Commissioner Rob Wigod Hoping Gavin Newsom And His Health Department Toadies Come To Their Senses For Projected High School Sports Restart On March 19
Terry Antonelli Orchestrating Rise Of L’Opera After Its Tragic Fall In The Great Long Beach Memorial Day Pillage & Plunder Festival
Krikorian Notes: From Mayor Garcia's Spineless Speech To Jill Baker's Passing The Buck Alliance With Gavin Newsom To A Positive Long Beach Vaccination Experience To Welcoming New Neighbor George Gascon To Mike The Hammer Bludgeoning Me About Boxing To The Amazing Tom Brady
The Memorable Life Of Tommy Lasorda: From World Series Titles To Slim-Fast Diets To Obscenity-Laced Jim Healy Tapes To Pitching To Jack Clark To A Sacred Legacy Of Laughter And Success On The Ball Yards Of America
"A Lady Shrieking "Wear A Mask!" On Bay Shore Ave. Results In A Mask-Wearing Epiphany For Our Columnist
A Christmas Tale Of Reflections And Remembrances
A Christmas Tale Of Reflections And Remembrances" Krikorian Notes: From New LA County DA George Gascon Moving To Naples To LBUSD Superintendent Jill Baker Continuing To Stunt Growth Of 70,000 Students To Distress Of Locked Down LB Entrepreneurs Jeff Cozart, Mike Neufeld, John Sangmeister To LB’s Very Own Kato Kaelin, Steve Folger, Squiring Kelly Clarkson In Nashville
Krikorian Notes: From Joe Jost Owner Ken Buck Sounding Off On The Lockdowns To Big Ben Goldberg's Boat Parade Party In Huntington Harbor To Bob Ludlam Departing LB For Prescott -- The Leisure World of Arizona -- To LB State President Jane Close Conoley Not Faintly Resembling Her Esteemed Predecessors To Mike (The Hammer) DiMarzo Invading Miami For Nightclub Frolic To LB State Women's Soccer Coach Mauricio Ingrassia Suddenly Looking Like A Matinee Idol
When Is LBUSD Superintendent Jill Baker Going To End Her Calamitous Lockdown That Has Caused So Much Chaos And Heartache And Disruption Among 70,000 Students?
Krikorian Notes: From Councilman Rex Richardson Displaying Courage To Show Up At A Long Beach Restaurant Association Meeting To The Countless Millions Lost On Unoccupied LB Buses To LB Health Czar Kelly Colopy’s Latest Mean-Spirited Edict To the Irritating Silence Of LB City Manager Tom Modica To LB Mayor Robert Garcia Ignoring His Constituents For Political Reasons To Bob The Black Labrador Parading Down The Peninsula Boardwalk Holding A Large Palm Limb In His Mouth
How Many Long Beach Restaurants Will Be Forced to Close After Latest Lockdown Lunacy?
Where's Krikorian? Temporarily On "Injured Reserve List" Recovering From Shoulder Replacement Surgery
Krikorian Notes: From Nico's George Mlouk Praising LB Mayor Robert Garcia For Working To Help LB Restaurateurs To A Plea To LB Health Czar Kelly Colopy To Restrain Her Overzealous Sleuths To Lakers Deserving NBA Title To LeBron James Turning Anthony Davis Into Passionate Competitor To Vital Contributions Of Lakers Coach Frank Vogel And GM Rob Pelinka To Sadness Of Passing Of The Great Joe Morgan And Its Impact On Maury Wills' Hall Of Fame Chances
Famous Long Beach Restaurateur Phil Trani Days Of Joyful Memories And Pandemic Miseries
Krikorian Notes: From The Irritating Silence Of The Long Beach Politicians In Not Supporting Their Citizens To The Whereabouts Of LB Mayor Robert Garcia To The Whistles Favoring The Lakers Against The Nuggets To The Greatness of Patrick Mahomes To The End Of A European Vacation Streak That Started In 1989
LBUSD Superintendent Jill Baker’s 70,000 Student Online Virtual Teaching Miscalculation A Disaster!
Krikorian Notes: From The 9 Unworthies Of The LB City Council To The LB Upstick In Shootings And Speeding To Restauranteur John Morris Horseback Riding On A Wyoming Mountaintop To The Walking Adventures Of Earth Man
Jeff Cozart's Time Of Torment: Will His Belmont Athletic Club Survive Gavin Newsom’s Latest Lockdown?
Krikorian Notes: A Labor Day Elegy For Those In The Long Beach Business Community Who Were Violated In The Memorial Day Looting Frenzy To The Palm Tree Limbs Littering 2nd Street To The Scooters Littering The Belmont Shore Bridge To The Virtual On-Line Spectacle At Big Mike O'Toole's Household
Krikorian Notes: From Long Beach Mayor's Ascent To Dem Stardom Because Of Lockstep Embrace Of The Party's Policies To The Enchanting Parklet Dining On 2nd Street To Tearing Down The Hoops in Belmont Shore To Greg Silver's LB Departure To Huntington Beach To Bob Rice Protecting Me From Isiah Robertson
Don Kramer Was A Character Like No Other With His Zaniness, Goofiness, Joyfulness, Kindliness Who Left All Who Knew Him With Lasting Memories Of Slapstick Antics And Mirthful Anecdotes
Krikorian Notes: From Majority Of LB Teachers Skipping Classrooms For The Comforts Of Home To Dr. Jill Baker Becoming Another Maria Montessori To Terry Antonelli Discussing Resurrection of L'Opera To Mayor Robert Garcia Touted By MSNBC's Brian Williams As A Future U.S. Senator To Kershaw's Magical Transformation
Long Beach's Renaissance Man, Chuckie Miller, Reflects On His Entrepreneurial Life And On Racial Inequity
Krikorian Notes: From LB's Elected Leadership's Reimagining Delusions To the Gaslamp's Outdoor Wall Video Band Show To The Ghastly USC Coach, Clay Helton
FDR's Grandson, Delano Roosevelt, Talks Democratic Party, JetBlue, Long Beach And His Life
LBPD Chief Robert Luna: Stand Up For Your Fifty Ousted Cops!
What Next From Long Beach Health Boss Kelly Colopy, Hazmat Suits For Our Restaurant Servers?
Sadly, Our National Pastime No Longer A Pastime For Me
Parklets! Three Cheers For Long Beach Politicians!
Memo To LBUSD Sup Jill Baker: Return The Kids To the Classroom!
A 2 1/2-Hour Commute To Work A Joy To This 86-Year Old Gentleman
Long Beach Politicians Once Again Fail Long Beach
Is Long Beach Destined to Become the City That Never Sleeps?
I Never Thought I'd Live To See These...
Ben Goldberg Exits Long Beach, Now Nearby Refugee In OC
Long Time Long Beach Resident Dave Lopez Climaxes Storied 48-Year TV Career
From Krikorian's Notebook: When Will LB Police Chief Luna Come Clean About May 31 Downtown Long Beach Looting Frenzy?
From Krikorian's Notebook: (1) LBUSD Mgm't Mulls Keeping K-5 Kids Indoors Without Normal Access To Playground, Cafeteria, Auditorium Activities; (2) And More...
Will LB's New School Sup't Allocate Untimely Pay Raise To Serve Students?
Awaiting Governor's Dictate To Decide Fate Of This Year's (July 3) "Big Bang On the Bay"
Mayor/Council Sounds Of Silence After LB Cops Let Some Pillage Our Village
Excuses By Long Beach Police & Politicians Dishearten Damaged LB Businesses
Hallelujah! LB Mayor Pleads For Sac'to Permission To Lift Closures That Needn't Have Occurred
Speak Up, Mr. Mayor, On Governor's Unwise Edicts. You Can Do That And You Should
My Beloved Long Beach: A Victim Of Irrational Government Overreach Beyond Reasoned Response To Virus
Support really independent news in Long Beach. No one in's ownership, reporting or editorial decision-making has ties to development interests, advocacy groups or other special interests; or is seeking or receiving benefits of City development-related decisions; or holds a City Hall appointive position; or has contributed sums to political campaigns for Long Beach incumbents or challengers. isn't part of an out of town corporate cluster and no one its ownership, editorial or publishing decisionmaking has been part of the governing board of any City government body or other entity on whose policies we report. is reader and advertiser supported. You can help keep really independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.

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