Share this story

Fair Game


Local pastor taking his kids on a “Shark” hunting expedition to potentially change their lives

TJ headshot AugJon Batarse is the Executive Pastor of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church. He’s been on staff there for 17 years.

When Jon’s not involved with teaching the word of Jesus Christ, he loves spending time with his family, centered around his son Gavin (8) and daughter Morgan (11). Both play sports, and you can usually find Jon coaching them.

Along the way with all of that, something happened that has potentially changed the family’s entire life.

Let’s step back for a second. Those of you who grew up playing baseball or softball might remember what an ordeal it was to break in a brand-new glove or mitt.

I remember for me as a kid it was to regularly oil it, put a ball in the web, roll the mitt around the ball just right, place it between the mattresses of my bed every night and sleep on it.

B-t-w, it became perfect!

Jon Batarse also had his way; he taught his kids to roll the glove into position and then put multiple rubber bands around it to hold it perfectly in place. One day, after son Gavin got a new mitt, Jon sat down with him, reached for the rubber bands and realized he didn’t have any.

Fair Game Bartese family

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of the Batarse family

Showing off the Glove Wrap – (L-R) Jon Batarse with his children, Gavin and Morgan

As curious kids often do, Gavin had a question: he asked his dad why he used rubber bands and not something bigger, wider and stretchable instead to bind it.

Great question…and a light went off.

To have some fun, Jon, along with the kids, ordered various materials of product in different lengths and thickness. Together they created something they would eventually call the “Glove Wrap.”

The next plan was now that they had an idea, how did he perhaps take the next step and teach the kids a little bit about product development, packaging, marketing, et al. You know, that whole entrepreneurial experience.

So, together, as a family team, they did just that, including developing a website called

They even got a little product endorsement of sorts. One day at an Angels game, Gavin got with Texas Rangers pitcher Jon Gray to introduce the product to him. Well, he liked it and a video of that moment went viral. Other big-leaguers soon followed suit.

Fair Game Glove Wrap

Click on photo for a larger image

Glove Wrap on display in packaging

Today, Gavin, Dad and Morgan have 100,000 followers and have had 30 million views.

The question became, where do we go from here?

Well, the Batarses, who love to sit down weekly and together watch their favorite TV show Shark Tank, applied. But it’s such a long shot to get there. Out of some 14,000 ideas attempting to get onto the show each season, only around 70 actually make it to filming, with only 50 of those ever actually even making it all the way to air.

But, after a year-plus of trying, the Batarses finally got the call to the “BIG LEAGUES,” so to speak. Tonight, there they will be, pitching the Glove Wrap to the likes of the Shark Tank crew…Mark Cuban, Mr. Wonderful and the gang.

Do they get a deal? Well, you have to watch tonight to find out.

The program airs at 8 p.m. on ABC

• • •

The Newport Beach Police Department will hold another Mobile Café at the Balboa Fire Station of Saturday, Oct. 21 from 1-3 p.m. They promise “good coffee, good conversation, in good company.”

I can attest to that because this past month’s Mobile Café at Peet's was excellent.

The NBPD holds these gatherings to allow you to connect to the department during good times, rather than just during a more challenging or stressful time.

• • •

Next Friday, Oct. 20 is the 62nd Edition of the Battle of the Bay football game between Corona del Mar and Newport Harbor high schools. Who’s going to win?

Well, principals Drs. Jake Haley (CdMHS) and Sean Boulton (NHHS) will join the afternoon sports discussion group of Just Sports on Monday, Oct. 16 at the OASIS Senior Center from 3-5 p.m.

Just Sports is a group of sports lovers who gather with no set agenda to talk sports. It’s open to anyone and everyone…men and women.

There are just FOUR rules: No partisan politics, No religion, Give everyone a chance to speak and No dues!

As Just Sports co-founder Laird Hayes so eloquently stated in the lead-up to Dr. Haley and Dr. Boulton lining up to defend their schools, “they are best of friends even though they love beating the tar (or seaweed) out of the other whenever the Sea Kings and Sailors compete…and not just in athletics!”

Both principals will offer their thoughts on the game, with both reportedly promising wins.

NHHS is out to end the CdM run of 10 straight years of victory.

Join us!

• • •

Don’t forget, it’s movie week in Newport Beach! The 24th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival runs now through next Thursday, Oct. 19.

I promise you, there’s lots to see and lots of parties and events to partake in. Go to to purchase tickets to any film and/or event, or to see just what’s playing and happening around Newport.

• • •

The Fall Faire and Pumpkin Patch at the Environmental Nature Center returns Sunday, Oct. 15 – a community tradition dating back to 1975.

The annual event will include crafts, games, pony rides, a petting zoo, entertainment on the Fire Circle Stage, a pumpkin patch (check them out for the perfect jack-o-lantern) and food from local OC restaurants in their Savor OC Showcase.

You’re also encouraged to make this a Zero Waste Event by bringing your own reusable cup, plate and utensils. Those that do will be entered into a drawing for a $50 gift certificate toward anything in the gift shop there, or to one of their Nature Camps.

The day runs from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The ENC is located at 1601 E. 16th St.

Who we are:

Shaena Stabler, President & CEO -

Lana Johnson, Editor -

Tom Johnson, Publisher -

Dianne RussellDuncan Forgey, Gary Sherwin, Len Bose, Nancy Gardner and Sara Hall are our writers and/or columnists.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Email: for questions about advertising


Email: with news releases, letters, etc.


*The content and ads in this publication do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the publisher.

© 2023 Stu News Newport, LLC  |  All Rights Reserved.