Mike Curren, Mission Beach legend and Over-The-Line founder, dies at 92

Mike Curren, the man credited with inventing the More than-The-Line sport that helped make San Diego beach lifestyle famed, died Friday at his longtime household in south Mission Beach. He was 92.

Recognized as the unofficial mayor of south Mission Seaside and a regular existence at well-known watering holes the Beachcomber and the Pennant, Curren developed an enduring legacy when he established the Aged Mission Seashore Athletic Club in 1953.

The club introduced San Diego’s once-a-year More than-The-Line match on the Fourth of July weekend that calendar year and has hosted just one each and every summer considering the fact that, together with the 69th annual final July.

“He was the force that saved it all together,” Curren’s brother, Terry, mentioned Monday by phone. “It’s awesome to us it is lasted this long, and there doesn’t appear to be any conclude in sight.”

The In excess of-The-Line event, which drew 700 teams previous summer months, is famous not only for the sport by itself but also for the similar hoopla and partying of the contestants and the crowds who get to check out. Bawdy team names and cheeky costumes are among the the highlights of the raucous party.

Curren came up with the match, from time to time explained as a cross amongst baseball and softball performed in sand, although waiting to engage in volleyball on the lone community court docket out there in Aged Mission Seashore in the late 1940s, his brother mentioned.

Mike Curren uses surveying instruments to line up the exact dimensions of the courts

Mike Curren utilizes surveying instruments to line up the specific proportions of the courts for the 2010 More than-The-Line level of competition.

(Peggy Peattie/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

“As a stopgap and a little something to preserve us out of getting into difficulty, we set up an More than-The-Line court,” reported Terry Curren, 88. “It was rather free mainly because we did not have anything as complex as a measuring stick for proportions.”

While Mike Curren was equally very well-recognized and beloved by a lot of in Mission Seaside, his brother mentioned it never ever designed Mike’s head swell.

“He was never ever flamboyant and under no circumstances tried out to be the lifestyle of the bash,” his brother explained. “He was a gentleman and he was perfectly-liked and revered.”

Curren’s passionate husband or wife of a lot more than four a long time, Helen Duffy, stated Monday that he defied the seashore bum stereotype and was a silent intellectual who read extensively about historical past, philosophy and other subjects.

“He was extremely clever, and that is one thing a large amount of persons did not understand if they did not know him very well,” Duffy mentioned. “He was participating and irreverent.”

Sean Cook with team Minajah Brah takes a hit in the 2022 Over-The-Line Tournament at Fiesta Island.

Sean Cook dinner with group Minajah Brah will take a strike in the 2022 More than-The-Line Match at Fiesta Island.

(K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Right after two marriages that resulted in three kids, Curren was one at 50 and wandered into the Pennant just one evening and fulfilled then-30-12 months-aged Duffy. They experienced been together considering that, she reported.

“He was my little Irishman,” she said, describing Curren as “wiry, athletic and really powerful” despite being reasonably tiny in stature at 5-foot-8.

“He was actually something else,” Duffy mentioned. “He lived a magical everyday living, and he lived it the way he wanted to.”

Curren had a very long job as a land surveyor and was happy he was able live his ultimate many years in his own property and in his beloved Mission Seaside, Duffy claimed.

No memorial or solutions honoring Curren have been planned, but his brother said he is self-assured the seaside local community will occur collectively in coming months or months to honor Mike and his legacy.