Janey Way Memories #149

A Good Baseball Town

A guy once told me that Sacramento is “a good baseball town.” His reasoning went like this:
The weather here is pleasant in the spring.
It’s hot in the summer, but it cools off at night.
The fall weather is perfect for baseball.
One night a few weeks ago, I tested this theory. That night I attended a Sacramento River Cat’s baseball game with my colleagues from Valley Community Newspapers. My editor Monica Stark was there along with fellow writers Lance Armstrong and Matias Bombal.
Before the game began, we all clustered inside our enclosed box, but we ultimately moved out the door to the plastic seats assigned to our group.
It was great. The temperature hovered around 90 degrees, but a gentle breeze made it feel much cooler. We took in the ambiance of Raley Field and watched the River Cats play a great baseball game.
They started fast, scoring their first run in the third inning. After that, they piled up runs so that by the eighth inning they led 10 to 0.
Then, with the game well in hand, I headed for home.
As I walked out to my car, I stopped to look back at the ballpark. Its lights shined down brightly on the field, and I thought “what a great venue this is: Just the right size, friendly staff, and a clean and welcoming place to go.
Then, I thought back to the days of old Edmonds Field where my boyhood heroes, the Sacramento Solons played AAA baseball. Unlike Raley Field, it was old and a little weather-worn. But I loved that team that featured players like Al Heist, Nippy Jones, Cuno Barragan and Elmer Singleton.
All of them had spent time in the major leagues before landing in Sacramento. Nippy Jones was even featured in a memorable World Series play. In the end, they came here to our town and played hard every day like it really meant something, and we loved them for it.
Soon my mind drifted back to the present and I thought out loud that Sacramento really is a good baseball town, and now that we have the River Cats, it will stay that way for a long time.


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