On a clear, crisp beautiful Bay Area day for baseball, the Dodgers came to town for a day-night doubleheader with S.Q.’s own Giants and Pirates. And what resulted was two exciting games that might well have been scripted in Hollywood, with each game decided in the final inning of play.
These Dodgers, officially known as Dodger Town West, each drove or flew over 400 miles up the length of the state from Southern California simply for the pleasure of playing two games behind the walls of the aging prison by the Bay on Saturday, June 6. Baseball lovers all, this bunch of zany, fun-loving weekend warriors features a well-rounded cast of characters. They range from a long-time Hollywood actor and a director to an insurance agent, realtor, musician, couple of lawyers, sales director and a couple of fish salesmen, among others.
Faced with the Giant’s pitching ace, Chris “Stretch” Rich, in the morning game, the road-weary visitors played a hard and evenly fought game, entering the ninth inning trailing by one run, 3-2. Down to their final out of the game and runners at second and third, Dodger first baseman Paul Galletti slammed a two-strike pitch from Rich down the first base line for a ground-rule double. Both runners scored on the hit for a 4-3 Dodger lead, which proved to be the winning margin when the Giants failed to score in their half of the ninth.
The 15 men of this ball club who made the arduous journey, epitomize the love among fans for America’s favorite pastime, and their enjoyment of the game, whether trailing or leading in the score, was always readily apparent.
Actor Peter Cook, who appears on the Fox series Herman’s Head and counts several movies, numerous commercials and Hollywood credits, pitched the distance and picked up the win for his team.“ The acting merely serves to support my baseball activities,” said Cook, with the bare hint of a smile.
Cook and his fun-loving teammates compete in an Adult Baseball League, which features six teams playing an approximate 40-game schedule in Los Angeles and Orange counties. In 2004 the league sent a team to the annual 48 and Over Senior Series held in Arizona, and came away with first place. Those seeking to join their league must first attend a major league team’s Fantasy Camp, a weeklong adventure that carries a price tag of right around $4,500. They’re a fun loving bunch of guys willing to fork out some serious money, and whose love for the game of baseball can take them a long way from home.
San Quentin’s Pirates came out ready to play in the nightcap, and led the visitors by a 4-2 score going into the sixth inning. The Dodgers, despite losing three teammates to an early departure for a flight home, hadn’t made such a long journey just to give up in the face of a little adversity. Much to their delight, the Dodgers scored four runs in the sixth and one in the seventh, and an ominous silence settled over the home team dugout as the umpire announced that the game would be called at the end of the inning due to darkness.
But the home team Pirates behind pitcher Dave Baker refused to be outdone on this night and, with the help of four errors from the visitors, scored four runs in the bottom of the inning. Final score: Pirates 8, Dodgers 7. An exciting finish to a great day of baseball!
VOWED TO RETURN
For Dodger right fielder Ted Tannenbaum, the smile of pure pleasure upon his face after losing a close game in the night-cap was just as big as the one he had displayed earlier after winning the first game. “The camaraderie is wonderful, I’m just happy to be here,” Tannenbaum said. “It’s my first time in prison.”
For the 61-year-old Tannenbaum, his love for playing the game has taken him to the East Coast, Hawaii and as far as the Caribbean, simply for a chance to suit up and try out the competition.
The Dodger players vow to return next year. And for the local teams, what an honor it is to have a talent-laden team of baseball devotees travel so very far simply for the pleasure and memories of playing in this aging prison by the Bay.