Athletic Achievement Awards were presented to eight outstanding members of San Quentin’s 2014 baseball teams. They are:
From the S.Q. Giants: Jeff Dumont/Jose Sandoval (Most Valuable Player), Anthony Sorrell (Most Improved Player), Michael Panella (Gold Glove).
From the S.Q. Athletics: Anthony Denard (Most Valuable Player), Royce Rose (Most Improved Player), Bilal Coleman (Gold Glove), Isaiah “The General” Thompson-Bonilla (A’s Pitcher of the Year).
The 2014 San Quentin Rehabilitation Baseball Program had a memorable season of competition, plus a few big names in the world of professional sports were drawn to the Field of Dreams.
On a bright Saturday morning the S.Q. Giants were locked in the battle of a one-run game when the atmosphere became electric. The 49ers head coach, Jim Harbaugh, appeared with his 2014 rookie draft class.
“I see you’ve got runners on, and it’s a close game,” said Harbaugh as he walked up to the Giants dugout. Chris Deragon had just hit a double, moving Jose Sandoval to third. Harbaugh and the rookies looked on as Jeff “Dewey” Dumont stepped into the batters box and crushed a fastball for a three-run homer that blew the game open. Harbaugh gave a fist-pump and cheered as the Giants dugout erupted.
On another occasion Rugger Ardizoia, the oldest living New York Yankee player, watched a S.Q. Giants versus A’s game, signed some autographs and threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Ardizoia, 94, is a personal friend of the S.Q. A’s head coach, Steve Reichardt.
“It’s an honor to have a living legend like Rugger come in to see our program,” said Reichardt.
The Giants and Athletics signed a bat that was presented to Ardizoia by both teams.
World Series pitcher and Red Sox Hall of Famer Bill “Spaceman” Lee is a regular at The Q. He pitched a couple of innings for the San Rafael Pacifics, a minor league team that came in to play the S.Q. All-Stars. He also came in with a local men’s league team, the Rockies.
A documentary film crew, Heist Media, came in to film the Giants practice and games and interviewed players from both S.Q. teams.
The 2014 season saw an influx of ex-pro and minor league caliber pitchers brought in to face off against the notorious Bad Boys of Summer. The S.Q. baseball program is known for fielding teams that play at a high level.
“The teams are comprised of first-rate ballplayers,” said Stewart Sallo of the visiting Dodger Town team. He added that they play “semi-pro quality baseball.”
Giants coach Frankie Smith said, “It’s been a pure pleasure to coach this team, I enjoyed watching new players develop and it gives me personal satisfaction to share baseball knowledge with them.”
“I always have mixed emotions about the last game of the season, but I’m glad we made it through without any injuries,” said Smith.
Athletics coach John “Yahya” Parratt said, “Coaching this year was about getting these guys to come together and recognize their weaknesses, faults and make adjustments.”
The 2014 season also welcomed a new visiting team to the schedule, the Santa Barbara Riptide. They are the fourth Southern California team to come to The Q.