The San Quentin Giants debuted their new jerseys, representing their new name in a challenging game against one of their rivals from Southern California. On September 2, they beat the Los Angeles Bulldogs on San Quentin’s “Field of Dreams,” 12–9 in a fierce battle.
“It’s not the name on the back of the uniform, it’s the name on the front of the uniform that matters,” said SQ Giants second baseman Kolby Southwood. He and his team have been anticipating the day when they would change their club’s name from the SQ A’s to the SQ Giants.
Thanks to the San Francisco Giants franchise, the prison’s baseball program was donated brand new gear to go with their new name.
Two hours before the game, the home field sky was black and gloomy, filled with dark, gray clouds and strong gusts of wind. The forecast called for a rainy day, but by the opening pitch, the wind dispersed and the clouds parted to reveal a warm sunny day — perfect weather for baseball.
The SQ Giants came out representing their new black and orange uniforms with the snapback hat to match.
Coming in hot, #20 Everett Wiley started and ended a complete game on the pitcher’s mound where he triumphantly threw cannon balls across home plate. You could see the catcher shaking out his hand from how fast and hard the ball hit his glove. This was a huge game for Wiley because just last season he broke his arm during a game while he was pitching.
Russelle Carrington made a 6-to-3 play to stop the visiting team from scoring, ending the top of 5th inning, 4–0 in the SQ Giants favor.
LA Bulldogs pitcher Edin Holguin #9 hit a high drive that was looking like it was going to distance, yet fell just short of being a homerun. While this was game four in the rival’s series, the two teams haven’t met on the field since 2019 due to the Covid pandemic.
Acting Warden Oak Smith said the games give a sense of importance to the men on the inside, as well for the outside visitors.
“They get firsthand experience and share how men in prison are not horrible people and they can live as our neighbors,” Smith said. “People make mistakes and the mistakes can bring about change and gives one the chance to show it with the support by the community.
“What kids call playing, adults call sports. Coming together and being a team and not seeing color builds relationships and stops division.”
The Bulldogs managed to bring two men home, putting up the first two points for their team during top of the 7th.
“Felt good!” exclaimed Holguin, shouting, “Finally, exclamation mark exclamation mark exclamation mark exclamation mark.” His enthusiasm was shared by the whole team, which woke up the Bulldogs’ hunger and fueled their rally.
By the end of the 7th inning, however, the SQ Giants were still towering over the Bulldogs, 8–2, thanks to scoring more runs.
The field was surrounded with fans cheering on the home team. Warden Smith came out wearing his SQ Giants colors, showing his support on the day of the newly rebranded SQ Giants debuted against the LA Bulldogs. He of course had his famous signature toothpick in his mouth.
“The Warden being here to watch us while he can be doing anything else on this nice Saturday says a lot about his character,” said Oscar Acosta, a veteran player for the SQ Giants.
The LA Bulldogs rallied back to make it close but they could not catch the home team. Final score, 12-9, SQ Giants!