With 2 ceremonial pre- game pitches, one by an octogenarian, and a national anthem complete with the presentation of the Stars and Bars, the San Quentin Athletics opened their season with a 16-3 thrashing of the San Francisco Mission on 4/20/2019.
“It feels good to get back to the game that we love,” said Branden Riddle-Terrell, veteran A’s player. “We’ve been training and doing off season work outs, it’s time for us to shine now.”
Coach Mike Kremer brought his grandmother – who also attended the first annual SQAA Awards – to the game, and she threw out the first of two ceremonial pitches. She stood on home plate and threw a twenty foot left handed strike.
It also must be mentioned that she’s in her eighties.
Public Information Officer Lt. Sam Robinson threw the second pitch (from the mound, with some heat behind as well) and was also awarded an honorary SQ A’s jersey with his last name on the back. Then, he received his SQAA plaque and award for service to the athletic department overall, as well as the first SQAA baseball cap. “How many hats can one man wear?” one of the players asked that drew a laugh from players around Robinson.
For the first five innings, Rob ‘Big Smooth’ Polizen was on the mound, only giving up one run. He was followed by new pitching sensation, Carrington ‘Suit & Tie’ Russell. He also gave up one run in his debut.
Russell is unique because his fastball is averaging around 77-79 mph, which is faster than many are used to seeing at The Q.
“As I get my fundamentals back into alignment, then velocity and speed will increase,” said Russell. “I can easily get into the mid-eighties once I get my mechanics totally back together.”
“It feels good to be back here at The Q,” said starting Mission pitcher Big Aaron. “We come in here and have some really good games and this team has improved dramatically.”
The A’s have a full slate of teams coming in this sea- son, from a military team to DodgerTown from Los Angeles, as well as a returning team from last season based in Seattle.
It’ll be good to see how the season turns out.