Schedule Announced!

This will be the inaugural season for the Napa Silverados Baseball Club, with 40 home games, and 40 away games in Martinez, Pittsburg, San Rafael, Sonoma, and Vallejo.

We are excited to have Father’s Day, June 17th on our home schedule, and we are going to have a great day at the ballpark for local dads and their kids. In addition, we are also happy to have a home game on July 4th. Look for the Silverados in the Annual Napa 4th of July Parade prior to game time!

While the season ends on August 31st, with Tito Fuentes Jr. at the helm of the team, we are hoping to be in the top four teams and make the playoffs in our first season in the league. The Playoffs on Saturday, September 1st will feature #1 vs. #4, and #2 vs. #3 with the lower seeds hosting the games, and the final game featuring the 2 winners of the Saturday games will be played on Sunday, September 2nd for the League Championship.

Spring Training will begin in late May, and we are hoping to finalize our roster, and have a couple of pre-season games prior to opening day on May 31st.

Check out the schedule here!

 

The California Winter League: Featuring Tito Fuentes Jr. and Megan Castellucci

There is something certainly special about January baseball – it’s a little more special when you are sitting in Palm Springs watching over 200 baseball players all wanting to keep their dreams alive. A few weeks ago, Napa Silverados Field Manager, Tito Fuentes Jr. and Assistant General Manager, Megan Castellucci visited the California Winter League in Palm Springs, California, looking for talent to round the Silverados roster. This is a recap from Megan and her experience at the Winter League.

The California Winter League is the premier instructional league in the nation and provides players with the opportunity to be trained by former Major League Baseball players and current professional coaches and managers. The league runs from January 25th until February 19th.

The California Winter League has instructors and coaches from the Frontier League, American Association, Can-Am League, Atlantic League, United Shore Professional Baseball League and the Pacific Association. All of them come with contracts in hand, ready to sign players who they believe can make an impact on their respective organizations. In addition to the instructors, the Winter League features MLB pro scouts from various organizations such as the Arizona Diamondbacks and Washington Nationals to name a few.

In nine seasons, the California Winter League has helped 500+ players get professional playing opportunities. This season, over 200 players reported to the league.

Tito and I were present for MLB Scout Day and the first day of team practice.

“This was my first time at the California Winter League and there were a lot of diamonds in the rough out there. I went down with really no idea what to expect. I saw a lot of talented players and some great baseball,” said Fuentes.

We reported to Palm Springs Stadium on Tuesday morning at eight o’clock sharp. It was a gorgeous 70-degree day and we were ready to get the show on the road. Both of us had this insane baseball energy, mind you, it’s only January; there are still several months left in the offseason. Needless to say, we caught the baseball bug pretty early after we left Palm Springs. Something we both figured would happen!

While I walked in with a seasoned veteran of the game, I was entirely out of my element. In sports I have come to realize the phrase “be comfortable, being uncomfortable” is basically the expectation and it could not be more true especially in an instance like this one. Being an Assistant General Manager is much different than any role I have tackled in my career thus far. My days are ever changing and never the same, with this specific moment being a first in a lot of categories. I am usually strong and pretty confident but this situation was entirely new to me. Player development and scouting was never something I had ever done, nor had ever thought about doing. I’m pretty positive that I had rookie jitters; actually, there is no doubt about it. I never had to walk on a field and begin to evaluate and look for talent to round out a roster. Thank goodness I had Tito! It got to the point that before I watched bullpens, I had to call my brother Mark, who is a catcher for the University of Montevallo in Alabama, to talk to him about what to look for in pitchers. After talking with him and Tito, I came to realize that consistency, command, and composure were going to be big components for me in the evaluation process.

Tito and I had a lot of conversations over the prior weeks leading up to the Winter League about what holes we needed to fill while we were there. It was pretty surreal being there, watching these guys play baseball in January, and having a hand in picking players for the Silverados. Something I won’t forget!

Tito is no stranger to these types of experiences and player showcases. He has operated the Tito Fuentes Baseball Academy in Napa and provides clinics and private instruction. He has also managed several travel teams. He was an awesome person to learn the game from during our few days in Palm Springs.

When I was a student at Cal State Fullerton, I had the opportunity to get to know MLB scouts, and when I started on the Assistant General Manager path last season, I sought out a ton of help from Brad Cameron, a scout with the San Francisco Giants. Brad is an amazing person to learn the game from and when I would go back to Fullerton last season to watch games, I would sit with him and just watch and talk baseball; He has had a pretty amazing career in Major League Baseball with various teams and it was pretty awesome to just learn a different part of the game from him. Going into my first season last year, I really wanted to learn the basics of what to look for and Brad took the time to break down what he looks for in players as he scouts. It was really helpful as I went into my first Spring Training and first full season.

In Palm Springs, Tito really reinforced a lot of important factors and broke down several important components of scouting. He was awesome to learn from and we are proud to have signed players we know will make our team great.

“The California Winter League is a wonderful place to find talented baseball players. The Winter League is really well organized and I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of talent that was there. Megan and I had a great time beginning to put this team together. It got us ready for baseball and for our season. We came back wanting it to be May already,” said Fuentes.

“We are very excited to welcome some great players to our 2018 roster. We are ready to compete and welcome these players to Napa and get our season underway. Thank you to the California Winter League front office staff, interns, managers, and coaches for putting on a great display of baseball and giving these players the opportunity to play,” Fuentes added.

While I was around the ballpark, I got to meet some pretty awesome people! It’s always fun talking to people and with the excitement around Napa, everyone is always wanting to know what’s going on and the plans surrounding the club. We left Palm Springs with several new Silverados fans!

The Winter League front office is outstanding with everyone from Andrew Starke, Owner and President of the Palm Springs Power, to Justin Reschke, General Manager of the Winter League, to the interns, staff, managers, coaches, instructors, and scouts. They do such a wonderful job and we were so grateful to Andrew, Justin, and their team for welcoming us to Palm Springs and putting on a great opportunity for these players and teams.

After I got back from Palm Springs, I caught the baseball bug and it has been full steam ahead ever since. I am ready for our season to start and when it gets here, it will go by pretty quickly; 80 games in 92 days is pretty much a blur. We are very excited about the players we have signed and the talent we have coming to Napa this summer. It is going to be competitive and we are committing our organization to excellence on and off the field. I am excited to share mine, Bruce’s, and Tito’s passion with Napa and to see it come to life in May is going to be exciting. Our countdown to Opening Day has started and Napa, I hope you are ready to catch Silver Fever!

Megan Castellucci
Assistant General Manager
Napa Silverados Baseball Club

The club will announce players that have been signed from the California Winter League over the next few weeks. The Silverados open their season on May 31.

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2018 Pacific League Tryouts

Pacific League Tryouts

PACIFIC ASSOCIATION TRYOUT
April 21, 2018
Albert Park, San Rafael, CA 94901

Are you a player who was overlooked by pro scouts? Were you an undrafted college senior, an international player or were you drafted and released?

The Northern California-based Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs is holding a league-wide tryout to offer opportunities for you to play professional baseball!

The annual Pacific Association Tryout Camp and Draft will be held on Saturday April 21, 2018 at Albert Park, San Rafael, CA, home of the three-time Pacific Association champion San Rafael Pacifics.

All of the Pacific Association teams will be represented at the tryout and a league-wide draft will follow a full day of workouts and an intrasquad game.  Advance registration is available. It is strongly advised to register in advance as the number of players participating in the tryout will be limited. Day of the event walk-up registration will begin at 8:00 AM on April 21 for those having not pre-registered.

As it is a full day camp, players must be on the field no later than 9:00 AM on April 21 and will be participating in fielding and throwing drills for infielders, outfielders, and catchers, and batting practice for position players while pitchers will throw brief bullpens.

Following the morning skills workout and a brief lunch break, teams will be announced for an afternoon rotating intrasquad game.  At the conclusion of the games, the team representatives will select those players they wish to sign to spring training contracts.

Over each of the league’s first six years, approximately 12-18 players have been drafted and signed to spring training contracts. A greater number of players are expected to be drafted in 2018 due to expansion.

Albert Park is located in San Rafael, CA, about 15 minutes north of the San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.  If you’re flying in use either Oakland or San Francisco airports. There are many local hotels available.

Event Date 04-21-2018 9:00 am
Event End Date 04-21-2018 3:00 pm
Registration Start Date 01-22-2018
Cut off date 04-20-2018
Individual Price $125.00
Location Albert Park

**TRYOUTS ARE BEING HOSTED BY THE SAN RAFAEL PACIFICS. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE LEAGUE-WIDE TRYOUTS

Tryout FAQs

Is there an age limit for the tryout? Players must be at least 18 years old to attend. Players with college eligibility remaining should check with their school before registering.

How does the Tryout Camp work? The workouts officially begin at 9:00 AM on April 21 and will feature defensive drills for infielders, outfielders, and catchers, and batting practice for position players while pitchers will throw light bullpens. Following a brief lunch break teams will be selected and an intra-squad game will be played. The draft will take place immediately after the intra-squad game.

Who will be scouting players? Each of the six clubs in the Pacific Association will be represented by members of their coaching staff and/or front office. Other independent teams, and possibly affiliated teams, are permitted to attend the tryout camp.

If I am drafted, what does that mean? Drafted players will meet with their team’s manager after the draft and will receive a standard Pacific Association contract. Players report to spring training on the date each team opens camp. Players are unpaid until they make the final roster before opening day on May 31.

What are my chances of being drafted? Over the past six Pacific Association tryout camps, approximately 12-15 players have been drafted following each camp. This year the league has expanded by two additional teams, and so additional roster spots are likely to be open for pro-ready tryout camp players.

How do I get to the tryouts? Albert Park is located about 15 miles from San Francisco so if you are flying in use either Oakland or San Francisco airport. If you are driving there is a parking lot available to players across the street from Albert Park at the corner of Andersen Drive and Lindaro Street.

If I’m from out of town, where can I stay? The preferred hotel for the Pacific Association tryouts I the Four Points by Sheraton located at 1010 Northgate Dr., San Rafael. Their phone number is 415-479-8800. Players should indicate they are participating in the Pacific Association tryout and will receive a discounted rate of $129.00 per night.

Will there be food available? The Pacifics concession stand will be open for light breakfast items (bagels, coffee, etc.) and lunch (hot dogs, soft drinks, popcorn, etc.) for sale.

Are the workouts open to the public? Yes, the workouts are open to the public and there is no admission fee to watch. Family, friends, and fans are welcome to sit in the covered grandstand at Albert Park. Concessions are available for purchase, and restrooms will be open.

What happens if it rains? In case of rain we will make every effort to do as much of the workout as possible on the field and to resume immediately as soon as the rain stops. We may have access to an indoor facility if necessary.

What should I bring with me to the tryout? Albert Park is a natural grass field. Metal cleats are permitted. All players, including pitchers, must wear either metal cleats, molded cleats or turf shoes. Players are responsible for bringing their own baseball equipment, including bats and catching gear, and should wear baseball pants. Baseballs and batting helmets will be provided by the Pacific Association.

What is your refund policy? There are no refunds unless the tryout camp is cancelled by the Pacific Association.

**TRYOUTS ARE BEING HOSTED BY THE SAN RAFAEL PACIFICS. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE LEAGUE-WIDE TRYOUTS

It’s Official! We’re bringing baseball to Napa!

Via the Napa Valley Register, June 30th 2017

Bruce Johnston can finally say it: “Napa is going to have a professional baseball team.”

Johnston, the prospective owner of the Napa Silverados, has informed the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs, an independent league based in Northern California, that he has made a commitment and is “moving forward with the team and we will put the team on the field in June of 2018.”

“I’m excited for Napa. I’m excited for the County. I’m excited for the City,” said Johnston. “I’m excited for the people that live here. And I’m excited.”

In a letter dated June 28 to Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs Commissioner Jonathan Stone and San Rafael Pacifics president and general manager Mike Shapiro, Johnston wrote, “I am hereby exercising my right to the grant of a professional baseball franchise in the league beginning with the 2018 season.”

Read the full article here

Silverados Featured in the Sonoma Index-Tribune

As published March 14th, 2017

New baseball team: A new independent, professional minor league baseball team in Napa would add a nice rivalry to the Sonoma Stompers’ season. Negotiations are underway with Napa Valley College to secure Storm Field for the “Napa Silverados” to start in June of 2018. Napa resident Bruce Johnston has a contract with the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs to add the Silverados, pending approvals. The Silverados would join the Sonoma Stompers, Vallejo Admirals, San Rafael Pacifics and Pittsburg Diamonds in the independent league. Each of the teams plays an 80-game schedule, with the season running from June through August. Forty of those games are home games.”

SOURCE

Playing in the Minors

(VIA NAPA VALLEY REGISTER)

Playing in the minors

This week, our editorial board opines about the possibility of professional baseball coming to Napa (Spoiler alert: We like the idea). If you happen to detect a little extra excitement in our editorial this week, there is a good reason: I wrote the editorial and I happen to love baseball. Especially baseball of the minor-league variety.

I grew up in an area bereft of major league baseball. My baseball-crazy father had his heart broken twice by teams – once in 1960 when his beloved Washington Senators left for Minneapolis to become the Minnesota Twins, then again a decade later when the replacement Senators left for Texas to become the Rangers.

For long decades, my father mourned his beloved team and fumed as the owners of the Baltimore Orioles blocked successive efforts to get a new team in Washington even as the Orioles tried to position themselves as the team Washingtonians should root for (for the most part, Washingtonians didn’t fall for it).

The only remaining outlet for his baseball passion was minor league baseball. It happened that in 1978, a team came to Alexandria, Virginia, my home town. They played what’s known as Single-A baseball, the lowest level of the Major League farm system (the Double-A and Triple-A leagues are progressive steps up toward a coveted spot in the Major Leagues). The Dukes were, at various times, affiliated with the Seattle Mariners and Pittsburgh Pirates and spent a couple of years without any Major League affiliation.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

Building a New Team

(VIA NAPA VALLEY REGISTER)

Building a new team

After traffic and high housing costs, the complaint we hear most often from readers about life in the Napa Valley is some variation of “there’s nothing for families to do.”

Entertainment options are limited for kids in Wine Country, they say; you have to go to Vallejo or Santa Rosa or even down to San Francisco for affordable family entertainment. So common is this complaint that there is an inside joke in the newsroom: we compete to see who can predict how quickly any discussion on social media will feature a commenter calling for a skating rink to be built in Napa.

We’re not sure the era of the skating rink will ever return, but our readers do seem to have a point: the options for affordable, family-friendly entertainment in Napa County are relatively limited compared with larger nearby cities and counties.

And that’s why we are pleased by a recent development on the family-friendly front: Business consultant Bruce Johnston, a 10-year resident of Napa, is trying to bring professional baseball to his adoptive home.

Preposterous, you say?

Hardly.

Bringing Pro Baseball to Napa

(VIA NAPA VALLEY REGISTER)

Talks under way to have a minor league pro baseball team in Napa

Bruce Johnston would like to bring independent professional minor league baseball to town and is in negotiations with Napa Valley College to try and secure Storm Field for the Napa Silverados to use starting in June of 2018.

Johnston, a Napa resident for the last 10 years, spoke before the Napa Valley College Board of Trustees at their meeting Thursday, but the board did not take a vote.

“The board was generally supportive,” said Doug Ernst, NVC’s public information officer who is with the Office of Institutional Advancement. “They all agreed to allow the continuation of talks. There are certain negotiations that have to continue. It’s not something you can vote on today, because all those negotiations haven’t taken place.

“We have to figure out how Bruce is going to work with the college and the college has to decide if the improvements are enough to do this. It really involves improvements to the field.”

Johnston has a contract with the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs, which the Silverados would play in pending approvals. It’s an independent league based in Northern California and consists of the Sonoma Stompers, Vallejo Admirals, San Rafael Pacifics and Pittsburg Diamonds. Each of the teams plays an 80-game schedule, with the season running from June through August. Forty of those games are home games.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

Downtown Joe’s becomes founding sponsor

Downtown Joe’s becomes founding sponsor for Napa professional baseball

Downtown Joe’s Brewery and Restaurant has signed on as the first Founding Sponsor for the Napa Silverados Baseball Club.

Owner Joe Peatman Jr. has made a three-year commitment to the team, which is planning to throw out the first ball on June 1, 2018.

“I’m very excited to be a part of the Silverados, to help bring professional baseball to Napa,” said Peatman. “Entertainment and fun for our kids, families, and seniors is sorely needed, and being a part of the Silverados is a natural for myself and Downtown Joe’s. Providing fun entertainment that’s affordable and caters to our kids, families and seniors fills a void that our tourism activities ignore.”

Silverados team owner Bruce Johnston agreed.

“Downtown Joe’s, as a historic landmark, is making history of its own  as a founding sponsor of Napa’s first independent professional minor league baseball team,” said  Johnston, a 10-year resident of Napa.

Johnston anticipates reaching an agreement with Napa Valley College that will allow the team to play 40 home games each summer in exchange for improvements to seating and other amenities at Storm Field.

“For 24 years, the brewery and restaurant, located at Second and Main streets in Downtown Napa, next to Veterans Memorial Park on the Napa

River, has been serving locals and tourists terrific food and

beverages, including their iconic house brews,” said Johnston.

“Now, founding sponsors like Downtown Joe’s will receive additional recognition on game-day programs, signage, public address announcements and between-inning appearances. Game-day sponsors will get to choose who will sing the national anthem and which of their favorite charities will receive game-day contributions.”

“The pub is the town’s favorite place to watch sports, so I am sure patrons will want to watch their professional Napa baseball team compete with the Sonoma Stompers, Vallejo Admirals, San Rafael Pacifics and Pittsburg Diamonds,” said Johnston.

“I love the competition and family fun,” said Peatman. “Competing with teams in Sonoma, Solano, Contra Costa and Marin will unify local pride in our Napa community with summertime excitement. I’m jumping in with both feet because summer family fun enables us to be connected, even when school is out.”