It’s a Beautiful Day for Baseball
For the fifth straight summer, Albert Park played host to 40 incredible nights for Pacifics baseball.
Reaching the fifth year of operation for an independent minor league baseball team is a milestone of sorts: most franchises don’t last that long. But because of our fans, our local businesses, and the incredible community of San Rafael and Marin County at large, we have reached that plateau and are ready to begin the next phase of our franchise’s history.
On behalf of the Pacifics ownership group and staff, I want to thank and congratulate the Pacifics players and coaches for another incredible season of baseball on the field. This was a team that had to battle through injuries and hardships, but thanks to the leadership of our manager, Matt Kavanaugh, and our coaching staff of Nick DeBarr and Maikel Jova, this team was able to overcome their adversities and were in the hunt for a third straight championship until the final games of the season.
Off the field, 2016 was yet another amazing and history-making season. For the third consecutive year, we made professional baseball history, this time by putting baseball on a game-clock in what we called, “The Worst Idea Ever,” and by hiring Justine Siegal to become the first woman to manage a professional baseball team for two games in June. For the second straight season, we used an automated strike zone to call balls and strikes, which was covered by HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.
We once again brought distinguished guests to the ballpark. This year, we honored legendary San Francisco Giants play-by-play broadcaster Hank Greenwald with a pregame ceremony and a bobblehead, former Giants pitcher Dave Dravecky gave a stirring inspirational pregame speech, former Giants shortstop Rich Aurilia spent a day with fans, and former AL MVP Jose Canseco competed in a home run derby against five local high school stars.
We saved over 1,400 gallons of water by not washing uniforms thanks to our “Get Dirty with the Pacifics” program. For the first time ever, we explored specialty food items like our Double Play Dog (a hot dog covered in macaroni and cheese and bacon), Bubbi Jane’s Potato Latkes, and Tía Jane’s Tacos, all of which were tremendously popular with our fans. We hosted a series of heritage days that celebrated Irish, Italian, Jewish, Canadian, and Hispanic heritage. And finally, we combined sports and politics for the first time ever in our Anti-Convention, when we gave away “Make Baseball Great Again” hats.
None of this would be possible without the amazing support of our fans, host families, and sponsors. To our fans, thank you for your wonderful support year in and year out. Your commitment to us every season helps us continue to provide affordable, family entertainment to Marin. We’re already thinking up wild and crazy promotions to bring you out to the ballpark next season.
To our generous sponsors and host families that make this entire team possible, we can’t thank you enough. Without you and your contributions to this organization, the Pacifics don’t exist.
I’m incredibly proud of how our players and coaches represented the Pacifics, the city of San Rafael, and the County of Marin by making many community appearances at schools, hospitals, and other community events to underscore the real value of having a minor league baseball team in a community.
I also want to thank and congratulate our Front Office, who work tirelessly every summer and show an amazing degree of professionalism over the 100-day season with few, if any, days off: Mike Shapiro, our President and General Manager; Vinnie Longo, our Assistant General Manager and radio voice; Kim McGinnis, our Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Jane Shapiro, our Concessions Manager; Bill Spiller, our Vice President of Operations; Patricia Toomey, our Director of Accounting; Martin Greinke, our Stadium Operations Director; Parker Brown, our Community Relations Manager; Robin Endsley-Fenn and Sharon Garner, our Graphic Designers; Jeff Zimmerman, our IT Consultant; Jazzi Chadwick, our Director of Fan Experience; Mark Carlson, our Public Address announcer; our incredible group of interns: Alex, Alexis, Danny, Elsie, Erin, Garrett, Grace, Kiki, McCoy, Michael, and Nate; our Clubhouse Manager Jackson Shapiro; and our entire game-day staff.
But none of this happens without the support of my wonderful partners, Stephanie Plante, Steve Allen, Brian Sobel, and Mike Shapiro.
Finally, I want to congratulate the Sonoma Stompers ownership, staff, coaches and players on their first Pacific Association Championship. I also would like to thank the other members and owners of the Pacific Association teams: the Stompers, the Vallejo Admirals, and the Pittsburg Diamonds. The Pacific Association continues to become stronger both on and off the field every season, and I’m excited to get started on the 2017 season.
2016 was another successful year for both the Pacifics and our league. All of us from the Pacifics wish to thank you for all that you’ve done to continue to make our league the very best summer entertainment value in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Managing Principal Owner