Saturday, October 10, 2009

Remembering the WW Padres and Bears

This is Greg Shaw guest blogging today for Zachary. If it were not for blogging I would not be one of the owners of the new Walla Walla baseball franchise.

It was through my own blog, CodBall (the unofficial blog of the Cape Cod Baseball League), that I first got excited about participating in the West Coast League.

The very first person I interviewed when I began doing research on a team in the Northwest was Bob Bavasi. At the end of 1983 Bob and his wife Margaret bought the independent Blue Mountain Bears of Walla Walla and moved them to Everett where they became the Aqua Sox.

When the first pitch is thrown at Borleske in June 2010 it will be 27 years since a professionally-run team has played there.

Bob emailed me just after we announced the Walla Walla team. Here are some fun excerpts:
“When I got out of college in 1976 I worked for the San Diego Padres. One of my jobs was working on the rookie league spring training. We had the club in Walla Walla during that time. I remember picking up Ozzie Smith at the airport when he got there and dropping him at his host family. At the time who would have known what a star he'd become.

The Padres sent a terrific manager there for many years, whose name was also perfect for the name of the town. Cliff Ditto.

By the time Margaret and I bought the club at the end of the 1983 season it was an independent team. The uniform colors were light blue, navy blue, and red.
We never played there. We moved it to Everett shortly after we bought it with an affiliation with San Francisco.”
Maybe Bob would come and throw out a first pitch one night next summer?

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