Archived news by year: 2012

Give the Gift of Baseball!

What? You missed our little party at Arts! Arcata last week, and you think you're out of luck getting 2013 season passes in time for Christmas? WRONG!

The 2013 passes are hot off the presses and available at many local outlets, including most Ray's Food Place stores, Wildberries, Big Pete's Pizza, Solo Sports (note their new location), Mr. Fish, and the Eureka and Arcata chambers of commerce.

Check out our ticket information page for details and outlet addresses. Happy holidays!

Catch the Crabs at Arts! Arcata

ARCATA (Dec. 10) — The Crabs are getting into the holiday spirit, and we hope you'll come out to Arts! Arcata this Friday to join us! We'll be set up in front of the Arcata Main Street Office in the Jacoby Storehouse from 6-9 p.m., and we'll have something for just about everyone.

Headlining the bill are three fan favorites, Spencer Duggan, Jeff Giacomini and Brad Morgan, who will be on hand to sign autographs. Crusty will be there as well, posing for photos with fans. And what would a holiday gathering be without the World Famous Crab Grass Band?

We'll also be selling 2013 season passes and gift certificates for individual game tickets and 10-strips, along with a limited supply of gear like hats — all of which would sure make a child (or a dad, or a mom) light up on Christmas morning.

Hope you come out to join the party!

Coming Back, Giving Back

Jack Fimple, who played for both the Crabs and the Humboldt State baseball team in the late 1970s en route to the Major Leagues, was back in Arcata recently, and took the time to put on a catching clinic for about 50 local Little Leaguers at manager Matt Nutter's Solo Sports shop in Arcata.

Fimple was in town because his son — following in Dad's footsteps — was enlisting in the Coast Guard.

"I was talking with the recruiters, and they knew that I'd played at Humboldt State and also with the Crabs, and word spread, and they asked me if I'd do a little talk or something," said Fimple. "Then the next e-mail came and it said, 'How about a catcher's clinic,' so I said sure."

Fimple doesn't make a career out of baseball clinics, but jumps at any chance to grow the game.

"I do whatever I can to promote the game and teach this age of kids, because this is really where the game is taught," he said.

So as twilight set in, after spending some time answering questions, Fimple and the kids turned Solo's parking lot into a makeshift diamond, and he demonstrated some of the techniques that helped him in is career, such as the quick transition from receiving the pitch to throwing out a would-be base stealer at second.

Fimple didn't grow up in Humboldt, but was stationed here with the Coast Guard when he was a young man. He heard about the Crabs, decided to try out, and made the team, playing mostly third base and designated hitter. And that led to his playing for HSU as well.

"I think I hit like .350, it was just a blast, a lot of fun," he said. "And it happened that one of the coaches was a Humboldt State coach, so he asked me to come out to play at Humboldt State. We worked it all out, with the Coast Guard and with school, being able to play and all that, and this little snowball started rolling down the hill, and had some good games, in front of some good people, and next thing you know…"

Next thing he knew, he was playing in the show. He was drafted by the Indians in 1983, and played three years with the Dodgers and one with the Angels.

From the Crabs to the Marlins

In many ways — geography, culture, choice of color palettes — Arcata and Miami, are worlds apart. But now they have one big thing in common. Former Crab Mike Redmond, a catcher who was a battery mate of current Crabs manager Matt Nutter in the mid-1990s and went on to spend more then a decade in the major leagues, has been named the new manager of the Miami Marlins.

Over the course of Redmond's 12-year MLB career, he played for the Marlins — earning a World Series Championship ring in 2003 — as well as the Twins and the Indians. He retired after the 2010 season as a career .287 hitter with 13 home runs and 243 RBI in 764 games.

After retiring as a player, Redmond had been a minor league manager in the Toronto Blue Jays system, and was hired by the Marlins to try to turn the page after the team and city's relationship with the fiery and controversial Ozzie Guillen went bad quickly. The Marlins have a lot of talent and a large hispanic fan base, but the 2012 season was a disaster both on and off the field for Guillen, leading to his dismissal after just one season.

Redmond beat out three candidates with impressive resumes for the job — former Padres and Phillies manager Larry Bowa, Reds pitching coach Bryan Price and Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon. The Crabs congratulate Mike on his new job and wish him the best!

FWL All-Star Game in the Works

The Far West League held its fall meeting recently, and the biggest news to come out of it is that the league is planning to hold its first-ever All-Star Game next season.

The final details are still being hammered out, but the plan is for the game to be held somewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area on July 31 or Aug. 1. The Bay Area was chosen in the hopes that it will help raise the league’s profile in the West Coast baseball world.

Crabs fans who might not be able to make it down to the All-Star Game can take solace in knowing that the Far West League Championship Tournament will once again be held in Arcata, on Aug. 2-4, so the two-time defending champion Crabs will be able to attempt a three-peat in front of their home fans.

For next season, the FWL welcomes back the Crabs’ friends from over the Trinity Alps, the Redding Colt .45s, and it will add a few new teams as well — the California Warriors, the Walnut Creek Crawdads, and Top Speed Baseball. They aren’t entirely new to the Crabs, though, as they all visited Arcata last season.


Best in the Far West, and Best of Humboldt

ARCATA (Sept. 20, 2012) — The North Coast Journal has announced its 2012 Best of Humboldt awards, and the Crabs were honored as the Best Sports Event.

In a town where there's such a great program up the hill at Humboldt State University, the Crabs consider the award quite the compliment.

"It's always nice to win any award, but to have the honor of being voted Best of, in a poll of the local community who we try our best to serve, is especially sweet," said Crabs president Matt Filar. "Thanks to the North Coast Journal, all the fans who voted for the Crabs, and to Ryan Burns, who, in a single column, managed to perfectly describe the spirit that is Humboldt Crabs baseball.  Season no. 69 opens on June 1st!"

Read the story on the NCJ website.

Filar will be on hand at the Journal's Best Of Humboldt Party Friday night at the historic Eureka Theater. The party features the music of Huckleberry Flint, The Trouble and Missing Link. For more information check out the Journal's Facebook page.

Prott's Squeeze Gives Crabs the Title

The Crabs captured their second straight Far West League championship when Spencer Duggan scored in the 11th inning on Sunday.

The Humboldt Crabs' offense hadn't exactly been bringing the thunder on Sunday. The Neptune Beach Pearl had outhit them 10-4 through 10 innings, so with the potential championship-winning run on third base, head coach Robin Guiver decided to try something different.

Guiver flashed a series of signs. Austin Prott stepped into the box, and when the pitch came, he dropped the bat down and executed a perfect squeeze, allowing Spencer Duggan to slide home and giving the Crabs their second straight Far West League title.

It wasn't an easy bunt either. The pitch came in low, and Prott, being rather tall, had to get way down for it. But he laid it down perfectly, and was promptly mobbed by teammates, who seemed to reach first base nearly as fast as he did.

It was perhaps fitting that this season ended on a squeeze.

"We weren't the team that's going to come up and hit 50 home runs in a season," said Duggan, who after the game was named the team's MVP. "We played some good small ball, had a lot of hit and runs, with clutch base hits."

As he did so many times this season, Duggan set the stage for Prott's heroics. He walked to start off the inning, and then alertly tagged up and took second base on Bradley Zimmer's long flyout to the left-field corner. He moved to third on a Ryan Wiggins single, then scampered home with the winning run on Prott's bunt.

Duggan also opened the scoring in the game, driving in Jared Deacon and Will Soto with a double in the first. But for the most part, the Crabs struggled to generate much offense against Pearl starter Will Anderson, and as a result found themselves trailing 3-2 in the eighth.

But they used more small ball to tie it up. Ryan Dettman singled, and moved to second on a Ty Afenir sacrifice. After a walk and a wild pitch put Crabs on second and third, Soto drove in the tying run on a groundout to second base.

The win capped an impressive championship run and an outstanding season overall. The Crabs were a perfect 3-0 in the tournament, riding a familiar recipe of solid pitching and timely hitting to the title. 

On Friday night it was Nick Latta's two-out, two-strike single that gave Tanner McIntyre all he needed in a  shutout victory over the Southern Oregon RiverDawgs

On Saturday, Kyle Swannack and a trio of relievers held the Menlo Park Legends at bay, and five different Crabs drove in their five runs, and in a variety of ways — two homers, a double, a sac fly and a bases-loaded walk.

"There was just good chemistry," said manager Matt Nutter. "One of the most important things in baseball is to have good chemistry, and all the guys got along, they pulled for each other, and 30 guys became one."

So now the 68th season of Crabs baseball is in the books, and it was most certainly a season to remember.

"It was just a pleasure," said Nutter. "One of my favorite things is to watch these guys come together and believe in each other and create some great memories, that 10-20 years down the road they'll still be good friends and have great memories about the 2012 summer."

Doling Out the Awards

After the Crabs captured a second straight Far West League championship, the team announced its 2012 team awards.

The Kevin Morsching/Scott Heinig Coaches' Award, given to the Crab who shows dedication and perseverance and generally plays the game the way it's meant to be played, went to catcher Jared Deacon.

The Defensive Player of the Year award went to Ty Afenir, whose solid play at shortstop made even the tough outs look easy.

The Offensive Player of the Year award was shared by Will Soto and Bradley Zimmer, two of the most consistent producers for the team. Soto was second on the team in hits, and Zimmer was third. Zimmer also led the team in home runs with seven.

The Pitcher of the Year was Mr. Friday Night, Tanner McIntyre, who posted a 6-2 record with a 1.35 ERA and set the team off on the right foot with a shutout in their tournament opener.

The Crabs' 2012 Most Valuable Player was Spencer Duggan, and he made the choice easy. He batted .394 on the year, best on the team by more than 50 points. His average was actually over .400 for most of the year, only just dipping under the .400 mark on the last weekend of the summer. His 56 hits, 18 doubles and 35 RBI were all best on the team, and he was also solid in the field and a great leader in the dugout.

For Duggan, who grew up in Arcata, it fulfilled a lifelong dream — one that he thought maybe he could have fulfilled a few years earlier, having only made the Crabs team in his final year of eligibility. But he just used that as motivation.

"I kind of had a chip on my shoulder, from not being out here the last three years," he said. "But just to get the opportunity to come play in front of the fans, with people knowing I'm from Arcata, yelling 'Hit it to Sunny Brae!' It was lots of fun. As a kid, I was saying I'm going to play for the Crabs, going be the MVP one day, and then, it actually happens. That was pretty cool."

FWL Tourney Central

It will be the Crabs against the Neptune Beach Pearl on Sunday as the Crabs seek their second straight Far West League title.

The Crabs are now 2-0, and have advanced to Championship Sunday after a 5-3 win over the Menlo Park Legends on Saturday.

The Neptune Beach Pearl and Legends now now play at 7 p.m. Saturday night for the right to face the Crabs at noon on Sunday. If the Crabs win that game, they are the Far West League champions. If they lose, there will be a rematch for all the marbles at 4 p.m.

Tanner McIntyre was his usual stingy Friday night self in the Crabs' first game of the Far West League Championship Tournament, and Nick Latta's clutch, two-out, two-strike, two-run single provided the winning runs in a 3-0 win over the Southern Oregon RiverDawgs.

In the day's first game, the Menlo Park Legends beat the  Pearl 5-3 on the strength of a four-run fifth inning.

In Saturday's first game, at 11 a.m.  the Pearl used back-to-back 3-run innings in the seventh and eighth to eliminate the RiverDawgs.

Click here for the most up-to-date tournament bracket.


Now the Real Fun Begins

After that little bump in the road known as the Redding Colt .45s last week, the Humboldt Crabs swept Fontanetti's Athletics over the weekend to claim the Far West League's regular season title and the top seed in this weekend's tournament, set to begin Friday afternoon at the Arcata Ball Park.

The Crabs finished the regular season 34-9 overall and 17-4 in league play, three games better than the Menlo Park Legends. They'll face the fourth-seeded Southern Oregon RiverDawgs on Friday at 7 p.m. as they begin their quest for a second straight Far West League tournament title. The No. 2 seed Legends will face No. 3 Neptune Beach Pearl in the tournament opener at 3 p.m.

Click here to download a PDF of the complete tournament bracket.

Against Fontanetti's, the Crabs got great pitching all weekend. Tanner McIntyre earned his fifth win on Friday, supported by Spencer Duggan, who drove in the tying run in the fifth and doubled and scored the go-ahead run in the eighth as the Crabs won 4-3.

Saturday and Sunday weren't quite as tense, though Saturday's 12-1 score is misleading. It was actually 3-1 until the seventh, when the Crabs erupted for nine runs to ensure Kyle Swannack's fourth win. 

Heading into Sunday, starter Kenny Smith was tied with McIntire for the team lead in wins, but six shutout innings allowed him to claim his sixth victory in a 9-1 win. Bradley Zimmer hit his team-leading sixth homer, and Austin Prott also knocked one out of the yard.