Crabs Q & A By Tracy Mac, Crabs Secretary
#15 Eric Giacone, Coach
Eureka High School Varsity Baseball Coach, Former Crab
How long have you been coaching the Eureka Loggers and what are your hopes for the team moving forward?
I have been coaching EHS for 6 years. The goal each year is win an NCS Championship.
How did the Logger season go and what were some of the team's highlights or standouts?
We went 17-11. We were able to win the programs first playoff game in 12 years and then added a second postseason win round 2.
What do you love most about coaching?
I enjoy the competition the game creates as well as helping kids fulfill their athletic dreams.
What are some of your fondest memories from your Crabs days? Is it weird to put a Crabs jersey on again?
I just remember being surrounded by great talent that made it fun to show up everyday. Not too weird. I've coached since my career ended so I always thought one day I would be a Crab again.
You've gotten a glimpse of the 2014 Crabs pitching staff, how are we looking talent wise?
The talent on the mound is great. There are a lot of guys ready to get after it. I'm looking forward to watching our guys develop.
Now you'll be coaching college men versus teenage ballplayers, what do you think will be the biggest difference coaching at a higher level?
I think the motivation factor will be the biggest change. With the high school guys there's a lot of time spent motivating compared to just working to get better. With the college guys it is a lot more about managing and pointing them in the right direction. The motivation is already there.
What MLB coach/player would you most like to personify and why?
Derek Jeter. I think his commitment to excellence and ongoing success is unmatched in his trade. I think that hunger for anything is rare and he has had it for a long time and continues even as he reaches an older age. I think any young athlete that can stay that hungry for baseball has the potential for success.
The kids at the Crabs ball park look up to the Crabs as if they were heroes or celebrities? What would you like to impart on the local kids who someday want to become a Crab?
The kids should know that Baseball is a game of repetitions. The more time and effort you put into the game the better your rewards will be.
What are some of your hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time when you're not thinking about baseball?
Drag Racing. If I'm not on the field I can be found at the Samoa Drag strip racing my 1966 Ford Ranchero.
You’ve come full circle with the Crabs, you grew up watching them, played for them and now you’re coaching, what has that been like?
It feels good to back! Back with the Crabs, the band and all the good fans. It’s a little different seeing it from the coaching side but it’s exciting to be a part of the Crabs.
Being a coach for the Crabs, what are your main roles?
I’m in charge of the hitters and I oversee the infielders and outfielders and I coach first base.
You were drafted and spent some time in the minor leagues, what advice would you give to players wanting to peruse a career in professional athletics?
Follow you dreams, anything can happen. It doesn’t matter your size: how big or how small you are, play the game hard and good things will happen. Nothing is impossible.
After Crabs season is over, what’s next for you?
The plan right now is to go to Sacramento State and be the baseball operations person as part of the coaching staff there.
Do you have any interesting talents or hobbies?
Right now it’s racquetball with other assistant coach, David Flores, we get after it.
Crabs Q & A By Kylee Chandler/Special Events Coordinator
#4 TRENT GOODRICH Shortstop South Mountain Community College
This is your second year playing for the Crabs, why did you come back?
I really loved it up here the first time, I had such a great experience with the players and the fans, so I thought it would be great to come play again and get better.
Last year when you played for the Crabs you were going to school and playing baseball at Dartmouth and this past year you were at South Mountain Community College, why did you transfer schools?
Dartmouth wasn’t a great fit for me. Baseball was going fine but everything else was a bit of a struggle so I decided that I needed to change things up. I was pretty happy this last semester so hopefully that keeps going for the next year.
On your off days what do you do?
I go to the gym, play lots of video games, other than that maybe go to the river or beach but that’s about it.
Do you have any interesting talents or hobbies?
I don’t know if they’re interesting, video games again, that’s what I love doing and watching college football, those are my favorite things to do.
What is your favorite part about being a Humboldt Crab?
Listening to the fans every night, playing under the lights and playing for a team with such a great history and standards.
You just got back from the one and only road trip, what are your thoughts on traveling?
It was good to get away for a week but I’d rather play every game as a home game. Here in Arcata the fans and crowd are better and it’s an overall better experience, I like playing up here.
After summer is over, what’s next for you?
Back to school for my senior year and playing baseball at Sonoma State; that’s my plan.
What are you going to miss most about the Crabs when it’s over?
I’m going to miss everything about it, but I’m going to be back next summer! That is, if they invite me again, I’ll be back!
What’s the deal with your socks, you don’t wear the navy ones that are given to you, instead you wear socks with stars?
It’s swag. The only reason I wear them is because I like the way they look, look good, feel good, play good.
Crabs Q & A By Tracy Mac/Crabs Secretary
#13 Andrew Ayers
What are you doing now career wise?
The past three months I have spent away from baseball and working. This will be the start to my coaching career and will be searching for college coaching jobs after this summer.
What are some of your fondest memories from your playing days? With the Sacramento State Hornets, with the Royals minor league team or about the draft?
The fondest memories I have of playing baseball are during my time at Sacramento State, my last two years especially. Going from worst to first in the WAC was the most satisfying accomplishment because it was a team effort and so much work was put in to get to that moment. I was lucky enough to play a summer for the Kansas City Royals and I will never forget that experience, but nothing will ever compare to the four years I spent as a Hornet. I am very grateful for the opportunity that Reggie Christiansen provided me with to earn a spot on the team as a Freshman.
You left the minor leagues fairly quick. What happened or what lessons did you learn about trying to go pro? I found your baseball card on eBay — is that surreal for you?
I was released in September following the summer I spent playing for the Burlington Royals. I did not perform very well and the Royals cut a farm team from their organization so that just meant less opportunity for me. I quickly learned in the minors majority of the time it is about individual performance and not about the team winning and losing games. That was the toughest thing for me to grasp. I think it is pretty crazy that I have a baseball card, but it can't be worth any money.
How has the support from your family and Sac State baseball friends helped you transition from player to coach?
The support I received from the Sac State family was truly humbling. I would have not been able to get to where I got as a player if it weren't were every coach, teammate, and fan I met up with as a Hornet. I have kept close contact with Reggie and he is helping me greatly with the transition from player to coach.
All the baseball folks in Humboldt have nothing but good things to say about you when we talked to Dale Del Grande and Buster Pigeon at the CR diamond? What did you take away from your local playing days to the college and minor league level?
Dale Del Grande and Buster have helped my career in many ways and it all started with them. Dale taught me the fundamentals and how to play the game the right way and Buster helped me a lot with the hitting aspect. Dale would be the one always throwing David Del Grande and I batting practice and Buster would be helping us with our timing and swings.
What MLB coach or player would you most like to personify?
The MLB payer I would replicate my game from would be Mike Trout. He respects the game night in and night out and knows how to carry himself off the field as well. I think every young player should try and model Mike Trout's game.
What are some of your hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time?
Some of my hobbies are attempting to golf, spending time with friends and family, and looking forward to disc golfing more this summer. I have many friends who play all the time in Eureka.
If you could have lunch with any famous baseball player, who would it be and why?
I would have to say Mike Trout again because I believe he is the perfect baseball player and there is not a knock on him, on or off the field. I would just like to hear his story of how he came up to the big leagues and how he has always found a way not to let success get the best of him.
Have you ever coached before and if so, what are you planning on sharing with these young college kids that are playing for the Crabs for the first time?
I actually coached a little bit during the summer a couple years ago for the Sacramento Stingers. They were a high school travel ball team coached by Reggie. I helped with the infielders and hitters. It was a lot of fun and showed me a different aspect of the game. I know I will always be learning from this game and my goal is to offer as much advice to these young college baseball players as I can. I will point some things out when I see them, little things here and there, but ultimately it is their career and not mine. I am there to help them out and keep it fun for them. I am very excited for this opportunity and can't wait to get another successful Crabs season going.
You and David Flores from Chabot College have been tapped to run the Crabs Camps, what would you like to teach the kids about baseball?
I am excited to be running summer camps with David Flores. I would like to teach the young kids how to play the game the right away. One example would be running all the way through first base on a ground ball. The main thing is to make sure they are always having fun because this game is hard enough as it is.
What are some of the selling points that brought you back to the Crabs this summer?
I am very grateful that Tyson Fisher reached out and wanted me to coach with him this summer. That was the first of many selling points. It was the best opportunity for me to start my coaching career, I love coming home to visit and now I get to be here for a couple months with home cooked meals, and the mot fun I had in summer was playing for the Crabs so I know coaching for them is not going to be any different.
#1 Spencer Duggan
2nd Base/IF/2012 MVP
By Tina Naderi/Crabs Intern
ARCATA (2012) — Imagine you grow up watching a certain baseball team, wishing that one day you could play for them, too. Well, that was what Spencer Duggan wanted as a child, and now the 5’8 in-fielder has become a fan favorite to watch at the Arcata Ballpark.
Duggan is a true blue Humboldt local. Born and raised in the Sunny Brae neighborhood of Arcata, Duggan has positive memories of his childhood.
“I loved [being raised] in the small town atmosphere ... lots of friendly faces, you can walk from one side of town to the other without worrying about something happening to you,” said Duggan.
Growing up, Duggan began playing all sorts of sports. Basketball, baseball — he even started playing golf at the age of nine. But it was baseball that captured the attention of the young Humboldt native.
“I skipped tee-ball and went straight into baseball when I was five. [That] was 17 years ago,” Duggan said.
Although baseball came naturally to him, Duggan made sure not to rest easy and began to work hard to develop his skills as player. Part of learning the game of baseball for Duggan was he attended Crabs baseball games in the summer time. Duggan even participated in Crabs baseball camp in his youth. It’s with his past history of growing up watching Crabs baseball that Duggan finds his current position with the team slightly odd.
“I was a little kid getting my glove signed by all the Crabs players when I was 6, 7 years old. [Now] I see little kids come up and ask for my autograph, and ... it’s funny to me,” Duggan said.
Although this is Duggan’s first year playing for the Crabs, it’s not his first time playing Humboldt baseball. In years previous, Duggan played for College of the Redwoods baseball team as well as the Humboldt Steelheads, a farm team of sorts for the Humboldt Crabs that was put on hiatus for the 2012 season. Duggan says the biggest difference between the two teams isn’t necessarily in the dugout, but in the stands.
“It’s kind of cool having 800 to 1,000 Crabs fans [at the games] versus 50 to 100 coming to Steelhead games,” Duggan added.
Current Crabs Assistant Coach Jeff Giacomini worked with Duggan and the rest of the Steelheads during the 2010 summer season. Giacomini considers Duggan a great team player and is happy someone with leadership skills as strong as Duggan’s is on the team.
“He’s got a good approach, he just knows how to play the game ... he has a lot of maturity,” Giacomini said.
Manager Matt Nutter is thrilled to have Duggan a part of the 2012 season, joking around that he’s watched “Spenny” grow up, he’s happy to have him on the team.
“He’s brings a spark to the team ... [He’s] had a lot of big hits in a number of games for us. Hopefully he’ll keep doing that,” said Nutter.
And those hits have certainly helped the Crabs in some sticky situations. So far this season, Duggan holds a .439 BA and 12 RBI — both the highest on the team.
On his days off from playing ball or practicing, Duggan finds himself in the Humboldt outdoors.
“[I also] like to pan for gold,” said Duggan. “Some people say it messes with your swing as a baseball player, but it’s never really affected me.”
When he’s not in Humboldt playing ball, or spending time with his family, Duggan attends and plays ball at Bellevue University in Nebraska.
“It’s different from [Humboldt],” said Duggan. “A lot less hilly.”
Crabs Q & A #10 Brad Morgan, Alumni/Coach By Kylee Chandler/Special Events Coordinator
Q: How did you initially get involved with the Crabs?
A: During junior college I had two pretty good years and I got recruited on locally to play and it was a blast. I played in 2007, 2009 and 2010 and after that season I got to talking with the coaches to see if it was a possibility that I could join on as a coach and get my foot in the door because I want to take the path of becoming a coach.
Q: How has the transition from player to coach been?
A: The transition is a lot harder than a lot of people think. As a coach you get to sit back and watch and take in everything and as a player you might be focused on a thing or two but as a coach you have to focus on everybody.
Q: What role do you play as a coach, are you in charge of any particular aspect?
A: I am a utility coach. I work a little with the hitters and a little with the catchers. I just talk and get to know the players and tell them what I see and tell them things they could work on to improve.
Q: When your not here coaching what can we find you doing?
A: I’m actually in graduate school in New Mexico but usually when I’m not coaching here I’m either working out or doing work.
Q: What is your favorite part of Humboldt Crabs Baseball?
A: The fans! Every time you step in the ballpark here it’s a blast. I don’t see how you could come here and not have fun.
Q: How long do you plan on being a part of the Crabs organization?
Crabs Q & A #35 Jimmy Macwilliam, left-handed pitcher By Kylee Chandler/Special Events Coordinator
Q: Have you always been a pitcher?
A: Well in high school I played 1st base and outfield but once I got to college I started focusing just on pitching and I’ve been doing that for the last 4 years.
Q: You’re a left-handed pitcher do you think that is an advantage or disadvantage?
A: Advantage because growing up people see right-handed pitchers all the time. Left-handed pitchers usually have a lot more movement so I think it’s definitely more affective I feel to be left-handed over right.
Q: Which do you prefer pitching to right or left-handed batters?
A: Left because they are easier to get out having that advantage being left handed against a left-handed batter.
Q: Being a pitcher is a high-pressure position so how do you stay calm when you’re out on the mound?
A: Honestly try and not focus as much as I can because getting too into the game you let other things affect you. Also not thinking of every pitch while I’m pitching. Just worry about one at a time instead of letting little things affect me.
Q: What goes through your mind after you walk a batter?
A: Okay well that’s over, moving on to the next one. I’m going to work on one pitch at a time and focus on that.
Q: How did you first hear about the Crabs?
A: From my teammates at the University of Hawaii. They told me all about their summer here and how awesome it was and once I found out I got the opportunity to come play here I was all over it.
Q: How does playing for the Crabs compare to the Midwest where you played summer baseball before?
A: I love the baseball field here for sure. The crowd is so awesome here and they have the Crabs Grass Band that’s something completely different than anyone else will ever have and it’s great.
Q: What’s your major and what are your plans for after college?
A: Political science and minoring in history. After I graduate from my undergrad I’m going to go to law school and be a real estate lawyer or a sports agent.
Crabs Q & A #30 Ivory Thomas, Crabs Center Fielder By Kylee Chandler/Special Events Coordinator
Q: Why do you play baseball?
A: I enjoy doing it. I like coming out and competing everyday and I like the people I get to meet in my journeys.
Q: Which player or person most inspired you to be the best baseball player you could be?
A: My cousin Tony Miranda. He played at Fullerton (where I play) and was part of the National Championship team in the 90’s. I hang out with him a lot.
Q: What has been the highlight of your baseball career so far?
A: Going through a complete season this year, I was able to go without injury.
Q: Many baseball players have been given a nickname do you have one?
A: The team calls me Darkness both here and in Fullerton.
Q: Who is your favorite professional baseball team?
Q: After summer is over what is next for you?
A: Back to school.
Q: What are your plans for life after college?
A: I want to play baseball hopefully, but if I don’t I want to enter the probation field, criminal law.
Q: How have you adjusted to life in Humboldt coming from the LA area?
A: It’s a lot different. The weather in fact, I kind of hate it because it’s always cold. The community is pretty good, everybody is pretty nice. It’s real peaceful up here no city life.
Q: Many are saying that you are the fan favorite of this season, why do you think that is?
A: I don’t know. I just enjoy playing so maybe that shows and they appreciate that.
Q: What is the story behind the white baseball glove?
A: Actually one of my buddies had me get it during season and I asked my coach at Fullerton if I could use it, he said it was ok, but we were kind of struggling so I didn’t want to bring it out and have it be bad luck.
Q: You have a black glove too so how did you decide between the two?
A: I don’t think white goes with all white jerseys so I try to color coordinate.
Q: Complete this sentence: When I’m not playing baseball, you would find me _______.
Crabs Q & A
#25 Austin Prott, First Base By Kylee Chandler/Special Events Coordinator ARCATA 2012
Q: This is your first year with the Crabs, how do you like it so far?
A: It’s awesome! The venue, all the fans, the community, they are all into it. All the fans we get, it can’t get any better than that.
Q: You played summer baseball last year in Arizona, how does the Crabs compare with summer ball in Arizona?
A: Night and day for sure. Just how much the team and the community support us and everything that they give us and also being able to live right next to the field. It was miserable in Arizona with the heat.
Q: What position do you play and what do you like best infield or outfield?
A: I play first and outfield and as long as I’m in the lineup it doesn’t really bother me.
Q: How did you first become familiar with the Crabs?
A: My college coach told me about it and said it would be a great experience for me to be able to play for the Crabs and after going on the web site and watching the video on there I was like, “Definitely.”
Q: What’s is your major and what do you want to do after you graduate, is baseball in your future?
A: My major is applied sciences and mathematics and I want to be a pediatrician actually. Obviously if the draft was a possibility I’d definitely go for it but it’s good to have a back up plan.
Q: What is your favorite way to celebrate a win?
A: Just being around all the guys after a win. Everyone’s happy no mater how we won or how well everyone did a win’s a win. It’s fun being around the guys after a win.
Q: Personal goals for the year?
A: I want to get better. I always want to get better. Offense defense both. Being around these guys everyone here on the team is really good so I think they will help me step my game up because I’ll have to play to there level.