Things hadn't been going well lately for the Humboldt Crabs. They'd lost to their local rivals the Steelheads on Friday. They'd dropped both games in a doubleheader on Saturday. Sunday's opponent backed out, leaving the team and its fans hanging. The team needed a pick-me-up.
How about a no-hitter before a packed house on a beautiful sunny Fourth of July to get things back on track?
That's exactly what college teammates Kyle Crawford and Peter Miller combined to give the Crabs on Monday as they beat the Santa Rosa Gnats 8-1 to snap a three-game skid and send the crowd of 1,446 home happy on this holiday.
"It's kind of funny, it was kind of a UOP win day," said Crawford. "(Miller's) my teammate at University of Pacific, and we're kind of the same pitching. We both throw a lot of off-speed, throw strikes. It was kind of a fun thing."
A- I’m the head coach and recruiter. I put the team together on the off-season and get all the guys signed up to play for the Crabs. I go to a lot of college games on the off-season to scout guys and figure out the guys we want on the team. I also work closely with the college coaches to get them signed up and get them up here.
Q- Any changes to your role this year?
A- I’ve been the third base coach for the past 7 or 8 years and I turned it over to coach Jordt so he can get some experience over there and I’m going to be working more with the pitchers this year than I have in the past. That’s my specialty; I was a pitcher so that’s where my specialty is.
Q. When do you start recruiting?
A- We start recruiting as soon as our season ends for the summer. The guys we want to come back that are on the team we ask them before they even leave if they are interested in coming back. Then I start calling college coaches and identifying the guys we want to get. Really end of August early September it’s off and running. We start recruiting and we’re still dealing with recruiting stuff today, all the way up until were going. There’s a lot of different factors that play into it: injuries, the draft, grades, summer school, it’s always changing. The roster changes the whole year. The 12 months I’m recruiting it’s changing the whole time. And then the guys we get here were lucky to have them and were happy to have them.
Q. What’s your opinion of the 2011 Crabs Team?
A- So far so good. Were waiting for 10 or 11 more players to get here that aren’t here yet. We’ve got guys at Cal State Fullerton and University of San Francisco that are playing in the NCAA regionals and guys at UC Davis, University of Oregon, University of Washington, Seattle University and Bakersfield that are on the quarter system so they have another week of school. They have finals this week and then we’ll get them hopefully next weekend. The guys we have here though have been doing a great job this weekend and I think it’s going to be good. We’re going to pitch well and were going to score some runs so it should be a good summer.
Q. What’s your favorite part about coaching the Crabs?
A- Getting to know the guys and getting to spend time with them and the relationships you build that last a long time. There are a lot of guys I coached that I get calls from. I got calls from 4 or 5 of them this weekend that are like good luck coach and good luck starting the summer. Just getting to know these guys and being lifelong friends after they spend a couple summers in Humboldt. It’s really cool to see how they doing and how their lives are going as they get older and move on in life whether it’s in baseball or family and a job. So that’s the coolest part, just seeing them grow up and become men.
In the end, the ever-present threat of rain on Saturday only served to make the Sunday afternooon sun all the more glorious, and the shortened bench of opening weekend proved to be no problem at all.
Yes, the opening weekend of the 67th season of Crabs baseball was an unqualified success, with the home team clobbering the Fairfield Indians 10-2, 13-1 and 9-2 to start the season off on the right foot before crowds that blew away the numbers of the past two seasons.
"The offense came out fired up and looked good," said Crabs manager Matt Nutter. "It was good to see the local guys out there hammering the ball."
Indeed, the homegrown players on the Crabs' roster had themselves quite a weekend. David Del Grande, a St. Bernard's grad now playing at Sacramento State, led the way with seven hits in 11 at-bats, good for a .636 average, to go with six RBIs. Andrew Ayers, a returning Crab from last year who also played with Del Grande at St. B's and Sac. State, is hitting .455.
Brad Morgan, filling in until more of the players arrive next week, seems to be trying to make a case to stay on the team with five hits in nine at-bats. Jordan Davis hit a huge double on Sunday, and also showed off his arm behind the plate in picking off an Indian at second with the bases loaded and no outs. Garth Bonomini turned a couple of nifty double plays in the field, and Zach O'Hanen pitched two innings on Sunday, yielding only an unearned run.
Of course, it wasn't just the locals making noise. Cody Gappa hit .500 and leads the team with an .875 slugging percentage. Justin Higley is already endearing himself to fans, thanks in part to a grand slam that ended Saturday's second game.
Nutter acknowledged there was a bit of rustiness — John Austin struggled at times but danced out of trouble several times on Sunday — but noted that Austin had had some time off since his last outing. "You expect that this time of year," Nutter said, "but once everyone gets in I think we'll be fine. We've got some big boys coming in so the lineup will be solid. I'm excited to put these guys all out there and see what they can do."
The Crabs play their local rivals, the Steelheads, Wednesday at 7 p.m. in their last tune-up before starting play in the new Far West League when Fontanetti's Athletics roll into town starting Friday night.
EUREKA (May 25) — The Humboldt Crabs were honored Tuesday by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors for 67 consecutive years as a valued member of the local community.
The proclamation was given by District 3 Supervisor Mark Lovelace, who spoke of his own love for Crabs baseball.
"It's realy one of the things that I enjoy most about living here in Humboldt County," said Lovelace. "Every game is always a great event. You get so caught up in how much fun it is that you almost forget the fact that it's really great baseball too."
Anyone thinking Tuesday was going to be just another Board of Supervisors meeting was surely jarred out of their early morning haze as the World Famous Crab Grass Band opened the day's proceedings with the Star Spangled Banner. The band also finished up the Crabs' presentation with their classic rendition of Elvira.
Crabs President Matt Filar read a statement to the Board, and then presented the board with a signed bat and some Crabs hats. Lovelace joked that "I guess that's one of the advantages of being a wood-bat league is that you can get that (bat) through security," prompting laughs from those in attendance.
Below is a video of the WFCGB's National Anthem. More videos are available on our brand-new YouTube channel.
ARCATA – Humboldt Crabs Baseball and The City of Arcata announce the season opening dinner on Friday, June 3 at 6 p.m. at the Arcata Community Center, 321 Community Park Way. Tickets for this event are presale only.
The Crabs invite fans to attend the festivities celebrating their 67th season and meet the 2011 team.
“The season opening dinner is always a memorable community event,” said Crabs President Matt Filar. “Everyone looks forward to this fun evening with their family and friends.”
Fans can purchase dinner tickets at the video counter in all Ray’s Food Place stores and at the Arcata City Hall. A mail order ticket purchase forms can be downloaded as either a Word file or a PDF.
Proceeds from the opening dinner, co-sponsored by the Crabs and the City of Arcata, will go to toward improvements at the Arcata Ball Park. During the evening, the Crabs will sponsor a silent auction to help raise additional funds to support the team.
The doors open with a no-host social hour at 6 p.m., and dinner begins at 7 p.m.
Special Early Bird Pricing for tickets is available until May 29: $20 per person for adults, $15 for fans 12 and under. Fans must purchase tickets prior to the dinner; tickets will not be sold at the door.
“The dinner sells out every year,” Filar said, “and every year we have to turn away disappointed fans at the door. So I urge fans, take advantage of the Early Bird Pricing and get those tickets now. They won’t last.”
Crabs fans will meet the new 2011 team at the dinner on Friday night. First pitch of the 2011 season will come the following day, Saturday, June 4, 12:30 p.m., when the Crabs take the field against their traditional opening day rivals, the Fairfield Indians.
If you or your organization would like to donate an auction item for the dinner, contact us at email@example.com.
ARCATA (April 18) — It is with great sadness that the Humboldt Crabs announce the passing of Scott Heinig, a Crabs pitcher in 2009 and 2010. He was 22 years old.
Heinig, who was named the Crabs' co-Pitcher of the Year in 2009, was at a gathering at a friend's home in Davis on Saturday evening when he apparently fell and hit his head, according to police reports. He was rushed to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries just after noon on Sunday.
"Scott was a great young man," said Crabs Head Coach Robin Guiver, who was in Davis on Saturday and had watched the Aggies play Cal State Bakersfield with Heinig hours before the tragedy. "Everybody not only liked him, but really respected him. He was a kid that positively impacted a lot of lives."
Heinig's death marks the second time in four years that the Humboldt Crabs community has lost a recent alumnus to a head injury. In 2007, pitcher Kevin Morsching died after falling while skateboarding at home in South Dakota weeks after the season ended.
Humboldt Crabs President Matt Filar issued the following statement about Heinig's death:
The Crabs have been in existence since 1945, so it's a fact of life that we would hear of the passing of one of our own over time. It's especially heartbreaking, however, when we hear of the tragic loss of one of our young members. Scott Heinig was a special member of the Crabs when he was here for the 2009 and 2010 seasons, and I'm still in shock after hearing of the accident that took his life. The news of Scott's accident brought back the still painful memories of Kevin Morsching, who died in 2007 soon after the end of the season of a similar injury. As President, and being nowhere near the age of our players, I don't get the opportunity to get familiar with most of the athletes that come to Arcata for two months out of the year, but Scott was one whom I felt close to. Thoughts go out to his friends and family, not only mine, but those of the entire Crabs family.
Heinig was a popular figure both in his time with the Crabs and in the Davis baseball community. With the Crabs, he had been a solid and versatile pitcher, posting a 7-2 record and a 1.23 ERA in two seasons and sharing the 2009 Crabs Pitcher of the Year honors with John Austin.
He had also been a standout at Davis High School and UC Davis, and after graduating college last year, had gone back to serve as the pitching coach at his former high school. His death sent shockwaves through the Davis community.
The baseball field at Davis High School, where Heinig had led his team to two league titles and been named the 2006 Monticello Empire League Player of the Year, became a memorial site for those who knew him to gather, and UC Davis canceled its scheduled game Sunday upon hearing of the accident.
"Scott was elected a team captain his senior season, which speaks to how well respected he was by his teammates and to his work ethic and positive attitude," said Aggies head coach Rex Peters in a statement. "He had an infectious smile and put his teammates in front of himself."
Friends and former teammates also took to the Internet to express their grief. Two-time Crabs MVP Jeff Giacomini, posting on the team's Facebook page, said, "Scott was a fierce competitor, he played with his heart and extreme compassion. He was a great team mate (sic) and a great friend. Scott will be missed and remembered everyday."
A memorial service will be held at Freedom Hall on the UC Davis campus on Tuesday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m. Anyone interested in attending should contact the Crabs here or by calling (707) 826-2333.
Scott Heinig Career Stats with Humboldt Crabs
Year ERA W-L APP GS CG SHO/CBO SV IP H R ER BB SO AB B/Avg
2009*....... 0.94 5-2 12 4 2 2/0 1 47.2 36 5 5 12 58 169 .213
2010........ 1.75 2-0 8 3 1 0/2 0 25.2 16 7 5 16 23 89 .180
Total....... 1.23 7-2 20 7 3 2/2 1 73.1 52 12 10 28 81 258 .202
ABOVE: Reco Pastori, left, with fellow original Crab Wally Scott, center, and current Crabs manager Matt Nutter.
Editor's note: Original Crab and Humboldt County baseball and football legend Reco Pastori passed away this week. Reprinted with permission below is part of Neil Tarpey's April 9 story in the Times-Standard, with a link to the rest of the story.
Visitation will be at Sanders Funeral Home, 1835 E Street in Eureka on Sunday, April 10 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A Celebration of Life will follow at the Eureka Wharfinger Building, One Marina Way, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
His high school football team did not allow a single point all season.
His daring base running exploits on the diamond drew comparisons to Ty Cobb.
Reco Pastori, a legendary and popular Humboldt County athlete, passed away on Wednesday, April 6 at the age of 92.
"He was a very well-liked kid, very well respected,” said Jack Walsh in a phone interview. “And he was such a great athlete. He was just a natural.”
Walsh, 93, who worked for decades as a physician in Eureka, was one of Pastori's teammates on the “Wonder Team.” That's what they called the 1935 Eureka High School football squad coached by Jay Willard.
Pastori, considered a great all-around athlete, played left end on that EHS Hall of Fame team that shut out all eight of its opponents and outscored them by a combined 283-0.
The 6-0 victory over Grant Union of Sacramento in the Northern California championship game on November 28, 1935 was the pinnacle of a memorable season.
One account described the championship contest “as being one of the hardest fought, most interesting, and best played games in Albee Stadium. The crowd was the largest of the season, and probably the largest in the history of the school ...”
In addition to Pastori's football talents, he was an avid hunter and golfer and enjoyed out-of-town sports trips.
But many North Coast sports fans will recall Pastori for his exploits for the Humboldt Crabs.
Editor's note: Wally Scott, who played for the Humboldt Crabs from 1946-1948 and again in 1951, passed away last week. We have decided to reprint the following article, written by former Crabs boardmember Jim Gould, from our 2008 program in his memory...
WALLY SCOTT – RADIOMAN, GUNNER, SHORTSTOP
On June 6, 1944 Wally Scott flew over bloody Normandy in his B-17 on the way to drop bombs on the Germans. He remembers looking down, seeing all those ships and wondering: “Damn, what’re all those boats doing down there?”
The Japanese, the last of the Axis Powers, surrendered 14 months later when Staff Sergeant Wally Scott of Blue Lake, California was in Clovis, New Mexico training for B-29’s. Nine months later, Wally had traded in his radio and headphones for a bat and glove; his sergeant’s stripes for a uniform with the Humboldt Crabs.
The Humboldt Crabs are proud to introduce a new fan-friendly feature on our website: Crabcasts!
Crabcasts are just what the name implies. They are downloadable audio podcasts about the Crabs. We hope to bring you various types of content, from interviews with former players to round tables about the team to replays of a few classic Crabs moments.
Crabcasts are available in two formats: iTunes(m4a) and mp3. Download them and play them in your favorite media player. For those of you who like your iTunes libraries super-organized, the m4a files include Crabcast artwork, and the artwork is also available as a separate download.
The first two Crabcasts are available right now, featuring radio voice Hoke Holcomb interviewing Crabs president Matt Filar and past president Jerry Nutter, and manager Matt Nutter. We've got more in the pipeline as we move towards our 67th season. We hope you enjoy them!