Kyle Moses, the Crabs' 2013 Most Valuable Player, returns to lead the squad into its 70th season
By Erik Fraser/Humboldt Crabs
ARCATA (May 2014) — The Crabs are so excited to celebrate their 70th consecutive season of summer baseball that they couldn’t even wait until the calendar hit June to begin.
Yes, this year’s milestone season for the Crabbies begins on Saturday, the last day of May, against their old friends the Fairfield Indians at 7 p.m. This year’s team features a new coaching staff, four returning players, several local standouts, and a name that’s going to sound familiar to baseball fans.
Taking over at the helm this year is Fortuna native and former Crab Tyson Fisher. Helping him fill the big shoes left by outgoing manager Matt Nutter are assistants Eric Giacone, Andrew Ayers, and David Flores. Giacone, the current Eureka High coach, and Ayers, a high school star at St. Bernard’s, are also both Crabs alumni, and Flores is a one-time draft pick of the Houston Astros.
It always makes it easier on a new coaching staff if the team has a proven commodity in the lineup. And Fisher and Co. will definitely have that, as headlining the returning players is the team’s 2013 MVP, Kyle Moses.
Moses was the prototypical leadoff hitter for the team that won the Far West League title a year ago, leading the team in batting average, doubles, runs and stolen bases. But even those stats don’t show Moses’ full value to the team. He seemed to be in the middle of every big rally the Crabs had last year, and his enthusiasm in the dugout spread to everyone on the team.
Other familiar names Crabs fans will see include Trent Goodrich, who hit .313 as the team’s starting shortstop last year, and pitchers Brian Bynum and Andrew Nelson. Nelson wasn’t on the 2013 team, but was 4-0 with a 1.48 ERA in 2012.
Nelson also happens to be one of a number of local players on this year’s team. A pair of College of the Redwoods standouts, Ansel Cecil and Justin Hatch — both of whom were named Golden Valley Conference players of the week this season — will trade their crimson and yellow for Crabs red and blue this summer. Cecil led the Corsairs with a .338 average and 18 stolen bases, and Hatch’s 2.74 ERA was second best on the team.
Lefty Zach Stone from UC Davis, who in high school was the Big 5 MVP as a sophomore at Eureka High, and catcher Luis Bressoud, add to the local flavor of the 2014 team.
As for that familiar name, there is one Manny Ramirez Junior on this year’s squad. Ramirez is the son of the former MLB star by the same name, and is already familiar with the Arcata Ball Park, having come up last year as a member of the California Warriors. And if you were there for those games, you know the kid has his dad’s power — he hit a pair of balls onto the freeway during their July visit.
That’s just a glimpse of what awaits Crabs fans in 2014. To get the whole story, you’re going to have to go out and watch it unfold.