Minor League Baseball, Marin Style

Triple A minor league baseball. Like being in a Robert Altman film in the 70s – braiding plotlines, rapt crowds, patriotism and dread. Though the last two might be one and the same, depending on who sings the pre-game anthem.
Spied the Sonoma Index-Tribune’s managing editor Bill Hoban in San Rafael, clicking off shots at a San Rafael Pacifics vs. Sonoma Stompers game in San Rafael last week, and got the impression that he didn’t recognize me out of context. In our case, is namely within emails. Though I try my best to look like a dhowell@dhowell.com, I’m not actually that symmetrical in real life. Nor are the pairings of teams in our minor league baseball games: The Stompers are a physically imposing wolf pack of recently sprung jailbirds (I suspect) that made the comparatively lean Pacifics look like ectomorphic effetes tripping over their ascots. Miraculously, the Pacifics won if only because the Stompers chewed up their own mits like ferral canines on a rawhide jones.

Best Minor League Baseball Names

Chase Fontaine vs. Jayce Ray vs. Sausalito Sausage

Despite their loss the Stompers presented a formidable challenge, not least of which in the “best baseball name” category. Not in terms of team names, mind you – both are wanting to my ear – but the names of individual players. The Pacifics have a winner in Chase Fontaine, who has long enjoyed the best nom de le baseball in the league. That said, the Stompers’ Jayce Ray sounds equally convincing. If he doesn’t become a baseball star, he’s a lock for space opera superhero. Can’t beat monosyllabic, assonant rhymes.

One also can’t beat the names on the snack bar menu, some of which read like the nicknames we had back at SF State. The “Sausalito Sausage” and “2nd Base” are standouts, particularly the latter, which is apparently a bowl of chili poured over pasta. Shame on you Marin. In Sonoma, that kind of culinary affront to the senses is actually illegal within 10 blocks of the Plaza.

As they say, “Baseball… Like it used to be.” Best $10 you’ll spend in a 40 mile radius.

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