The NBA Finals are about to start. I don't care. Hockey's Stanley Cup Finals are about to start. I probably won't get to see them. The French Open Tennis Championships are happening. I haven't seen a serve. The Indy 500 was last weekend. I completely forgot. The Belmont is this Saturday. I do hope to watch that. But Marysville's local baseball team is undefeated. I've seen every pitch.
Now admittedly, watching Marysville's Boys of Summer play baseball is a second job for me, and I am modestly paid to be at the ball park, but the team is off to a compelling start. It's not so much that they have won their first eight games, but the way they've done it. Memorial Day weekend really featured four blowouts against lesser competition, but this weekend was a different story.
Thursday night was a 5-1 win against a team from Healdsburg. Chuckle at the name if you want, but the Prune Packers were in it until an 18 year-old hit a solo home run in the sixth inning, and the Gold Sox added two more in the eighth. Friday night against the same club, the same 18 year-old hit a walkoff single in the bottom of the ninth for a 2-1 win. In the 24 hours between the home run and the game-winning hit, he graduated from high school. Not a bad day.
Now the Gold Sox are a wood bat collegiate team, so having a high schooler is unusual. Other guys are either from the area or play at four-year schools elsewhere. There's a Marysville native, several from Sacramento, others from out of state, and this year, even a pitcher from the tropical rain forest of Australia. He somehow ended up at a junior college in Montana, and will be transferring to a university in Denver after a summer in Yuba County. I haven't really even met him yet, but there are a lot of stories to uncover, and nine more weeks to do it.
Saturday, facing the Alameda Merchants, the Gold Sox starting pitcher took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. He lost it with two outs, started the seventh with a walk, and then came out. The Merchants, however, didn't get their second and third hits until the ninth inning, created some drama, but the Sox prevailed 3-0.
After three gems in three nights, you could expect a little bit of a clunker on Sunday. For the most part it was, but there still a great story line. Marysville beat Alameda 6-2. The Gold Sox broke the game open in the sixth inning when a popup near the pitcher's mound fell to the earth for a base hit. Two walks, a hit-batter, an infield single, and an error followed and the Sox scored three times. In the sixth, the home team made it's own blunder when a runner at second tagged up on a fly ball, but was called out for leaving the base too early. Throw a balk, a pickoff, and a rundown play in there and you've got yourself a weird evening.
Sunday's game won't be remembered for those things, though. It will be remembered for a 5-foot 10-inch infielder out of the University of Pacific and a Yuba City native. He may have left second base too early, but he was also playing in his 100th career Gold Sox game. Only two others have done that, and it means you have to play for three full seasons, play well, and be good enough to be invited back each year. Oh, and the 5-10 infielder in his hundredth game had no home runs in the first 99. He waited until number one hundred to put the ball over the wall.
People around the country may be talking about LeBron James, Stephen Curry, the Tampa Bay Lightning, American Pharoah, Serena Williams, and Rafael Nadal, but in Marysville this weekend, it was Spencer Lininger, Michael Gahan, Phillip Trujillo, and Louis Mejia. Even the Gold Sox slogan used for several years running still says it all—“It's not just baseball, it's just fun.” Fun at the old yard, and a pretty good second job.