California Warriors Alumni Player of the Week: Dominic Burke

Dominic Burke, a long-time California Warrior and current College of Marin Mariner, takes home this week’s California Warriors Alumni Player of the Week Award with a solid performance in three games against Diablo Valley, Hartnell, and Folsom Lake.

Over the week, the Freshman out of San Marin HS went 4-14 with 2 Runs scored, 1 RBI, a Double, a Walk, and a Stolen Base. The highlight of the week for Burke came in the top of the 11th inning against the Diablo Valley Vikings – with the score tied at 4, Dominic led off the inning with a Double, eventually scoring the go-ahead and game-winning run on a base knock by fellow California Warriors Alum, Marcus Chiu.

Burke has been doing well for himself and for his team this season as the leadoff hitter and starting third baseman – he has put together a .350/.458/.400 triple slash so far over 40 AB’s, and leads the team with 3 SB as well. Congratulations to Dominic, and best of luck on the rest of your season!

Black History Month – Dave Stewart

Known for his prolific career on the mound where he won three championships, tossed a nasty forkball, and intimidated countless batters with his infamous death stare, Dave Stewart is an all-around baseball guy whose career in the sport has flourished far past his days of toeing the rubber.

A native of Oakland, California, Stewart turned down a stack of college scholarships to play football in favor of joining the Los Angeles Dodgers farm system, who selected him in the 16th round of the 1975 MLB Draft. He eventually made his debut with the Dodgers in 1978, marking the start of a playing career that would last until 1995. Over that span, Stewart collected a hefty bunch of accolades, including 3 World Series Championships, a World Series MVP, Roberto Clemente Award, a no-hitter, and 4 seasons in a row with the Oakland Athletics in which he won 20 games.

During his years as a player, Stewart took the field for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Texas Rangers, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Oakland Athletics (two stints), and the Toronto Blue Jays, and amassed a 168-129 record to go along with a whopping 1741 K’s. While many would be content to call it a day after racking up numbers like that, Stewart has continued to thrive on the business end of the baseball world – in addition to his years spent as a pitching coach for various MLB teams, Stewart started a sports agency that brokered high-profile deals with players like Matt Kemp and Eric Chavez, while also serving as an assistant GM in several organizations before eventually claiming the GM job with the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2014-2016.

Black History Month – Reggie Jackson

A lot of great players have made a mark in MLB over their careers, but there is only one who so regularly provided postseason heroics that he earned the nickname “Mr. October” – Reggie Jackson. Over his 21-year career, Reggie played in 17 playoff series – including 5 World Series appearances – putting together an impressive career postseason stat line: .278 AVG, .885 OPS, 48 RBI, 41 Runs, and 18 HR.

A true all-around athlete, Jackson starred on his high school track, baseball, basketball, and football teams, at one point suffering 5 broken vertebrae during the final football game of his junior year. Doctors told him he may never walk again, but he worked his way back onto the field, eventually opting to attend Arizona State University on a football scholarship (he switched to baseball after one season).

“When you’ve played this game for ten years and gone to bat seven-thousand times and gotten two-thousand hits do you know what that really means? It means you’ve gone zero for five-thousand.”

Reggie Jackson

Reggie’s prolific college career wrapped up nicely when he was selected #2 overall in the 1966 MLB Draft by the Kansas City (soon-to-be Oakland) Athletics, the team he was with for 9 seasons before stints with the Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees, California Angels, and eventually again the Oakland Athletics. His postseason numbers are what he is known for, but his regular season career accolades mark him as one of the true greats to have played the game. With a .262/.356/.490 triple-slash over 11418 Plate Appearances, Jackson was good for 2584 Hits, 1551 Runs, 1702 RBI, and 563 HR. He also was a 14-time All Star, a 5-time World Series Champion, a 1-time AL MVP, and a 2-time World Series MVP, honors he collected on his way to becoming a 1st-ballot Hall of Famer and having his number retired both in Oakland (#9) and New York (#44).

California Warriors Alumni Player of the Week: Alex Fernandez

Congratulations to this week’s California Warriors Alumni Player of the Week winner, Alex Fernandez! The Junior at Academy of Art University threw 5.1 Innings this week in a relief appearance against the SF State Gators, picking up Academy of Arts’ starting pitcher to keep his team in the game.

Over his 5.1 IP, Fernandez struck out 4 and gave up only 1 ER, giving the Urban Knights a chance to come back against a Gators offense that got on the board early. Alex came away from the game with a no-decision, as Academy of Art would eventually fall in the 13th Inning to a final score of 8-5.

A native of Napa, CA, Fernandez played for the California Warriors between 2010 and 2014 and attended Napa Valley College before transferring to the D-II Academy of Art University.

Black History Month – Rickey Henderson

Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson – nicknamed “The Man of Steal” – famously summed up the mentality that helped make him one of the greatest to ever play the game of baseball when he said, “If my uniform doesn’t get dirty, I haven’t done anything in the baseball game.” A blur on the basepaths, Rickey’s legendary speed, hustle, and raw athleticism carried him through a prolific 25-year career in MLB during which he made his mark all over the record books.

Born in Chicago, Rickey grew up in Oakland, CA and attended Oakland Tech as a 3-sport athlete, starring on the baseball, basketball, and football teams – he was an All-American running back who turned down numerous college scholarships in favor of playing Minor League Baseball. Henderson quickly worked climbed the ladder in the minors, dominating at every level until he reached the bigs and made his debut with the Oakland Athletics, the team that would make him a hometown hero.

“When I was a little-leaguer, I was sort of famous for stealing bases – and it started only because my mom wanted to be sure where I was in the afternoons. Mom always used to say, “If you don’t come home dirty, you didn’t play a baseball game.” So I always tried to get in a situation where I had to slide so that I could go home dirty.”

Rickey Henderson

Over his career, Rickey played with 9 different teams (including 4 stints with the Oakland A’s), and compiled some truly staggering stats. He stepped up to the plate 13,346 times, amassing 3,055 Hits, 2,295 Runs (MLB record), 1,406 Stolen Bases (MLB record), and 81 leadoff Home Runs (MLB record) while slashing .279/.401/.419. Henderson is also the single-season leader for steals, breaking Hall of Famer Lou Brock’s record of 188 SB in 1982 by swiping 130 bases.

The contributions from the greatest leadoff hitter of all time were recently immortalized further by the Oakland Athletics, who retired his #24 in 2009, when they announced that the team would be naming the playing surface at the Coliseum after him, the “Rickey Henderson Field.”

California Warriors Alumni Player of the Week: Kevin Whitaker

Last week many former California Warrior Student Athletes took the field for their 2017 season at the Junior College level. We are awarding Kevin Whitaker the first California Warriors Alumni Player of the Week honors for 2017. Kevin is a freshman infielder at Laney College in Oakland, and had a great week in the Eagle’s first four games. He went 9-15 at the plate to lead their offense with a .600 AVG. He also contributed a Double, a Walk, a Stolen Base, scoring six Runs, and driving in a team-leading 8 RBI’s.

Kevin is a Richmond, CA native and was a 2016 graduate of John Swett High School. He has been a student athlete in the California Warriors program for the last three summers, and excelled both on the field and in the classroom. Congratulations to Kevin, we wish him continued success.

2 Years Running! FBF Named Top Mill Valley Sports Organization

We are very honored that The Mill Valley Awards Program has once again recognized the First Base Foundation as the top Sports Organization in Mill Valley for 2016!

The First Base Foundation is proud to serve student athletes in our community as well as student athletes from communities around Northern California, and we look forward to continuing our work with the California Warriors providing an affordable, competitive travel baseball program that develops leadership qualities and helps provide a path to higher education for all of our student athletes.

Don’t forget to check out the photos from Winter Ball and Tryouts on Flickr, and make sure to follow us on Twitter, Instragram, and Facebook to keep up to date with FBF and the California Warriors.

California Warriors Tryouts A Success

This year’s tryouts for the 2017 California Warriors summer teams were hugely successful – around 40 kids showed up to display their prowess and skills on the diamond in order to be assigned to one of the four California Warriors teams. Six California Warriors Coaches put the group of talented student athletes through a variety of running, hitting, fielding, pitching, and catching drills, making sure they collected as much information as they needed to evaluate the student athletes.

The commitment of the California Warriors Baseball Program is to place our student athletes on the appropriate team for their age, high school grad year, and ability so that they can best develop and showcase their skills while also having the opportunity to learn the subtleties and fundamentals of the game. Contracts and invitations for roster spots will go out in January, so until then, have a very happy holiday season!

To see more photos from Tryouts and Winter Ball, visit our Flickr account.

Winter Ball Season Underway

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This past Sunday, the California Warriors Winter Ball Team began the winter season with a game against the Yankees. Score isn’t kept in Winter Ball games, so players are able to play and learn in a relaxed environment that allows them to develop their skills and prepare for their upcoming high school season. The first California Warriors Winter Ball game was no exception to this, as players enthusiastically worked out some of the rust they had developed since the summer season ended.

Coaches Ryan Burke and Marcus Chiu consistently moved players around in the field each inning, giving players the chance to play new positions. This is one of the other great things about Winter Ball – since the primary focus isn’t to win games, players are able to try new positions and focus on honing their skills. The Winter Ball program is also a great opportunity for California Warriors alumni to develop their leadership skills as coaches. Coach Chiu said, “I believe working with this group of kids will be a great experience for me. They are full of enthusiasm and love to play the game, and most importantly, they play the game with passion. They are always asking questions and wanting to get better, their work ethic is incomparable.” The enthusiasm the players showed was tremendous as players were constantly seen hustling on and off the field, and also joking around and making new friends in the dugout. The California Warriors Winter Ball team is off to good start and looks forward to a great winter season!

Click here to visit the California Warriors Flickr account to see photos from Winter Ball.

Tryouts for 2017 Summer Baseball Season

The 2017 California Warriors Summer Baseball Program will be fielding 4 teams this summer. The 15U Elite Team and 17U Elite Team will be Travel Ball Teams. Blue and Silver will play local games and local tournaments. The California Warriors Summer Baseball Program provides a positive environment for student athletes to develop their baseball & leadership skills, and is an excellent opportunity for players to be seen by college coaches and professional scouts at some of the top youth baseball tournaments in the country.

Tryouts will be held for all 4 teams on December 18th at Marin Catholic High School from 1:00 – 4:00 PM. If you can’t make it to tryouts but would still like to play, please email baseball@firstbasefoundation.org.

The fee to try out is $20: make your payment here.

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