The Red Grape To Be the Stompers’ Official Restaurant of Spring Training

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News Release, Sonoma Stompers

 

SONOMA, Calif.—The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, have proudly announced a partnership with Sonoma restaurant The Red Grape, which will be the Official Restaurant of Stompers Spring Training.

“We are very happy to partner with The Red Grape for Spring Training,” Vice President and General Manager Theo Fightmaster said. “They have the reputation of serving high quality food and we feel lucky to provide our players with meals from them.”

Stompers players report to Spring Training on May 22 and will be playing exhibition games at Peterson Field in Sonoma, Calif.

All tickets plus new merchandise is on sale on our website, www.stompersbaseball.com, or at the Stompers Fan Shop at 234 West Napa Street in Sonoma. For questions and information regarding tickets, please email jen@stompersbaseball.com, or call 707.938.7277.

ABOUT THE SONOMA STOMPERS
The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club was founded in 2014 and is a member of the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs. It plays its home games at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold Field, just a block away from Sonoma’s historic plaza. The independent baseball club has had two players in its history signed by Major League Baseball organizations, as Sonoma’s own Jayce Ray was signed by the Boston Red Sox in 2015 and Santos Saldivar was signed by the Milwaukee Brewers shortly before the 2016 season. For more information on the team, visit StompersBaseball.com or visit the team’s Fan Shop located at 234 West Napa Street, Sonoma, Calif. 95476.

ABOUT THE RED GRAPE
The Red Grape, located at 529 First Street West in Sonoma, Calif., was started fifteen years ago by Carol and Sam Morphy. The Morphy’s went east to search for a New Haven-style pizza that would be the star of the Sonoma eatery they dreamed of opening. After touring, tasting and tinkering, the Morphy’s came home with their very own secret recipe to open The Red Grape just off Sonoma’s historic plaza.

 

Wenrich Acquired In Trade From Railroaders

Catcher Isaac Wenrich will return to Sonoma for his second season after being traded the team announced Thursday. Wenrich played much of the 2015 season in a Stompers uniform. James Toy III/Sonoma Stompers

Catcher Isaac Wenrich will return to Sonoma for his second season after being traded the team announced Thursday. Wenrich played much of the 2015 season in a Stompers uniform.

James Toy III/Sonoma Stompers

Geoff Safford, Director of Broadcasting & Operations Assistant

SONOMA, Calif. — The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, acquired the rights to catcher Isaac Wenrich in a trade with the Cleburne Railroaders of the American Association the club announced Thursday. The Five year veteran will begin his second stint in Sonoma after spending much of the 2015 season with the Stompers. 

“We're excited to have Isaac back, we've been lucky with the catching position over the years, and we've grown to expect a lot from that position,” said President & General Manager Theo Fightmaster. “Isaac will do a great job for us this season.”

The West Lawn, Penn native began his professional career with the Vallejo Admirals in 2014. After a successful season, he joined the Stompers in 2015 and became one of the team’s most productive offensive players. Wenrich batted .296 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs in 58 games. His contract was purchased in August of 2015 by the Florence Freedom of the Frontier League. Wenrich started in 55 games at catcher for the Freedom last summer.

“I couldn't be more excited to come back to Sonoma,” Wenrich said. “This is a place where my teammates drive me every day to work harder. Having a manager like [Takashi Miyoshi] who shows confidence in me but is also stern with me is great because it makes me a better player and a better man.”

Wenrich will look to fill the void behind the plate left by 2016 Defensive Catch of the Year Mason Morioka. Wenrich proved in his time with the Stompers in 2015 that he is more than capable of doing just that. He was named the Defensive Catcher of the Year himself in 2015 for his fantastic play. Wenrich had a .988 fielding percentage with 42 assists that season. 

The Franklin Pierce University product looks forward to once again playing in front of the Stompers faithful. 

“I've been so fortunate to have been received so well by the city and fans of Sonoma,” Wenrich said. “They make it easy to play here. This season is the year for me, I am more focused than I've ever been on my purpose in this game and Sonoma will be a great place to take the first step towards the next step in my career.”

The Stompers kick off their season on the road on Jun. 2 against the Diamonds at Winter Chevrolet Stadium in Pittsburg Calif. Season and single game tickets are now available on stompersbaseball.com. You can also purchase tickets at the Fan Shop located at 234 W Napa Street in Sonoma. For more information call the front office at 707-938-7277.
 

Espinosa To Return To Sonoma For Second Season

The Stompers have re-signed right handed pitcher Juan Espinosa to a contract for the 2017 season. The Miami native will look to build on the success of his rookie campaign in 2016. James Toy III/Sonoma Stompers

The Stompers have re-signed right handed pitcher Juan Espinosa to a contract for the 2017 season. The Miami native will look to build on the success of his rookie campaign in 2016.

James Toy III/Sonoma Stompers

Geoff Safford, Director of Broadcasting

SONOMA, Calif. — The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, have re-signed  right handed pitcher Juan Espinosa. Espinosa impressed as both a starter and reliever and looks to build on the success he had in his rookie season. 

“Juan was a fantastic find for us last year, he was a critically important part of the pitching staff, and our team," Team President & General Manager Theo Fightmaster said. "We're lucky to have him back. We expect him to play a big role for us this year, and we're hoping his hard work this off season pays off."

Espinosa pitched over 64 innings in 19 relief and starting appearances in 2016, where he struck out 60 batters and walked only 22 . Espinosa’s rookie campaign earned him honors and finished third in league Rookie of the Year voting in the Pacific Association. 

Espinosa began the 2016 season  in a reliever role. In 14 appearances, Espinosa was 2-1 with a 2.97 ERA. In one stretch Espinosa went over nine innings without allowing a run out of the Bullpen. Espinosa was 2-2 with a 4.76 ERA in five starts.

The 2017 season kicks off on Jun. 2 on the road against the Diamonds in Pittsburg, Calif. Season tickets and single game tickets for the upcoming season are available on stompersbaseball.com.
 

Pacific Association Names Stone League's Commissioner

SAN FRANCISCO—The Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs has named San Francisco businessman and marketing specialist, Jonathan Stone, the League’s new Commissioner. Team owners voted unanimously to appoint Stone on Monday, May 1.

Stone’s immediate role will be managing expansion, while promoting the league, which is entering its fifth season in 2017. The Pacific Association is set to welcome its fifth team, the Napa Silverados, in 2018, and is evaluating other markets and potential investors for a sixth team as well. Stone feels the league is primed for growth.

“The Pacific Association is in a great position. We are the last remaining independent league on the West Coast, and we’re entering our fifth season,” Stone said. “The ownership and stability of the league has never been stronger. With a commitment of Napa to be a fifth team in 2018, we will be fielding six teams in 2018, with a goal of growing the league to eight teams in the Bay Area.”

“On behalf of the clubs of the Pacific Association, I’m overjoyed to have Jonathan Stone join our league as Commissioner,” said San Rafael Pacifics Managing General Partner, Eugene Lupario, who is the league’s longest tenured executive.  “We are confident that the Pacific Association will greatly benefit from his wide-ranging experience and commitment as we continue our efforts to build the league and meet the challenges of sustaining independent minor league baseball in the Bay Area." 

Stone brings over three decades of marketing experience. In 2014 he sold his San Francisco business of 26 years, Another Dancing Bear Productions, a nationally recognized leader in the promotional advertising industry. Team owners and front offices are hopeful Stone can channel his experience into continued growth and sustainability for the league. Additionally, he will be charged with forging league and corporate partnerships.

A strong desire to work and a passion for baseball lured him to the North Bay, where he learned about the Sonoma Stompers. Soon thereafter, Stone grew excited by the league and its prospects, and became closely involved in the operations in Sonoma. In 2015, Stone served as a consultant on marketing, merchandising and fan experience for Sonoma. In 2016, he worked in sponsorship sales, and served as the team’s Host Family Coordinator.

In San Francisco, Stone served on the Board of Directors for the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce as well as many other business, charitable and non-profit organizations. He has represented the Stompers in several Sonoma related projects. The Newton, Mass. native currently resides in Sonoma, where the league office will be.

Since 2013, the Pacific Association has served as a laboratory of innovation and progressive practices. In 2015, during a series with the San Rafael Pacifics and Vallejo Admirals, the Pacific Association became the first professional league to use robotic umpires, and a computer-automated strike zone. A year later, HBO featured the experiment for an episode on Real Sports.

In 2015, the Sonoma Stompers turned over the reins of baseball operations to statistically inclined baseball writers, Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller. The two documented the experience in the New York Times Best-selling book, “The Only Rule Is It Has to Work.”

In 2016 the league hired the first female manager, Justine Siegal (San Rafael), and the Stompers became the first pro men’s team to roster multiple women since the Negro Leagues in the 1950s (Stacy Piagno, Kelsie Whitmore and Anna Kimbrell).

The Pittsburg Diamonds have been managed and led on the field by Aaron Miles, who played more than nine seasons in the Major Leagues with the White Sox, Rockies, Cardinals, Cubs and Dodgers. Miles played in 135 games with the World Champion Cardinals in 2006, and finished fourth in National League Rookie of the Year voting in 2004 with Colorado.

The league has promoted more than 60 players to higher levels of baseball, including several players to MLB organizations in 2016. Nearly a dozen former Major League Baseball players have played in the Pacific Association. Most notably, Jose Canseco, Bill ‘Spaceman’ Lee, Eric Byrnes, Tony Philips, and former San Francisco Giants, Tony Torcato and Wayne Franklin. Miles also played for Pittsburg in 2014. In 2014, Lee became the oldest pitcher to win a professional game when he started for the Stompers in August that year.

In the two-plus years of Kevin Reilly’s tenure as owner and proprietor of the Vallejo Admirals, the team has enjoyed strong growth in attendance and sponsorship support. Admirals games also serve the Vallejo community as a great opportunity to recognize local and civic-minded achievements, as well as honor students, leaders in the business community and philanthropy. 

Stompers Hosting Pitch Hit & Run Contest May 13

Youth aged 7-14 are invited to compete at Petersen Field in Sonoma. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. 

Youth aged 7-14 are invited to compete at Petersen Field in Sonoma. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. 

News Release, Sonoma Stompers

SONOMA, Calif.  -- The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club presented by Virginia Dare Winery will host a Pitch Hit & Run™ competition for local youth on Saturday, May 13 at Petersen Field in Sonoma. Registration for the event will begin at 9:30 a.m. with the competition beginning at 10 a.m. All softball, and baseball players aged 7-14 are invited to compete. 

Pitch Hit & Run™ is the official skills competition of Major League Baseball®.  This grassroots program is designed to provide youngsters with an opportunity to compete, free of charge, in a competition that recognizes individual excellence in core baseball/softball skills.

Boys and girls are divided into four age divisions: 7/8, 9/10, 11/12, 13/14, and have the chance to advance through four levels of competition, including Team Championships at Major League ballparks and the National Finals during the 2017 MLB™ All-Star Week®.

The individual Pitching, Hitting and Running Champions, along with the All-Around Champion in each division age group at the Local Competition will be awarded and advance to the Sectional Level of Competition.

All participants must bring a copy of their birth certificate and have their parent or guardian fill out a registration/waiver form prior to the start of the competition. Click Here to register your child online today. For questions concerning the competition, please contact your Local Coordinator Geoff Safford at geoff@stompersbaseball.com.
 

Hibbert To Return To Sonoma For Fourth Season

Charter member of the Stompers Matt Hibbert has agreed to a contract and will return to Sonoma for his fourth season the team announced Tuesday. James Toy III/Sonoma Stompers. 

Charter member of the Stompers Matt Hibbert has agreed to a contract and will return to Sonoma for his fourth season the team announced Tuesday.

James Toy III/Sonoma Stompers. 

Geoff Safford, Director Of Broadcasting

SONOMA, Calif. -- the Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, is excited to announce the return of veteran outfielder Matt Hibbert. The fan favorite will once again patrol center field at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold Field and hopes to help the Stompers defend its championship.

“Hibbert is, in many ways, the heartbeat of this team,” team President and General Manager Theo Fightmaster said. “He's a gold-glove-caliber center fielder with speed that sets the tone for our lineup out of the leadoff position. He's also, in many ways, a team captain. As he goes, we go. We're thrilled to have him back in Sonoma, and I'm certain our fans share that sentiment.”

Hibbert will enter his fourth season in Sonoma.  He also spent time with the Geary RailCats of the American Association in 2015, and 2016.  The Long Beach State product has been an offensive and defensive powerhouse with the Stompers.

 “I am excited to be back in a Stompers uniform in 2017 to help defend our 2016 Pacific Association Championship,” Hibbert said. “This is a class act organization that has built a tradition of winning since we began in 2014. From our Front Office, staff, general manager, manager, and to the players in the locker room, there is a culture of professionalism has been a major key to our success.”

Hibbert won the Defensive Player of the Year honor in 2015 and has made only six errors in three seasons as the team’s centerfielder.  He also has been a successful leadoff hitter, accumulating 77 steals in 91 attempts in his Stompers career. His success has lead to him becoming a fan favorite in the Sonoma community. Hibbert sees Sonoma as his second home and looks forward to once again playing in front of the Stomper Faithful.

“Sonoma is a great place with even greater people in it,” Hibbert said. “Speaking for the team, we look forward to not only providing fans with nightly entertainment in Sonoma, but also with a team and family environment that they can grasp on to.”

The Stompers will kick off the season against the Diamonds in Pittsburg, Calif. on Jun. 2. Season, group event, and single game tickets for the upcoming season are now available at stompersbaseball.com.

 

Stompers Release Single Game Tickets, Special Events

Fans can now get their single game tickets & plan ahead with the special events calendar

SONOMA, Calif.  — The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, has released single game tickets, in addition to Six Pack Plans where fans get six tickets they they can redeem for any game they like. Ticket, Six Packs and discounted, full-Season Tickets are online at StompersBaseball.com, or at the Fan Shop on 234 West Napa Street in Sonoma.

The 2017 Stompers home slate begins with the home opener at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold Field on June 13, against the Vallejo Admirals, with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. The team will once again host its annual Fourth of July Game, where fans are invited onto the field to take in the spectacle of Sonoma’s world famous fireworks show. On June 29, KNBR 680 San Francisco Giants pre-and-postgame host Marty Lurie, will be on hand to throw out the first pitch, and meet with fans.

Other fun nights include Father’s Day: The Remix, on June 24, as the Stompers celebrate Dad’s with a voucher for a $1 hot dog, and will give away prizes to the kid wearing their best Dad Duds. And speaking of duds, we’ll be sharing our favorite Dad Jokes out there -- no foolin!

Saint Francis Winery will be giving away a Stompers corkscrew on June 15, and winemaker Chris Louton will throw out the first pitch. St. Francis will be sampling some of their wines, too. For a special treat, our sweetest sponsor, Sweet Scoops will be selling its homemade ice cream at the ballpark on June 23, July 14, July 28, and Aug. 18.

Jul. 6 is the Stompers’ First Annual Women in Sports Day, featuring female sports executives, reporters and journalists, and athletes — including the Stompers own Kelsie Whitmore and Stacy Piagno. The evening will start with a pre-game panel and a Q & A session.

On Thursday, July 20, the rivalry start here, as we host the first Napa Night presented by MIV Insurance, in anticipation of the Napa Silverados, who are set to join the Pacific Association in 2018.

Also new for 2017, every Stompers home stand will feature and benefit a non-profit organization in the Sonoma community, and the team will be raising money and awareness for fantastic causes such as Boys & Girls Club of Sonoma Valley, the Sonoma Valley Ed Foundation, La Luz, Make A Wish, the Mentoring Alliance and more. More details will be announced soon.  

The Stompers are planning other, exciting events, promotions and celebrity appearances, so please check our website frequently, to make sure you don’t miss a pitch.

PROMO & EVENTS SCHEDULE

EVENT | DATE | OPPONENT | GAME TIME

Opening Night | Jun. 13 | Vallejo Admirals | 6 p.m.
Saint Francis Corkscrew Night | Jun. 15 | Vallejo Admirals | 6 p.m.
Sweet Scoops Night | Jun. 23 | San Rafael Pacifics | 6 p.m.
Father’s Day the Remix | Jun. 24 | San Rafael Pacifics | 5 p.m.
Out at the Ballpark/LGBTQ Night | Jun. 25 | San Rafael Pacifics | 5 p.m.
Marty Lurie Night | Jun. 29 | San Rafael Pacifics | 6 p.m.
Independence Day & Fireworks | Jul. 4 | Pittsburg Diamonds | 6 p.m.
Women in Sports Day | Jul. 6 | Pittsburg Diamonds | 6 p.m.
Sweet Scoops Night | Jul. 14 | Pittsburg Diamonds | 6 p.m.
Napa Night | Jul. 20 | San Rafael Pacifics | 6 p.m.
Bocce Ball Night | Jul. 22 | Pittsburg Diamonds | 5 p.m.
Sunday Punday | Jul. 23 | Pittsburg Diamonds | 5 p.m.
Sweet Scoops Night | Jul. 28 | San Rafael Pacifics | 6 p.m.
Key & Peel Night | Aug. 8 | Vallejo Admirals | 6 p.m.
Sweet Scoops Night | Aug. 18 | Vallejo Admirals | 6 p.m.
Fan Appreciation Weekend | Aug. 19-20 | Vallejo Admirals | 5 p.m.

All tickets plus new merchandise is on sale on our website, www.stompersbaseball.com, or at the Stompers Fan Shop at 234 West Napa Street in Sonoma. For questions and information regarding tickets, please email jen@stompersbaseball.com, or call 707.938.7277.

Slugger Daniel Baptista Re-Signs With Sonoma Stompers

The Stompers announced Thursday that first baseman Daniel Baptista has agreed to terms on a contract and will return for the 2017 season. Baptista lead the team in hits, and RBIs last year. James Toy III/Sonoma Stompers

The Stompers announced Thursday that first baseman Daniel Baptista has agreed to terms on a contract and will return for the 2017 season. Baptista lead the team in hits, and RBIs last year.

James Toy III/Sonoma Stompers

Jacob Braga-Murray/Sonoma Stompers

SONOMA, Calif.the Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, is bringing back a fan favorite for the 2017 season. It was announced Thursday that first baseman Daniel Baptista has agreed to terms with the Stompers.

“I'm thrilled to have Daniel back. He's great in the lineup, he's great on the field and he's great in the clubhouse,” Fightmaster said. “We're lucky to have a player of his caliber here in Sonoma, and at the same time, we have high expectations of him for the season.” 

2017 will be Baptista’s fourth professional baseball season, and his third with the Stompers. Baptista crushed nine homeruns last season while driving in a team leading 61 runs. A career .315 hitter, Baptista has 177 hits over his four pro seasons, with 86 of them coming in 2016 which was tops the team. 

Baptista will join a roster that includes fan favorites from last season, Designated Hitter Joel Carranza, Right Handed Pitcher Mike Jackson, Jr and Right Handed Pitcher Stacy Piagno. To go along with returning players the Stompers will also have some new faces including three players signed at the California Winter League. The Stompers are also bringing on four players that were signed at the annual Pacific Association tryout

The Stompers season starts on Jun 2, against the Diamonds in Pittsburg, Calif., with the first home game on Jun 13 against the Vallejo Admirals. Single game tickets go on sale Apr 22, at the Stompers First Annual Fan Fest, at the Fan Shop, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Season ticket packages are available now on Stompersbaseball.com. Tickets and merchandise are also on sale at The Stompers Fan Shop, located at 234 West Napa Street in Sonoma. For more information email jen@stompersbaseball.com or call (707)938-7277. 
 

Stompers Sign Four At Pacific Association Try Out

Infielder Ryan Wheat (right) taking batting practice at the Pacific Association Tryout at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, California. 

Infielder Ryan Wheat (right) taking batting practice at the Pacific Association Tryout at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, California. 

Geoff Safford, Director of Broadcasting

SONOMA, Calif- The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, Presented by Virginia Dare Winery, signed four prospects from the Pacific Association Tryout that took place on April 8 and 9 in Pittsburg, Calif. Infielders Ryan Wheat and Kevin Farley will join pitchers Austin Fairchild, and Ross Slaney with invitations to spring training. 

"We are very happy with the players we selected in the draft following the tryout," Assistant General Manager Jen Ramos said. "We think they can be valuable assets to the team and we look forward to seeing them in spring training."

Fairchild will enter his sixth season as a professional. The left-hander was drafted in the 16th round of the MLB Amateur Draft by the Kansas City Royals in 2012. He spent three years in the Royals minor league system. The 23-year-old Texas native looks to pitch professionally for the first time since 2014. 

Wheat will begin his professional career after playing the last two seasons at California State University East Bay. The Benicia native was a career .325 hitter in his time playing at the NCAA Division II level, where he had the second highest batting average on the team in 2015 with a .317 average.

Slaney will kick off his professional career after playing at the Division I school San Jose State University for three seasons. During his senior season Slaney made 17 appearances with four starts. The Sunnyvale native compiled a 4.68 ERA in 33 innings in his senior season in 2015. 

Farley joins the Stompers after playing at The University of Portland, where he started over 100 games in his time playing in the Pacific Northwest. He had his best season as a junior in 2015 when  he had a .233 average, and was second on the team in doubles with 12. The San Ramon native accumulated a .219 average in the 2016 season in 48 games for the Pilots. 

The 2017 season kicks off on June 2 against Pittsburg Diamonds. Season Ticket packages are available now at stompersbaseball.com. Single game tickets go on sale on April 22 at Stompers Fan Fest at The Fan Shop located at 234 W Napa Street in Sonoma starting at 11 a.m.

 

Piagno Agrees To Contract For 2017 Campaign

The Stompers Announced Monday that they have resigned right handed pitcher Stacy Piagno to a contract for the 2017 season. James Toy III/ Sonoma Stompers

The Stompers Announced Monday that they have resigned right handed pitcher Stacy Piagno to a contract for the 2017 season.

James Toy III/ Sonoma Stompers

Geoff Safford, Director Of Broadcasting

SONOMA, Calif. The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club presented by Virginia Dare Winery made history last summer with the signing of two female players on July 1. Pitcher Stacy Piagno took the mound as a starting pitcher while left fielder Kelsie Whitmore took the field behind her. In the process, the Stompers became the first coed baseball professional baseball team in over 50 years. Piagno will look to continue to blaze a trail for women in baseball once again this season. 
The Right hander has agreed to terms on a contract, and will once again take the mound in Sonoma for her second season.

"Having Stacy back on the team this year is fantastic," Assistant General Manager Jen Ramos said. "As a member of the Stompers, Stacy offers value as a player and as a representative of the larger message of diversity and inclusion we believe is necessary for the growth of the sport."

The St. Augustine, Florida native appeared in eight games as a pitcher with three starts in 2016. Piagno also made six plate appearances and started one game at first base. Piagno will look to build on her experience as a rookie to be a strong contributor in 2017.

“I am very excited to be joining the Stompers again this season. Last year everyone was so supportive, and I was able to gain a lot of great pitching advice,” Piagno said. “I have been working hard to perfect it, and I am looking forward to growing even more as a player.”

Piagno is also a member of the National Women’s Baseball team and competed in the Women’s World Cup in South Korea last fall. Piagno appeared in three games with two starts in 10 innings for the US. Piagno struck out 13 batters in those innings and finished 2-0 with a 2.53 ERA. Piagno also became the first pitcher in the history of US Women’s baseball to throw a no-hitter in the 2015 Pan American games in a 9-0 win over Puerto Rico. 

The Stompers begin their 2017 season on June 2 against the Pittsburg Diamonds. Season ticket packages are not available on stompersbaseball.com. Single game tickets will go on sale on April 22 at the First Annual Stompers Fan Fest at the Fan Shop located at 234 West Napa Street in downtown Sonoma.