SUPER SUCCESSFUL HALL OF FAME NIGHT!
By Jim Buckley; Pictures by Eric Isaacs
On a great night for baseball in Santa Barbara, more than 200 people saw Dylan Axelrod and Mike Kenney be inducted into the Foresters Hall of Fame, heard Mike Scioscia tell some great baseball stories (and rag on Coach Pintard!), and enjoyed great food and wine from local sponsors (see list below). The annual Hot Stove Banquet and Hall of Fame Ceremony, held Friday at Earl Warren Showgrounds, was a grand slam success!
After fans enjoyed a tasty graze, including pizza, pot roast, pasta, and great wine selections, emcee Dave Pintard kicked off the proceedings. He introduced UCSB coach Andrew Checketts, a c0-host of the evening, who presented a great recap of the Gauchos’ 2013 season. Bill Pintard then introduced Hugs for Cubs kids Sam and Cooper; Cooper will be this summer’s “hat kid.” Bill then gave a wonderful induction speech for former record-setting closer Mike Kenney, praising Mike as a “coach on the field who really gave his all on and off the field.” Mike remains one of the Foresters’ most devoted alumni supporters, and he showed his love for the team by bringing a large group of family and friends to the evening. Dave later joked that if Mike kept bringing that many people, he could end up as next year’s MC.
Foresters assistant head coach Gary Woods, who is also a Chicago White Sox scout, then inducted pitcher Dylan Axelrod. Gary told of Dylan’s long Santa Barbara career, starting with Pony Baseball, moving to MVP years at Santa Barbara High, and then a historic run at SB City College. Gary said that “Dylan was like the little engine that could. At every stop when he hit a wall, he just kept going and going.” Dylan’s perseverance and hard work landed him in the Major Leagues in 2011 and he was a regular starter for the White Sox in 2013. Dylan thanked his dad especially for the many hours spent helping him grow as a baseball player and as a person.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia was the keynote speaker of the evening. Mike is a big supporter of amateur baseball and is closely tied to the Conejo Oaks. He talked about the importance of everyone being a leader in some way, and how baseball players young and old should never take the game for granted. He told a great story of how he was drafted by the Dodgers and about his parents’ interesting reactions. Before his talk, Mike was also very generous with a busy autograph pen, also posing for pictures with dozens of fans. He met with the Gauchos and with Mr. Gaucho, Phil Womble, as well as with many longtime Foresters supporters.
After a successful live auction, the evening concluded with fans looking forward to the Foresters Opening Day. The 2014 schedule will be released soon, but mark down Saturday May 31 on your calendars to return to Caesar Uyesaka and watch the best summer college baseball in the nation!
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THANKS TO OUR VENDORS AND SPONSORS
Jordanos • Chase Bar and Grill • La Play Azul Cafe • Coffee Bean and Team Leaf • Consilience & Tre Aneli • Santa Barbara Baking Company • California Wood-Fired Pizza • Glenda’s Party Cove • Mission Linen Supply • Wayne Kjar Cakes • Three Pickles Subs and Sandwiches • Lafond Winery • Mesa Cafe • Antique Center Mall • Play it Again Sports
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