Pitchers and catchers start reporting for spring training Feb. 13.
By then the College of Southern Nevada will have played 12 games.
The first four will be during its Border Classic, which starts Friday and has been renamed the Manny Guerra Memorial Coyote Border Battle Presented by Sunset Station Hotel and Casino.
(Try shortening that for the box score.)
Coyotes coach Nick Garritano said it was appropriate the name of longtime Las Vegas Valley baseball scout Manny Guerra be listed first.
Guerra, who spent 31 years as a major league scout, died Aug. 1. Along with naming the season-opening tournament for him, Garritano said Manny’s son, Mike, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before CSN’s game Friday against San Jacinto, Texas, and a bronze plaque honoring Manny Guerra’s commitment to local baseball will be unveiled at Morse Stadium.
“He would always come into my office, close the door and we’d talk about kids we needed to recruit,” Garritano said about his relationship with Manny Guerra, which dates to when the CSN coach was hitting long balls for Chaparral High School.
“Manny is Las Vegas baseball. I know (Greg) Maddux is out there, and (Kris) Bryant and (Bryce) Harper. But Manny is gonna be dearly missed — he’s already dearly missed. He was a legend, just an incredible human being.”
The baseball world and Las Vegas lost one of the most influential people, Manny Guerra. Manny was one of the biggest and most successful supporters of CSN Baseball in making us the program that we are, locally and nationally. You cannot be replaced and will be missed by all #RIP
— CSN Baseball (@CSN_Baseball) August 4, 2018
You go, curl
Thursday’s column on the All-Pro Curling Team comprised of former NFL players prompted response from readers who wanted to know if there was a local club where they could learn to curl the rock.
There is. The Las Vegas Curling Club — “Where Saints and Sinners Curl Like Winners” — meets regularly at Las Vegas Ice Center and will supply the stones, brooms, knowledgeable Canadians and everything else needed to curl. Except for cold beer, which is extra.
For more information, visit lvcurling.com.
— Las Vegas Curling (@lvcurling) January 18, 2019
Rick Down remembered
The death of longtime major league hitting coach Rick Down of Las Vegas generated poignant emails from those who knew him, including the scout who signed him to a baseball contract when most thought Down was destined to be a football star.
“The first guy I signed was Rick Down out of Southgate High School in Michigan,” wrote Bill Schudlich, who recently retired after 54 years in the scouting business. “After signing for a modest bonus, he spent three years in the minors. The next year he was on the (Expos’) major league roster. He remains one of the most aggressive athletes I ever signed.”
Baseball people (and others) are invited to the Tap House (5589 W. Charleston Blvd.) from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday to celebrate Down’s life, and to share stories about hitting behind the runner and putting the ball in play that he most certainly would have enjoyed.
We mourn the passing of our former hitting coach Rick Down. RIP pic.twitter.com/Ll34BIFDbK
— New York Mets (@Mets) January 10, 2019
Rebels’ honorary Captain
The new year has gotten off to a sad start for the local baseball community with the deaths of Rick Down, original Las Vegas Stars owner Larry Koentopp and, to a slightly lesser extent, Daryl Dragon — aka the Captain from the Captain and Tennille — who was 76 when he died of kidney failure in Arizona.
The keyboard player, who toured with the Beach Boys during Brian Wilson’s introverted sandbox days, often attended UNLV baseball games at Barnson Field when he and wife Toni Tennille were booked at Las Vegas showrooms.
“They were huge Dodgers fans, and they loved baseball,” said Jim Gemma, Las Vegas Aviators publicity chief and former UNLV baseball official scorekeeper. “I saw (Dragon) more than a couple of times sitting on the grass berm. He always had his Captain hat on.”
Daryl Dragon died of renal failure Jan. 2at a hospice in Prescott with his former wife Toni Tennille by his side. Remember when we had their seats at Dodger Stadium until the 3rd inning when they showed up and we ended up in RF talking to Joe Sambito in the bullpen for a Astros.
— Robert McKenzie (@TheRobert1288) January 3, 2019
— Baseball by BSmile (@BSmile) October 7, 2014
Perhaps it’s a good thing Sam Boyd Stadium won’t be used for football much longer, as it has been ranked the 20th-worst stadium in college football by Moneywise.com.
It’s still pretty good for Supercross races, however.
The “We’re No. 1” foam finger among decrepit college football edifices went to Vanderbilt Stadium, which was built in 1922 and has never hosted a Southeastern Conference championship team.
As fate almost would insist, UNLV’s Rebels and Vanderbilt’s Commodores will meet Oct. 12 at Vanderbilt Stadium. I’m told plenty of good seats, or at least unoccupied ones, are still available.
Fumbled Fields: The Worst Stadiums in College Football (Vanderbilt Stadium No. 1) https://t.co/3jSnIOZzk6
— Evans Donnell (@EvansDonnell) November 27, 2018
The College of Southern Nevada will get the jump on the local baseball season when it hosts the Manny Guerra Memorial Border Battle at Morse Stadium in Henderson starting Friday. Here is the Coyotes’ tournament schedule:
Friday: vs. San Jacinto College, Texas, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday: vs. Gateway Community College, Arizona, 4 p.m.
Saturday: vs. New Mexico Junior College, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 27: vs. Arizona Western College, 12:30 p.m.