MONTEREY, Calif. - After playing all over the state, the Monterey Amberjacks finally hit the ball for the first time at home.
“It feels nice to have the crowd on your side, the people on your side,” said Monterey Amberjacks outfielder Donald Glover. “A little bit momentum shift once we get into the games and the games are closer.”
“It’s cool to be able to come out and see these guys playing this game that they love so much,” said Monterey Amberjacks fan Veronica Morales. “Now they belong to a team. They get to put these colors on, they come out and represent their city.”
They’ve played nine games so far.
“Five of the games we’ve lost by one run,” said Monterey Amberjacks Head Coach Justin Thompson. “We’re one in eight right now. But we’re hoping things change now being at home for the first time.”
At Sollecito Park in Monterey, players competed against the Hollywood Stars, who have also had a rough start.
“I feel like my guys can turn it around,” said Hollywood Stars Field Manager Sean McNeil. “We have a good ball club and can turn it around you know. This is baseball, we can start off bad and end good.”
The Amberjacks are playing for the Pecos League, a 12 team independent professional baseball league with teams in several other states and now in Monterey.
“It’s not major league baseball, but it’s very good baseball,” said Andrew Dunn with the Pecos League. “It’s just a different option that they’ve never had to add to the sports life of Monterey.
Judging by the full bleachers, local baseball fans agree.
“It’s more high school, JC in this area,” said Zach Taylor of Salinas. “That’s why this is pretty good because you don’t have a team like this out here anymore.”
The team may bring more than just good entertainment. It’s anticipated that the talented roster of players will help create more community and economic growth.
Teammates told KION they’re also hoping to bring a positive influence to local youth.
“We just have a positive mindset about that and being good role models,” said Glover.
The Amberjacks will play 65 games this season. Homes games will be played Saturday and Sunday. Monday games will be in Hollister.