Field of Dreams
● By Billy Pilgrim
Q97 Billy & Patrick Snap Shot
By Billy PilgrimTiger Field is so beautiful this summer. The newly mown grass in the outfield and infield is a deep green. The infield dirt is a rich, earthy brown and just as the baseballs gods would want. Tiger Field is the temple of the Church of Baseball in Redding. And the Boys of Summer, the Redding Colt 45s, are back for another season in Redding to play and honor this sacred game.
The Redding Colt 45s are a collegiate wooden bat team, and players come from all over to be a part of our community and entertain and excite the fans of our great National Pastime. The Colt 45s continue a tradition that has been observed in Redding for well over 100 years. From the Redding Tigers of 1911 to the Redding Browns professional minor league team of 1949, to the late, great Pat Nevins hitting one out of Tiger, across Cypress Avenue and through the window of Kinney’s Shoes, to the Colt 45s of this summer, the game of bases and balls, the game with the foul lines that go to infinity and beyond finds a home in downtown Redding on a warm summer night.
Some of my best evenings over the last 12 years have been spent with the Colt 45s and my baseball family at Tiger Field, now almost 100 years old but looking almost brand new. Former major league ballplayer, ex-Redding mayor and Redding native Rick Bosetti has put his heart, soul and back into creating a beautiful ballpark filled with baseball, barbecue, music and the joy baseball brings. Rick is the general manager, fund raiser, community liaison and chief cook and bottle washer. New elevated stands have been erected in the last few years, and the seating is more comfortable than before. There are new dugouts, a new sound system, wider food choices – and in a nod to the digital age, Tiger Field now has WiFi. You can now watch a game on your digital device and the Colt 45s on the field.
The field manager is former major league pitcher Greg Cadaret, who just spent his spring managing the Simpson University baseball team. Greg is back with his extensive baseball skills and his undying love of the game and our community. Rick Bosetti and Greg Cadaret – that’s a great combination.
The Colt 45s are a nonprofit organization, and find many ways throughout the season to give back to our community. For two weeks every year, they sponsor Baseball Youth Summer Camp for kids ages 8 to 14. This is a partnership through Redding Recreation. Young ballplayers receive instruction and fun from the players and coaches, plus a cap, t-shirt and tickets to Colt 45s games. And on any given night, a various local charity is honored with a portion of ticket sales, while the rest is reinvested into the organization.
More than 26,000 baseball fans came to a game last year at Tiger Field. Here’s a great reason. Colt 45s baseball is fun. There are hot dogs and peanuts and ice cream and beer. There are souvenirs and popcorn and foul balls into windshields, so don’t park too close to the field. There is great entertainment between innings. Kids with mitts and mommas and daddies and grandmas and grandpas are at THE GAME. “Hey! There’s a game tonight. Do you want to go?” You don’t have to dress to impress or be from one social strata or another. Baseball is the great equalizer – all of us are the same at the ball game. Come hang out with me this summer! I’ll show you how to keep score. See you at Tiger Field.