By Jesus Cano
America’s favorite pastime is alive and well in Eastern Contra Costa County. The Pittsburg Diamonds have played at City Park since 2014, and this week welcomed back to the Bay Area, former Major League slugger Jose Canseco, as he spent the weekend of June 23rd with the independent professional baseball team.
Canseco is best known for his tenure with the Oakland Athletics from 1982-1992, where nailed 209 homeruns and 647 RBIs. He and Athletic’s first baseman Mark McGwire formed the Bash Brothers. Along with that, he captured a World Series ring in the 1989 Battle of the Bay that was overshadowed by the infamous Loma Prieta Earthquake.
Canseco is no stranger to the city of Pittsburg, as this is his third year suiting up for the Diamonds. He states that his favorite part of being back in the East Bay is being able to be around the young players the Diamonds house.
“I try to help them out with all aspects of the game,” Canseco said. “A lot of players actually recommend coming out to Pittsburg to play so I’m really excited for this weekend.”
The Diamonds have been part of the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs since their inaugural season in 2014 when they were named the Pittsburg Mettle. In 2015 when ownership switched to hands of Khurram Shah, they commenced under the Diamonds brand paying homage to the team that played in the same area back in the 60s.
Shah wants everyone to be aware that Pittsburg is home to a minor league baseball team. Even if he brings Canseco out for a couple games, he hopes to generate life-long fans after this unique experience.
“We’re trying to build a fan base,” Shah said. “We want to see a repeat of people coming to ballpark consistently.”
Pittsburg took two out of the three game series against the Vallejo Admirals during Canseco’s weekend with the team, where the Diamonds improved to 11-9 on the season.
Shah highlights infielder Vinny Guglietti to be one of the top guys on the team. The Connecticut native is batting .420 with five homeruns and 27 RBIs. Wes Wallace is another player that makes a huge impact according to Shah as he is hitting .364 and five homeruns. Shah states Tyler Stirewalt is starting to showcase his pitching ability. Stirewalt has 1.92 ERA so far, this season.
The Diamonds’ next home game is Tuesday night, June 27 at 6:30 p.m., to begin another three-game series also against the Admirals. To learn more about the Diamonds visit www.diamondsproball.com.