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Homecoming for Yuba College baseball
49ers set to play at A-D Park
The upcoming season marks a homecoming of sorts for the Yuba College baseball team.
For the first time since 1967, the 49ers will play their home games at Appeal-Democrat Park in Marysville after the Marysville City Council voted on Tuesday night to allow Yuba College to use the ballpark at 14th and B Streets.
Since 1968, Yuba has played its home games on its Linda campus at Gary Engelken Field. The 49ers sporadically played games at A-D Park for tournaments over that time span, but haven't played a full allotment of home games at the lakeside venue, formerly known as Bryant Field, since '67.
Yuba College's interim Athletic Director Erick Burns, who will resume his duties as head baseball coach next season, said the park serves as an attractive recruiting tool for local players and gives fans an easier way to watch a ballgame.
"People identify with this park as being a positive baseball experience," Burns said. "It's a good setting to play in."
Marysville Gold Sox manager Jack Johnson, the son-in-law of Yuba's late Hall-of-Fame coach Gary Engelken, approached Burns with the idea last summer.
Burns added that Gold Sox owner Tom Lininger thought it would provide a nice transition for when the Sox start their season on May 23.
Yuba will pay a $1,200 deposit to use the facility, which is owned by the City of Marysville, and will cover all utility and field maintenance costs during the season.
For the cash-strapped California community college system, this agreement worked out perfectly for Yuba.
"Our resources are limited, so what we needed to hash out was our ability to basically maintain the field without drawing resources from the city of Marysville or even the college," Burns said. "The college isn't wanting to spend extra money so we do things like fundraising."
To save money, the 49ers won't play any night games at A-D Park and will take care of the field maintenance themselves. Most of the energy used will come from the scoreboard and PA system.
The players and coaches will keep the grass cut, drag the infield, tamp the mound and pick up trash as part of the daily duties. The Niners will also chalk the lines every game, water the field and do everything necessary to deliver the field in prime condition to the Gold Sox in May.
Per the agreement with the city, Yuba may use the playing field, stands, public area, restrooms and announcer's box, but the concession buildings and clubhouse are off-limits.
The team's agreement with the city goes through April 30. Yuba's final home game of the season is scheduled for April 25.
"We're really excited," Burns said. "This is like a homecoming and a fresh new start."