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Stassi to put on fundraiser
Mother Nature shouldn't pose a problem this time around — Winship Field is about to become a launching pad.
After a deluge forced former Yuba City High star Max Stassi to cancel the second annual 'Homers for the Hungry' event in December, the Oakland A's prospect is giving it another shot on Saturday at Yuba City High.
The forecast is cloudy and 57 degrees, with a 20 percent chance of rain, though no amount of precipitation will cancel Saturday's festivities set to begin at noon.
Stassi will try to hit as many home runs as he can for 30 minutes (two 15-minute intervals), with a break in between. Former Honker coach, and Stassi's father, Jim Stassi will be tossing the pitches.
At last year's inaugural event, Stassi belted 110 long balls and raised around $9,000 dollars for local food banks. This year the goal is being set a bit higher.
"I'm expecting a lot of people to be there," Max Stassi said. "We want to get to at least $12,000. Maybe even 15."
Stassi developed the idea with River Valley Community Bank President John Jelavich last year. The event will benefit eight food banks throughout Yuba, Sutter and Colusa counties through Hands of Hope.
Those wanting to donate may either pledge a dollar amount per home run, or just pay a flat rate.
Checks can be sent to River Valley Community Bank for those not attending.
"I know how much this community loves baseball and always thought it would be kind of cool to do a home run derby to raise some money," Stassi said. "This community has done everything for me and I wanted a way to give back."
Stassi hopes to get some big hitters in future events to make it more like a competition. Oakland's 2009 first-round pick, shortstop Grant Green, had a prior commitment, but may participate next year.
Left-handed pitcher Brad Kilby, who split time between Oakland and the Sacramento River Cats the last two seasons, will be at Winship Field on Saturday to sign some autographs with Stassi.
Stassi had to spend a little more time in the cages the past two weeks and work off some of that holiday food to get ready. He will start out swinging a wood bat, but don't be surprised it he sneaks the aluminum in there.
Anyone running the track at Honker Stadium may want to bring a helmet.
"Instead of worrying about outs, I'll be able to let it fly," Stassi said. "I'm going to hit it as far as I can."