The Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox have designed a plan to be one of the first live sports programs in the country to begin playing games this summer.
The Gold Sox, perhaps the first baseball team to open up, is scheduled to begin its home 28-game schedule at 7 p.m. tonight (Thursday, June 18) against the West Coast Kings out of the Bay Area at Colusa Casino Stadium in Marysville.
Gold Sox General Manager Tommy Lininger said the first week, or four games, will not be open to the public due to the ongoing public health crisis surrounding COVID-19.
The club will then open games to the public, with limited numbers being allowed entrance into the park, starting on June 25, Lininger said.
Maximum attendance until guidance is received from the county will be 100 people, Lininger said. He is hoping to increase attendance to 500, which is 12 percent capacity of the whole ballpark, at some point during the shortened season.
Lininger believes it is feasible to increase attendance this year.
“We’ll have to see as things move forward,” he said. “It’s a positive for the community and we think it is important for the community to get their minds off everything and enjoy a little bit of normalcy.”
As a part of the agreement with the county, Lininger said there will also be mandatory temperature checks of everyone; facial coverings that will need to be worn by each individual in the ballpark; and proper social distancing as well.
“Since live sporting events aren’t allowed in California, probably the country, we had to be strict about it,” he said.
Another new addition this year is the field manager as former Yuba City High Honker and ex-big leaguer Brock Stassi will lead the 2020 Gold Sox team.
Lininger said it will be great to have both a “Gold Sox and local legend,” leading the team this summer.
Assuming Major League Baseball doesn’t come to an agreement soon, Lininger said younger Max Stassi may be spending some time working with the Gold Sox.
Max Stassi is a catcher with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Brock, meanwhile, is a former major leaguer, drafted in the 33rd round by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2011. He made his MLB debut in 2017, appearing in 51 games for the Phillies. Brock’s career average was .167, according to baseball.reference.com.
Brock and the 2020 Gold Sox will compete in the Sierra Central- Montna Farms Summer Series against teams from Sacramento and the Bay Area, Lininger said.
Details regarding ticketing, COVID-19 protocols and a team roster is available at https://goldsox.com.