Martinez Officials: Return Of Baseball Should Improve State Of The City

February 12, 2020 14:00 pm · 13 comments

Baseball was a prominent topic at Tuesday’s Martinez “State of the City” presentation, in which city leaders said their second chance at hosting a professional baseball team could also help with renewal of the city’s downtown.

“It will help with economic activity in our core area downtown,” Eric Figueroa, Martinez’s city manager, said to about 150 people at Tuesday’s annual public civic status report.

Andrew Dunn, the CEO and commissioner of the Pecos League of Professional Baseball Clubs, told Tuesday’s gathering the Martinez Sturgeon will play 33 home games at Waterfront Park between May 28 and Aug. 1. Pecos League teams will also be fielded in Pittsburg and Santa Cruz this year.

“Martinez needs a baseball team, and we’re a baseball league, and we need a good city, so it ended up being a good fit,” Dunn said.

The Sturgeon is the second name for a team that hasn’t played its first game. The original name, the Martinez Mackerel, proved unpopular among Martinez residents who weighed in. Dunn on Tuesday thanked “Martinez resident Karen,” who quickly adapted the old Mackerel logo to represent a sturgeon, the large fish that lurk in the waters off the Carquinez Strait beyond the city’s waterfront.

Martinez Mayor Rob Schroder was an outspoken champion of the previous baseball team, the Martinez Clippers, which played at that same ballpark in 2018. The Clippers owners, Jeff and Paulette Carpoff, pleaded guilty in January to wire fraud and money laundering in what prosecutors said was their role in a Ponzi scheme. The team disbanded after one season.

Schroder, wearing a custom Sturgeon jersey given to him by Dunn, welcomes baseball’s return, in large part for the “lots of additional activity in our downtown” at restaurants, breweries and related hospitality industries.

Figueroa said the downtown area likely will never be the economic driver that high-volume merchants like Wal-Mart and Home Depot are, but is “the heart of any community.” Downtown Martinez has enjoyed a slow but steady
renaissance in the past few years, and both Schroder and Figueroa said the city will do whatever it can for that rejuvenation to continue.


Anon February 12, 2020 at 3:07 PM

Pet project.
Why not improve quality of life for Actual residents?
Start with doing something about the railroad Quiet Zones from your 2009 impact study.

Noj February 12, 2020 at 3:49 PM

I like the idea.

In my grandfather’s day, kids in every small town had a local baseball team. Just for the fun of it.

This story reminded me of Dimaggio’s restaurant for some reason.

I miss Dimaggio’s.

Cellophane February 12, 2020 at 3:59 PM

Fear the Sturgeon.

Fix the roads.

Hang Up and Drive February 12, 2020 at 4:40 PM

I am looking forward to catching a game and rounding up the family for a fun day out. The fields are really nice. I am however hoping tickets will be more affordable than the Clippers tickets.

With regards to downtown Martinez, It saddens me to hear that Armando’s is leaving. I read that Main Street Sweets closed their doors recently as well. Why is Martinez losing so many great businesses? Is the rent skyrocketing for business owners? The downtown has so much potential. There have been a few new great additions but we have so much room for more. It is a real shame how many years this potential has sat on the back burner. Not to mention the Marina.

Shoulda Coulda February 12, 2020 at 6:13 PM

Yes, Mayor Rob was an outspoken champion
of the previous team. He’s also the guy who
never got a dime upfront from the Carpoffs for
all the money the city taxpayers spent on
improvements to it’s facilities that the team was
supposed to pay for. The city was left holding
the bag and no one at city hall, including the
outspoken champion, was ever held accountable.
Now Mayor Rob is sporting his new Sturgeon
jersey. I think it would be more appropriate if he
was wearing a Carp jersey.
(Also known as Suckers).

Captain Bebops February 12, 2020 at 6:31 PM

Shouldn’t that be Sturgeons plural? I think the Martinez city council is pretty much out of touch with the residents of the community. They need to be replaced.

Natalie February 12, 2020 at 8:43 PM

The plural of sturgeon is sturgeon. Putting an “s” at the end is superfluous.

Shoulda Coulda February 13, 2020 at 10:57 AM

Look it up. It is perfectly okay to use
sturgeons as the plural of sturgeon.

Captain Bebops February 13, 2020 at 11:55 AM

Yup, Martinez Sturgeon just doesn’t impart the idea of a team while Sturgeons does. And indeed both are correct.

Schmee February 12, 2020 at 6:43 PM

Martinez has sooooo much potential. Whoever is in charge of planning everything from between the courthouse and the water is squandering one of the best pieces of property in Contra costa. This area should be filled with great restaurants, night clubs plus the skatepark, outdoor concerts, fireworks etc. Who the hell is on that city council. If you’re even talking about Wal-Mart you’re not focusing on potential.

Old Shoe February 12, 2020 at 7:33 PM

I’m not seeing “Sturgeon” as a big improvement on “Mackerel”.
Some serious lack of imagination there. Poor marketing.

Gititogether February 12, 2020 at 8:43 PM

Could use a few of these fish with baseball bats to cruise the rivers and creeks and clean out the druggy bums living therein

Atticus Thraxx February 12, 2020 at 8:48 PM

Just like adding a 7-11 has never in history made a neighborhood better, adding baseball to a city never makes it worse. Good for Martinez.

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