The Sonoma County Crushers were a minor league baseball team located in Rohnert Park, California. They were a member of the independent Western Baseball League, and were not affiliated with any Major League Baseball team.
The team mascot was "Crusher" with his large purple feet for stomping grapes. The team played in the wine country to which the region is famous. "Crusher" was a large furry animal and referred to as the "Abominable Sonoman." The Ballard family participated in team activities, and Joel, now in the USMC, was a marvelous "Crusher." Chris "Kirby" Anderson substituted as Crusher on occasion. Now, he works with top secret stuff at Lawrence Livermore. Local fans loved the games not only for the baseball, but because there were lively contests during the inning breaks making the games a fun family experience.
The team was one of the founding members of the league, beginning play in 1995. They won their first and only league championship in 1998. The team folded with the league after the 2002 season. The Crushers were the only team in the WBL that remained in constant operation through the league's eight years. At one point, former San Francisco Giants outfielder Kevin Mitchell managed the Crushers.
The team played in Rohnert Park Stadium, which was built in 1981 for the California League's now-defunct Redwood Pioneers. The team's mascot was Crusher, the Abominable Sonoman.
The team produced one notable professional baseball player in Chad Zerbe who pitched for the San Francisco Giants from 2000-2003 including Three appearances in the 2002 World Series against the Anaheim Angels. He was credited with a win in Game 5.
Full article ▸