River Cats Foundation
Since the River Cats' inaugural season in Sacramento in 2000, involvement in the community has been an important priority. The management and employees of the River Cats have focused their efforts on family and youth-based activities in the greater Sacramento area and have spent countless hours in the community at schools, non-profit organizations and civic clubs. All members of the various River Cats operations are keenly aware of their responsibilities to give back to the community via donations of time and available funds.
On Friday, August 19, the Sacramento River Cats launched their Hometown Heroes program, which honors local sports figures who have contributed to their sport, their community and their families.
The River Cats' first honorees are longtime Cordova High School baseball coach Guy Anderson and former Major League Baseball manager Jerry Manuel, who played for Anderson at Cordova High.
During the event, the River Cats and the River Cats Foundation, Inc., presented the Jerry Manuel Foundation with a check for $2,500.
Manuel played under Anderson at Cordova High School and went on to play 15 professional seasons and became a Major League manager with the New York Mets and Chicago White Sox. He was Manager of the Year in 2000 with the White Sox. The Jerry Manuel family has established the Jerry Manuel Foundation, focusing on youth and their journeys through life in serving their communities and becoming tomorrow's leaders.
Guy Anderson coached Cordova High's baseball team for 41 seasons, sending more than 40 players to four-year colleges to receive an education and play baseball and 12 players to the Major Leagues. Anderson was named National High School Coach of the Year in 1999 and has been inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association, the National High School and the Sac-Joaquin Section halls of fame. He was named the 2005-06 Rancho Cordovan of the Year.
|River Cats Independence Field
As part of the 2005 Triple-A All-Star Game Legacy Project, the River Cats Foundation, along with River Cats Baseball, contributed in cash, goods and services totaling more than $250,000 to River Cats Independence Field over a three year period of time.
River Cats Independence Field is a baseball diamond in South Sacramento resurfaced with a custom rubberized turf, a similar material used for the track and field surfaces in the Paralympics. This special field also includes dugouts, restrooms, snack bar and a family picnic area all redesigned to match accessibility standards for individuals with disabilities. Able-bodied players participate as volunteers and are paired with challenged players who will assist and play with them in batting, catching, throwing and running. Many of these volunteers are youth who are in need of experiencing how they can make powerful and positive differences in the lives of others. Leagues, clinics and tournaments are played from April until October at RCIF at the Samuel C. Pannell Center 2450 Meadowview Road, Sacramento 95822. Games will be played on Saturday evenings. For more information, call (916) 808-2340.
|Swing For The Cure
Since 2004, the River Cats have raised funds for the Sacramento Valley Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure through ticket donations, the Jerseys Off Our Backs silent auction (all players and coaches wear pink jerseys for the game), and other fun in-game fundraisers! Together, with help from fans, the River Cats have donated more than $80,000 toward the fight against breast cancer.
|Mario Encarnacion Humanitarian Award
This Community Service Award is dedicated to former River Cats star Mario Encarnacion. The award, named after the late River Cats star, will annually honor a young student athlete who shows a commitment to his or her teammates and classmates. The winner of this award will be presented with a personalized commemorative gift. The River Cats encourage any community members to submit nominations for the award. Nominations, which are accepted through July 15, should include the nominee's name, age, school, contact info and a brief synopsis of why the nominee is deserving. Encarnacion, who played for the River Cats during the 2000 and 2001 seasons, passed away in October 2005 in Taiwan, where he was playing professionally. He is survived by his wife, Rosana, and his son, Mario Jr.