Loaded Foresters Forge On Alone This SummerSummer Baseball
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Coach Bill Pintard looks out over a baseball field on a random Wednesday night and sees his Santa Barbara Foresters team warming up, taking batting practice, stretching and doing all the normal things his players would do on any other summer night. But this time, with the nation facing so many challenges, it is different. He’s just glad he can have baseball this year.
I think we can all agree that it’s been a weird year. Like, Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster being seen flying a UFO into the Bermuda Triangle kind of weird.
Our sport of college baseball isn’t exempt from the weirdness, of course. Of the many oddities in the baseball world this summer is the fact that many collegiate summer leagues are either not playing this season or have made major adjustments to their seasons. The California Collegiate League is one of those leagues that announced back in June that it was cancelling the season.
But one big exception to that is the Santa Barbara Foresters.
Under 26th-year head coach Bill Pintard, the Foresters are a perennial power in the league, having played in the invitation-only National Baseball Congress World Series in Wichita, Kansas numerous times, winning seven national titles, the last one coming in 2018.
“When I first got here they were just happy going to Wichita,” Pintard said. “I wasn’t happy just going there. I said, ‘If we’re going to do it, we’re going to do it right.’ So we started recruiting players and developing them more and then we started winning NBC titles. Now, we have 51 players from here that have made it to the big leagues and a couple others that are knocking on the door.”
Impressive as that is, the bigger question still sat in front of us like an 800-pound gorilla in the room: How is it that the Foresters are fielding a team with the CCL shuttered for this year?
“When the CCL made their decision to cancel the season, we were wondering, ‘What the hell are we gonna do now?’” Pintard said. “We had a schedule all made up and ready to go and we still had kids that were itching to get back on the field. So we had to get creative.” …
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