The Fremont Podcast

Episode 92: Hitting a Home Run in Business and Baseball with Jim and Cody Stevenson

October 06, 2023 Ricky B Season 2 Episode 92
The Fremont Podcast
Episode 92: Hitting a Home Run in Business and Baseball with Jim and Cody Stevenson
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ready to step onto the unique crossroads of family business and baseball? Join us as we sit down with Jim and Cody Stevenson, the dynamic duo leading Stevenson Tire, a family-owned business since 1977. We venture into the captivating history of their tire enterprise, their passion for baseball, and the intriguing intersections between the two.

Ever noticed the parallels between sports and business? Cody Stevenson insists they are closer than you think. He shares his college experiences of meeting new people and the vital role these interactions play in strengthening communities. Jim Stevenson echoes this sentiment, highlighting how fostering customer relationships and patience often prove more valuable than immediate financial gain. This episode is a testament to human connections and how they shape our personal and professional journeys.

But this isn't just about business lessons; it's about the power of community. Hear about Cody's recent venture of launching a baseball league aimed at propelling Northern Californian kids to the next level. Relive the nostalgic moments of memorable baseball games, cherished autographs, and the unique camaraderie brewed on Spade Street. Finally, get a glimpse into Cody and Jim's latest project, the California Athletics Baseball League, and their mission to engage kids from across Northern California in the sport. Buckle up for a heartwarming journey of family, baseball, community, and business!

To connect with them on Instagram go here.

To follow them on Twitter, go here. 

Check out our new podcast focused on Niles CA called the Cast of Niles. You can find episodes on almost any podcast platform. You can also find it here.

Also, Petrocelli Homes has been a key sponsor for the Fremont Podcast almost from the beginning. If you are looking for help or advice about buying or selling a home, or if you are looking for a realtor, get in touch with Petrocelli Homes on Niles Blvd in Niles.

Additionally, Banter Bookshop is the best little bookshop in Fremont. They are a sponsor of that podcast. And we are excited to have them as a partner.

Intro and Outro voiceovers made by Gary Williams. Check out garywilliams.org.

This episode was edited by Andrew C.

Scheduling and background was done by Sara S.

This is a Muggins Media Podcast.

Speaker 1:

I'm Gary Williams. Your reviews help other people find this podcast. If you would please leave a review on iTunes.

Speaker 2:

So you guys have had the tire business for quite a while, and then where did baseball come in? Like what, like yeah, when does baseball become like a significant thing to you guys?

Speaker 1:

Coming to you straight from Fremont, California. This is the Fremont podcast, dedicated to telling the stories of the past and present of the people and places of the city of Fremont, one conversation at a time. Hello Fremont. Ricky told me to find an abandoned chair, a recliner, on some dead railroad tracks to sit on them and let you know. This is episode 92 of the Fremont podcast. Now here's your host, Ricky B.

Speaker 2:

So actually I'll just start with that. So I'm with Jim and Cody Stevenson. Jim is dad and Cody is one of, I think, four boys right, yes. Okay, all right, and the Stevenson name is not a stranger to Fremont. We've got Stevenson Tire, is that what it's called? Yes, stevenson Tarnado. Okay, and then is Stevenson Boulevard. Have anything to do with it? Okay, we're not.

Speaker 4:

That doesn't have anything to do with it.

Speaker 3:

Not with you, guys.

Speaker 4:

But the funny part is is I have a funny feeling I'm going to meet this guy here shortly, because somebody came into my shop and says, oh, I know the guy and I'm like, oh, we need to connect here.

Speaker 2:

Nice. Well, I know I was just interviewing Billy at Masamos the restaurant and he said that he knew the family who Stevenson Boulevard was named after.

Speaker 1:

So I know that they're probably still around.

Speaker 2:

Yes, so that's cool, but Stevenson Tire is you guys, that's you guys. And when did you guys start that? How long has that been around?

Speaker 4:

My grandfather and father started it in 1977 on the corner of Fremont Murray, and me and my brother have taken it over for about 27 years now.

Speaker 2:

Wow, wow, that's amazing, did they? Were they from this area? I know it probably wasn't Fremont at the time, but were they from this?

Speaker 4:

area. No, they just had an opportunity in Fremont and came this way.

Speaker 2:

Okay, were they originally from California?

Speaker 4:

Yes, they're both from California, Los Angeles, Modesto.

Speaker 2:

Okay, wow, that's cool. It seems like like even with Billy at Masamos. He was telling about his dad. His dad had a garage a gas station garage in Oakland and decided or his grandfather that sold it and they took the money and they started the restaurant here in. Fremont and they saw an opportunity to come to Fremont and they did that. So you guys also. Steven's attire is an opportunity that they saw in Fremont years ago and it's still running. They must have a good opportunity that is.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah, good hub to be.

Speaker 2:

That's great, that's great. So you guys have had the tire business for quite a while and then, and then, where did baseball come in? Like what, like yeah, when does baseball become like a significant thing to you?

Speaker 4:

guys, it probably comes significant when my son, cal, my oldest son, decided at about two years old he loved balls and bats and started swinging and then he became four and then I started coaching in FNYB local Fremont league and just kept going and then we just started travel ball.

Speaker 2:

So Cal is the oldest or the oldest. And is he still playing ball?

Speaker 4:

Yes, he's in the Philadelphia Phillies organization right now.

Speaker 2:

Wow, that's awesome. So Cal decided at age two that he liked a bat and ball. I was just telling you guys my story about bats and balls. I think I played for two years when I was nine, 10, 11 years old, something like that. I couldn't hit the ball. I mean, I love the idea of playing baseball, I love the idea of hitting the ball, I love playing outfield, I love you know all the. I just couldn't hit the ball. It just was never, it was always. It was more of an embarrassment than a joy to me, and so I couldn't do that. But to be two years old and to kind of like, have a feeling of like this is what I'm supposed to be doing, it's pretty cool. It was pretty cool, yeah, so so he's the oldest, and then when did he start actually playing like ball ball?

Speaker 4:

like for a team, or I put him in a league at four years old, okay, and then he just progressed progressed, progressed.

Speaker 2:

Wow, that's cool. Now you were a coach of the Fremont, you said Fremont, little league.

Speaker 4:

Fremont national youth baseball. Yeah, I was a coach in the league. And how long did you do that? Oh, I coached there for about six years and then after that it was straight travel ball. Okay, okay.

Speaker 2:

Cody, when did you? Where are you in the order of the four?

Speaker 3:

I am the second.

Speaker 2:

Okay, I'm right under the oldest.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so I was following around the whole time during that part.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, okay, and when did you start playing? I imagine you played as well, along with your brother.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, just following my brother, yeah, just being the younger brother out there. Yeah, stealing a bat from the dugout, stealing a glove from the dugout and running around doing the thing around the field. So that's cool. That's what I was doing, so just around the same age as Kyle, is as soon as I could pick up a bat and ball. And then you're doing the same thing. And then, once I was eligible to be in the league at the certain age requirement is when I was in the FYB circuit too Okay, okay, so doing that, wow.

Speaker 2:

And then two other brothers. They play and ball to them, or they just what are they doing?

Speaker 4:

I have a 14 year old, carter he does play and then I have a nine year old.

Speaker 3:

that just doesn't want to touch it, doesn't want to touch it. Yeah, it's perfect, though it fits him well.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, that's good, that's cool. Yeah, I think it's interesting how that works. I mean, I'm the oldest of six kids and I fortunately I mean, and unfortunately, probably for my brothers and sisters my parents gave me all the opportunities early on, you know, and so when it came to sports I got. I was first, you know, played soccer when I was really little and I played basketball. When I got to, you know, middle school, junior high and then the college, I played volleyball, but it was always like my parents would encourage my brothers and sisters to come see me play at my games and unfortunately, my brothers and sisters really didn't do a whole lot, but when they did, it seemed to be similar to you and your brother, cal is my brother, played volleyball when I started playing volleyball, you know, and he started playing soccer. I actually was his coach. After I graduated high school, I coached soccer for a little while and my brother was on my team, one of my teams that I coached. So I mean, I kind of, when it gets, when a sport gets to be part of the family, it's a big deal.

Speaker 3:

It is. It's a big deal.

Speaker 2:

So so tell me about the, the, the league that you guys are starting, or that you guys are starting that you're what? What tell you know?

Speaker 3:

what is it as of right now? We're a travel-based organization, okay, we're, we have nine through 18.

Speaker 2:

So nine year olds, nine year olds, 18 year olds. Yes, Okay, how many? How many different leagues or different groups, it's all teams.

Speaker 3:

As of right now, it's five teams. Okay, so individuals from 11 to 13,. Not teams yet, but we do have a tryout on October 14th for every age level, so it's coming up. Yeah, okay, so we'll be getting that done in next month, so, hopefully.

Speaker 2:

What does this look like for you guys then? So it's a it's, it's, it's, it's designed to be a travel team, right? Yes, and so what does that look like? You guys have tryouts on the 14th of October, and then where does it go from there? What does it look like?

Speaker 3:

Probably down months November, December and then pick it up at the end of January, Right, Okay?

Speaker 2:

So the tryouts are just kind of get people's feet, foot in the door get them a place on a team, and then things will start in the in January.

Speaker 4:

There'll be workouts between the months we're talking about, but start playing somewhere late January, okay.

Speaker 3:

Well, we just talked about getting a facility indoor facility and that's huge. During the winter months to have just some light goes down. You have limited time to do stuff, so that's what we're trying to do is get an indoor facility as of right now, and then everything will start rolling from there.

Speaker 2:

I'm pretty sure, wow, wow, how far do you guys travel, like what, what kind of? What kind of places do you go? What kind of teams do you play against?

Speaker 3:

With this specific group we've been to the Stockton area, the Sacramento area. We just had a showcase at UC Davis with the upperclassmen in high school, that group. So we've been doing that, but as as I was a kid and as my brother was a kid, we've went as far as Coopers Town.

Speaker 1:

Florida.

Speaker 3:

They went to Georgia. Wow. So yeah, as as this gets off the ground, we'll start going to those places. I think that's cool, so that's cool.

Speaker 2:

What? So? What is it that, besides the traveling it being a traveling team, what is it that differentiates what you guys are doing and what you're trying to put together versus, like what you were, what you coach for so many years? Like, what are the? What are the things that people would look at with what you're doing and say that is, you know, different or that is unique?

Speaker 3:

Okay, I would say the just a daily development with kids. You know, yeah, we want to, we want to win every single game. We go out there and we strap up and play, but at the same time we want to make sure these kids are ready for baseball when it really matters when, when they're 17, 18 years old and and there's opportunity for the game that they play whether it be baseball, basketball, football, soccer, whatever, so on and so forth If that can pay for your schooling, then why not? Yeah, that's the biggest, that's great.

Speaker 2:

So this is kind of like almost like an elite level sort of ball that you guys are involved with.

Speaker 3:

Yes, At the yes and no at the. At the 14 plus level I would say very elite. But from 14 down to 10 year olds is development very much getting them ready for that. Yes, yeah.

Speaker 4:

Getting them right, because basically, from nine to 14, you want to just see how much you can develop. Obviously you're going to still develop your high school kids also, but once you get to high school you really want to start pushing that they make sure they're on track with their grades, they're all their community service, all the things they need to get done so they can get to college and then at the same time have those skills progress and they can get to the same spot.

Speaker 2:

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Speaker 4:

If we want to go backwards, he's played for the Phillies, the Giants, the A's, the Astros, blue Jays Wow, and I might be missing one or two and then backwards he played for the University of Arizona okay. Chabot College. Okay very well in the batterino and then back to high school Kennedy High School and then, when he was younger, he played. He played for me with taboo. Yeah, I would send him to Georgia every summer to play, okay.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah. Well, the reason I ask is because a lot of times people don't realize what it takes to become a professional in in sports. They because, because you're, because all of a sudden you like, you like Turned a direction when you're like we care about their grades, we care about you know, you started listing off things that don't necessarily Necessarily matter on the field at the moment. Right, they're kind of a bigger, bigger thing. But as a father of someone and a brother of someone who has had to take that journey of Going and doing all the hard things going to camps, going through college ball going and and trying out for I don't know how it works, but trying out for professional teams I mean you know the things that are important for people to focus on at very young age in order to To get to where they need to go, right, yeah, so I mean I just think it's interesting that you brought that out, because I do think that those things develop character, the kind of character that you need, and they actually develop the the whole person, right, yeah so like what are some of the things that you learned as a father and maybe that you saw as a brother In Cal's journey in becoming a professional baseball player that were really helpful in what you're putting together for this Baseball program?

Speaker 3:

I would just say the dedication 365 days a year. There's no days off. Your body like a lot of people say, your body is your temple. You know your body is your work of art. At this point and you, what you do with your body, is going to be a result of what happens on the field. A lot of things like what you do In the dark is going to come to the light, like just stuff like that, just holding yourself to a high standard, really, because it's easy to go off track and it's easy to do stuff that everybody else wants to do, like your peers are doing in high school, and all that stuff. Yeah but really just holding yourself to the high standard.

Speaker 2:

I would say what does it look like for you to transfer that idea and that, that, that hope and that goal, into like practice for the kids, like, like, how do you help them capture that vision? Because I mean, honestly, I have a 10 year old at home, right, and there's things that I want him to develop as a human being. You know, I want him to my wife and I've had this conversation. I, I want more for I want more For my son than just to be successful. I want him to be a good person, you know, because I think you have a lot of people out there that are successful but they're not good people.

Speaker 4:

No judge, right here the perfect example. So cow was playing in a summer league after he was 18 and he had to ride Bart every day to the University of California and walk from the Bart station to the field every day. And Me and my buddy would make sure that him and his other friend that would to go with him, that they would stop five people between the Bart station and Cal Berkeley and introduce himself and talk to them. Wow, just to round the kids out.

Speaker 2:

That's great. That is really, really great. I like that. I think that those sorts of things they seem insignificant to a certain degree is like why you doing that is annoying. You know, dad, I hate the fact that I'm having to stop and talk to people, but I think that, especially with social media and technology, we don't talk to people anymore, we don't care about people's lives anymore, and I think that that's one of the things like, if you, because the truth is that some people can play sports and aspire to be a professional for themselves and they could care less about the people around them in the community. Now you see a lot of good athletes out there that actually do care about people and they care about their communities and so on. But I'm sure there's a lot of pro athletes out there. They, you know, they just want to do it for themselves. You know, and I think if you can instill from the very beginning a love and a care for the people, their neighbor, their community or whatever, it makes all the difference in the world. You know, it changes the way you, you, you, they invest their time and their energies into practice or into whatever.

Speaker 4:

So here, and that's one of the things I tell the kids that are going to colleges go to college, get your education, but build your social network, because your social network will carry you for life.

Speaker 3:

Wow, especially in those four. Four to whatever years you're there.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's great. So question question for you, kind of going back to where we were talking at the beginning. You, you have a tire business. Doing tire work is not easy work. It's. It's a lot of manual labor and it's a and a lot of times it can be very demanding, just Relationally as well. You have people that have high expectations. They want it done now and you know whatever it is. What have you learned from Not just being a part of a family that owns a tire business in the middle of a tech world, but now taking over what your dad started and, I guess, what your dad and your uncle? You said it was my grandfather, your dad and your grandfather, so they started this and now you're taking it over. What are some of the lessons that you've learned as a, as a Mechanic or as a as a tire guy, a business that you Feel are important to pass along?

Speaker 4:

the biggest thing is patience. Every every customer is different. Every car is different every. Just dealing with people in general, attitudes Don't necessarily mean that the problems with you. They could have a problem with something else and they're taking it out on you. That's right, but it's just it's. It's. It's a people business, right? Yeah, the more you can learn about each other and talk to each other and build a relationship. That's what it's about. The relationship lasts longer than a than a $10 dime.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's right. That's right. Actually, that's something so I used to have I've mentioned this before on the podcast but I used to own, I used to have my own electrical business. So I would do a residential electrical, we'd build houses and we would, you know, do renovations and small jobs like putting recess lights in or changing out breakers or whatever you know. But I would tell people that One of the things that I learned over the years was not that that making money was not the primary Objective, that making customers was more important. Exactly right, you make a customer and then you'll make money because Customers care about, because they, when they feel like, when they realize that you care about them, they're gonna show their appreciation by their loyalty, by spreading the word if you care more about their money than you do about a relationship with them. It's gonna be. It's gonna be tough sledding. So it seems to me, like you just said, that the diet, whatever you just said yeah, it's not about it's not like about making a quick time.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, it's about building relationship. That's great, and your relationships will bring you money. That's just the way I look at it.

Speaker 2:

That's great. Yeah, have you seen that sort of have you seen that payoff over the years for you here in Fremont? Because I think that's one of the things that I've talked about. Like, I've met, I've been able to interview, I mean, you, we just we're gonna be putting out episode 91 tomorrow. So we've been doing I've been doing this for a year and a half over a year and a half 91 episodes so far. I've been talking to a lot of people. Miss, that's a lot. Yeah, many of them are small business owners. You know, many of them are people who have been here for a very long time. Some of them are new. But you know, one of the things that I find is that especially businesses like yours that Are small businesses, they, you know, they they demand a lot of physical attention from you. Like, what are some of the things that you have seen over the years here in Fremont yourself that you feel are important to hold on to that? Maybe you is going away here in Fremont.

Speaker 4:

Oh, that's tough. There's a lot of new things coming into Fremont so it's hard to say what I could say, because things go away so fast in Fremont, that's right. So I don't, I don't, I don't have an answer to that. Yeah, I really don't, but Fremont has changed so so much in the really last 15 years. Yeah, I remember coming into Fremont and going to my dad's shop and looking across the field and seeing cows Wow, and I don't know where you can see a cow in Fremont anymore.

Speaker 2:

Up on the hills. That's about it Way up on the hills, not on the flatlands. Look at the Nile sign and they're up there somewhere.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, but there's usually a lot of flatland with a lot of stuff running around.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, cody, what about you? I mean I know you're a lot younger, but do you have anything that you've seen over the years, that you've learned while you've lived here? I mean, a lot has changed in the last 15 years, so you know you've seen a lot of it change as you've grown up and as you've changed. But do you have anything here in Fremont that you've paid attention to that, you know, makes you say I want to hold on to this, don't want to lose this. This is important to our community.

Speaker 3:

Not much. I was gone for the past year and a half, almost two, ok. So I just got back here within the last eight or nine months, ok. So it's just new stuff, like buildings popping up.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

I've. More significantly is the spot by a round table over there by American between Washington and America, and it used to be just gravel, gravel yard for almost the whole time I was growing up, and now there's there's condos and businesses over there. So, it's good to see it booming, it's good to see that was vacant for a long time, growing and stuff like that. So, yeah, just good good for business, good for people, good for the kids growing up around this community.

Speaker 2:

OK, very cool. What are. What are your roles? Like? I know that you guys started this, this baseball league, that you guys are you're running right, you guys started it. So what are your roles? Like? What are your regular weekly operations look like? What do you?

Speaker 4:

what do you do? We do practice every day, monday through Friday. He goes and does the older kids, I do the younger guys and then I kind of help out with him when the younger guys aren't running, and then the weekends is play all weekend long. Perfect example is this weekend. We have three teams playing at two different places, so we'll be just on the run. But it's, every day, it's, it's, you know at the end of the day, it's nothing more than we want these kids to be the best kids they can be in. And not just as athletes but as human beings. That's the big thing. Is a lot of these kids you know, I want to be able to see these kids in five years, after they get out of high school, and then come up and talk to me not walk away from me.

Speaker 3:

Not only be a good baseball player, be a good, a good person, right? Yeah, a lot of the stuff that we do is like applying it to real life situations. You know, I always tell the kids how many, how many days of the week do you get up and you're knocking on your mom or dad's door and say, hey, mom, like let's go to school. You know, yeah, not every day is going to be perfect, so you've got to man through it. Not man through it, but push through it.

Speaker 2:

Right, that's right. So I love that. I do love that. I know we briefly mentioned it already, but I do think that one of the things that I hear I kind of asked you the question about like what is going away or what has gone away and that needs to stay I have heard, like I've interviewed Billy over at Billy Roy's you know, Dino's diner, diner and all the skillets.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 2:

All the hop and rush, but you listen, you know when I, when I had that conversation with him, you know he was saying how he cares, like he has instilled in his business plan the, the, the idea or the value of caring for one another and being and supporting each other. And even, you know, built into his plan is this idea that he wants his workers to feel like family, and they, they, you know they are provided for by him and by the business, but then he's also there for whatever, you know, whatever else they need.

Speaker 4:

on, top of that, when you have employees that work for you for 30 years, that they're your buddies back in the day like I heard that.

Speaker 1:

I heard that podcast yesterday.

Speaker 4:

And when you have bill relationships like that right, it's not about you and your buddy making money, it's about the whole group.

Speaker 1:

That's right. That's what we look at it.

Speaker 4:

Exactly right. It's not. It's not about putting a bunch of money in my pocket, it's how can we take care of the whole world?

Speaker 2:

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Speaker 4:

That's what we talk about Know what the guy's doing next to you. Okay, if you believe in the guy next to you and you have 100% confidence and you know where he's going to be and you guys are talking, things are going to work very smoothly. I love that. If you don't know what the guy next to you is going to do, how are you going to know what to do when you get the ball? So you're going to be at the right spot. Are you going to know it's okay to throw it there? It's all about values.

Speaker 2:

That's awesome.

Speaker 4:

You're a guy and that guy needs to bite everybody.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, Everyone needs to. Like he said at a very young age when I was a kid, is if all nine guys do their own job, then you don't have to worry about doing anybody else's job. Right. It's just everyone has their job and they do it, and that that's what creates the culture and that's what creates everything.

Speaker 2:

That's cool. How long has this league been around? Like, when did you start this league?

Speaker 3:

Four or five months ago. This is new.

Speaker 4:

The current thing we have is like four or five months old. I started Tabu with my neighbor 27 years ago Okay Roughly, and we did that for a few years and then we've bounced around a few places and only because opportunities for the kids. So I've taken the kids from one organization to another just to make sure we can help them advance, to get to where they want to be college wise.

Speaker 2:

Okay, okay. So was that kind of the trigger point that made you want to go bigger and better with coaching and baseball or what?

Speaker 4:

was the as I've grown and learned. Yeah, that's. The goal at this point is just to get these kids to the next level, find a way to get them to college.

Speaker 2:

Okay, yeah, a lot of the kids that are playing. Are they from Fremont or are they from the broader Bay Area?

Speaker 4:

I have. Yeah, there's a group from Fremont that I've had, but most of the guys that I have that are running right now in college and playing at the next level are all over California, all over Northern California, okay.

Speaker 2:

Wow, wow, that's cool. That's cool, cody. What are some of the things that you like, as you look at doing like you're working with some of the older kids, so they're and I know this is only a few months old, but you're looking at your role, your younger guy, but you're also working with some of the older groups. What are some of the things that you personally have learned, maybe in your own life, that have been helpful, that you want to pass off to these guys as they kind of take the next step in whatever their journey is in playing ball?

Speaker 3:

When you asked about my brother. It's just taking care of business the right way. You can tell when kids start to take that veer off. And you like we had to talk with the kid last night a pretty good one about you're going a little bit this way. We're trying to push you back. It's just having kids go the right way almost.

Speaker 2:

You're kind of like You're kind of acting like a bigger brother to some of these kids as well.

Speaker 3:

I'm close and age gap, but far enough to steer them in the right direction and tell them when they're doing the wrong things and when they're doing the right things.

Speaker 4:

It's a situation where you want to have a relationship as a friend with them, but you also got to let them know that I'm not your friend. I'm going to do things that you're not going to be like. I've got kids right now that I'm telling them. I believe that you probably think I don't like you and vice versa, you probably don't like me, but at the end of the day, it's not about me being your friend. It's about me making sure you're getting to where you're supposed to get to. And then, like I told you before then, the five years later, they come back to you and go.

Speaker 3:

I get it now. That was the biggest thing. I feel like a learning lesson with me within the last couple of years, when I stopped playing baseball and I got into the coaching world. You always think it's the coach's problem, it's always the coach's fault for what's going on, but at the end of the day he can only put the best nine guys out there, the hardest workers, and then it's on the kids to produce.

Speaker 2:

That seems to be at an elite level. That does seem to be a different way of thinking about it, because a lot of times in the younger leagues I know it's a joke for people who grew up in my era where it was like we didn't get a participation award If we didn't win, we didn't get anything. And so it's like you guys are now, everyone gets an award, and it's like what'd you do? I showed up.

Speaker 3:

Exactly. That's what it is nowadays.

Speaker 4:

You show up, you're guaranteed.

Speaker 2:

But when you get to the level that you guys are coaching at and the type of play that you guys are involved with, it's different. It is about not just showing up, although showing up is the first step. You have to be there to play.

Speaker 4:

You have to be there to be present.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but then going and saying hey look, we are looking for the best people to fill this field. You got to work for that spot. If you don't get there, if you're not showing the work, we are trying to win and ultimately it does matter, because honestly in life you don't get a participation award. You might, and maybe that would be great to feel appreciated because they participated a little bit more, but ultimately and I'm not necessarily even pushing that you've got to beat the next guy out. I think ultimately it's like what can you do to play your part in the bigger community and to do it well, so that every people can count on you? You know what the guy next to you is doing? Because if you can't trust the guy next to you, you know.

Speaker 4:

How far can you really go? That's right, that's right, and that's not just in baseball, right, that's everywhere you go. That's exactly right. That's completely everywhere you go.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's exactly right. Well, this is cool. I see things like what you guys are doing and, although I can't hit the ball and struggle, maybe you should come out and practice.

Speaker 4:

There you go. You guys can help me, I can go relive some of my lost years.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I don't think I said it on the podcast here, but I was telling them before we started that when I was a kid I played for two years and I loved playing but I couldn't hit the ball. So I got really discouraging because I felt like that was a big part of playing and enjoying the game. Well, and I just couldn't hit the ball. Even as an adult I played softball, slow pitch softball and could not hit the ball. So I just figured anything with a bat and a ball I was cursed with. I just couldn't do that. So for the sports, just baseball was not my thing or softball was not my thing, but maybe you guys could help fix that for me.

Speaker 3:

There's old saying baseball is a lot more fun when you're hitting. Yeah, a lot more fun when you're hitting.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I actually had interviewed previously, several months ago, a guy who started a cricket league here in town and I was joking with him. I think it was on the episode but I was joking with him. But I think maybe cricket was my sport because I was a fatter bat.

Speaker 1:

I was a little wider.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, maybe I would have done a lot better that way. I don't know, Do you guys? What are your favorite baseball teams? I know we're in the Bay and we've got a couple good options here. What are your teams that you cheer for? I'm a Dodgers fan. Are you oh man?

Speaker 4:

I tell everybody the same thing Every team has to have fans, every team has to have fans. So let's enjoy each other, let's get our nigs in.

Speaker 2:

So what was the hinge pin for making you a Dodgers fan over a Bay Area fan? Little league.

Speaker 4:

Little league. Okay, I was a Dodger when I was a little league guy and it just turned into a Dodger fan.

Speaker 2:

That's funny. What about you?

Speaker 3:

I'm a Boston Red Sox fan. I bet the same exact thing he's saying. That was the very first team I was on, and once I put that hat on it, it just stuck forever. You know, and then you learn to love the guys that are on the team throughout the years.

Speaker 2:

That's funny. Do you guys have a favorite? I probably not the Giants, because Giants and Dodgers are like, not friends.

Speaker 4:

I'll give you that one. My son played for the Giants earlier.

Speaker 3:

That's awesome.

Speaker 4:

That's awesome.

Speaker 2:

Do you guys go to any of the games locally If it's not Dodgers or Red Sox, do you guys go to?

Speaker 3:

the games Every once in a while, every once in a while.

Speaker 4:

It's good to get out there. That's cool.

Speaker 3:

It's going to be sad though, when the games go, yes, it's a good one.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, you know, the funny thing is, I love watching baseball for just the social aspect of it. I love going to games. I don't watch on TV a whole lot, but I love going to a game and I love being there with friends, the atmosphere, yeah the atmosphere. Yeah, I've been playing for three teams that I kind of cycled through growing up so well, four teams, actually. So I grew up, I was born in Wisconsin, so I was immediately a Brewer's fan for a little while, and then I used to spend my summers working on my grandparents' farm in Michigan, and so everyone there was a Detroit Tigers fan. So I pulled for the Detroit Tigers, for that was probably the team I pulled for the longest right. And then. But two things happened to me that was interesting as a kid. Well, one was not that significant. One was my name's Ricky, and Ricky Henderson was like all the talk when I was a kid, right, and so I was like there's a guy with my name who's a star I'm going to, I love the A's, you know, and so. So that was my connection, not necessarily the team that I played for, but that was my connection. And then, and then, the craziest thing, I don't even understand how or why it happened, but I was a kid, I could ride my bike around the town that I lived in in South Carolina and there was this for whatever. It's just weird for me to think about it now, but there was a gas station that was having a grand opening and they had Brooks Robinson there signing autographs at this gas station, which is really weird, like who does a grand opening for a gas station and then why do you bring out a you know a superstar to do you know whatever? So I went and rode my bike to the gas station and stood in line and got a signature with him. So after that I was like I like the, I like the Orioles. So then I lived. Then I lived in Baltimore for three years and I got to go to. Got to go to Orioles games. That was fun but I've enjoyed. I've been to one Giants game out here and then I've been to a handful of A's games and I've enjoyed those very much.

Speaker 3:

How did you? How's your experience of Camden Yards? I heard that's probably the best. It's awesome.

Speaker 2:

It's a beautiful stadium. Yeah, it's really. It's a really beautiful stadium. Did they get ready to get a new one, or they?

Speaker 3:

get ready to redo that one. No, I think the Rays are getting a new one. I think Camden Yards is.

Speaker 2:

Camden Yards is looking really really good. If they're doing anything to it, they're redoing it. They're not going to replace it.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I have a cousin, his nephew, named his kid after Camden. That's like I know that place is really well known yeah.

Speaker 2:

It's, it's, it's located well, great public transportation to the, to, you know, to the field, um, and it's just a great environment. You know, my one, my one big game, that my the big thing that I got to, you might like, no, it wasn't, it wasn't, it wasn't um, I had my team is mixed up here. My one big moment that I was at when I was there was, uh, the Orioles were playing the Rangers and Josh Hamilton was, uh, uh, was was playing and he hit four home runs in one game, and the last one was a grand slam and I was there at the game and by the time he got around to the fourth at bat, um he was. I mean everyone, whether you were a Orioles fan or a Rangers fan. Everyone was cheering for him. They had phones out, you know, and sure enough he crushed it. Uh, it was just a cool moment to be there, uh to see that on TV you don't get yeah it was very, very cool. Yeah, well, that's cool. I wanted to ask, before we go, um any anything um, apart from baseball, apart from, you know, the tire shop or anything else, what are some of your favorite memories and things? Places around Fremont Like what, what are some things that you do? You have anything particular that you feel was uh, um, something that you enjoyed growing up here that you'd love to share?

Speaker 3:

Growing up here just being around friends. Uh, the place that I grew up on, the street that I grew up on was really was probably the best thing that ever happened for me and my brother, because I think the street that we grew up on there was, there was a group of a family, that was what five families, but they were all really close. They were all family, all baseball families, yeah. Growing up.

Speaker 2:

uh had a connection there, yeah.

Speaker 3:

Summer days we would play baseball. From when the sun, we would play baseball, but it was with a woof-a-wall bat and a tennis ball and we would play from sunup to sundown. Come home from school and you drop your backpack off, run straight outside to go play with friends. That's cool. We had basketball hoops that were on each side of the sidewalk so we would play like a full court game, you know. So just, I think being around that environment is what really pushed not only my brother but me to not only be the best or try to be the best at what we did. It was just a competitive atmosphere, but at the same time, everything was so loving, yeah, that was.

Speaker 4:

That was a really special time.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 4:

It was a lot, a lot of fun, a lot of families that just cared about the kids and let the kids be kids. Yeah, and you didn't have to worry about anything. Yeah, like I said, I mean at at at five years old. They'd walk out my front door and be gone for eight hours and you knew right where they were at. That's cool.

Speaker 3:

And if I was with my friend and we walked to the house, he had a hot meal ready for him. Then there was a hot meal ready for me, right Vice versa. That's always cold juice out for everybody. It's just just a comradity with everybody. Everyone's pulling for each other to go in the right direction.

Speaker 1:

That's cool.

Speaker 3:

So I feel like that part. Yeah, that was Spade Street, that was the street that we grew up on. That's cool, even when I'm in that area. I just always got to drive down it. Hopefully people are outside. Yeah, there's some new houses that are being built over there, a lot bigger than the ones that we were familiar with, but yeah, yeah, that's. I feel like that was a real turning point.

Speaker 4:

That's cool.

Speaker 3:

With how we turned out, yeah.

Speaker 2:

That's cool. I like that. I like the fact that you pointed to people and a place that is not necessarily a business or a, not that I mean those are all important. I mean those all have special places, you know, in our, in our minds and in our lives. But to be able to look at people and say that these people and the space that we inhabited was what made a difference and what really what definitely made a difference. That's cool, guys. Thanks for joining me. This has been really cool. I hope to see the the business that you guys are. You know pursuing the thing that you're creating to be a good and long endeavor, and it'd be cool to see how it develops over the years to come. So thanks for taking the moment to share a little bit of your story and your heart with what we're doing.

Speaker 4:

I appreciate you grabbing us out. Yeah, just make a huge difference yeah.

Speaker 2:

If people wanted to find out about this. If someone plays baseball or they're interested in it and they want to try out, or if they want to find out more about what the league, what is the best way for them to connect with you guys?

Speaker 3:

Well, like we talked about earlier, everything is on social media pretty much now, so we're on Instagram California dot athletics dot league. That's where you'll find us at.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 3:

There's a separate page for the 10 year olds, because they're younger and they get a lot of buzz on social media.

Speaker 1:

They don't like those little cute faces you know, so they have their own little separate page.

Speaker 3:

They're buzzing super hard. We also have a Twitter. I don't know the handle off the top of my head right now Hopefully we can throw it in.

Speaker 2:

Well, I connected with you guys on Instagram and that's how I first, you know, learned about you guys, and you guys were very active, very responsive, and so I think Instagram is a great place to find you.

Speaker 3:

That's a super shout out to Angie. Yeah, I think she takes care of all that, and without her I don't think it would be where we are. We'd be somewhere without.

Speaker 4:

Angie, we wouldn't be where we are, nobody would know right here, no one would know. Yeah, so yeah, good one for her, that's awesome.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah, what you said to find us. We practice at Kennedy High School.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, we have never turned a kid down. We have never done anything like that. If you want to come out there and get some work in and get better at the game of baseball, we're all for it.

Speaker 4:

You can come talk to us, show up and work out. Yeah, that's great.

Speaker 2:

That's great, and you guys are looking for like a final home field at some point right, a place you can call home.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

You hope that be around here somewhere soon.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, we're hoping for. Yeah, we're hoping we stay right here in Fremont.

Speaker 2:

Good, we want to stay localized.

Speaker 4:

That's awesome Right here. Don't want to move to New York City, don't want to move to Newark, don't want to move south.

Speaker 3:

Stay right here Plan our flag right here.

Speaker 2:

There you go. That's good, very good. Well, thanks, guys. I hope you guys do with us in the future. Thank you, thank you. If you have enjoyed this podcast, consider supporting it with a small gift at BuyMeaCoffeecom. Slash the Fremont podcast. Thank you for your support and thanks for listening.

Speaker 1:

This episode was hosted and produced by Ricky B, scheduling and pre-interviews by Sarah S. Rachel Prey is the print editor in charge of our newsletter. I'm Gary Williams. Andrew Kovett is the editor. Music provided by soundstripecom Be sure to subscribe wherever it is that you listen so you don't miss an episode. You can find everything we make the podcast, our newsletter and all of our social media links at thefremontpodcastcom. Join us next week on the Fremont Podcast.

Speaker 2:

This is a Muggins Media podcast.

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Importance of Team Sports in Community
Baseball Memories and Local Games
Childhood Memories of Baseball and Community