There’s not much time for players competing in Saturday’s 25th annual Modesto Sunrise Rotary Baseball Classic to meet their teammates.
The East and West all-stars will hold their first practices tonight, and then three days later it’ll be time to play ball.
First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. at John Thurman Field.
Turlock High coach Mark de la Motte, who coached the West in the inaugural game back in 1990, will be making his third appearance as manager.
“It’s a great game and a great experience for the managers,” said de la Motte, who remembers that his Turlock High team, led by Steve Soderstrom (who would go on to play at Fresno State and with the San Francisco Giants), lost the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I final to Elk Grove, then had to drive back and play in the Classic that night. “But I really don’t know much about a lot of the players, other than what I’ve heard.”
De la Motte’s West squad is made up of players from Big Valley Christian, Davis, Downey, Johansen, Modesto, Orestimba, Patterson, Pitman, Riverbank and Turlock. The East All-Stars are comprised of players from Beyer, Central Catholic, Central Valley, Ceres, Enochs, Gregori, Hughson, Modesto Christian, and Waterford.
Central Catholic’s Mike Glines and Enochs’ Chris Butterfield will team up to coach the East.
“When you play in a certain league, you read about and hear about kids in other leagues but never get to see them,” said Glines, who is also making his third appearance as coach in this game. “This gives you the chance to compare the ability and athleticism of your kids to other kids.”
Organizers of the Classic have put together a talented group that compiled some impressive numbers during the season.
Gates open Saturday at 5 p.m. and admission is $5. Fans can win prizes between innings and player awards will be presented after the game.
The Modesto Sunrise Rotary Baseball Classic has raised more than $200,000, all of which gets donated back to Stanislaus County baseball programs over the past two decades.