Humboldt Crabs

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Humboldt Crabs
Humboldt Crabs FWL.png
LeagueIndependent (Northern California)
LocationArcata, California
BallparkArcata Ball Park
Year founded1945
League championshipsFar West League (2011-2013), WCL Tri-State (2010), Horizon Air Summer Series (2007, 2013)
California State Semi-Pro championships1961, 1963-1979
Former name(s)Eureka Paladini Crabs
Former league(s)Far West League (2011-2013), WCL Tri-State (2009-2010), Horizon Air Summer Series (2006-2009, 2012-2013), Western Baseball Association
Former ballparksAlbee Stadium
ColorsBlue, Red and White
MascotDungeness Crab
OwnershipCommunity Organization
ManagementBoard of Directors
ManagerRobin Guiver

The Humboldt Crabs are a collegiate summer baseball team located in Arcata, California. Playing in every season since they were founded in 1945 by Lou Bonomini, later joined by Ned Barsuglia, the Crabs are the oldest continually-operated summer collegiate baseball team in American baseball.[1][2] Through the 2019 season the Crabs have a total record of 2557 wins and 803 losses. The Crabs did not play the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Every Crabs game is broadcast on KGOE 1480 AM by longtime broadcasters Benjamin “the Professor” Shaeffer and Bob “Hoke” Holcomb. Most games also include the Crab Grass Band, formed in 1985, that play songs in between innings.

Brief background[edit]

Originally the Eureka Paladini Crabs, named for the Paladini Fish Company who sponsored the team from 1945 to 1947.

In the 70-year history of the Humboldt Crabs, over 300 players have continued on to play professional baseball, with over 60 former Crabs going all the way to the Major Leagues.[3] A few examples are Garth Iorg, Dane Iorg, and Wally Scott.[4][5] John Oldham, a Crabs pitcher in 1952–53, was the first to make it all the way, playing for the Cincinnati Reds in 1956.[6] More recently, Leo Rosales, who pitched for the 2002 Crabs,[7] was called up to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2008.[8] 2003 Crabs infielder Brett Pill was called up to the San Francisco Giants in 2011, and was on the team's 2012 roster as a 1st baseman.[9][10]

Their best season, record-wise, was 1985 when the team won 46 consecutive games to start the season. Future Major Leaguers Mike Harkey, Eric Gunderson, Steve Olin, and Scott Chiamparino led a dominant pitching staff.

The Crabs play the majority of their games at home at the Arcata Ball Park,[11] owned by the City of Arcata.[12] The team is made up of college players from different NCAA programs throughout the U.S. The Humboldt Crabs are a non-profit baseball organization operated by a 14-member all-volunteer Board of Directors. Major rivals include the Redding Colt .45s, the Fontanetti's Athletics, and the Seattle Studs.[13]

In 2007, the team's 63rd consecutive season, the Crabs overall season record was 42 - 12;[14] in 2008, the Crabs drew an average of 874 fans to the ball park and went 35 - 13 for the season;[15] in 2009 the Crabs record was 48–11;[16] in their 66th season, 2010, the Crabs went 43 - 9.[17] Their 67th consecutive season began with the Annual Season Opening Dinner on June 3, 2011 (always the first Friday in June).[18] Regular-season play ended July 31, with post-season Tournament play August 5–7, 2011.

The Humboldt Crabs are a non-profit, community-oriented organization. Its mission is four-fold:

To promote family entertainment by providing high-quality summer collegiate baseball games to the public at a reasonable price; To provide talented collegiate-level baseball players with a positive summer baseball experience; To support youth sports programs (with an emphasis on baseball or softball) in the Humboldt County area with contributions of funding and/or equipment as funds permit in addition to annual baseball skills camps and clinics operated by Humboldt Crabs players and coaches; To preserve and build the tradition of Humboldt Crabs Baseball.

2019 player awards[edit]

  • Most Valuable Player: Damian Henderson
  • Offensive Player of the Year: Bryce Kirk
  • Co-Pitcher of the Year: Dylan Campbell
  • Co-Pitcher of the Year: Kyle Pruhsmeier
  • "Coaches Award" - Kevin Morsching/Scott Heinig Memorial Award: Riley Cleary


Humboldt Crabs Fan Appreciation Day 2010

Humboldt Crabs Baseball, Inc is a 501(c)(4) community-owned organization. A volunteer board of directors rely on the support of community members & sponsors to keep the Humboldt Crabs Baseball operation functioning.


Vikki Rossi

Coaching staff[edit]

  • Robin Guiver, Manager
  • Eric Giacone, Pitching Coach
  • Ryan Dettman, Hitting Coach
  • Brad Morgan, Assistant Coach

Trainers: Nate Kees[19]

2021 team roster[edit]

Board of director[edit]

Note: The Board of Directors change from year to year. Vikki Rossi, Matt Filar, Ellen Barthman, Erik Fraser, Roger Lorenzetti, Tracy Mack, Carl Pellatz, Larry Zerlang, Bill Ruff, John Burke, Michelle Briggss[20]

Far West League[edit]

The Crabs joined the Far West League (FWL), which had ten teams participating in the 2011 season. The five-team FWL North Division included the Humboldt Crabs, Nor Cal Pirates, Redding Colt .45s, Nevada Bullets (formerly Reno Aces), and Southern Oregon RiverDawgs. The five-team FWL South Division included the Atwater Aviators, Fontanetti's Athletics, Neptune Beach Pearl, California Glory, and Fresno Cardinals. The Crabs were part of the West Coast League/Tri-State[21] (which was associated with the West Coast League in the Pacific Northwest) then merged with the Pacific West Baseball League to form the FWL. (The California Seals were originally an eleventh team in the FWL but are on hiatus for the 2011 season.)

2011 league champions[edit]

This inaugural year of the Far West League culminated with the top five League teams competing in a double-elimination Tournament, hosted by the Humboldt Crabs and played in the Arcata Ball Park, August 5–7. The Humboldt Crabs (21 - 6), with the best record in regular season league play, were the top-seeded team, but lost their first game to fourth-seed Fontanetti's Athletics, 1–0,[22] on August 5. To avoid being eliminated, the Crabs had to win four games in a row. On August 6, the Crabs shut out the Atwater Aviators, 2–0,[23] in an elimination game. On August 7 the Crabs won three games in one day, starting with Fontanetti's Athletics, 7–2,[24] (who had beaten the Crabs 2 of 3 games in regular-season play); then facing the Neptune Beach Pearl who had won 8 of their previous 9 games, and who were as yet undefeated in the Tournament. By winning four in a row, including 6-3[25] and 5-1[26] wins over the Pearl, the Crabs avoided elimination and won the tournament and the championship.[27]

The Humboldt Crabs finished the 2011 season with records of 40-13 overall, 25–7 in League/Conference play.[28]

The Humboldt Crabs rank #22 from among over 220 summer collegiate league teams in the nation for the week of August 9, 2011, by Perfect Game USA.[29]

The Far West League has since disbanded, but the Crabs were league champions all three years in its inception.

Year by year records[edit]

(*)denotes California State Semi-Pro Champion

(^) denotes West of the Rockies Tournament Champion

(<) denotes All-American Invitational Champion

(~) denotes season not played due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Season Manager Record National Ranking
1945 Lou Bonomini 11-5
1946 Lou Bonomini 35-12
1947 Lou Bonomini 35-9
1948 Lou Bonomini 24-11
1949 Lou Bonomini 35-13 17th
1950 Lou Bonomini 32-9
1951 Lou Bonomini 33-8
1952 Lou Bonomini 35-12
1953 Lou Bonomini 29-11
1954 Lou Bonomini 29-17
1955 Lou Bonomini 26-19
1956 Lou Bonomini 27-10
1957 Lou Bonomini 24-8
1958 Lou Bonomini 17-11
1959 Lou Bonomini 19-7
1960 Lou Bonomini 16-7
1961 Lou Bonomini 21-4*
1962 Lou Bonomini 21-6
1963 Lou Bonomini 27-7* 17th
1964 Lou Bonomini 27-11* 4th
1965 Lou Bonomini 29-11* 3rd
1966 Lou Bonomini 33-9* 3rd
1967 Lou Bonomini 28-12* 4th
1968 Lou Bonomini 43-11* 5th
1969 Lou Bonomini 29-13* 3rd
1970 Lou Bonomini 24-14*
1971 Lou Bonomini 31-10* 5th
1972 Lou Bonomini 29-12*
1973 Lou Bonomini 28-19*
1974 Lou Bonomini 27-12*
1975 Lou Bonomini 38-7* 5th
1976 Lou Bonomini 37-11* 17th
1977 Lou Bonomini 35-5*
1978 Lou Bonomini 40-10*
1979 Lou Bonomini 37-16*
1980 Lou Bonomini 45-10 7th
1981 Lou Bonomini 43-10 11th
1982 Lou Bonomini 30-18^
1983 Lou Bonomini 39-7^
1984 Lou Bonomini 38-10^
1985 Bill "Bo" Hughes 51-3^ 17th
1986 Bill "Bo" Hughes 51-8
1987 Tom Giacomini 26-11
1988 Tom Giacomini 34-12
1989 Tom Giacomini 38-5
1990 Tom Giacomini 44-6
1991 Tom Giacomini 36-8
1992 Steve Neel 32-9
1993 Vince Maiocco 31-6
1994 Vince Maiocco 32-9
1995 Vince Miaocco 35-5
1996 Ken “Shorty” Ames 33-10
1997 Ken “Shorty” Ames 43-8
1998 Ken “Shorty” Ames 41-7
1999 Ken “Shorty” Ames 45-3
2000 Ken “Shorty” Ames
2001 Ken “Shorty” Ames 28-13
2002 Ken “Shorty” Ames <
2003 Ken “Shorty” Ames 43-5
2004 Ken “Shorty” Ames 40-9
2005 Ken “Shorty” Ames 37-11
2006 Matt Nutter 42-13
2007 Matt Nutter 42-12
2008 Matt Nutter 35-13
2009 Matt Nutter 48-11
2010 Matt Nutter 42-9
2011 Matt Nutter 40-13 20th[30]
2012 Matt Nutter 37-9 29th[31]
2013 Matt Nutter 42-14 26th[32]
2014 Tyson Fisher 34-15
2015 Tyson Fisher 41-9
2016 Tyson Fisher 35-15
2017 Robin Guiver 39-7
2018 Robin Guiver 37-10
2019 Robin Guiver 33-16
2020 Robin Guiver ~ no season
2021 Robin Guiver

(*)denotes California State Semi-Pro Champion

(^) denotes West of the Rockies Tournament Champion

(<) denotes All-American Invitational Champion

(~) denotes season not played due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Seasons Manager Total Record
1945-1984 Lou Bonomini 1205-464
1985-1986 Bill "Bo" Hughes 102-11
1987-1991 Tom Giacomini 178-42
1992 Steve Neel 32-9
1993-1995 Vince Miaocco 98-20
1996-2005 Ken "Shorty" Ames 386-91
2006-2013 Matt Nutter 328-94
2014-2016 Tyson Fisher 110-39
2017- Robin Guiver 119-33
1945-2019 Overall Record 2557-803

Crabs in MLB[edit]

67 former Crabs have played in the Major Leagues: Bradley Zimmer, Vinnie Pestano, Brett Pill, Leo Rosales, Greg Shanahan, Dane Iorg, Mike Harkey, Steve Olin, Scott Chiamparino, Sandy Vance, Randy Niemann, Craig Lefferts, Mike Redmond, Ken Crosby, Rick Miller, Gary Wilson, John Oldham, Rich Nye, Rich Bordi, Rod Booker, Jim Wilson, Lute Barnes, Chuck Nieson, Danny Frisella, Jose Mota, Dennis Springer, Mike Thurman, Mike Paul, Bruce Bochte, Rich Dauer, Mike Kinkade, Bruce Benedict, Bill Serena, Lee Gregory, Eric Gunderson, Victor Cole, Jack Fimple, Scott Anderson, Bill Bonham, Barry Bonnell, Warren Brusstar, Pat Clements, Roland Delamaza, Tom Dodd, Mike Gates, Ed Giovanola, Greg Gohr, Xavier Hernandez, Steve Hovley, Eddie Kearse, Frank LaCorte, Scott Lewis, Andy Mota, Chuck Nieson, Josh Pearce, Joe Price, Eric Raich, Rich Robertson, Rob Ryan, Buzz Stephen, La Schelle Tarver, Tim Tolman, Shane Turner, Colin Ward, Jim Wessinger, Stefan Wever, and Sandy Wihtol.

Famous Crabs[edit]

Ron Mingo, Pat Casey, Mark Marquess, Augie Garrido, Kerwin Danley, Russ McQueen, Steve Detwiler, Reggie Christiansen

Crabs Hall of Fame[edit]

Class of 2012: Ned Barsuglia, Bob Bonomini, Lou Bonomini, Adam Carr, Steve Fish, Mike Harkey, Dane Iorg, Rico Pastori, Greg Shanahan, Don Terbush, 1985 Tream (51 Wins, 3 Losses)

Class of 2013: Eddie Oliveira, Don Carter, Sandy Vance, Mark Marquess, Randy Niemann, Craig Lefferts, Steve Olin, Tom Giacomini, Mike Redmond, Brian Blauser, 1968 Team (42 Wins, 11 Losses)

Class of 2014: Eldridge “Red” Hunt, Carl Del Grande, Dennis Pontoni, Augie Garrido, Rich Nye, Rich Bordi, Rod Booker, Steve Neel, Gary Wilson, Jeff Giacomini, 1981 Team (43 Wins, 10 Losses)

Class of 2015: Fred Papini, Douglas Clayton, Billy Olsen, Lute Barnes, Paul Ziegler, Shane Turner, Scott Eskra, Joe Gerber, Nick Giacone, 2003 Team (43 Wins, 5 Losses)

Class of 2016: Mark Pirrucello, John Oldham, Bruce Benedict, Jim Wilson, Burt Nordstrom, Chris DeBoo, Richard Cates, Jerry Nutter, Elvira Bonomini, 1999 Team (45 Wins, 3 Losses)

No Hall of Fame Class of 2017

Class of 2018: John Austin, Lee Iorg, Troy Schader, Leo Rosales, Pat Clements, Bob Milano, Jim "Spider" Thomas, Jack Fimple, Ugo Giuntini, 1990 team (44 Wins, 3 Losses)

Class of 2019: Hans Smith, Wade Hammond, Gregg Reynolds, Eric Gunderson, Al Masterson, Larry Taylor, David Ferres, Ken Dunaway, Joe Gallaty, Mary "Baseball Betty" Lacefield

No Hall of Fame Class of 2020

Class of 2021: TBA


External links[edit]