Why did SJCC get rid of its baseball team?

Will it ever return?

Madison McNamara, Times Staff

Ever wonder why out of all the sports teams on campus, SJCC doesn’t have one of the most popular sports in America: baseball? Once upon a time, the college did offer a baseball scholarship, until about nine years ago.

Doug Robb was brought on as the coach after his long journey in baseball, which started in college where he played for four years and played in the professional league for three years in Italy. His career eventually took him to Canada and finally home to Los Gatos.

During his coaching years here on campus, for the first six years the team performed very well, Robb said. Eventually, with the growing population of SJCC, the school decided it needed a parking garage. Where would they put it, you ask? How about the baseball field? Well, that is exactly what they did.

Construction started for a new baseball field off campus while the new parking garage was also being built.

Robb said that at first, they switched the baseball and softball fields, but that didn’t last.

SONA, also known as Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Association, a voice for the neighborhood around where the new field was being built, didn’t like the poles around the field and threatened to sue the school, Robb said.

Going on Robb’s ninth year of coaching for SJCC, the then chancellor and vice chancellor made the decision to get rid of the bonds and end construction of the field completely.

Originally $50,000 – $60,000 of taxes went into funding the team, that responsibility was now placed on the school.

It was a sad day for the Jags. With no homefield the team had to rent other teams’ fields to practice on and could only play games off campus. They used Wilcox, Willow Glen and a couple of other schools for their practice sessions and even used the Jags football field when they could. Even though the team was going through so many difficulties, it still placed fifth out of 44 teams in the Nor Cal division.

When asked about his feelings when he found out about the colleges plans to shut down the baseball team Robb paused as he remembered the day he found out and said, “I was shocked that they had no other solution, they thought it wasn’t a priority.”

Robb said that the sophomores felt something bad was coming, and the freshmen were devastated that they would not be able to transfer to a four-year college with a baseball scholarship from SJCC.

The decision to say goodbye to the baseball team came too late and the freshmen were forced to transfer to another two-year college.

Robb said that there has been talk about a new field, but the college doesn’t know where to put it.

When asked if he thinks the baseball field will ever return, Robb said, “For a while, yes, but for the last year and a half there has been no traction.”