If you build it, they will come — and if you hit it, Rufus Santos will write it down.
The former Oakdale Baseball Association president, current major division announcer, commissioner and expert statistician has been the voice, pen and heart of the OBA for five full seasons.
His charismatic bellowings on the microphone, canny recordings of player’s statistics and tireless efforts to promote Oakdale youth baseball have been an incredible asset to the Oakdale community.
And the community has let him know they appreciate his efforts.
On Saturday, April 2, the OBA dedicated the field at Fair Oaks Park as newly named Santos Field. The dedication preceded two thrilling contests in the major division, dictated by the familiar voice of Santos.
“Rufus is a staple of Oakdale youth baseball,” OBA president John Knittel said on Saturday. “He does so much for the kids and makes these games so fun to watch and play in.”
Santos has delighted major division participants and spectators alike with his breakdown of hitting and pitching statistics each season. His entertaining nicknames and anecdotes are now delivered just a few feet away from the “Santos Field” placard above the snack shack at Fair Oaks Park.
It’s an honor that Santos certainly appreciates after his dedication to the OBA’s major division over the years.
“I’m just thrilled about it,” Santos said on Monday. “The kids mean a lot to me and I really love working with them and doing stats for them.
“I just enjoy doing all of it, and I will continue to do it as long as I am able to.”
Santos started his work in youth baseball in Modesto, and has been involved in baseball programs for 20 years now. He said his wife, Gerri Santos, has been a huge help over the years.
“I really appreciate that my wife has put up with me over the years,” Santos said. “But of course I put up with her, too.”
Major Division Games
The inaugural games of the 2011 season were certainly good ones, and not decided until the final innings.
After trailing the Giants throughout, the Dodgers broke away from a three-run deficit in the fifth inning by knocking in six runs in the top of the frame to take the lead. The Giants scored one in the bottom half to bring the game within two, but the Dodgers erupted for a 10-run sixth and an 18-7 victory.
Will Jones belted two hits with two runs for the Dodgers while Ryan Hodge added two singles and a run. Curtis Kemp tossed two innings with four strikeouts as well.
The Giants saw both Zachary Campbell and John Hunter connect on a base hit and score two runs. Tommy Gonzales pitched two tough innings with just one hit, one run and two strikeouts.
The Twins opened with a 5-0 lead on the Yankees, but found themselves behind, 9-8, with only one at-bat remaining. The team scored five in the top of the fourth and final inning and rolled to a 13-11 win.
Zain Abousalem belted a double, single and scored two runs while Kevin Barney added a single and a run. Lucas Mendoza chipped in two singles and three runs for the Yankees while Jerry Pollete landed a single and a run.
To submit youth baseball results, drop off information at 122 S. Third Ave., Oakdale or email firstname.lastname@example.org.