Why HSU should bring back baseball in the post-football era
It has been over a year since the Humboldt State University football team played their final game ever, leaving local sports fans wondering how we are going to fill the void the HSU football team left in its wake.
Now that I’ve had some time to get used to a fall semester without the green and gold jerseys at the Redwood Bowl, it’s begun to feel more normal for HSU to be a school without a football team.
I know that bringing back the football team, at least in the near future, is an idea that seems like a pipe dream. Once you cut a program that was as much of a financial strain as the football team was, it is really hard to justify bringing such a program back. I think we need to explore alternatives of bringing back other, less expensive sports to HSU, and I know exactly what sport it should be.
Humboldt State needs to revive its baseball program, and I know that HSU baseball would be very well supported by the community.
For one, sports fans in Arcata and the rest of Humboldt County love baseball. There is no bigger example of this than the support that Arcata’s summer collegiate baseball team, the Humboldt Crabs, receives every summer from June until early August.
Experiencing a Crabs game is one of the purest forms of Arcata that you will ever experience. From the world-famous Crab Grass Band to the unique heckling coming from the fans, thousands of people pack the Arcata Ballpark every summer to watch the Crabs play. Unfortunately, this is when most of the student population is home for the summer.
Another reason why an HSU baseball team would be easy to start is because finding a facility to play at won’t be a problem. The Arcata Ballpark, which is located right next to Arcata City Hall, is considered to be one of the best ballparks on the summer baseball circuit. For a Division II baseball school, I’m sure we would have one of the best baseball facilities on the West Coast.
Having an HSU baseball team that plays at the Arcata Ballpark would also give fans a lot more opportunities to watch baseball in downtown Arcata. Typically, college baseball season runs from February into late April. The Humboldt Crabs season starts in late May or early June, meaning that we would have six months of baseball with a gap in May between the seasons.
I’m sure extending the season of high-level baseball in Arcata would provide a boost to the economy downtown, as it would allow the opportunity for more people to watch quality baseball at the ballpark.
From a baseball perspective, an HSU baseball team would be a huge benefit to both the athletes that would play here and the Humboldt Crabs organization. The Crabs draw quite a few of their homegrown players from the College of the Redwoods baseball team, so an HSU baseball team would naturally become a feeder of players to play on the Crabs during the summer.
HSU Jacks players would have the opportunity to continue their season on a well-established summer baseball club, and the Crabs would have a local pool of baseball players they could pick from.
Ultimately, it’s up to HSU athletics to make the decision to bring back a sport. But I think all of the factors are there to make an HSU baseball team a successful part of the community.