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At the ballpark: Na Koa's here, Vallejo's not, Lumberjacks filling in
July 11, 2013 - Robert Collias
In a story that can only happen in independent league baseball -- be it the Golden Baseball League, North American Baseball League, or this, the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs -- the Vallejo Admirals were unable to make their scheduled trip to Maui that begins tonight for their set against Na Koa Ikaika Maui.
In their place are the East Bay Lumberjacks, a semi-professional team from North California.
Former Na Koa player Mark Okano is playing center field for the Jacks. Mo Lau Hee, a former Kamehameha Maui standout and current assistant coach, is the designated hitter. Logan Kanamu, a former Baldwin standout, is the catcher, and Barry Takahashi is the first-base and pitching coach. Joseph Kala, a former Maui High standout, is also on the East Bay roster for this set.
Okano, Kanamu and Kala are all former Na Koa players, while Lau Hee played collegiately at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore.
Maui has been in the three leagues mentioned above in their four-year history.
Here is the start of a story that ran today and I just found from the Vallejo (Calif.) Times-Herald, co-written by Matt O'Donnell and Jessica A. York:
A day after canceling a game due to some players protesting their lack of pay, the cash-strapped Vallejo Admirals played their scheduled game at Wilson Park on Wednesday.
Players, front office staff, maintenance personnel, local businesses and the Greater Vallejo Recreation District have not received their full pay, the Times-Herald reported this week.
In addition, Admirals President and General Manager Joe Fontana said several employees and volunteers were let go in recent days due to the money crunch. A couple of them accused the Admirals owner of "mismanagement."
Fontana said that six or seven players who failed to show up for Tuesday's game, resulting in a cancelation, were in uniform for Wednesday's 9-5 loss to the Santa Rosa Rosebuds. On Tuesday, Fontana said those players would be released and replaced by others.
Only about 20 fans were in the stands when Wednesday's game began, and limited concession stands were open.
Stay tuned for more on this developing story.
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