Devastated after Tubbs fire, Santa Rosa baseball league wins district championship

Baseball players from the Mark West Little League in Santa Rosa. Photo: Wendy Wilson

North Bay baseball players who lost their homes in the devastating Tubbs Fire have worked hard to overcome their personal tragedies,  and despite their losses have catapulted themselves to become district champs.

It was a tough journey for the Mark West Little League.  Wendy Wilson, whose 13-year-old son plays on one of the teams, said more than 110 families in the league lost their homes in the October wildfires.

“Our entire neighborhood of Mark West Estates burned to the ground,” she said.

Getting to baseball practice and getting their heads in the game were more than anyone could handle at the time. Wilson said that some of the coaches couldn’t commit to the daily rigors of showing up and teaching the boys how to swing and catch. Many had lost their homes, too.

The season looked like it was in shambles. 

But at the very last minute, two coaches stepped up to help, Wilson said. “Some dads got together and took on two teams,” she said. Then, neighboring  baseball leagues and American Canyon High School donated gear to replace what had been burned and damaged in the fire.

At the end of the season, the All Star Team was selected. “These coaches stepped up yet again,” she said. On June 25, the Mark West All Star Team won the District 35 Championship title and will represent Sonoma County in the NorCal - Section 1 Tournament of All Stars on Saturday.

“Needless to say,” she said, “there were a lot tears.”

Tears of joy and gratitude.

Wilson added: “ I am so grateful to our coaches that made sure our boys could play the game they love. After so much devastation, to have normalcy is such a blessing."