Play Ball

In the 1993 film The Sandlot, Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez tells a teammate stymied by having missed a catch, “Man, this is baseball, you gotta stop thinking! Just have fun.” Just having fun is exactly the point of heading out to the ballpark in Monterey to watch the city’s very own minor league baseball team, The Amberjacks. It’s a fine way to spend an afternoon or an evening outdoors, rooting for the hometown team, eating hot dogs and peanuts from El Estero Snack Bar (or their famous burgers and fries), and sipping a cold beer. Sollecito Ballpark in El Estero Park isn’t fancy, but from the wooden bleachers there’s a scenic view of Monterey Bay. An instant camaraderie arises among strangers cheering on the Amberjacks – or, after the sun goes down, booing clueless drivers parked on the opposite side of the field that make the mistake of leaving their headlights on too long, impairing the view of the batter, catcher and umpire. No need to think about bigger problems existing beyond the ballpark, it’s just a few hours of small-town fun. The Pecos League season is short, and as of the weekend of July 16, there are just seven home games left. Sunday, July 17 the Amberjacks play the Bakersfield Train Robbers at 2pm. They’re home the last two weekends of July, with games Friday evenings through Sunday afternoons. [PM]

MONTEREY AMBERJACKS, Sollecito Ballpark, 851 Pearl St., Monterey. $10. 585-680-2212, montereyamberjacks.com.

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