Bruce Johnston

Bruce Johnston of Napa is the owner, president and general manager of the Napa Silverados, an independent minor league baseball team.

J.L. Sousa, Register

The Napa Valley College Board of Trustees last week approved a five-year facilities use agreement that will allow the Napa Silverados, an independent minor league baseball team, to play its home games at Storm Field starting in May.

The Board of Trustees voted 5-0 in favor of the facilities use agreement at its meeting on Feb. 8. Two members of the board, Michael Baldini and Amy Martenson, abstained from voting.

The Silverados, a new team to the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs, will open the 2018 regular season at Storm Field on May 31 against the San Rafael Pacifics.

“This is what we needed,” said Napa’s Bruce Johnston, the Silverados’ owner, president and general manager. “This starts a lot of the effort that we need to undertake to put this team on the field on the 31st of May.”

“There have been a lot of dominoes falling. But this was the big one, that none of the other dominoes could move. This one had to fall, for me to be able to move forward with everything else.”

The Vallejo Admirals won the 2017 title, beating the host Sonoma Stompers 11-8 on Sept. 1 in the league championship game at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold Field.

The independent league, based in Northern California, was founded in 2013 and also includes the Pittsburg Diamonds. New to the league this year, along with the Silverados, are the Martinez Clippers.

Each team plays an 80-game regular-season schedule, with the season running from late May through Aug. 31. Forty of those games are home games. Weekday games start at 6 p.m. Saturday’s games begin at 5 p.m. and Sunday games at 1 p.m.

Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs is not affiliated with Major League Baseball teams. Players are paid monthly.

The league tryout camp and draft will be held on April 21 at Albert Park in San Rafael.

“On behalf of the Pacifics, and the Pacific Association as a whole, we’re so very excited to be the Napa Silverados Opening Day opponent,” Pacifics President and General Manager Mike Shapiro said in a press release. “This will be not only an historic event for the City and County of Napa but also a huge step forward for the progress of our league. I can’t wait for the season to begin.”

NVC’s facilities use agreement with the Silverados includes improvements to Storm Field, including the addition of bleacher seating. There are plans for additional seating at field level.

“This opens a new era of family fun for the community and the college, which is celebrating its 75th year,” Mary Ann Mancuso, the board president, said in a press release. “We are looking forward to celebrating America’s favorite pastime at the college 40 times each summer for the next five years.”

Johnston expressed his thanks to Ronald Kraft, NVC superintendent and president, and Carollee Cattolica, executive assistant to the president.

“Without his support, I know that this never would have gotten done,” said Johnston. “Without the help of both those people at the college, this never would have happened. I’m very grateful for all of their efforts.”

Johnston attended the board meeting and in a press release, told the board, “We’re making a very significant investment in the college.”

Johnston is working closely with Megan Castellucci, the team’s assistant general manager, and manager Tito Fuentes Jr. They are in the process of putting together a roster of 22 players.

For more information, contact the Silverados at (707) 254-8377 or bruce@silveradosbaseball.com, or go to www.silveradosbaseball.com.

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Executive Sports Editor

Executive Sports Editor Marty James has been with the Napa Valley Register since 1979. He is a member of the Associated Press Sports Editors, California Prep Sportswriters Association, and the California Golf Writers Association. He was inducted into the