Marty James

Napa baseball coach accepts honor for his childhood hero

NOTES AND QUOTES for a Sunday in the Napa Valley
2010-10-31T00:00:00Z Napa baseball coach accepts honor for his childhood heroMarty James Napa Valley Register
October 31, 2010 12:00 am  • 

Bill Buckner can expect a package to be delivered any day now to his home in Boise, Idaho. It will be from Napa High School, his alma mater, and the contents will consist of a number of things.

There will a letter from Indians’ head baseball coach Todd Pridy, who is also sending along a hat, T-shirt and sweatshirt from the baseball program. Buckner, who played 22 seasons in the major leagues and won the National League batting title in 1980 with the Chicago Cubs, will also be receiving the awards for his induction into the Sac-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame.

Since Buckner couldn’t make last week’s sold-out Hall of Fame dinner and ceremonies at Arco Arena in Sacramento, Pridy was on hand to accept the award on Buckner’s behalf while representing Napa High.

A total of 55 inductees — a combination of athletes, coaches, administrators, officials and media members — were enshrined in the HOF. The Sac-Joaquin Section, the second largest of California’s 10 athletic sections, oversees high school athletics for 189 schools and 225,000 students. Its geographic boundaries stretch from Merced in the south, Grass Valley in the North, Napa to the west and the Nevada state line to the east.

“(SJS Commissioner) Pete Saco and his office put together an amazing evening to recognize some amazing athletes and some amazing ambassadors for the section,” said Pridy. “For the first time ever putting it on, it was flawless. It was all very well done.

“To be anywhere accepting an award for a former Napa High School baseball player and most certainly an accomplished football player, and also to have it be one of my childhood heroes, I jumped at it when (Napa High principal) Barb (Franco) asked me to do it. It was special. He is truly is one of the all-time great hitters in major league baseball in my opinion. What an amazing player.”

Buckner is a 1968 Napa High graduate who was both a football and baseball star for the Indians. He was a two-time all-state wide receiver in football whose name is still in the school’s record books for reception yards in a season (579), career reception yards (963), and most receptions in a career (61). He was named to the Coaches All-American football team two years in a row.

Buckner was the 1967 Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Baseball and was inducted into the Napa High Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997. He totaled 2,715 hits in his career.

Napa High will be sending along Buckner’s section HOF awards: a medal, plaque and lifetime CIF athletic pass. Pridy plans to include the HOF program with the package.

“It was an honor to be standing there as they announced his name and I was there representing him,” said Pridy, who will be starting his 11th year as Napa’s head coach in the spring of 2011. “I’m sure there’s amazing people that he may not be aware of that he’s in company with now. Our section’s big and there’s been some amazing athletes come through it.”

Pridy and his father, Edd Pridy, attended the HOF program. Todd is a big-time Chicago Cubs fan, but began following Buckner’s career when he played for the Dodgers. He has been a lifelong Buckner fan.

A short bio was read when introducing each of the inductees. For his career, Buckner batted .289 with 174 home runs and 1,208 RBIs.

Pridy played nine years of professional baseball — three in the Florida Marlins’ minor league system and he was also in spring training with the Texas Rangers. 

He played in the independent Western Baseball League for Sonoma County and Salinas.

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Kelsey Scanlon had seven kills and five digs for the host Emerson College volleyball team in a 3-1 nonconference loss to Colby-Sawyer College at Plofker Gym in Boston Tuesday.

Scanlon is a Justin-Siena graduate.

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Napa High’s Desiree Anderson starts play from the first tee and American Canyon’s Sarah Chang starts from the second tee at the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Masters girls golf tournament, to be held Monday at The Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton. It’s an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start.

The top three teams and top four individuals not on those teams advance to the Nov. 8 NorCal championships at Stockton Country Club.

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Tony Aiello, president of Napa Xtreme Softball, and Matt Siciliani, chairman of the board for the organization, are my guests in November on Napa Valley TV Channel 28.

The Xtreme plays a spring, summer and fall ASA schedule and offers 12-and-under and 14-and-under age group teams.

The half-hour show, “Register Sports with Marty James,” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. and Mondays at 12 p.m. on Napa Community Public Access TV.

E-mail Napa Valley Register Executive Sports Editor Marty James at mjames@napanews.com or call 256-2223.

Copyright 2016 Napa Valley Register. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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