San Bernardino, CA
What I Remember
A warm Sunday brought us back to the minor leagues and to our second afternoon game of the trip. Steve Easler was still with us and the three of us headed up from San Diego to San Bernardino on Sunday morning.
I’m not sure if they knew it at the time but in multiple ways our visit with the San Bernardino Spirit was a portend of things to come in the minor leagues. The Inland Empire was still considered largely suburban in 1991 but a lot of people lived there even then (the city has well over 200,000 residents today) and this growing population has become an attractive home for several other minor league franchises.
Fiscalini Field was also the first place in the minors that we came across what has since become a fixture in many ballparks, a ballpark cafe where one could order lunch and watch the game right down the foul line from first base. It was a good Sunday crowd of over 2,000 and the Spirit went on to finish second in the league in attendance that season. The team moved in to a new ballpark five years later and continue to be a league leader in attendance as the Inland Empire 66ers.
San Bernardino Spirit 9 Reno Silver Sox 2
The Box (Click on the arrows to see more images)
Marc Newfield was our early choice as the best prospect we saw. He drove in three runs in this game and went on to an excellent season with the Spirit and ultimately spent parts of six seasons in the majors. You may notice a homemade scoresheet here. Sometimes we wouldn’t get a program until after the game so we’d keep score on anything paper we could find.