Watching the World Series Sunday night and seeing Jonny Gomes hit a three-run homer to give the Boston Red Sox a fourth-game victory to tie the series with the St. Louis Cardinals brought back some very fond memories of Sonoma Valley High School’s varsity baseball team from the late 1990s – more specifically 1999.
Gomes is a Petaluma-borned professional baseball player who starred for Casa Grande High School, which was, up until it left the Sonoma County League, the Dragons’ biggest rival, with both schools winning or sharing most of the SCL titles at the time.
Prior to his historic World Series blast Sunday night at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Gomes was an impact player at Tampa Bay, Cincinnati and last year with the Oakland A’s, helping them win the American League’s West Division title.
But hitting a World Series home run is what etches Gomes name in the baseball history books forever and I’m extremely happy for this talented, charismatic athlete who has overcome childhood struggles due to poverty, as well as a heart attack in his early 20s, and I had the fortune to follow as the I-T Sports Editor.
After the game I got an email from another major baseball fan who knows Gomes, along with his brother Joey – also a one-time pro player – from a much closer perspective than I did.