By Marissa Willman
Summer’s here and that means one thing: The desert’s Palm Springs Power baseball team is in full swing at Palm Springs Stadium.
Andrew Starke, owner and president of Palm Springs Power and a former Division One baseball player, started the team from the ground up when he first moved to Palm Springs. What started as a club in 2003 quickly grew into a summer collegiate team with 22 home games the next year. Today, Palm Springs Power is comprised of some of the most promising collegiate baseball players from around the country.
“If you want a team to rally the entire community around, we’re it,” Starke said.
The average Power baseball player recently finished his sophomore or junior year at a Division One university, Starke said, and comes to Palm Springs to play for the summer season until the beginning of August. Some former team members have had big league success, such as 2006 Power alumnus Bryan Shaw who went on to pitch for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“In a couple years, we’ll have a few more players make it all the way to the big league,” Starke said, adding that success doesn’t always come in the form of a draft. “Others get their college degrees and go on to have very successful business careers.”
On Friday, June 29th, Palm Springs Power will host the “Desert Storm” himself, World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Timothy Bradley Jr. Bradley will throw the first pitch at next Friday’s game and proceeds from the event will go toward the Turnaround Student of the Year scholarship fund at Nellie Coffman Middle School in Cathedral City, Bradley’s hometown.
Palm Springs Power will also have a Fourth of July fireworks show and a league all-star game. In addition to its special events, the team hosts a variety of theme nights, as well. Theme nights include Senior Night, College Night, Pride Night and special nights for various giveaways. On Tuesdays, beers are just $1 and on Wednesdays the team hosts family night, where general admission is $1.
In addition, the team often works with local non-profits, such as The First Tee and the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission, to host fundraising games.
Palm Springs Stadium will host 41 out of the team’s 45 games this season, mostly against West Coast teams. With the stadium’s state-of-the-art misting system, Starke said there’s no reason for anyone not to come enjoy a game.
“We have the single-largest misting system in the Coachella Valley,” Starke said, “so for anyone who thinks it’s going to be too hot to enjoy a baseball game, they’re mistaken.”
Those who can’t catch the Palm Springs Power in person can tune into their games on Team 1010 KXPS AM or through the team’s website, pspbb.com. The Palm Springs Power’s season runs through August 4th.
For this season’s schedule or ticket information, visit Palm Springs Power’s website or call (760) 778-HITS.