Spring has unseasonably been in the air for a few weeks now, which means baseball is right around the corner. And in Chico, few things herald the return of baseball more than the Chico Nuts’ annual Spring Fever banquet at the Elks Lodge.
The American Legion baseball organization, under the direction of Tom Stevens, has held this event for 23 years. To say it’s become as much a part of the season as blooming trees and allergies would be no exaggeration.
Every year, former Channel 12 sports anchor Royal Courtain returns from North Carolina to serve as host. Every year, there are hundreds of guests, dozens of auction items and raffle prizes, a great dinner and most impressively of all, a guest speaker sure to inspire the next generation of baseball hopefuls.
Friday night was Ryan Vogelsong’s turn. In typical fashion, he did not disappoint.
Vogelsong could very possibly be the poster child for the San Francisco Giants’ improbable three-title run between 2010-14. While he was there for only two of the three championships, his incredible story of perseverance, dedication and “never quit” should serve as a life lesson for every young ballplayer in the…