Catching up with Jemile Weeks and Conner Crumbliss

Fans were excited for the Stockton Ports and Sacramento River Cats exhibition game as it kicked off the return of the minor league baseball season. Spotted during their return visit to Banner Island Ballpark were Former Ports players, left fielder Conner Crumbliss and second baseman Jemile weeks, playing for the River Cats this season.

During their time with the Ports, the two players had successful seasons. Weeks played for Stockton in 2009 for half a season before he was promoted to Double-A Midland Rockhounds. The A’s first-round draft pick of the 2008 draft had a batting average of .299 with 7 homeruns and 31 RBIs in 50 games. Weeks progressed to the Major Leagues with the Oakland A’s in 2011 and also played with them in 2012.IMG_5289

Weeks is looking at this season with the River Cats as a way to improve his game from last season. He said to make improvements in his game, he wants to come out with a different mentality and stick to what works.

In addition to Crumbliss, Weeks is playing with other former Ports players, Grant Green and Pedro Figueroa. He admits it feels good to be playing with them again. The second baseman said, “I mean those are great guys, I played with them all the way up and it’s good to be back reunited with these guys.” He is hoping they can do some positive things this year, putting faith in the chemistry they already have built. Weeks said, “I think if you play with the guys you’ve played with before, you understand what they might do in certain situations, the comfort level is a little bit better.”

Weeks and Crumbliss did not play the same season for the Ports, so they’ll get a chance this year to bond as teammates.

Crumbliss played during the 2011 season, hitting 7 homeruns and having .404 on-base percentage. Last season he played for the Midland Rockhounds and lead all A’s minor leaguers with 94 runs, 120 walks, and an on-base percentage of .414. With Midland, the left fielder participated in “Pass the Hat,” which is for every homerun a specific player hits, fans will donate money.

IMG_4865 Crumbliss said, “It’s pretty awesome. Depending on the night, if you get like a Thursday or Friday you can get quite a bit of money on that. I think one night last year I hit like three homeruns and got like a thousand.” But every night wasn’t as successful, he said, “I had another on a Monday and I got like 30 bucks.”

The Ports Alumni are looking forward to many things this season playing for the River Cats. Weeks is looking forward to competing every day. He said, “Playing every day and getting into the new challenges.”

Crumbliss is excited to experience what Triple-A has to offer. He stated, “This is going to be my first taste in Triple-A so just getting used to traveling by plane and the different ballparks that kind of stuff, the different talent level and just trying to adjust.”

Looking back at his season with the Ports, his favorite memory was clinching the Championship Series. He said, “You know I don’t know what everyone was expecting going into the playoffs that year but it was a lot of fun.”  He was sad the team came up short against Lake Elsinore.

Both players were reminiscent of their time playing for the Ports appreciating many aspects of the ballpark from the field to the aesthetic beauty of the stadium. However, the most significant was how much they miss the fans and the atmosphere they created. Weeks expressed this when he said, “I got a lot of love when I was here.”

Crumbliss said, “Stockton was great, I enjoyed it. The fans were cool. It was a great place to play.”

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