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Cities gear up for annual softball rumble

In one dugout, with a population of 3,000, standing at an elevation of 2,525 feet, the challenger – Nevada City.

In the other dugout, the defending champion, with a population of 13,000, standing at 2,411 feet, Grass Valley.

These two Goliaths of the Gold Country square off in softball Sunday in the “Heroes of October” game at Nevada City’s Pioneer Park.



The game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. Sunday on the lower field of Pioneer Park. Gil Dominguez of Touchdown Productions will record the game, and Editor/Publisher Jeff Ackerman will offer color commentary. The program is slated to be televised at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday on NCTV, the local access network. It will repeat on Oct. 16 after the Nevada Union High School football game – about 10:40 p.m.

It will be the second annual game. Last year, Grass Valley’s team brought home the trophy awarded to the winner of the matchup between city officials, a title Nevada City hopes to capture this year.




“They got lucky on a hit at the end of the game last year,” said Dawn Zydonis, Nevada City parks and recreation supervisor. “We’re hoping to bring the trophy back, of course.”

It’s all about braggin’ rights in the cities’ competitive relationship that goes back 150 years, Dominguez said.

Last year, “Nevada City came back to take the lead in the top of the sixth inning, but in the bottom of the seventh, Grass Valley won the game in their last-up,” Dominguez recalled of the inaugural game.

It was “more exciting than I thought it would have been,” Dominguez said. “The athleticism was pretty good.”

Zydonis will be joined by former Mayor Reinette Senum, SPD Market owner Dave Painter, and City Councilman and Tour of Nevada City owner Duane Strawser, along with a host of other dignitaries.

Leading the Grass Valley juggernaut is Mayor Lisa Swarthout, who will be joined in the title defense by Grass Valley Police officer Russ Johnson, City Administrator Dan Holler and Planning Commissioner Patti Ingram, among others.

“We’re going to win, and bring the trophy back to City Hall,” Swarthout said.

Those caught striking out looking will be assigned a ‘special hat,’ according to the game’s rules, and may only relinquish the mark of dishonor when another player strikes out looking.

City Editor Trina Kleist contributed to this story. To

contact Staff Writer Kyle Magin, e-mail kmagin@

theunion.com or call (530) 477-4239.


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