Boise Media Home Run Derby

This was a fun day building excitement for our season opener next Friday, June 13th!

On the Mike

SaffFor years at the College of Idaho, I would invite the media to come to our field for a batting practice session – to drive some coverage of our teams.

Media Manager Courtney Garner and I each felt this thing could work for the Hawks as well – inviting all of the local media out for a couple hot dogs and a couple of rounds of batting practice.  Only issue – the team is not in town – so, the 38-year-old radio guy stepped up to the bump for the first time since Little League.

GerkeFor the most part, I threw strikes, and tried to emulate the Tom Beyers’, the Mark Johnson’s, and the Gary Van Tol’s – throwing firm pitches from 45 feet, mixing in a bad curve ball and a knuckler.

As for the media guys –

Paul Gerke of KIVI-TV opened the BP session, showing he was…

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Toby the Trainer


Here we sit just 17 days away from YOUR Boise Hawks Opening Day. A time when fans start to get curious as to who we will have on our roster, and a time that we have no certain answers. However, we can introduce you to the Hawks new trainer, James “Toby” Williams, or as we’ve adopted from Host Family Coordinator, Jeanette Kirkpatrick, “Toby the Trainer.”

Get to know a little about Toby with the first Run Down of the season below. 

Name: James “Toby” Williams

Birthdate: 10/25/1987

Hometown: Kennesaw, GA

College: Auburn University

CG: To get started, do you have a Twitter account that our fans can follow?

TW: Fortunately for everyone, I am not a tweeter.

CG: Did you always want to be a trainer or did you grow up with other dreams?

TW: My brother and I had a foolproof plan to play third base and shortstop together in the big leagues. Athletic training is really just a job to tide me over until he and I are given the opportunity to realize that dream.

CG: Why did you ultimately decide to be a trainer, what interests you in this field?

TW: I was heavily involved in different sports growing up, so the job has a natural appeal to me. Going into college I knew I wanted to get into something science/health related, but I didn’t want to be a doctor, I knew I didn’t want to work a traditional office job, and I wanted to do something I knew I would enjoy for a long time. Athletic training seemed to fit the bill at the time and I’m glad I got into it.

CG: What has your career looked like up until this point? Have you worked for other teams? … in college?

TW: I spent several years in school and doing different internships. I decided to get serious about a career in Minor League Baseball while I was working as a Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer at Auburn University in 2012. I was fortunate enough to be hired as an Assistant Athletic Trainer with the Atlanta Braves after I finished at Auburn, which gave me the experience I needed to take a staff position here with the Cubs.

CG: Was this your first season at Spring Training? How was your experience?

TW: This was my first year at Spring Training with the Cubs, but not my first Spring Training. It’s always a little crazy in the Spring, but I always look forward to baseball starting back up. It’s also the only time our entire athletic training staff has a chance to work together out of the same facility with the same players, so we have a lot of fun.

Interesting Facts about Toby:

1) Most embarrassing song on his iPod: Nothing Compares 2U – Sinead O’Connor
2) Favorite movie line to quote: Pretty much anything from the movie Anchorman.
3) Hobbies: Keeping the team healthy is his main priority but when he gets the chance Toby loves hiking, fishing, music, and any sport with a ball.
4) Favorite quote: He has several favorites from multiple people that all boil down to one thing, be better today than you were yesterday.

We will dig a little deeper with Toby this season but hopefully this lets you into his world a little bit before meeting him at the ballpark! 


Instant Replay: Too Much or Not Enough?


Until recently, instant replay in Major League Baseball was limited to boundary calls involving home runs. Now, managers will have the opportunity to challenge one play per game, two if the first one is overturned. The list of what can be challenged has grown significantly compared to the single item: home runs.

Play’s that can now be challenged include: home runs, ground-rule double, fan interference, stadium boundary calls, force plays, tag plays, fair and foul in the outfield only, a trapped ball in the outfield, hit by pitch, timing play, passing of a runner, and record keeping.

This long list has some fans concerned that a baseball game will now be even more lengthy due to the replays. But will it be? With at most 4 plays being challenged per game and the minimal replays we see for home runs, having a significant amount of time added to the game is unlikely. The average time to review a challenge is 90 seconds. With that said, it seems as though there might be five to ten minutes added to a game. Is the change worth it? Is it too much or not enough?

Here’s what some of YOUR former Boise Hawks had to say …

“I think it’s a good thing as long as they don’t take too long to get the call right. I know they can’t replay everything and that’s a good thing. But replaying fan interference and home runs, I don’t see anything wrong with that, the umpires just want to get the call right.” – Jacob Rogers

“My initial reaction is that I’m in favor of it. We’ll only truly know how it’ll affect the game after we see it in action, but I like the idea of it. Baseball is the type of game where the entire season could hang in the balance of a split second decision and I think anything we can do to be sure the right call is made will only help the game” – Ian Dickson (now with the Washington Nationals)

“I personally really like the changes that were made to instant replay, making sure important calls are ruled correctly is essential. Nobody wants another Armando Galarraga and umpire Jim Joyce blowing his perfect game. There are still judgment calls and the human element that is baseball.” – Eddie Orozco

“I don’t agree with it, baseball is a game of inches and close calls by the umpires. I feel like replays are going to take away from the game. People already think baseball is hard to follow because it’s slow, now they’re going to add replays which will slow the game down even more. Personally, I say leave the challenges and replays to other sports and just let us play baseball.” – Rock Shoulders

“I think it’s a good thing to have finally. All major sports are going to it, and it’s something that we needed to have to go along with today’s technology. Now we will at least have close plays looked at and the correct call made. It also saves the umps from getting harassed.” – Cael Brockmeyer

“In my opinion I’m totally for the instant replay. Just like in other sports they can revert back to the replay to see what the right call should be. For baseball it would be to decipher whether or not that big play that just happened was fair or foul, safe or out, interfered with or legitimate. That would mean the difference of a World Series if you really think about it. Or what about the perfect game that was lost due to the bad call on the final out for Galarraga. This will also be a big help to the umpires so they don’t have so much pressure to make the split second decision that could ultimately change a game or a season. I think that this is going to help the game become as true as it can be in those regards.” – Pierce Johnson

YOUR Boise Hawks & The Salvation Army Boise



YOUR Boise Hawks spent their Thursday morning volunteering at the Boise Salvation Army “Toy N Joy.” The “Toy N Joy” program provides parents in need with the opportunity to select gifts for their children for the holidays.

“We enjoy getting out in the community as a staff and giving back to those who give so much to us as a business.”- VP/Development, Jinny Giery

Thanks to all of those in the community who helped by donating items such as sporting equipment, cosmetic items, winter gear, stuffed animals, etc. If you didn’t this year, we encourage you to help out with The Salvation Army’s numerous volunteer opportunities next holiday season.

YOUR Boise Hawks also hosted one of The Salvation Army Angel Tree’s this holiday season. Thanks to all of our Hawks Fans who helped stock the “Toy N Joy” shelves by donating. As incentive, we did a drawing for an autographed 2013 Main Street Mile Jersey. The winner: Dominic DeLaquil!

Happy holidays, we will see you in the New Year!

Cheer’s to a FANCY New Chapter!


The day has come, it’s time to say goodbye and good luck to YOUR Boise Hawks Director of Creative Services and Brand, the Jane of ALL Trades, Kelly Kerkvliet!

Kelly started working for YOUR Boise Hawks in 2006 as a Sales Intern after graduating from Oregon State University. She became a full time employee in September of 2007.

Kelly will be greatly missed but we are so proud and excited to follow her on this new journey. She has officially accepted a job at her alma mater, Oregon State University, as the Assistant Women’s Golf Coach! And with that, YOUR Boise Hawks golf team will now sport a higher stroke average.

 “Kelly is the reason I currently work for the Hawks. She hired me to do music operations during the games 4-5 years ago. She was so great at including me in all the Hawks activities and introducing me to the other staff that I quickly felt part of the team. And, she didn’t mind when I played too many “controversial” sounds clips and was given a formal warning by the umpire. I really thought I was in trouble for that one. I got to know the front office staff really well and a few years later was offered a full time position. Without Kelly I don’t think I would be a part of this great Hawks team! She is the kindest person around and OSU is incredibly lucky to have such a FANCY new addition to their staff! I know I can easily speak for everyone when I say we will truly miss her as a coworker and are all very happy to call her a friend.” – Jinny Giery, VP/Development

“Kelly holds a special place in our hearts as she has been with us for over 7 years now in one capacity or another.  I remember her being an intern and people trying to convince me we needed to keep her on full-time when we really didn’t have a space for her.  We made the leap of faith and gave her a position that was a “hybrid” one and she did incredibly well with everything we asked of her.  She had her issues and hurdles to overcome doing some sales that first year but she hit her goal and promptly told me how she didn’t love sales.  We found a spot that didn’t involve direct sales but she was heavily involved with our clients and was one of those people who knew everyone.  She is going to be sorely missed and I hope only the best for her in her hometown.  We will miss her from her work standpoint but more from the personal standpoint as she really is one of the Hawks family.” – Todd Rahr, President/GM

I would personally like to thank Kelly for all of the support and guidance through my first two seasons with the Hawks family. From hooking me up with design programs to fielding all of my crazy questions, she has been a great mentor! Sorry I took too long to take you up on golf lessons but you have far better things ahead! Come back soon!

With love,

YOUR Boise Hawks

A Life of Training with Jonathan Fierro


Jonathan Fierro, YOUR Boise Hawks trainer, has lived a life full of experiences most don’t get the chance to live. His father, John Fierro, was a trainer for the Chicago Cubs as well as the Phillies, Phoenix Coyotes and USA Baseball.

“When my father was still in baseball it was a lot of fun and something not a lot of kids get to experience but at the same time, it was pretty hard.” As Jonathan is figuring out on his own in his first season as a trainer, there is a fun side and a business side to the game. “The unfortunate side of the business and family life is that you travel a lot and work long hours. You don’t get off days during the season.”

While the experiences he had as a child were unforgettable, the memories he missed out on with his father arejust as memorable. “The first seven years of my life he was gone more than he was home.” Jonathan was able to hang out in the locker room a lot with his father but that was the most they would see each other. “It’s kind of a win lose situation but you grow to understand it.” And from what I gather, love it, as Jonathan chose trainer as his career.

With the effects of his career already shining through, he is having a blast with what he is doing. “I look forward to showing up at the ball park everyday and being able to travel to new places. I’ve been able to meet some great people on this team and in this league.”

Jonathan has also enjoyed learning about the different cultures and backgrounds with this team. “Everyone is from all over the world, the team forms a bond throughout the season and it’s like hanging out with your family every day. Sometimes you get into arguments but that’s going to happen.”

With playoffs just around the corner, Jonathan is just as stoked as the team is. “As a team, we didn’t commit this much time and effort to go home early.” With that being said, the off season does bring some excitement. “It’s going to be nice to see everyone again. I’ll end up working most of the off-season but I’ll sneak in a vacation and will have afternoons free to go hang out with friends and family.”

When it comes to life outside of baseball, Jonathan has a hard time getting away from sports, his life kind of revolves around it. “Oddly enough I stay away from watching baseball now a days, I see enough of it. I watch more Hockey than anything.” If he’s not working a sport, he is watching or playing it.

Growing up Jonathan played baseball through high school and one year of Jr. College. “When my dad started working for the Coyotes I tried playing Hockey but I like to pretend I’m a lot better than I am. It took me two years to learn how to stop on ice so that’s my main battle while I’m playing.”

Trevor Gretzky is On to the Next One



With third-baseman Kris Bryant being promoted to class-A Daytona, the promotion of outfielder Trevor Gretzky seemed to be set on the back burner. While with YOUR Boise Hawks Gretzky hit .256 with six RBI and left this morning, August 13, with an 11-game hitting streak at Memorial Stadium. With the buzz around rumors of Kris Bryant being promoted, the move of Gretzky was kind of a shocker for some. 

“I had no idea. I was very happy and excited to move up and keep working.”

Coming into the 2013 season Gretzky struggled to get his average up. After five appearances for YOUR Boise Hawks, he was hitting .138 with just four hits out of nineteen at bats.  Hitting Coach, Bill Buckner, was a big help in getting Gretzky to where he is today. “I’ve been working with Buck for the last year and a half. He’s helped me a lot, especially with my approach.”

With fielding it was a matter of timing. “I didn’t feel like I struggled, I was confident all year, I was just waiting for my opportunity because of all of the talent we have had in the outfield.”

Now that the opportunity has come, Gretzky says that he will miss his Host Family, Lisa and Steve Capps, as well as all of the people he met that work at the stadium. “And the Hawks Reading Tree of course.” 

We wish you the best and good luck in Kane County!




The 2013 Northwest League (NWL) All-Star team was announced yesterday, July 25, with eight of YOUR Boise Hawks gracing the roster. Out of the eight on the roster, four of them will be in the starting lineup including catcher Lance Rymel, first-baseman Jacob Rogers, second-baseman Danny Lockhart, and designated hitter Yasiel Balaguert. The other four, including outfielder Shawon Dunston Jr., utility-man David Bote, and pitchers James Pugliese and Tyler Bremer, will be on the reserve list.

Rymel, a 28th round pick of the Cubs in the 2012 is hitting .307 with eight RBI on the season and is one of the top defensive catchers in the NWL.  Rogers, a 40th round pick in 2012, is tied for the league lead with 27 RBI and ranks second in the league with five home runs.  Lockhart, a tenth round pick of the Cubs in 2011, is hitting .311 with 16 RBI and has four three-hit games this season.  Balaguert, a free agent acquisition in 2012, is hitting .265 with four homers, eight doubles, and 27 RBI.

YOUR Boise Hawks coaching staff will also be participating in the game. With the Hawks winning the then East Division pennant last season, the south squad will be coached by Manager, Gary Van Tol, Hitting Coach, Bill Buckner, and Trainer, Jonathan Fierro.

This will be the first NWL All-Star game since 2004. The game, presented by Tulalip Resort Casino, will take place In Everett, Washington at Everett Memorial Stadium on Tuesday, August 6. There will be other events taking place such as a Homerun Derby, All-Star Fan Fest and an All-Star Luncheon at Tulalip Resort Casino, featuring guest speaker Jack Zdurencik, General Manager of the Seattle Mariners.

All-Star Tickets are available now online, in person at the AquaSox offices, located at 3802 Broadway, and over the phone at 425-258-3673. Your All-Star Game tickets include admission to the All-Star Fan Fest and Home Run Derby, as well as the game. Ticket prices are $15 for Upper Box, $17 for Field Box and $20 for Diamond Club.

Back in Boise with Eddie Orozco!


Fan favorite and winner of the 2012 Boise Hawks Community Award, Eddie Orozco, is making an appearance back in Boise. Orozco has been on the disabled list for Kane County since June 11 with an inflammation in his right elbow. He flew in for the series against the Hillsboro Hops and made his first appearance back with YOUR Boise Hawks Wednesday, July 17. 

Orozco went one inning with three strikeouts, no hits and no walks in his returning debut with YOUR Boise Hawks. He was 3-3 with a 4.87 ERA for the Cougars before being sent down for rehab. Last season here in Boise, Orozco went 2-1 with a 1.95 ERA and six saves.

While in Boise Orozco plans to get back in game shape and see how his elbow responds to game action. With rehab and recovery at the top of his list, he is also excited for a visit. “I’ve missed the city, the people and the memories of last year.” 

Orozco spent much of his off season with family and friends while also working towards this season. “I did a bunch of golfing and fishing, just tried to relax for the first two weeks but started working and preparing the first of November trying to add weight that I had lost in Boise.” 

Off season is hardly time off. From workouts and mechanics to eating just right, it is nothing but work. “I started out just lifting and eating with minimal cardio until December when I started throwing.” In late January his routine switched to throwing bullpens and trying to get mechanically sound. “With the long layoff it takes time to get back into form. Bullpens were all out of the stretch.” Orozco focused on developing his change up and keeping his mechanics simple. 

We wish you well Eddie!

*Eddie will be making an appearance for the Hawks Reading Tree Friday, July 19th! Meet us down the first base line in Humphrey’s Hut while he reads a story to the kids!*