The Home Team
Baseball at San Quentin is more than a game. Every time they step onto the prison diamond, our players regain a little bit of their freedom. They move one step further in their rehabilitation. And they make a positive impact on the world outside the prison walls while doing so.
The 20+ inmate players and coaches on the San Quentin A’s play a full season of baseball from April through October against visiting civilian teams from the Bay Area and beyond. Over the course of the season, the program enables the A’s players to develop valuable life skills through playing together on the team and provides an opportunity for them to connect and interact with civilians using baseball as a common bond.
Games are played on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday mornings and evenings using the National Adult Baseball Association rulebook.
The Visiting Team
Every year, more than a dozen local and out-of-state teams visit San Quentin to play baseball against the A’s. Some teams have been coming into the prison for decades. Others have never set foot inside a correctional institution. Win or lose, our visiting players are guaranteed a baseball experience unlike any other.
Interested teams are invited to contact the program at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about opportunities to play baseball at San Quentin and schedule a game.
Support the Program
The SQ Baseball Program is an entirely volunteer-run organization with no sources of outside funding. Visiting teams are welcome, but not required, to donate bats, baseballs, or gear (new or like-new condition). Additionally, the SQ Baseball Program has established Second Chance Athletics, a a 501(c)(3) organization, to accept charitable donations for the program. These donations are used to purchase equipment, maintain the baseball diamond, and facilitate the continued growth and expansion of the program. Donations can be made here.
Is playing baseball in prison safe?
There are correctional officers and staff throughout the prison yard to ensure everyone’s safety. However, visitors find that when they enter the prison that everyone on the yard (baseball players, spectators, and others) are incredibly welcoming, interested to engage in conversation, and completely dedicated to ensuring that visitors feel safe and comfortable in an unfamiliar environment. Throughout decades of baseball at San Quentin, we have never had any incidents that raise concerns about safety – simply put, if we did not believe playing baseball at San Quentin was 100% safe we would not ask visitors to come in to play.
Do outside teams have an opportunity to interact with the inmate players
Absolutely. Giving civilians an ability to get to know the inmate players is a core principle of the program. Outside players will find that the inmate players are approachable and eager to strike up a conversation about baseball or anything else under the sun. Apart from playing baseball, the human connections that are formed on the diamond are generally the most memorable part of the experience.
What is required for outside teams to enter the prison?
Each player must submit information for a background check and sign a release of liability waiver required by the California Department of Corrections. These background checks require two months of lead time to process and must be completed before an outsider is allowed to enter the prison. The minimum age for entry into the prison is 18.
(Main Photo Credit: Matt Bates, Chico Enterprise-Record)