Since 1982, the host family program has been a major component of San Jose’s Giants season. Now, 40 years later, its future is still unclear.
Major League Baseball introduced a new policy regarding the standards of the Premier League housing before the 2022 season. Although host families are allowed under the policy, the San Francisco Giants have chosen to provide furnished housing for their sub-league.
The San Jose program was the first in the California League, according to league historian Chris Lampe.
The host family program began when the San Jose giants were still a collaborative team, according to Linda Pereira, the former director of the San Jose cast and creator of the program.
“We had independent players who did not make a lot of money, and even at that time, could not afford the rent in the Bay Area,” Pereira explained.
Some families have hosted players from its inception until 2019, Pereira said, before the 2020 season was canceled and corona fears put pressure on the giants to provide housing for players. In order to become hosts, an application was submitted and Pereira would interview them to make sure they were suitable.
“It was not someone who just wanted an actor to have an actor,” Pereira said. “You had to open your heart, as well as your home, for these people to be in your home.”
But nowadays, the idea of host families is a concept that many actors have long grown out of.
Travis Ishikawa, the San Jose ball coach and former post-season hero in San Francisco, recognized how helpful host families were when there was a sub-league, given the cost of living in California. Being a host family allowed him to focus on baseball.
However, Ishikawa also thinks it is great that teams are providing housing now because it reduces the number of stressors for players.
“It’s not something you have to worry about,” Ishikawa said. “You are not worried about how far from the field, how you are going to get to the field if you do not have the car with you, things like that. So there is no doubt that anything that will help just focus on the baseball field will be better.”
Matt Para, a former San Francisco Giants sub-catcher and co-founder of Advocates for Minor Leagues, echoed that sentiment. Although he recognizes and recognizes the generosity and hospitality of the host families, he also said that there were times when he felt he was bothering his host family because of different schedules and routines. He thinks having your own place as an actor is something that will reduce worries.
“The organization should not only be responsible for sheltering these players, but it is in their interest to make sure that [living] “The conditions are optimal for them to perform on the pitch,” Parra said.
Despite Farra being grateful and staying in touch with his host family from the days of San Jose, he said teams should not ask so much of their fans.
“This is due to the generosity of the fans and their love for the game, love for the sport, love for the players,” Parra said of the cost of providing housing as a host family. “But in the end, it’s not supposed to fall on them.”
Harry Marino, CEO of Attorneys for Minors, said they find the use of host families completely unacceptable.
“The $ 1 billion Major League Baseball teams should not rely on the generosity of the fans to ensure their players have a roof over their heads,” Marino said. “The sub-league players are adults who want and come to their own private living space.”
Farrah said host families provide more from the roof over players’ heads, whether the costs are financial or otherwise.
“Whenever you have someone staying in your home, there are costs associated with it – services, etc.,” Parra said. “Also having someone else in your home, in your personal space.”
Host families usually do not receive monetary compensation, but they do receive various benefits such as seasonal tickets in return. Pereira recalls the times when it was raised in the application process.
“I had people who would call and say, well, I want $ 900 a month,” Pereira said. “And I say well, this guy makes $ 700 a month, so that’s why we want you to do it.”
There are some families who like to host players, regardless of cost.
Tiffany Points recalled reading an ad on Mercury News and had a few more bedrooms, and came to the conclusion that hosting would be something she and her husband Dan would be interested in. To date, their family has had about 15 host sons.
For them, hosting ball players requires minimal effort.
“We love baseball so for me it’s not an effort because we love the game and we love it more when we have a player on the field or on the team,” said Tiffany. “If there was more effort it would be like staying awake a little later in the night after our bedtime to cook, maybe not every night but a few nights, [and] stay up […] Just see them because you do not see them much even though they live in your house. “
Dan said he would try to cook what the players like and leave them a plate in the fridge to eat after a game. Tiffany, who works at Costco, would ask players if there was anything she could get them from there. They helped players with different arrangements that players could not reach because of the demanding baseball schedule, but they also just socialized, watched TV or had a barbecue together.
The Puentes family stayed in touch with most of their host sons, including going to see them play when they reached the Premier League. Pereira said host families were taken to a game in San Francisco once a year and read “Huge San Jose host families” on the scoreboard.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Dan said. “It’s just very rewarding to see them work hard in the career they’ve chosen.”
Dan believes it would be nice if host families would make an optional choice in the future, a feeling echoed by Tiffany and Pereira.
“It’s a question of survival at this level,” Pereira said. “These host families provide them not only a place to live, but also moral support. A lot of times a car. It’s just nice to look up in the stands and see your host family sitting there.”
The relationships built between players and host families can last the rest of an actor’s career, and this element will be missing when the organization provides housing.
“I think the home atmosphere is tremendous, because living with their teammates is like you don’t get a break from baseball,” Tiffany said. “A big part of baseball is the mental part and the ability to relax and unwind and enjoy a home-cooked meal and interact with people other than the people you see on the court every day.”