Photos by Mark Fierner ( Martinez News-Gazette )
by Sam Weismann ( MTZ Clippers )
MARTINEZ, Calif. — In his rookie season in professional baseball, Shaine Hughes becomes the second Clipper to make his way to the Frontier League as he joins the Washington Wild Things of Pennsylvania in a tight pennant race for the league’s Eastern Division.
Hughes, a powerful lefty, spent time at third and second base for Martinez, and finished his 42 appearances with the team leading all qualifying true left-handers in the Pacific Association in batting average with a mark of .331 on the season. He also led the Clippers in OBP and was second in slugging percentage, finishing with nine home runs and 31 RBI.
“I can’t thank the Martinez Clippers enough for giving me the opportunity to start my professional career,” said Hughes. “I had no idea how I was going to measure up; when I first got the call to come to Martinez, I was just excited to get the chance to play professional baseball…to get this [new] opportunity is pretty cool, I’m really thankful.”
Hughes, originally from Sewell, N.J., helped lead the Monmouth University Hawks to a regular-season title in his final year of college; after the Hawks’ postseason, he joined the Martinez Clippers midway through this 2018 campaign as a utility infielder, and distinguished himself both on defense and at the plate.
He joins his new club, the Washington Wild Things, on August 23 – even as the Wild Things chase their 6th division championship and their first since 2007. “I’m a competitor and I’m hungry to win,” said Hughes on his new squad. “I’ve never gotten the chance to win a ring throughout my baseball career, and I’m looking forward to getting to play for a championship.”
Notes: Clippers bench coach Bart Zeller managed the Washington Wild Things in 2013 and 2014 to a team combined record of 72-74…the Schaumburg Boomers, new team of former Clipper Chris Powell, play in the same division as the Wild Things; Schaumburg has fallen to eight games back of the division lead, with 10 games left in the regular season, hanging on three back in the wild card race…Schaumburg and Washington will square off four more times this year, as Hughes’ first game on the roster will be against his former Clippers teammate Chris Powell on August 23 in Washington…the Clippers now have just 22 of the allowed 23 men on their roster, with Caleb Dougherty out for the season with right rotator cuff inflammation, but the league is expected to allow an addition to the Clippers to bring the total back to 23 rostered players.