Showtime Travelers

Paul Valencia
Paul Valencia

VANCOUVER — Showtime Baseball got a little taste of what it’s like to play in The Show this week.

Showtime, a club baseball team based out of Battle Ground, played a game Wednesday in Texas and got back in time for a 2 p.m. game Thursday in Vancouver to open the Curt Daniels Invitational.

Their head coach, Billy Hayes, is taking a different route home. More on that in a bit.

Damon Casseta-Stubbs (left) and Daniel Copeland (right) are two of the key players on this year’s Showtime Baseball team. Photo by Paul Valencia
Damon Casseta-Stubbs (left) and Daniel Copeland (right) are two of the key players on this year’s Showtime Baseball team. Photo by Paul Valencia

By Thursday afternoon, the Showtime players were showing up at Propstra Stadium on the campus of Hudson’s Bay High School, ready for another game. One city one day, a flight, and then another game. Just like professional baseball players.

“It’s a lot of fun to experience this, just getting to spend so much time with your teammates,” said pitcher Daniel Copeland. “You’re literally together every single day. It doesn’t get old.”

 

Read: Curt Daniels Invitational returns home

 

Unlike professional teams, however, the players did not fly together. This was a case of just taking the next available seats, using different airlines, too. Some players left right after their game Wednesday. Others waited for hours. Which meant varying arrival times at PDX, too.

Then the players had to wake up for a day game, while their bodies tried to adjust to the time change.

“Sleeping is a little hazardous but the baseball is always fun,” Copeland said. “Just a good experience overall.”

Damon Casetta-Stubbs of Showtime Baseball gets in some warm-up tosses before Showtime’s game Thursday at Propstra Stadium. Photo by Paul Valencia
Damon Casetta-Stubbs of Showtime Baseball gets in some warm-up tosses before Showtime’s game Thursday at Propstra Stadium. Photo by Paul Valencia

Damon Casetta-Stubbs said it is a bit easier on him, Copeland, and the other pitchers. They do not play every day.

“It doesn’t affect me as much as the other guys,” he said of the traveling. “But I can still feel it, too. That makes me feel bad for the other guys. But they’re still battling, and some of these guys got in real late last night, getting no sleep.”

On this day, though, the lack of sleep did not catch up with them. Showtime Baseball opened the Curt Daniels Invite with an 11-1 over Narrows.

The Curt Daniels Invitational is a 12-team, five-day event for summer baseball clubs played at Propstra Stadium and at Concordia University in Portland. Showtime and the Vancouver Cardinals represent Clark County.

Damon Casetta-Stubbs (left) shows Showtime Baseball teammate Daniel Copelan his grip for a particular pitch. The two shined this week, along with the rest of the team, at an event in Texas. Showtime then made it back in time for the Curt Daniels Invitational. Photo by Paul Valencia
Damon Casetta-Stubbs (left) shows Showtime Baseball teammate Daniel Copelan his grip for a particular pitch. The two shined this week, along with the rest of the team, at an event in Texas. Showtime then made it back in time for the Curt Daniels Invitational. Photo by Paul Valencia

Hayes said it is a priority to play in the Daniels tournament, but that created some stress on the team because Showtime also wanted to perform at Program 15 in Houston, part of the Future Star series. Showtime was in Texas for six days, first participating in a combine in front of college coaches and professional scouts, then the tournament.

In the five games, Showtime gave up five runs. The team reached the semifinals before losing to California Academy of Baseball one of the top-ranked teams in the nation, in 13 innings.

“It was good for my boys,” Hayes said. “They stayed in the fight. It was nice to see where we measure up against these teams.”

Daniel Copeland of Showtime Baseball tries out the new grip that his teammate showed him during a pre-game workout Thursday before the Curt Daniels Invitational. Photo by Paul Valencia
Daniel Copeland of Showtime Baseball tries out the new grip that his teammate showed him during a pre-game workout Thursday before the Curt Daniels Invitational. Photo by Paul Valencia

Casetta-Stubbs, who will be a senior at King’s Way Christian, had such a strong week that he was selected to be part of an international series. He will be returning to Texas for a U.S. vs. the World three-game series in August.

“It was cool just showing how good Northwest baseball is,” Casetta-Stubbs said. “We don’t get the recognition we deserve sometimes. It was good to face teams that get to play year-round.”

Copeland also had a personal achievement. With equipment used by the professional scouts, Copeland’s fastball was clocked at 91 miles per hour. The senior-to-be at Skyview High School said he did not believe it when he was first told.

He, too, was proud to be representing Showtime and the Northwest.

“It just really shows the strength of our organization as a whole,” Copeland said. “It was nice to see how we could match up.”

Showtime Baseball players take some rest in the shade of the dugout Thursday prior to the opening game of the Curt Daniels Invitational. The team played in a tournament in Texas and many of the players flew home around midnight Wednesday to play a day game Thursday at Propstra Stadium. Photo by Paul Valencia
Showtime Baseball players take some rest in the shade of the dugout Thursday prior to the opening game of the Curt Daniels Invitational. The team played in a tournament in Texas and many of the players flew home around midnight Wednesday to play a day game Thursday at Propstra Stadium. Photo by Paul Valencia

While the players hustled to get to the Northwest, Hayes was finding a way to go an entirely different direction. His daughter, a soldier, was just about to be sent overseas, so Hayes found a flight to North Carolina to see her off before her deployment.

As of this writing, Hayes was driving his daughter’s car back to Vancouver. And he said he will be back for at least some of this week’s tournament. As Jerry Reed once sang, “A long way to go and a short time to get there”

“I will be at the Daniels,” Hayes promised. “I’ll be in uniform for the weekend.”

That just shows how important this tournament is to the coaches from Southwest Washington.

“It’s a chance to show respect to Curt Daniels,” Hayes said, referring to the longtime high school and summer coach and pro baseball scout who died in 2003. “The reputation of the tournament is off the chart. We want to do well, representing our area in such a prestigious tournament.”

The players and coaches from Showtime can catch up on their sleep some other time.

It’s summer. It’s baseball. It’s Showtime. Wherever the schedule leads them.

Note: The 2017 Curt Daniels Invitational started Thursday with 12 teams playing in two locations. There are two six-team divisions. The top two teams in each division will qualify for Monday’s bracket play.

Here is the rest of the schedule

  1. Fri., June 30

    at Hudson's Bay HS

    • 11:30 a.m.: Baden vs. Taylor
    • 2 p.m.: Portland vs. Spokane
    • 4:30 p.m.: Portland vs. Federal Way
    • 7 p.m.: Vancouver Cardinals vs. Federal Way

    at Concordia University

    • 10:30 a.m.: Seattle vs. Lakeside
    • 1 p.m.: Showtime vs. Southridge
    • 3:30 p.m.: Showtime vs. Boys of Summer
    • 6 p.m.: Narrows vs. Boys of Summer

  2. Sat., July 1

    at Hudson's Bay HS

    • 11:30 a.m.: Lakeside vs. Showtime
    • 2 p.m.: Boys of Summer vs. Southridge
    • 4:30 p.m.: Narrows vs. Southridge
    • 7 p.m.: Narrows vs. Seattle

    at Concordia University

    • 10:30 a.m.: Taylor vs. Portland
    • 1 p.m.: Federal Way vs. Spokane
    • 3:30 p.m.: Vancouver Cardinals vs. Spokane
    • 6 p.m.: Vancouver Cardinals vs. Baden

  3. Sun., July 2

    at Hudson's Bay HS

    • 11:30 a.m.: Baden vs. Portland
    • 2 p.m.: Baden vs. Federal Way
    • 4:30 p.m.: Spokane vs. Taylor
    • 7 p.m.: Vancouver Cardinals vs. Taylor

    at Concordia University

    • 10:30 a.m.: Southridge vs. Lakeside
    • 1 p.m.: Narrows vs. Lakeside
    • 3:30 p.m.: Seattle vs. Boys of Summer
    • 6 p.m.: Seattle vs. Showtime

  4. Mon.,  July 3

    Site: TBA

    Championship Monday

    • 10 a.m.: Daniels Division No. 1 vs. Hopkins Division No. 2
    • 1 p.m.: Hopkins Division No. 1 vs. Daniels Division No. 2
    • 4 p.m.: Championship game

 

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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