You can’t talk about City College baseball without mentioning Jerry Weinstein. And you can’t talk about Jerry Weinstein without mentioning the words Hall of Famer.
Already a member of two other Halls of Fame — the City College Athletic Hall of Fame and the California Community College Baseball Hall of Fame — Weinstein, who turns 74 this November, was one of 11 baseball legends with local roots inducted into the LaSalle Club’s Sacramento Baseball Hall of Fame on Oct. 14 at Christian Brothers High School.
The numbers speak for themselves. Weinstein’s 830 wins are the most in City College baseball history — over 400 more than the next person on the list.
Weinstein’s City College coaching career began in 1974. Before he came to City, the baseball team had never accumulated a single 30-win season, dating back to the early 1920s. During Weinstein’s 23 seasons as skipper, the Panthers would crack the 30-win plateau 17 times, including two 50-win seasons in 1987 and 1991.
His teams captured 16 league titles, two state championships in eight finals appearances, and a national crown in 1998, Weinstein’s final year at City College.
Current City College baseball coach Derek Sullivan says that Weinstein set the bar for the culture of the sport at City.
“He’s still very relevant to our program,” says Sullivan. “As time goes by, the new guys know less and less, but we work really hard to remind our guys of the tradition, and he’s a huge part of that.”
Weinstein was largely responsible for helping build Union Stadium, the venue the Panther baseball team has called home for the past 30 years.
“Jerry knew that if you want people to come here, you’ve got to have a stadium,” says City Assistant Athletic Director Paul Carmazzi. “He changed the face of baseball in Northern California. He’s from Southern California, where guys get better because they play year-round. He brought that philosophy up here. It was a culture shock … It changed the whole landscape of baseball in Northern California.”
A former director of Player Development for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2000-01, Weinstein also has over 500 wins as a minor league manager. This season, he managed the Hartford Yard Goats, the Colorado Rockies’ Double-A affiliate.
Weinstein’s influence in the game has stretched across the globe. He was a coach for Team USA in the 1987 Pan American games in Indianapolis, as well as the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. Most recently, Weinstein was the manager for Team Israel in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, which took place in Seoul, South Korea, and Tokyo, Japan.
According to Sullivan, Weinstein is widely regarded by his peers as one of the greatest minds in the sport.
“He’s one of the true great baseball men in the country — probably the world,” says Sullivan, who attended the LaSalle Club induction ceremony. “Any time that you’re able to spend around J-Dub, it’s really cool and enlightening. He’s free with information. He’s thought-provoking. He’s a freaking genius. If you don’t learn something from him just standing next to him, you’re probably an idiot.”
From all the travels and accomplishments across all levels of the game, Weinstein says that City College is still the place of his fondest memories.
“We helped build the program to what it is today,” says Weinstein. “I’ve coached in the big leagues and have been fortunate to do a lot of things in baseball, but No. 1 has always been Sac City.”
For more info on SCC baseball, visit sccpanthers.losrios.edu/sports/bsb.