Patrick Castro graduated from Mountlake Terrace High School in 1969 and retired in 2005 as the choir teacher at Snohomish High School. He leads community choir groups, has a Snohomish School District vocal music scholarship named in his honor and he loves sports.
Lucky for Pat, the AquaSox season begins this week at Everett Memorial Stadium. He’s starting his 21st season as the official scorekeeper for the AquaSox. (More about the Frogs and their game schedule, etc., is at www.aquasox.com.)
What exactly does the scorekeeper job require?
I keep official statistics of all facets of the game. This applies to hitting, pitching, defense, errors, etc. All of my decisions and statistics are uploaded to Minor League Baseball for official publication. The official scorer must be fully knowledgeable regarding all baseball rules and official implementation of said rules. It’s a paid position.
Tonight is the traditional season opener with the Everett Merchants. Will you be keeping score?
The Merchant game is obviously not an official game. But is a great “tune-up” for the Sox and also a good motivational game for the Merchants. Yes, I will be scorer for that game.
When did you fall in love with baseball?
My love of baseball came as it does for most boys when I started playing Little League. I was never a very good player, but I played through high school.
What do you like about minor league baseball and especially the AquaSox?
Minor league baseball has a much more personal aspect to it. That is, the fans have a much closer relationship with the players. They see them more as people than perhaps we see major league players. Major leaguers are bigger than life heroes. Attending MLB games is so expensive. It’s downtown, it’s crowded and it’s so much bigger than minor league baseball. But actually the game is the same and not as frenetic at the minor league level. Besides, the minor leaguers are always working so very hard to make it to “The Show,” so we know we are always getting their best efforts.
Of the following baseball movies, which is your favorite and why? “Field of Dreams,” “A League of Their Own,” “The Sandlot,” “Major League,” “Angels in the Outfield,” “Bad News Bears,” “The Natural,” “Bull Durham,” “Rookie of the Year,” “Moneyball.”
Honestly, they are all my favorites, each for a different reason and different experience. I won’t go over all the reasons, but each shows us the special place of the game in our American lives. By the way, did you know that the Mariners first base coach Casey Candaele’s mother played for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League? She was played by Madonna in the movie.
What do you like to eat at the ballpark?
At this point in my life, I try not to eat ballpark food. However, in bygone times, you could count on me to consume more than my share of hot dogs, beer and peanuts.
Have you sung the national anthem at the AquaSox?
I sang the national anthem at the very first Everett Giants game in 1984. (The San Francisco minor league affiliate before the Mariners took over.) Singing the national anthem is an honor and a privilege. I tend to be very close-minded about how the song should be sung. It is not about the singer showing off. It is about being reminded that we are Americans and have the freedoms that allow us to be at the game in the first place.
You were instrumental in getting the AquaSox to audition community folks to sing the U.S. and Canadian anthems at games, right?
Yes. A great number of years ago, I made the mistake of criticizing the performance of an anthem singer. It was then that I said we should audition singers for that job. The front office decided to establish an “AquaSox Idol” contest in the center court of the Everett Mall. It was a lot of fun.
Talk about why baseball and music go together.
The music at the AquaSox games is most special for only one reason — Tall Tom Lafferty. His knowledge of music and what kind of music is appropriate for any given situation is simply amazing. If he needs some pop tunes, he knows them all and what people like. If he is preparing classical numbers for fireworks, he is always right on with his choices. He remembers that the music is for the fans and he always knows what the fans like.
If you could share a meal with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
There are famous musicians — Robert Shaw, the choral conductor; Luciano Pavarotti, the Italian tenor; Wolfgang Mozart, the composer. There are also some famous baseball players that would have been fun — Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle. But right now if Seahawk quarterback Russell Wilson calls me for dinner, I’m ready.