Sports

Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame inducts five, including two legends who urge youth parents to ease up

Cordova’s Geoff Jenkins is safe stealing home as Grant’s catcher Robert Tucker can’t hold the ball. Action from their game Wednesday at Cordova. 4-15-92.
Cordova’s Geoff Jenkins is safe stealing home as Grant’s catcher Robert Tucker can’t hold the ball. Action from their game Wednesday at Cordova. 4-15-92. Sacramento Bee Staff Photo

There’s something about power that stimulates in sports, and Chris Bosio and Geoff Jenkins provided plenty of it.

Guy Anderson remembers. He coached both of them at Cordova High School, Bosio as a hard-throwing pitcher in 1980 and ‘81 and Geoff Jenkins as a slugger a decade later. Anderson unleashed them on opponents and basked in the glow as they blossomed into Lancers legends.

And both wound up in Major League Baseball with 10-year careers.

Bosio won 94 games and tossed a no-hitter with the Seattle Mariners in 1993. Jenkins crushed 221 home runs, mostly with the Milwaukee Brewers, and he won a World Series ring in his final season, with the Phillies in 2008. Bosio won a ring with the Cubs in 2016 as pitching coach.

On Saturday night in Lincoln, Anderson will giddily present both for induction into the Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame at Thunder Valley Casino.

The class also includes Elk Grove linebacker Lance Briggs, who went on to earn seven Pro Bowl nods with the Chicago Bears, Grant quarterback Aaron Garcia, who set myriad touchdown marks in the Arena Football League, multiple world championship body builder Tommy Kono (the awarded accepted posthumously by son, Mark) and Rolando Jimenez, who won more than 100 medals over 40 years in Special Olympics.

“Oh, wow, let me tell you, I’m one blessed old coach to present Bosio and Jenkins,” Anderson said Saturday afternoon. “It’s hard enough to just get to the major leagues, something like one percent of players do, but to have such good careers? Amazing. Great players, great guys.”

And one other common bond between Bosio and Jenkins?

“Great competitiors, always,” Anderson said.

Even as Lancers, baseball meant something to Bosio and Jenkins. Shoot, it was their world.

Bosio recalled how the very image of Cordova players in red and black school colors intimidated opponents in an era when the Lancers were kings in all sports.

“We turned heads then,” said Bosio, who was drafted by the Brewers in the second round of the 1982 secondary draft after a season at Sacramento City College. “We dominated, and we were super competitive. We’d get done with a baseball practice and want more.

“We’d go turn on the lights some where and get after it, or we’d go to the sandlots. We didn’t have cell phones or the Internet. We just played. If you had brothers, you could play against them.”

Jenkins can relate. His older brother of four years, Brett, set California single-season hitting records at Cordova.

Jenkins mashed pitches at Cordova, cork-screwing himself into the dirt on rare misses. He would scale the outfield fence on defense in an effort to glove a ball, and there was never a more frightening sight for a catcher than the view of the muscled Jenkins charging down the line toward home plate like an agitated bull.

He never slowed down. Jenkins set slugging records at USC and became a first-round pick of the Brewers in 1995. Jenkins now lives in Phoenix.

“You can have ability but you can’t teach aggressiveness and desire,” Jenkins said. “You’ve got to give everything. The mental part is what separates the good from the great.”

Bosio and Jenkins each benefited from supportive parents. Their fathers will be on hand Saturday night, but Bosio and Jenkins will be missing their mothers. Both died within the last 10 years of illness.

What Bosio and Jenkins would encourage parents of players today is to ease off, to let kids be kids, to have fun. And to play as many youth sports as possible and not even associate with the meaning of specialization.

“What I’d say to parents is to let their children enjoy it, and make sure they have good coaches,” Jenkins said. “Make sure your young son has an actual pitching coach and not some guy off the street who will throw his arm off just to win an 8-and-under trophy.

“And have fun, play other sports, have a great experience.”

Bosio and Jenkins credit Anderson, their presenter, with life lessons, too.

Said Bosio, “I can’t thank him enough.”

Said Jenkins, “Oh my goodness. Amazing man. He’s affected so many, including me. Very thankful.”

Follow The Bee’s Joe Davidson: jdavidson@sacbee.com, @SacBee_JoeD.
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