Just when Tony Bloomfield and his wife, Lori, thought they were empty nesters, the kids moved back in.
But no complaints. The Bloomfield household in Davis is a hub of activity and ambition, with baseball the common bond.
Tony is the coach at Cosumnes River College, the top-ranked community college team in Northern California at 13-1. Last week, he won his 700th game as a community college coach in a career that started in his native Southern California at Los Angeles Harbor College in 1991 before he took over at CRC in 1999.
Lori, the team mom, is a vice president at Sutter Health and knows medical and baseball jargon as well as anyone. She’s a fixture at CRC games, patrolling the grounds to burn off anxiety while wondering where the strike zone is, yelling, “Come on, blue!”
Son Brett is the team’s No. 3 hitter. A year ago, the former Davis High School infielder gave baseball a shot at Oregon. He moved back home to play for his dad and prepare for another try at Division I. He aspires to be a teacher and coach, to follow his old man’s path.
Daughter Brittany is a Nevada graduate who works at hospitals in Davis, Fairfield and Vacaville, following surgeons from one emergency room to another as she readies for medical school. On her days off, she’s the public address announcer for CRC baseball.
She can’t get enough of this sport. Brittany edits video of the team to post online, then challenges the players to watch her productions or she’ll pull the plug on the posts. They watch.
When baseball consumes much of your life – trips, recruiting, fundraising, repeat – any family time is quality time for coach Bloomfield, in the living room, at the dinner table, on the diamond. He is off to the best start of his coaching career with a bonus.
“Having Brett on the team is awesome, just love it,” Bloomfield said. “Such a good kid, works hard. Just getting to watch him practice and play has been great. I see all these other kids over the years play and develop but didn’t always have a chance to see my own.
“And Brittany? She’s our toughest critic. She gets home and lays into Brett. She’s sharp. Knows more baseball than some of our players. Her and Lori come to a lot of games. Good life.”
Bloomfield downplayed his milestone, saying, “It’s just a number.”
True, but it reflects a notable career.
Bloomfield has guided 21 playoff teams, including eight that reached the Super Regional Final Eight. He has won nine conference championships and nine conference Coach of the Year honors and in 2012 received the national community college Coach of the Year award. That year, CRC won the state championship without a home game or home practice because of facility upgrades.
And he continues to win with homegrown talent, recruiting mostly in Elk Grove and Sacramento.
“Good players, good assistants, great family support, administrative support, some good breaks and a lot of years,” said Bloomfield, who has no desire to move to a four-year program. “Our first loss (Friday at College of the Canyons) burst that bubble for the start of the season. But we’ll regroup. We’re a resilient group. Never give up.”