The Wasco Reserve professional baseball team is looking for host families. It's like gaining another member of your family rather than just lending a room.
George Swenson and his wife, Patty, have been hosting players since 2014.
"We enjoy opening our home to the players and receiving them as family. We are happy to extend a helping hand while they play out the season," Swenson said.
"It truly is a wonderful experience. All of the players we have hosted are respectful, contribute to the household and really appreciate us. We become their friends and a strong foundation so they can focus on the game."
Swenson said the best part about hosting is that they develop special relationships.
"Over the years, we have housed 25 players. To date, we keep in contact with most. It is nice to see them hone their skills, and we know that by providing shelter, they can realize their dream of playing baseball on a national team. "
"It's fun to have the young people around," said Swenson.
Players enjoy the experience as well.
Ryan Osborne, a Wasco Reserve player and assistant manager, has stayed with three host families.
"It has been great, and it's like a second family. Despite coming from New York, I feel close to home," said Osbourne. "What I like most is having that support. Whether you have a good or bad game, they will be there to encourage you and pick you up."
"Also, if you have children in the home, it is nice for them to learn from a professional athlete."
Host families make players feel welcomed and help them save money to focus their time on the field.
"We need about 17 host families in Wasco. It is hard to recruit players if they don't have anywhere to live. They can't afford to come out here and be on their own," said Andrew Dunn, owner of the Pecos League overseeing all 16 teams.
Players stay for the summer and come from throughout the United States. A lot are recent college graduates, so they have limited budgets.
The season starts on May 24, which is right around the corner. Any family that houses a player is making a difference in their lives.
The team plays in Wasco, Bakersfield and throughout northern California. They also travel to New Mexico and Colorado.
"It will be an exciting season, and host families make it possible for the players to participate in the league. We are looking for homes that will provide a warm and friendly environment," said Dunn.
"If you love baseball and the idea of sharing your home with a professional baseball player, this is an opportunity for you."
For more information about hosting a player, visit WascoReserve.com or email [email protected].