Great-nephew of Hall of Famer Nap Lajoie among four more players added for 2020

Among the many great names of baseball past, squarely sits the name Nap Lajoie, who played in the classic era — spending 1896-1916 for the Philadelphia Phillies/Athletics and the Cleveland Bronchos/Naps – yes, a team named after the player himself – finishing his career as a .338 hitter.

Lajoie is the great-uncle of Willie Lajoie, a Chico State infielder who will make his West Coast League debut this coming summer in the uniform of the Victoria HarbourCats.  The 5-11/190-pounder from Irvine, California was a standout junior college hitter at Saddleback College, batting .321 in his two seasons with the Gauchos, collecting 27 extra-base hits and 87 RBI.

“It’s the history of the game that captures so many people, and having a descendant of Nap Lajoie here with the team will catch a lot of interest. We’re excited to have Willie join us,” said Jim Swanson, Managing Partner/GM of the HarbourCats. “He drove in 87 runs for Saddleback, he’s a producer who can be a key guy for us.”

Also signed is a player with Victoria connections — versatile Tyler Best of the University of Hawaii, whose uncle is long-time MLB scout Tim Hallgren, a former Seattle draft pick now with the Detroit Tigers after many years with the Dodgers organization. Hallgren was born in Victoria. Best is a sophomore, 6-1/170, from Eagle, Idaho, who started 45 games as a freshman.

The other two signings announced today are outfielder Jack Keiser of the University of San Diego, and outfielder Colton Evans of UC-Davis. Keiser is a 6-1/195 freshman from Palm Beach, Florida, while Evans is a redshirt-sophomore, a 5-9 speedster who played with former HarbourCats Brad Plushkell and Ryan Anderson in his first season at Davis. Evans is from Modesto, California.