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Max Stassi hits Homers for the Hungry
Five months after going underneath the knife, former Yuba City High baseball standout Max Stassi is showing that his surgically-repaired right shoulder is near 100 percent.
Stassi, a highly-touted Oakland A's catching prospect, has been on the mend since undergoing season-ending surgery in late May. He's been rehabbing ever since, but judging by the swings he took on Saturday afternoon, the shoulder looks to be healing just fine.
Hosting his third annual "Homers for the Hungry" event at Winship Field in Yuba City, Stassi sent 78 balls flying over the outfield fence to raise money for local food banks and "Hands of Hope," a non-profit organization for the homeless.
It was the first meaningful cuts he's taken since his surgery and his performance at the plate brought plenty of cheers from the spectators and supporters that filled the entire set of bleachers at his old stomping grounds.
"I started swinging the last week of August, but it's been a progression," Stassi said. "I started with a fungo bat, then moved to a regular bat and did some tee stuff. It's been a long process, but it's going great now."
Playing for the Class-A Stockton Ports, Stassi had his season cut short when he underwent a procedure to repair damage in his throwing shoulder. Doctors went in and shaved a part of the acromion bone away from a tendon, allowing Stassi to have full range of movement once again.
"It's kinda like a bone spur," Stassi explained. "There was no structural damage with the labrum or rotator cup, so that's a plus. Those things can be career threatening."
Stassi raised $9,000 in the first year of his fundraising venture and more than $7,000 last year when colder temperatures and rain pushed the event back a month.
With sunny and warm weather on Saturday, a large crown filled the stands and watched as Stassi clubbed 32 home runs in the first 15-minute period before taking a break. He then added 46 long balls in the second session.
In all, he helped raise an estimated $20,000 this year.
"My first offseason, I was sitting around not doing a whole lot and just working out. I figured it was a great way to help the community," Stassi said. "With the economy being the way it is, there's a lot of hungry people out there and this his my way of helping out."
"It's a lot of fun and it keeps getting better and better every year."