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Chico Heat players housed by Chicoans during summer season

Chico Heat pitcher Grant Dragmire, in front of his new home for the summer, heading off to baseball practice.

Summer baseball has come to Chico via the Big West League, a six-team collegiate baseball league in Oregon and California.

The Big West League draws college baseball players from all over the county and places them on competing teams. One team is appropriately named the Chico Heat.

Twenty-year-old Grant Dragmire is a pitcher for the Chico Heat. He's attending college in Hawaii, but living in Chico for the summer thanks to a local family.

In fact, several families around town are housing Chico Heat players during the summer baseball season.

In Dragmire's adopted summer home, he's free to come and go, eat and drink as he pleases. It's a nice arrangement, but one that took some time to get used to.

"When you're younger it can be kinda scary going off the first couple of times," Dragmire said. "You're like oh I gotta live with someone else, not your own family, kinda deal. But then you start to really- you really figure out why they're doing it, and you really appreciate what they're doing for you. They're cooking for you, they're housing you, they're giving you a place to sleep and it's awesome."

This is Dragmire's third summer participating in the league. He didn't have to pay a penny for it. All he had to do was sign a contract saying he wouldn't play baseball anywhere else over the summer.

Making friends in the league has been easy for Dragmire. With other players his age from all over the country, he views it as a great experience.

Although some things have not been so easy for him since he arrived in Chico.

"The hardest part for me was getting to know the town, like how to maneuver around," Dragmire said. "Because I'm fortunate enough to have my car here so I'm just getting to know the roads."

The Big West League's season lasts less than three months, from May 30 to August 4.

Afterwards, Dragmire says he'll have to say goodbye to his team mates and head back to school, but not before he thanks his adopted family for hosting him.


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