California Historic Business Honored With First Pitch Duties at SF Giants Game

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Gene Zanger, managing partner of Casa de Fruta, threw out the first pitch Monday night at the San Francisco Giants game against the St. Louis Cardinals. Zanger launched a fastball to start the first game in San Francisco’s only at-home series with the Cardinals.

Gene Zanger, managing partner of Casa de Fruta, threw out the first pitch Monday night at the San Francisco Giants game against the St. Louis Cardinals. Zanger launched a fastball to start the first game in San Francisco’s only at-home series with the Cardinals.

“With so much emphasis on baseball records and players of the past, it is interesting to look back at history. When we founded our fresh and dried fruit business in 1908, players such as Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner were at their prime and breaking records. What a thrill, 98 years later, to have the opportunity to throw out the first pitch representing Casa de Fruta in the presence of today’s great baseball stars such as Barry Bonds, Omar Vizquel, Tony LaRussa and Albert Pujols.”

Casa de Fruta (http://www.casadefruta.com) is a 98-year-old family business based in Hollister, California. It encompasses fruit and nut orchards, an orchard resort, a winery and a web business selling fresh and dried fruits, nuts, chocolate covered fruits and nuts, wines, gourmet gift baskets and gift crates.

Originally started in 1908 by Gene Zanger’s great, great uncles, Casa de Fruta’s fruit stand on Highway 152 became a landmark and popular “pit stop” to many California travelers crossing the Pacheco Pass in Hollister. Casa de Fruta became known for its fresh and dried fruit and expanded its original 8- by 10-foot fruit stand over the years to include a gift shop, wine store, motel, restaurant, children’s zoo and train in its orchard resort. Today, the company employs 200 people and processes more than 250,000 pounds of dried fruits and nuts annually which are shipped worldwide via its website http://www.casadefruta.com.

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David Rose
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