“It’s obvious to me that Napans are ready and willing to support a professional baseball team,” said Johnston, a Napa resident for the past decade. “I thank Napa for embracing the idea of using baseball to build community spirit and bring affordable family fun to the Valley’s great communities. I formally notified the League on 6/28/17 that I will move forward in bringing professional baseball to Napa.”
With the team in the planning stages, Johnston has been working on creating a sponsor base and planning out ballpark improvements.
“Our sponsors see that supporting affordable summer entertainment is good, not only for business, but also good for local families looking for safe and fun community-sponsored activities to share. We continue to try to identify additional advertisers and sponsors as their participation is critical to the success of the team. That is the only way the concept of independent/ non-affiliated baseball works.
“I want the Napa Silverados to become a vital part of Napa Valley,” said Johnston, who envisions crowds of up to 600 for weekend games and 300 for weekday contests with the Sonoma Stompers, Vallejo Admirals, San Rafael Pacifics and Pittsburg Diamonds. The league is also working to add a sixth team in time for the 2018 season.
Johnston, a native of North Carolina, graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in English literature. He lived and worked in Virginia before moving to Florida to work in magazine advertising sales. He became a shopping center leasing representative in 1985, leasing properties throughout the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas, and from Fresno to the Canadian border. He later founded Johnston Real Estate Services, a consulting firm for mall and shopping center owners, retailers, institutional investors and legal practices.
He and his wife Jill, who married in 1997, live in West Napa.