American Family: Scrappers Malave set for special Father’s Day at Eastwood Field


The Scrappers manager calls a Niles man his American dad

NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – Sunday is not only Father’s Day around the Valley, but it is also the Mahoning Valley Scrappers’ home opener at Eastwood Field.

But for Scrappers manager Dennis Malave, it is sure to be a Father’s Day to remember.

Twenty-one seasons ago, Malave was on the first Scrappers squad back in 1999.

The young Venezuelan-born outfielder got placed with a billet family during his stay, with Niles resident Bob Bixler becoming more than just a person who opened his home.

“I had a chance to meet Bob Bixler, who is my American dad,” Malave said during the Scrappers media day.

“He is going to be here in the stands, going to be able to celebrate with him, have the chance to celebrate Father’s Day with him and have some good family time. Gave me a chance to have a family, a family that I care for and that care for me. We became really family, a true family.”

The Scrappers host the Batavia Muckdogs on Sunday with first pitch slated for 6:35 p.m.

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