Like all great socio-anthropologic efforts, you will never know everything about any one subject. It’s an ongoing search to uncover the unknown. So, too, is the case with PlayBall! – Alameda’s Sandlot Blog. We’ll never rest until every park rat has been identified, all the old shirts re-discovered, and every last one of Barry Weiss’ sunflower seed casings unearthed well, maybe we need SuperFund resources for that last one).
Thanks to a recent post by Fready B. Wishups, we know have a new path to follow. Mr. Wishups calls attention to what was once known as the Webster Playground. Our staff will will now begin to explore where Webster Playground was located and more about a seemingly forgotten haven for Alameda’s west end kids.
Here’s what Fready has to share: “WEBSTER PLAYGROUND had the following players: Tommy Harper, Sidney Lane, Mac Arthur Lane, Donald Johnson, Milton Johnson, James Carter, Marvin White, Emerson Johnson, James Nelson and more that I can’t think of now… Mr. (Don) Grant was a Playground Director at both Webster and Estuary with Webster being his first assignment.“
So park rats and would be “socio-anthropologists” everywhere, start scraping the memory banks for more on this forgotten Island paradise. (LOL, the title of “socio-anthropologist” will get you into more places than just being an Elk, plus a discount at Walgreen’s at South Shore Shopping Center!)
Posted in Estuary Park, Estuary Rams, Parks | Tagged Alameda, Alameda Recreation & Park Department, baseball, Don Grant, Fready B. Wishups, Kin Robles, PlayBall! - Alameda's Sandlot Saga, Tommy Harper, Webster Playground | Leave a Comment »
PlayBall! is sad to report the passing of lifetime Alamedan, friend of the parks, and the man in the blue Colombo bakery truck – Bernie Ratto. Bernie was the devoted husband of wife Tina, and father of three famous Krusi Colts: Doug, Don and Steve Ratto.
Bernie loved the game of baseball and obviously instilled that in each of his sons. More than a few sandwiches were doled out to hungry park rats in the Ratto family home on Post Street, just a Dean Henry pop fly away from Krusi Park.
Services were held on Saturday, January 15, at St. Philip Neri Catholic Church in Alameda’s East End. A full house, including many former park rats, paid their respects.
God speed Bernie, and thanks for being one of the many park parents who kept us all out of Sing Sing.
Posted in Krusi Colts, Krusi Park, Misc, Parks | Tagged Bernie Ratto, Donny Ratto, Doug Ratto, Steve Ratto | 2 Comments »
In case you haven’t had a chance yet to check out the 2nd Annual Alameda Sports Exhibit you are in luck. The exhibit has been extended through Sunday, October 3rd.
It’s well worth a visit!
Posted in Events | Tagged Alameda, Alameda Museum, Alameda Recreation & Park Department, Alameda Sports Exhibit, baseball, Brian McDonald, Dewey St. Germaine, PlayBall! - Alameda's Sandlot Saga | Leave a Comment »
If you are a true Alamedan you can never get enough local lore. Once again our good friends Dewey St. Germaine (Buena Vista Ram), Brian McDonald, and the Alameda Museum have combined to produce a remarkable exhibit recalling the island’s rich athletic history. This reporter has been sidelined with pneumonia, however, the phone lines at PlayBall! have been ringing off the hook with reports of another successful Alameda Sports Exhibit.
Don’t wait! Climb on your Schwinn Stingray and peddle down to the Alameda Museum, located on Alameda Avenue (of course) between Park and Oak Streets. The 2nd Annual Alameda Sports Exhibit will be held from August 14 – September 30, 2010 at the Alameda Museum. This year’s exhibit features some very special local sports heroes… I’m not spilling the beans, you just have to see it for yourself!!! As always photos, trading cards, authentic game used equipment and other memorabilia of former and current professional & college athletes from Alameda will also be displayed. Admission is FREE. Trust me, you won’t find a better value anywhere!
Posted in Events | Tagged 94501, A.J. "Lil" Arnerich, Alameda, Alameda Museum, Alameda Recreation & Park Department, baseball, Brian McDonald, Dewey St. Germaine, Kin Robles, PlayBall! - Alameda's Sandlot Saga, Robbie Dileo | Leave a Comment »
How many Rattos does it take to make a reunion?
Robb "the human bullhorn" and Denise (Photo courtesy of Lester Mina)
If it’s an Alameda event you know there will be some Rattos in attendance. For decades they have been an integral part of the Island community. The recent Alameda All Parks Reunion was no exception. This reporter saw a Bobby, Donnie, Kathy, Marie, Robby, Stevie and a Denise. Only the Osmonds could pull more family fire power. It’s obvious that the Ratto clan has a nose for fun. The only question everyone asked was “Where’s Ray? Has he gone Hollywood?”
Bob Ratto, Don Sherratt, Bob Howard and Jim Pitts (Mina photo)
Kathy and Steve Ratto
Don Ratto and a member of that other prolific Alameda family
Last but not least, a “wanna-be-a-Ratto” poses with Denise
Bob "Rocko" Rhodes tries to achieve Ratto status (Photo by Mina)
Posted in All Parks Reunion, All Parks Reunion, Events | Tagged 94501, Alameda, Alameda All Parks Reunion, Alameda Recreation & Park Department, baseball, Bob Rhodes, Bobby Ratto, Comcast Sports Net, Denise Ratto, Don Ratto, Kathy Ratto, Kin Robles, PlayBall! - Alameda's Sandlot Saga, Ray Ratto, Robb Ratto, Steve Ratto | Leave a Comment »
To quote the great Casey Stengel “It was amazin’!”
On behalf of the entire 2010 Alameda All Parks Reunion Team we want to thank everyone who made the event such a great day. True to form, West End hospitality welcomed hundreds of “kids” and family members back to their old ARPD stomping grounds for a day of happy memories. The common sentiment among all park rats and park directors in attendance can be summed up by the one question that all were asking: “When is the next one?”
A full recap of the days events is forthcoming, but we need a nap! You are all great people and we’re happy that no matter where you live today, Alamedans still have their sense of community… especially the park rats!
Kin Robles and John Canalin
El Presidente and The Chief of Staff (Photo courtesy of Lester Mina)
Posted in All Parks Reunion, All Parks Reunion, Events, Parks, Washington Park | Tagged 94501, Alameda, Alameda All Parks Reunion, Alameda Recreation & Park Department, baseball, Casey Stengel, John Canalin, Kin Robles, Washington Park | 1 Comment »
Alameda (AP) – Thousands of rats are reported to be streaming into Alameda, California. Witnesses say that these are not your ordinary rodents but giant park rats (parkacius rodentus) weighing as much as three hundred pounds and reaching over six feet tall. Local authorities are asking residents of the island city to remain calm as these creatures are not dangerous and often make good pets.
“The giant park rat is making one of its rare migrations to Alameda” Professor E. R. Hildabrand of the University of California – Berkeley told reporters. “They pose no threat to humans unless you are holding a bag of sunflower seeds or a soda pop. In those instances you should place the food items on the ground and walk slowly away. The park rat is particularly attracted to bricks of pink popcorn and Cragmont Cola.”
The rats appear to be congregating at Upper Washington Park in Alameda. Scientists believe that this is a one day event that will hit its peak TODAY between the hours of 11:00 am and 4:00 pm.
Local resident Dean Henry had this to say, “Gee! This is swell!”
Posted in All Parks Reunion, All Parks Reunion, Events, PlayBall!, Washington Park | Tagged 94501, Alameda, Alameda Recreation & Park Department, baseball, Cragmont Cola, Dean Henry, Kin Robles, Park Rats, PlayBall! - Alameda's Sandlot Saga, University of California - Berkeley, Washington Park | 3 Comments »