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Colt Station Zebra

Krusi Park Legend Charlie Neiderbrach is bundled up for a frosty winter but he’s not too cold to display his new Park Legends Sticker. Charlie’s former park director, Adrienne “the Champagne Lady” Alexander, ordered a bushel of Krusi Colt stickers to send to many of her former park kids. Adrienne has been at the forefront of many activities to ensure park memories stay in “kids” and their directors for life.

We’re not exactly sure where Charlie is stationed these days but the PlayBall! staff hope he’s nowhere near where submarines may emerge from the ice pack at any moment. If one does, perhaps Charlie will slap a Krusi Legend sticker on the conning tower! (EDITOR’S NOTE: If you don’t know what the heck I’m referencing – or missed it at the Alameda Theater or Showcase Cinemas – Google Ice Station Zebra.)

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Stuck On A Stuffer?

kringleThe Alameda Park Rats have spoken and the Big Kringle at PlayBall! Alameda’s Sandlot Blog has listened!

Seven Park Legend stickers are now available to make Santa’s visit even more enjoyable for park rats everywhere! Yes, kids, you can show your eternal park pride with these stickers featuring: EDISON INDIANS, FRANKLIN EAGLES, GODFREY GOPHERS, KRUSI COLTS, LINCOLN LIONS, RITTLER WILDCATS and WASHINGTON PIRATES!

krusiThese are the perfect stocking stuffer for all eternal youth of Alameda. If you know someone who played in the ARPD youth athletic programs, you need to order them the ultimate sticker for their guitar case, bowling ball bag, tool box, rear truck window, forehead, Duluth underpants, surfboard or ice chest.

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These 4.5″ x 3″ vinyl Park Legend stickers are weatherproof and priced at just $4.00. That’s less than a Nation’s Cheeseburger or a pint of Guinness! BUT WAIT… there’s more! Order any three Park Legend stickers and Kin Kringle will add a 4th sticker FREE! That’s right! ABSOLUTELY FREE!

DON’T WAIT! TIME IS RUNNING OUT! Place your order today by sending old Kringle an e-mail at playball94501 (that’s @gmail.com address) or post a message here to the old elf.

Coming soon: MCKINLEY and WOODSTOCK

HO! HO! HOME RUN!

A big PlayBall! shout out to Tom Spiersch for sharing this photo from the summer of 1956. Fervent Krusi Park rats everywhere will surely be delighted to see members of these Police League Champions from back in the day!

Some of the younger rats in our audience may be asking, “Why do our beloved ponies have Good Chevrolet on their shirts?”

Great question Joan Q. Public. Prior to the Alameda Elks Lodge becoming the major sponsor of ARPD park league baseball programs, local businesses flipped the bill for Police League. Note the spiffy “K” embroidered on these caps adorning these champion high school sandlotters.

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Being the good Republican that he is, Bob Orbeta will probably accuse this reputable media outlet of publishing false news. While we can’t confirm the year, other than young Orbeta was playing in the Pee Wee League, we do have published evidence that Robert was once awarded the prestigious Player of the Week!

The facts, as were presented by the Alameda Times Star, state the following:

“In a vital contest, Robert came through with a clutch performance to help his Pirate squad to an important tie in the tough Pee Wee League standings. He came up with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning with Washington down three runs. He connected for a game saving triple, driving in three runs, to tie the score.

The Lincoln Avenue resident is in the fourth grade at St. Barnabas School. He bats and throws right-handed and is coached by Steve Albright.”

This fine fish wrap is certain a complaint will be filed by the RNC claiming that the true story describes how Orbeta hit a grand slam into a 35 mile an hour wind with the ball somehow clearing the left field wall at Washington Park thus enabling a Pirate victory, not a tie as reported. This reporter thinks Bogus Bob and Putin are tampering with PlayBall! – Alameda’s Sandlot Blog.

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They say the best jobs are the ones that don’t feel like work. For example, take the Alameda Recreation & Park Department offering teens the chance to earn summer cash as umpires for the program’s youth baseball games. Most of the takers were teens who were ballplayers themselves from the ranks of the ARPD’s Police League and local high school teams. When not playing ball, these guys were hanging out at the park. Why not get paid to be where you would be anyway? What a deal!

Shown in this photo from 1975 is Franklin Eagle and St. Joseph’s HS standout, Tom Lyons.  Tom, a.k.a. “Mr. Excitement” in later years, would earn his money this day officiating a PeeWee League tilt between Lincoln and Rittler.  Alas, Cub pitcher Johnny Perata – shown here – and his Lincoln teammates would lose their home game to the Bobcats by the score of 15-7.

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Pitcher Johnny Perata sporting his Raider knit cap on a summer day.

ARPD baseball was in full swing when Rittler met Edison for a mid-July 1975 contest. We have no idea who prevailed but we know the Wildcats were threatening to score in this photo. When the camera shutter clicked, the Rittler batter, “Bomber Bob” Levering, had just connected with the pitch. You can see the ball below the Krusi Diamond designation (3) on the far left. There must have been less than two outs as savvy baserunner Robert Abriol is waiting to see if the baseball gets through the infield before attempting to score. Edison’s Greg Folrath is shown toiling behind the plate.

Park Rat Question of the Day: Is that Pat “Elfie” Thomas watching the action from behind the backstop? Only the Krusi Park faithful know for sure.

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Bomber Bob Levering puts the orb in play.