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Archive for May, 2009

One evening in late August 1972, the Lincoln Lions met the Longfellow Tigers at Krusi Park to decide the ARPD Midget League championship.

Were you there? Drop us a comment.

Photo credit: Bordanaro and Zarcone

Photo credit: Bordanaro and Zarcone

Shown in this team photo are: Dave Hollis (Park Director), Lane Patterson, Dale Harristad, Cliff Farina, Mark Candelario, Paul Franks, Don Maroney, Ray Snyder.

FRONT ROW: Greg Veasy, Dale Maroney, Jeff Gaulf, Billy Powers, David Reitz, Danny Richardson.

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The playing field at Franklin Park has always been very small featuring limited foul territory and a short left field fence. This was ideal for Bantam and Pee-Wee League play providing every pint-size slugger a chance to hit a genuine out-of-the-yard homerun.

Down the left field was a gardener’s shack where Mr. Brown, the park gardener, kept his lawnmower and who knows what else. The shack was in play and more than a few hard rubber “indoor” baseballs bounced off the roof or wooden siding. Regular baseballs were not allowed at Franklin as their unrestricted flight characteristic would send them blasting to all parts of the park like canon shots causing danger to life and limb. The fence itself was covered with thorn filled rose vines that kept the kids off the fence and created a Wrigley Field like experience. (Click here to see photos)

Oh that fence! Like a siren, it called your name day after summer day. You dreamed about it. Hitting one over that fence put you in an elite class.

Tim Garvin recalls its magic:

I remember a right of passage being able to hit the ball over the fence after trying for hours, days, weeks. The poor Lucia’s had to hit to the opposite field.

 

Tim references Franklin Eagle players Chris and Jeff Lucia who were identical twins and hit left handed. Bummer! Right field was comparatively lackluster open space backed up by the basketball court blacktop and a ground rule double. Other guys, like Brian Cary and Rick Holgerson, could regularly send white projectiles flying over the fence and into the flower beds beyond.

 

Take a moment to add your memories of the Franklin Park yard in the Comments box below.

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Mastick School Playground

Named after: Edwin B. Mastick – Alameda civic leader in the 1800’s

Location: 1155 Santa Clara Avenue between Bay and St. Charles Streets

Baseball Diamond: None – School athletic facilities limited to blacktop and a very small play structure area.

Team name: Raiders, Rams

Mastick School had intermittent entries into ARPD baseball leagues.

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ARPD Park Director

Bob was one of the great teachers of the game. He went on to become the varsity basketball coach and long-time Athletic Director at St. Elizabeth’s High School in Oakland. Bob still lives in Alameda’s Gold Coast and was kind enough to participate in the filming of PlayBall!

Howard led two Franklin teams to championships in 1963 (Pee Wee and Little Coast).

Tours of Duty: Franklin Park (1963), Rittler (1967), Krusi (1968)

Bob Howard in 1963

Bob Howard in 1963

Bob Howard when he was at Rittler could put away the sunflower seeds like no one I have ever seen, he’d leave a pile of empty’s under his chair a foot high.Mike Bartell

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Tim Garvin – Franklin Eagles

I remember Willie Stargell giving me an intentional pass because he was laughing at how small I was. It was harder pitching to me than Ricky Henderson. Strike zone of about 10 inches!

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L – Peter Lisanti

S – John Sullivan

Who are we missing? If you know of someone who should be included among the Raiders roster, please leave a comment.

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We have identified 73 former Rams players. Who’s missing? If you know of someone who should be included among the all-time Estuary roster, please leave a comment.

A – Glen Abram, Bernell Ayers

B – Kenneth Bradley, Master Browley, Henry Brown, Robert Brown, Master Browley, John Bullock, Marvin Bullock

C – Nancito Canalin, Jimmy Coleman, Nolan Coleman, Arthur Crouse, Ray Crouse, Ricky Crouse

D – Fred Davis, James Davis, Robert Earl Davis

E – Freddy Elmore

F– Chris Fasrley, Bernard Fisher, Gregory Fisher, Royce Ford, Jr., Rolly Fortin, Doug Francis

G – Michael Green, Al Greer

H – Rubin Hands, Tommy Harper, Forrest Haymon, Bert Hewitt, Sam Huie, Don Ray Hunter, Mike Hunter, Floyd Hutson, Harold Hutson

J – Ronald James, Cleophus Jones, Leroy Jones, Sylvester Jones, Wendell Jones

L – Sherman Lee, Wilfred Lewis, Clifford Locklear, Gary Longanecker, Lucious Lyons, Maurice Lyons

M – Benny Mays, Anthony Medina, Jesse Mims, Reginald Mims, Andrew Morris, Curt Motton, Freddie Motton

N – Frankie Nobles

R – Jacob Robinson

S – John Sabian, Jerome Shelton, Jim Shelton, Donald Spragans, Willie Stargell

T – Carlos Tatum, Larry Thomas, William Thomas

W – Kenny Walker, Mike Walker, Ralph “Coffee Bean” Walker, Gary Wayne, Larry Wayne, Marshall Wayne,Ron Wayne, George White, Reggie Woodward

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