Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for October, 2009

Back in the day, Halloween meant filling up pillow cases with candy. Alameda’s flat geography and block layout made it easy to canvas multiple neighborhoods in search of chocolatey goodness. I remember emptying my bag into a huge salad bowl, then dashing back out the door for more gathering. Sadly, it would appear those days are long gone. Take a look at the size of Halloween candy today…

outrage

Don't be fooled by the wrapper!

These days, it would take two nights and hundreds of blocks to fill up the way we used to in about four hours. What’s next, an “Essence Of Candy” size? (Oh, no! I’ve become the grumpy old man!)

The good news is that Alameda remains a Halloween hot spot. Homes along Grand Street are still giving out 1,000 pieces of candy per house to little ghouls and goblins.

Read Full Post »

wandeleck_bob_1970

Bob prepares to drive one over the rose covered fence in left

While growing up, Bob and Tom Wondolleck could see the playground at Franklin Park from their Gold Coast home located one block away at the corner of Grand St. and San Antonio Avenue (see below). Their sister, Julie, worked for the ARPD in the mid-1970’s as a leader in the camp program.

wondoview

The view of Franklin from the Wondolleck's front yard

Read Full Post »

New photos of McKinley Park have been added to McKinley Park – The Stats page.

Read Full Post »

There were only a couple of places on the Garden Isle where a kid could buy a frozen Slurpee or Icee. The Convenient Food Mart was one such mecca. “Convenient”, as it was called back in the day, is located on High Street directly across from the main entrance to Lincoln Park. The store was also known as The Lincoln Market (original name) and Bonfaire Market (currently).

The store was once owned by Jack Farina, father of Lincoln park rat Cliff Farina. No wonder they had an Icee machine!

Still selling Icees after all these years (Photo: Kin Robles)

Still selling Icees after all these years (Photo: Kin Robles)

Read Full Post »

Valenzuela on the hill at Woodstock (Photo: Bordanaro and Zarcone)

Valenzuela deals at Woodstock (Photo: Bordanaro and Zarcone)

Krusi Colt pitcher, Terry Valenzuela, got his first taste of defeat in the 1970 Little Coast League season at the hands of Woodstock. Valenzuela, and batterymate Don Ratto, had the host Seals baffled through the first five stanzas, including four and two thirds innings of no-hit ball. Unfortunately, a gaffe a Colts outfielder enabled Woodstock to score two runs and take the lead. Previously unbeaten Krusi would never recover. Final score: Woodstock 5 – Krusi 2. On this early July outing, Terry Valenzuela ended up with nine K’s and just three walks. Steve Ford was the winning pitcher striking out two and walking one in his five innings of work.

Read Full Post »

Steve Taddei eyes Doug Wickman's pitch in 1974 (Photo: Acamar)

Taddei eyes Doug Wickman's pitch in 1974 (Photo: Acamar)

Shades of Jocko Conlan! Steve Taddei took his job seriously. He even dressed up for his summer career as an ARPD baseball umpire. I don’t recall seeing many park league barristers wearing a collared linen shirt, but obviously Steve brought some class to the ranks. Perhaps “Sam” Spear was trying to get his umpire crews a sponsorship from Arrow Shirts? Or maybe this was an alternative to wearing a bow tie, ala Conlan. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t be surprised if Spear really did try to get his guys in a “teeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeeeeeeye!”

The great HOF ump Jocko Conlan

The great HOF ump Jocko Conlan

Read Full Post »

Who's talking with Hammerin' Hank?

Who's talking with Hammerin' Hank?

It’s easy to identify Major League Baseball’s legitimate home run king in this photo. That’s Hammerin’ Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves sitting to the right of today’s mystery person. See if you “old timers” can identify this face from 1960 and what television show this picture was taken from.

HINT: He’s not an Alamedan… and it’s not Victor Conte.

THE ANSWER: The host of this short lived but classic television show is Mark Scott. Home Run Derby aired in syndication during the 1960 baseball season from April to October. The show featured the greatest home run hitters of the day competing head to head for nine innings at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles… yes, there have been two Wrigley Fields (both owned by the Wrigley family of newspaper and chewing gum fame). Slugging stars that appeared on Home Run Derby included: Aaron (who won $13,500 during the show’s run), Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Duke Snider, Frank Robinson (McClymonds High), Ernie Banks, Jackie Jensen (Cal), Al Kaline, Eddie Matthews, Harmon Killebrew and Gil Hodges.

Sadly, Mark Scott died of a heart attack shortly after the conclusion of the initial season.

Read Full Post »