Archive for March, 2010

Here are the 1973 ARPD Midget League Champion – Washington Pirates

Photo by Acamar

Front Row: Andy Garcia, Robert Jackson, Frank Groves, Rodney Rodgriguez, Joe Inocenio, Jeff Mims,

Back Row: Larry Wayne (coach), Mark Soots, Jim Flood, Alan Beck, Steve Gutierrez, Larry Scott, Ken Cranberry

Congrats to the 8-1 Pirates, wherever you are. Do you think Kenny Cranberry joined the military? Looks like he’s already standing at attention.


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Every year a big box would arrive at the local park office. The contents contained a closely guarded secret that would only be revealed at the appointed hour. Anyone caught peeking inside was sentenced to a day’s banishment from the park. (Or if it was Bill Leitz, you got sandwich duty for a week – that meant the offender was sentenced to ride his bike to the P&G Delicatessen on Park Street to pick up Bill’s lunch order.) Inside the box were dozens of that season’s baseball t-shirts.

Kim Buffy and Mike Jacobs "Come on, let's peek inside the box."

Although the individual park logos had a long shelf life, every few years the park color combinations would change. I imagine Lil got a good price by ordering thousands of shirts at a time. Perhaps the decision for a color change was signaled when the supply ran out! “Shirley, the t-shirts for Woodstock and Lincoln are getting low. Time to swap their colors.” But I digress…

PlayBall! needs your continued help in trying to identify t-shirt colors associated with the parks during the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Here’s what we recall:

Franklin  – Midnight blue shirt, white logo (pre-1966)

Franklin – Burgundy shirt; white logo (1966 – ?)

Krusi – Black shirt, white logo

Krusi – Navy blue shirt, white logo

McKinley – Black shirt, white logo

Rittler – Yellow shirt, black logo

Washington – Yellow shirt, black logo

Washington – Yellow shirt, blue logo

Edison – Forest green shirt, white logo

Edison – Black t-shirt, white logo

Lincoln – ?

Longfellow – ?

Godfrey – ?

Woodstock – Blue shirt, yellow logo (1968)


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Recently added to the hallowed halls of all-time park ratdom:

Steve Glynn (Edison Indians)

Ray Hearne (McKinley Bears)

Kevin Pilloff (Rittler Wildcats)

Harold Silva (Lincoln Lions)

Jim Stucky (Lincoln Lions)

Dan Tyler (Lincoln Lions)

Ray Valerio (McKinley Bears)

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When Giants’ ace Tim Lincecum is on the mound, fans place large “K” placards on the walls of AT&T Park for every strikeout the two-time Cy Young winner posts. In our featured Midget League affair from 1970, Edison hurler Brad Speier had a similar following… sort of. Umpire Bob Jensen was posting one “Z” after another trying to stay awake in this one sided baseball affair.

Brad Speier stars in "The Longest Day" (Photo by Bordanaro and Zarcone)

Speier did get a solo “K” to go with 8 “BBs” allowed. And that was the good news. The bad news for his fellow Edison tribesmen was the 29 runs they allowed Washington to score. The Bucs went wild at the plate with 23 hits to compliment 15 free passes served up by the Warrior pitching staff. Things weren’t much better for the defense as they committed 5 errors. (43 baserunners and only 29 runs scored? Edison coach Barry Weiss must have been razzing the opposition for a clear lack of “hustle”!)

Washington’s perfect storm also included pitchers Doug McLair and John Mendoza combining on a no-hitter to backstop Robert Orbeta. In addition to their fine moundwork, McLair and Mendoza each slugged a home run, triple and double for the Pirates. But there were more fireworks that day as Larry Lopez knocked a triple, while Steve Ortega, John Childs, and Chuck Ojeda each added a double.

To be fair, we must acknowledge that Edison did draw a walk and another lonely Indian got to camp momentarily at first base following an unusual Pirate error. The fielder must have been snoozing along with umpire Jensen.

PlayBall! is taking donations to purchase a CPAP machine for Bob Jensen. And speaking of sleep, Washington catcher Robert Orbeta was so tired from the game he’s taken an afternoon nap every day for the past 40 years. You can find him under his desk at Alameda Municipal Power. As for Brad Speier… we love you man! Have a BudLite.

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With the much ballyhooed addition of Dan “Cranky Pants” Bullock to the All-Time Edison Roster, the Indigenous Band of Ballplayers is now up to 199 members!

Also close to reaching the prestigious 200 Member Club are the following parks:

Longfellow Tigers – 194

Woodstock Seals – 187

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Park Director

Tours of Duty: Edison (1978), Lincoln, Godfrey, Leydecker (1983)

Yes, Leydecker was an “expansion” park, but we’ll count it anyway.

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