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Archive for July, 2017

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.

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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.

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Climbing into the PlayBall! Time Machine for July 6, 1962 we find the following PeeWee League action:

Woodstock Seals Shutout Indians 6-0

Woodstock pitcher, Dean Robertson, hurled a two-hit shutout, fanning 15 Edison batters. Only two members of the Tribe received free passes.

Pirates Ground Eagles

Washington Park pitchers combined for a no-hit gem that sent Franklin hurtling to earth in a 10-1 de-feathering. On the bump for the Bucs were hurlers Ottervanger and Tavares who only allowed a single unearned run to cross the plate.

Today’s PlayBall! Time Machine is brought to you by Stone’s Cyclery. Looking for a deal on a Schwinn Stingray or Varsity 10-speed? See Harry and Dennis Stone for competitive pricing on all Schwinn bicycles and accessories.

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Back in the 1956 an 11-year old lad by the name of Don Perata played baseball for Franklin Park. The future California State Senator and political dynamo would represent the Gold Coast situated park in an ARPD competition known as the Old Wooden Face Baseball Throw. The Don, as he became known in Sacramento, would ultimately reach the finals of this event. The staff of our digital fish wrap wishes we had a photo from back in the day featuring the Diamond Don in his Franklin Stars t-shirt.

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Wondering how The Don’s arm is today?

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Little is known about Webster Park. PlayBall! welcomes any insight our readers may have about the location and park attributes. This much we know:

In 1956, the Webster Giants were part of the West End division of ARPD’s youth baseball program. With entries in the Midget and Little Coast Leagues. Don Mutch was the Park Director.

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