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Archive for the ‘Franklin Park’ Category

The year was… well, never mind the when, but one Saturday my Dad took me to Western Auto at the South Shore Center. The store had a large sporting goods section in addition to the usual car parts and tools inventory. During this visit Dad bought me my first baseball glove.

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I’d like to say I still have that mitt today but I don’t. My dog probably ate it somewhere along the way.  However, a few years back, I was at a garage sale when, low and behold, there it was! The same Regent BG530 model that served me well at the hot corner of Franklin Park. Naturally I gladly paid the $3.00 price tag without even the slightest thought of negotiation. You don’t barter for the Mona Lisa. Besides, that’s probably what my Dad paid for it new back in the day.

Tells us about your first glove?

 

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Pee Wee League catcher Wendel Kuhn straps on his shin guards in preparation for a big late summer game.  The Franklin Eagle backstop is still sporting his Rittler cap from a previous season. Wonder if he still has that cap?

Many kids played for multiple parks over the course of their ARPD youth baseball careers as their parents moved about the Garden Isle. One of the greatest accomplishments of Alameda’s founding fathers was to install playgrounds across the city. That effort continues today as new recreation facilities continue to be a priority for Alameda.

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Catcher Kuhn’s wristwatch must have been a Timex because only they could “take a licking and keep on ticking!”

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Franklin right-handed slugger Jeff McAuliffe prepares to take one deep to the park’s opposite field blacktop and drive in some runs. Note the Cookie Rojas model spectacles sported by the mighty Eagle in this rare color photo from the Golden Age of ARPD Park League baseball. While the photo is a bit blurry it helps you, the reader, relive what Jeff’s vision was like back in those days of yore.

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Big Jeff takes a cut with the famous Franklin Park rose bushes in the background along San Jose Avenue.

Today, Jeff’s vision is much improved as he proudly watches his son Michael who is the starting catcher for Campolindo HS Varsity Nine. When he wasn’t peppering the horse hide around Franklin, Jeff, and teammate Brian O’Malley, could be found at B&M Market purchasing frozen candy bars recounting their success on the diamond.

Fortunately for PlayBall! – Alameda’s Sandlot Blog, O’Malley’s parents took a number of color photographs from back in the day. This fine online chronicle has gained access to the photo stash and will bring them to our faithful subscribers over the course of the 2018 season!

 

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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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Park Director (1956) – Franklin

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Park Director and Asst. Recreation Supervisor (1958-1968) – Estuary, Krusi, Lincoln, Franklin, Woodstock, ARPD Office

Some of Don’s recollections from his time working at the ARPD, “Working for the ARPD gave me the chance to develop my skills as a teacher and coach. The role enabled me to learn how to work with kids of all backgrounds. It was my opportunity to truly understand diversity.

One summer coaching the Lincoln Park Bantam team, we didn’t win a single game. Regardless of the game results, these 12 players showed up for every practice and game. When  they reached high school, two of the kids were named All-League. When I coached at Krusi Park, some of the core players, in the various age groups, ultimately went on to play in the Babe Ruth Program and at higher levels, including college and the pros.

Some of the memorable recreation professionals and park directors for me were Bea Rowney, Lil Arnerich, Ray Luce, Augie Gouig, Don Grant and Bob Howard. Others who really led the kids and liked the youngsters at their parks were Barry Weiss, Paul Klays, and Al Thomas.”

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