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Archive for the ‘Krusi Park’ Category

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.

levering_abriol_folrath_

Bomber Bob Levering puts the orb in play.

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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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Park Director (1950s-60s) – Krusi

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PlayBall! – Alameda’s Sandlot Blog extends a big hug to all the current and former Alameda mothers out there! You were the well-oiled machine that enabled thousands of us park rats to flock to our respective parks each day.

THANK YOU!!

Mrs. Joan Henderson cheers on her lil' park rat Charlie on a summer day, some 40 years ago.

Mrs. Joan Henderson (right) cheers on her lil’ park rat Charlie on a summer day, some 40 years ago.

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Someone recently told Alameda’s Sandlot Blog that in 1958 Franklin Park fielded a team named the Mets. The City Desk argued that wasn’t possible since the New York Mets didn’t come into existence until 1962. A little more research led our staff to the magical 1964 season and the second division finish for… the Franklin Mets.

But you may be asking, “Why was magical about the 1964 season?”

The answer is simple and can be found in the standings where the storied Estuary Rams went undefeated with a perfect 11-0 mark!

Here’s the final standings for 1964 in the Little Coast League:

Estuary, Krusi, Franklin and Lincoln were the Little Coast powers in 1964.

Estuary, Krusi, Franklin and Lincoln were the Little Coast powers in 1964.

 

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Emergency crew members from the Alameda Fire Department called it a miracle. Times Star photographer Acamar said it was the luckiest shot he’d ever captured. All this when an Alameda youth accidentally fell from a small Cessna aircraft that had just taken off from the Oakland Airport only minutes before. Tumbling some two-hundred feet, the boy, identified as Danny Esparza, made a perfect feet-first landing on top of the backstop of Krusi Park Diamond #1. The photographer caught the action just as the boy hit the backstop.

The sturdy steel material acted as a trampoline of sorts breaking Esparza’s fall while springing him back up in the air with a baseball that had become wedged in the wire mesh. Danny landed on the infield and returned the ball into play, receiving a roar of approval from both teams and the dozen people watching the Midget League game.

Danny Esparza retrieves a foul ball from one of the Krusi Park backstops.

Danny Esparza retrieves a foul ball from one of the Krusi Park backstops.

Of course it’s a true story! You read it on the Internet didn’t you?

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Over the years, Krusi Park was the home of many championship baseball and softball teams in the ARPD Park League program. The summer of 1970 produced one of the best, as the Midget Colts powered their way to an undefeated 11-0 season to capture the crown!

The Krusi sluggers took time out from their East End celebration schedule to pose for this classic photo.

The Mighty Midget Colts show off their lumber in 1970.

The Mighty Midget Colts show off their lumber in 1970.

Left to right are, Steve Ratto, Dean Pugh, Gary Berti, Mike Long, Tony Muzio, Charlie Niederbrach, Kerry Billingsley, Steve Jackson, Bert Soffiotto, and coach, Al Thomas. Missing that day were Mike Cooper, Pat Morse, Leroy Thomas and Bob Morton, all of whom were called up to play for the A’s in a doubleheader at the Oakland Coliseum.

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