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Archive for the ‘Lincoln Park’ Category

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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Dateline: August, 1954 – The baseball field at Lincoln Park may be named after legendary N.Y. Giant shortstop Dick Bartell, but in the summer of 1954 the king of that diamond was 15-year old Don Sherratt. The Alameda Times Star reported that young Sherratt was on track to follow the great Bartell to the majors after he posted a phenomenal .818 batting average in the ARPD’s Police League summer baseball circuit. No adjustment of your eye glasses is necessary… the kid hit .818 leading his Lincoln Park Dodgers to the East End Championship that featured the squads from Franklin, Krusi and McKinley Parks.

Don played the hot corner and had numerous opportunities to show off his fine arm and glove as the opposition frequently discovered. He was also a member of the 1953 Lincoln team that also won the East End crown. Frisco Sartor, Alameda American Legion baseball coach and Lincoln Park Director, said of Sherratt, “a fine prospect, possessed of many natural abilities and, with the proper guidance, should prove to be an outstanding baseball player.”

Of the experience, Don had this to say, “The ARPD’s Police League was great because of the players connection with a police officer who was the team coach and became the players friend.”

Don Sherratt, a great ball player, career educator (see photo below), and truly an Alameda Legend!

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After his playing days were over, Don had a long and very successful career in the Alameda School District.

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Park Director (1956) – Lincoln

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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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Today was a glorious day on the Garden Isle of Alameda and not just because of the weather! The sun was shining and the cry of “Play Ball!” was once again heard on city baseball diamonds as the new ARPD Youth Baseball League hit the field. Opening Day saw a new generation of kids playing ball in the park just as thousands of kids before them during the Golden Age of park league baseball.

A full compliment of young boys and girls decked out in brand new park league t-shirts were all smiles as the games got under way across Alameda. The crack of the bat brought grins not only to the players but also to those on hand. Cheers went up from the stands as the kids made one great play after another.

Members of the Park League Advisory Committee were on hand at Lincoln Park for the ceremonial start of the 2014 season. Along with the Dean of Alameda baseball, A.J. Lil Arnerich, were committee members Kevin Kennedy, Eric Cross, Adrienne Chaix, Cyndi LaCroix, and Kin Robles. ARPD chief, Amy Wooldridge was all smiles (and sighs of relief) as play got underway for the inaugural season. Rich Bullock Sr., former Lincoln Park Director, called the game as a volunteer umpire. Former park rats Mike Taylor (Lincoln) and Brett Pedersen (Krusi) came down to watch the action.

A young Lincoln Lion prepares to get his first hit of what will be a long t-shirt league career.

A young Lincoln Lion prepares to get his first hit of what will be a long t-shirt league career.

Thanks to everyone who had a hand in bringing back this Alameda institution. Your generosity and belief in the youth program, that to this day still defines a community, made the return of the t-shirt league possible.

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Jim was a park director for ARPD before moving on to work in the City of Oakland recreation program. He’s also the father of Edison Indian Greg Battersby,

Tours of Duty: Lincoln 

Jim Battersby today.

Jim Battersby today.

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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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