Archive for the ‘Longfellow Park’ Category

Thanks to Gabriel Ponce for his recent Facebook post as it enabled this fine digital fish wrap to add yet another baseball player to the official PlayBall! record. Rusty Ladua you are forever part of ARPD Youth Baseball League lore! The addition of Rusty pushes the count of boys and girls who played either baseball or softball to 2,550. Launch the fireworks!

Here’s the photo from back in the day that Gabe surfaced for Longfellow Tigers everywhere to enjoy.


Speaking of Longfellow, don’t forget tomorrow’s Tiger Reunion. Phil Canalin is calling all Longfellow Park Rats to return to the old stomping ground on Saturday, June 10. Just like the old days there will be BBQ grilling, ceremonial games of catch (bring your glove), and a demonstration by John Canalin on how to slap the ball to right field and take two! Guaranteed to be a great time for all… even Washington Pirates like Rick Delmore!



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The 2017 CIF-NCS High School Baseball Playoffs was shaping up to be epic diamond battle showcasing the offspring of former Franklin Eagles and Longfellow Tigers. Garden Isle bragging rights would have been on the line had the Campolindo Cougars met the Encinal Jets in the second round. The Campo roster features catcher Michael McAuliffe and pitcher Donovan Robles, sons of former Eagles, Jeff McAuliffe and Kin Robles. The Encinal squad features pitcher/SS Henry Canalin, son of Ed Canalin and the latest in a long line of great players named… Henry. Just kidding, the Canalin clan have produced more diamond stars than the Ripkens.

While the Cougars won their opener over Arcata in a thrilling 11-inning contest (7-6), the Jets couldn’t make their end of the dream matchup a reality as they fell to Kennedy of Fremont (8-3).  Jeff and Kin, shown here proudly sporting vintage Eagle attire, were at the Campo game loosening up for the showdown classic that will never be. Alas, since Campo advanced to Round Two, in theory… Franklin is King again! How about that?!


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Alamedans should lock their doors next month because the Garden Isle will be overrun with tigers… LONGFELLOW TIGERS!


Phil Canalin, esteemed author and Encinal High School legend, just announced plans for a Longfellow Park Reunion on Saturday, June 10. Loyal readers of this digital fishwrap are left to wonder if Phil has had a few too many Longboard Lagers at today’s Park Street Spring festival. I can assure you that is not the case, he actually had the idea for this reunion minutes before he started savoring fresh malt beverages.

Longfellow Tiger Reunion, Sat., June 10
11:00am to 4:00pm
Bring a picnic lunch, chairs, blankets, balls, gloves
Bring family, friends and Tigers (live or stuffed)
Bring pictures, articles, Park memorabilia


The question in this reporter’s mind is: Will Eagles, Pirates, Seals, Lions, Gophers, Colts, Mustangs, Indians, Wildcats, and Bears be welcome or slapped with a bicycle ticket by Jimmy Pitts? For more information post questions to Phil here on PlayBall! – Alameda’s Sandlot Blog!

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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.


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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The legend of Bob “Rocko” Rhodes, who by the way remains an Alameda fixture, started back in his youthful days with the ARPD. Bob began in the department’s employ as an umpire following graduation from the Sam Spear School of Umpiring in 1972. After two years on the circuit, Bob upped his game and paycheck by joining the ranks of the hallowed ARPD park directors. Many also recall Bob as the proprietor of “Rocko’s” on Park Street, a friendly establishment where he dispensed a weekly sermon from his watering hole pulpit to many former park rats.

Tours of Duty: Rittler (1973), Lincoln (1974), Krusi (1975) , Longfellow (1976), Woodstock (1977)

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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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Ponce Pounces on Rittler Wildcats

Ponce Pounces on Rittler Wildcats

Longfellow Tiger Gabe Ponce pitched a one-hitter against the Rittler Wildcats in 1970 Pee-Wee League action. The fourth-grade Tiger ace also contributed a three-run homer and a two-RBI base knock in the 17-0 route. (Did Rittler have anyone on the field?) Gabe fanned ’16 Cats but lost his no-hit bid when opposing pitcher Charlie Bertucio laid down a beautiful bunt to reach first base.

Ponce is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Gabrial Ponce of 623 Lincoln Avenue. This is Ponce’s first Player of the Week recognition (we bet he earns another one down the road). Gabe has 29 total strikeouts this season and is tied with another Pee-Wee hurler, Ray Snider of the Edison Indians.

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