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Archive for the ‘Rittler 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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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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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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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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Can you guess which of the people in the photo below will be at the First Pitch Party on Thursday night at the Alameda Theatre & Cineplex?

The Rittler Park staff, Bob Machin, Steve Cressy and Keri Spaulding, keep The Maltese Falcone company on Family Night in September 1975.

The Rittler Park staff, Bob Machin, Steve Cressy and Keri Spaulding, keep The Maltese Falcone company on Family Night in September 1975.

We’ll give you a hint: It won’t be former Giants pitcher Pete “The Maltese” Falcone.

VIP Tickets for the March 20 gala benefit are sold out! However, there are still General Admission tickets available for just $10.00. Come on down and see many of your park directors from back in the day. I guarantee that Bill Lietz will NOT be handing out bicycle tickets.

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