Archive for the ‘Krusi Colts’ 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.


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.


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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On July 16, 1973, Charlie Niederbrach ran outside of his home at 3205 Otis Drive to get the Alameda Times Star. Why you ask? Obviously, he wanted to read the latest news about the Watergate scandal. NOT!

Charlie, like most every kid on the Island, wanted to get his hands on the latest edition of the PlayBall! baseball supplement published every Monday. This particular edition featured young Niederbrach for his pitching exploits the previous week. Unfortunately for Charlie, PlayBall! was famous for a gaffe or two in these special editions. This day, the Krusi Colt pitcher was identified as a catcher for Godfrey Park… the opposing team!

Rodent pitcher had a big game in July 1973.

CHARLIE NIEDERBRACH            Godfrey Catcher

“CHARLIE NIEDERBRACH, right-handed pitcher for the Krusi Colts pitched his team to victory over Godfrey. 5-1, as he struck out seven batters and allowed only five hits. Charlie stopped several Godfrey rallies with great clutch pitching. The win against Godfrey keeps Krusi in the Little Coast race.

Charlie has been selected as a Player of the Week before, and was an All-Star selection last year. He attends Lincoln School and is in eight grade.”

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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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Can you guess which members of the 1968 Krusi Colt Little Coast Championship Team will be at the Alameda Theatre on Thursday, March 20?

Join us for a night of fun and great memories from the golden age of Alameda’s park leagues. For just $10.00 you will not only get to catch up with park friends, rub elbows with former major leaguers Vida Blue and Erik Schullstrom, and see some of PlayBall! – Alameda’s Sandlot Saga on the big screen, the ticket price goes directly to the new ARPD baseball league. 100%!

Order your tickets online at www.alamedatheatres.com or visit the box office. Don’t wait. Do it today!

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Since 2003, I’ve heard literally thousands of comments along this line, “I wish they would bring back the old park league baseball program.” If you’re reading this, you are probably one of the people who shared this sentiment, and likely more than once!

Finally, after all these years, your voice has been heard and your wishes have come true. The ARPD youth baseball program is coming back in just a few months. Now that the new t-shirt league is on the offical books… WE NEED YOUR HELP!

The call to action for local park rats within the sound of my blog:

If you are in the greater Bay Area, please buy your tickets to our upcoming benefit event at the Alameda Theatre on March 20. ALL of the proceeds from this great event go direct to the new baseball program so kids can play for free. General Admission seats are just $10.00 and can be purchased on-line or in-person at the box office. The event is going to be chock full of fun surprises.

Please don’t wait. Hit a home run right now by clicking on this link and purchasing your tickets TODAY! $10 is a small price to pay for all the fun you once had playing ball at an Alameda park.


Bill Purcell of the Krusi Colts drops a beautiful bunt in front of Woodstock catcher Ed Buenting. Seals won the game 5-3 on a beautiful July day in 1970.

Bill Purcell of the Krusi Colts drops a beautiful bunt in front of Woodstock catcher Ed Buenting. The host Seals won the Little Coast game 5-2 on a sunny July day in 1970.

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