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With great sadness we report the passing of A.J. “Lil” Arnerich.

Anyone who follows PlayBall! – Alameda’s Sandlot Blog knows that “Lil” was the Dean Emeritus of Alameda Baseball. His legacy as a tireless champion for the youth of Alameda is without peer.  Thanks to him, thousands of kids found Alameda playgrounds a safe home away from home. A haven where every child, regardless of ability, was given the opportunity to enjoy athletics… especially, his first love, BASEBALL! There would be no PlayBall! if not for his vision.

Thank you, Lil. God speed!




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Playing the hot corner takes a special kind of player. Cat-like reflexes. Fearless demeanor. Soft hands. Big arm. Strong teeth… and a set of pipes. Scotty Olson was the perfect choice to man position for the Eagles. He also had some pop in the bat that sent a few “indoor” baseballs over the fence at Franklin.

The original caption of the photo printed in the PlayBall! weekly supplement misspelled Scott’s name. Imagine that! Fortunately, this digital fish wrap has corrected the egregious error that left the young player emotionally scarred for the past 47 years.


Original caption: HEY BATTER – Franklin Eagle third sacker Scott Olsen lets the batter know that he’s there.

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Washington D.C.The White House is once again attacking the news media claiming we are reporting stories that are not based in truth. PlayBall! – Alameda’s Sandlot Blog takes exception to this false claim as our stories always follow tried and true investigative reporting practices while pursuing the highest journalism standards.

Now to set the record straight on a 1971 story reported by our predecessor – who shall remain nameless lest we be sued in courts of law. The original PlayBall! supplement headline read as follows: Ray Snyder Shuts Out Indians 11-0. The article further claims that the pitcher played for the Longfellow Tigers of the ARPD’s PeeWee League. Unfortunately, this piece of reporting was made in error.


The local sports editor, must have been pressed for a print deadline following a long night at the Driftwood and allowed his typesetter, Scoop Thomas, to set the storyline. Forty-seven years later, we want to set the record straight once and for all. Here’s the real scoop…

Ray Snyder, was actually the losing pitcher as his Edison Indians were shut down by  Longfellow Tiger hurler Gabe Ponce who also struck out 14 Tribesmen in the win. Also, this was a PeeWee League contest, not a Midget game as reported.

Another victory for truth in journalism! Sorry Ray.

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Colt Station Zebra

Krusi Park Legend Charlie Neiderbrach is bundled up for a frosty winter but he’s not too cold to display his new Park Legends Sticker. Charlie’s former park director, Adrienne “the Champagne Lady” Alexander, ordered a bushel of Krusi Colt stickers to send to many of her former park kids. Adrienne has been at the forefront of many activities to ensure park memories stay in “kids” and their directors for life.

We’re not exactly sure where Charlie is stationed these days but the PlayBall! staff hope he’s nowhere near where submarines may emerge from the ice pack at any moment. If one does, perhaps Charlie will slap a Krusi Legend sticker on the conning tower! (EDITOR’S NOTE: If you don’t know what the heck I’m referencing – or missed it at the Alameda Theater or Showcase Cinemas – Google Ice Station Zebra.)


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Stuck On A Stuffer?

kringleThe Alameda Park Rats have spoken and the Big Kringle at PlayBall! Alameda’s Sandlot Blog has listened!

Seven Park Legend stickers are now available to make Santa’s visit even more enjoyable for park rats everywhere! Yes, kids, you can show your eternal park pride with these stickers featuring: EDISON INDIANS, FRANKLIN EAGLES, GODFREY GOPHERS, KRUSI COLTS, LINCOLN LIONS, RITTLER WILDCATS and WASHINGTON PIRATES!

krusiThese are the perfect stocking stuffer for all eternal youth of Alameda. If you know someone who played in the ARPD youth athletic programs, you need to order them the ultimate sticker for their guitar case, bowling ball bag, tool box, rear truck window, forehead, Duluth underpants, surfboard or ice chest.


These 4.5″ x 3″ vinyl Park Legend stickers are weatherproof and priced at just $4.00. That’s less than a Nation’s Cheeseburger or a pint of Guinness! BUT WAIT… there’s more! Order any three Park Legend stickers and Kin Kringle will add a 4th sticker FREE! That’s right! ABSOLUTELY FREE!

DON’T WAIT! TIME IS RUNNING OUT! Place your order today by sending old Kringle an e-mail at playball94501 (that’s @gmail.com address) or post a message here to the old elf.



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A big PlayBall! shout out to Tom Spiersch for sharing this photo from the summer of 1956. Fervent Krusi Park rats everywhere will surely be delighted to see members of these Police League Champions from back in the day!

Some of the younger rats in our audience may be asking, “Why do our beloved ponies have Good Chevrolet on their shirts?”

Great question Joan Q. Public. Prior to the Alameda Elks Lodge becoming the major sponsor of ARPD park league baseball programs, local businesses flipped the bill for Police League. Note the spiffy “K” embroidered on these caps adorning these champion high school sandlotters.


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