Posts Tagged ‘A.J. “Lil” Arnerich’

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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Tensions are escalating between Alameda and Beijingover reported spying.

Tensions are escalating between Alameda and Beijing over reported spying.

The staff of PlayBall! Alameda’s Sandlot Blog are on high alert today after discovering that viewers in Hong Kong have been following this digital fish wrap for some time. Yes fellow park rats, Chinese knock-off manufacturers may be out to copy another piece of American greatness… Alameda’s legendary park league baseball!! Recent blog analytics show growing viewer activity originating from Hong Kong.

Philip Nitskopip, Assistant to the Associate Undersecretary of National Security told a gathering press at the Time Star Building, “We are closely monitoring the situation as it unfolds. President Obama, the Joint Chiefs and Lil’ Arnerich have been briefed.”

In a recorded interview on Meet The Press, PlayBall! Minister of Bunting and Defense, John Canalin, said, “It’s an outrage! I’ve assembled teams of Longfellow Black-Ops Tigers and Woodstock Seals who at this very moment are headed towards the China Sea. We’re waiting for word from McGee’s… I mean the White House as to our next steps. God bless Alameda!”


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The great “Sammy” Spear should not only be known as a great handicapper of the ponies, he’s also dean emeritus of the ARPD’s original Umpire School. Older kids who wanted to earn summer time cash could participate in the Boys Baseball Umpire Program. Upon graduation from Spear’s comprehensive four-week training camp, the freshly minted umpires would take to the diamond highly qualified to call balls, strikes, balks, the infield fly rule, and everything else under the baseball sun.

Tom Spear, as he was known at birth, was the original statistics guru. A true student of the game, he dazzled his fellow Lincoln Park rats with unprecedented baseball knowledge. Lil’ Arnerich knew he’d found his professor of umpiring in Sam Spear.

Professor Spear lectures his umpire class of 1974. Looks like he commandeered the City Council chambers for this session.

Professor Spear lectures his umpire class of 1974. Looks like he commandeered the City Council chambers for this session.

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While you’re trying to identify this popular figure from the golden age of the ARPD’s original t-shirt baseball league, make your plans to join hundreds of other former park rats on March 20 at the Alameda Theatre. On this night, you’ll have the chance to renew old friendships from your park days. Catch up with many of your favorite park directors. Meet former major leaguers who once played on the same fields you did while proudly wearing their park t-shirts. And, after some special recognitions, settle into a comfy seat to watch the story of the original ARPD t-shirt baseball league as told in the documentary “PlayBall! – Alameda’s Sandlot Saga.”

All this for just $10.00 – all of which goes direct to fund the new ARPD t-shirt baseball league. Visit the Alameda Theatre website today and order your tickets online.


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Did you miss me? Silly question. OF COURSE YOU DID!

Well fellow park rats, even if you didn’t notice my absence here on PlayBall! Alameda’s Sandlot Blog, I know for certain you’ve all missed the legendary Alameda T-Shirt Baseball League. Guess what? Like this blogging pundit, the league is back!

Thanks to the PlayBall! Advisory Committee, chaired by Kevin Kennedy, and in conjunction with Alameda Recreation and Park Department, Friends of the Parks, Alameda Theatre & Cineplex, and the original t-shirt league sponsor, Alameda Elks Club, kids will once again take to the baseball diamonds of Alameda for FREE supervised league play in the park!

The Advisory Committee, consisting of Alameda legends like Lil’ Arnerich, Adrienne Alexander-Chaix, Kyle Conner, John Costello, Eric Cross, Kevin Kearney, Cindi LaCroix, some character named Robles, and Bill Sonneman, joined Kevin to lead the charge in making this happen. It’s been a true labor of love for this crew working with the ARPD, now under Amy Woolridge, and ARPD Supervisor, Pat Russi (Rittler Wildcat).

A gala First Pitch Benefit Party is slated for the Alameda Theatre & Cineplex on Thursday, March 20, 2014. You won’t want to miss it. Some Longfellow Tigers are already growling how they will be best represented that night. We’ll see about that!

Stay tuned park rats because once again it’s time to PlayBall!!!

The mighty Franklin Eagles have already hijacked the big screen at historic Alameda Theatre!

The mighty Franklin Eagles have already hijacked the big screen at historic Alameda Theatre!

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If you are a true Alamedan you can never get enough local lore. Once again our good friends Dewey St. Germaine (Buena Vista Ram), Brian McDonald, and the Alameda Museum have combined to produce a remarkable exhibit recalling the island’s rich athletic history. This reporter has been sidelined with pneumonia, however, the phone lines at PlayBall! have been ringing off the hook with reports of another successful Alameda Sports Exhibit.

Don’t wait! Climb on your Schwinn Stingray and peddle down to the Alameda Museum, located on Alameda Avenue (of course) between Park and Oak Streets. The 2nd Annual Alameda Sports Exhibit will be held from August 14 – September 30, 2010 at the Alameda Museum. This year’s exhibit features some very special local sports heroes… I’m not spilling the beans, you just have to see it for yourself!!! As always photos, trading cards, authentic game used equipment and other memorabilia of former and current professional & college athletes from Alameda will also be displayed. Admission is FREE. Trust me, you won’t find a better value anywhere!

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The staff at PlayBall! just received a message from the great beyond… direct from Abraham Lincoln. The Great Emancipator is not happy. Apparently Mr. Lincoln, a regular reader of PlayBall! – Alameda’s Sandlot Blog, has noted that few Lincoln Lions have RSVP’d for the upcoming Alameda All-Parks Reunion. Not that an RSVP is required but while other parks have made their looming presence well known, Lincoln Park has been largely silent.

Did former park director Brad Rankin take them on a road trip to Chula Vista? Is Kenny Arnerich holding a golf tournament for his Hornet Nine on the same day? Have they switched allegiance to Edison Playground, or worse yet, Krusi? Oh, the humanity of it all! Lions where are you? Honest Abe wants to know.

“Lil” expects a good turnout by his neighbors!!

Lincoln Lions - PeeWee League Runners-up 1975 (Acamar photo)

Bottom Row: Jeff King, Brian Andrews, John Ferris, Chris Target, Louie Manzo, Peter Veenbaas

Top Row: John Cruz, Greg Koubek, Mike McGregor, Robert Childers, Brad Oliver, Zackary Frazer, David Proctor, and Lion Tamer Brad Rankin

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