Posts Tagged ‘Bob Rhodes’

bbb_Webster tells us the definition of legend is “a person or thing that inspires.” Great coaches and teachers inspire. Great friends inspire. I can think of no one who inspired more kids on the field and in the classroom than Barry Weiss. When I think of someone who inspired his friends, Bob “Rocko” Rhodes easily comes to mind. Both were giants in life who’s legend lives on even though they are no longer here on earth.

Once again, Alamedans are coming together to honor the memory of those who have touched us. I am pleased to announce that an effort is currently underway for the installation of two memorial benches installed at Krusi Park in honor of both Barry and Bob. The call is going out to all current and former Alameda park families for donations in any amount as we try to raise $4,000 to make this lasting tribute a reality. Funds raised will cover the cost of two benches, memorial plaques, and installation at Krusi Park.

Barry was instrumental in my life as a breakthrough teacher demonstrating how learning could be fun and hard work paid dividends as a player and student. Rocko showed me how to use personality to make people’s lives richer. I am just one of the countless park rats and Alamedans who experienced similar with both of these legends.

Help bring Barry’s famous quote, “Parks make life better” to life by joining Adrienne Alexander, Ann Keltner Weiss, Steve Cressy, Don Ratto, the Alameda Recreation & Park Dept. and PlayBall! – Alameda’s Sandlot Blog in this worthy effort. Please make a contribution today. Send checks payable to Friends of the Park (with notation: Krusi Memorial Bench) to 2226 Santa Clara Ave, Alameda, CA 94501.

Thank you!


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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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How many Rattos does it take to make a reunion?

Robb "the human bullhorn" and Denise (Photo courtesy of Lester Mina)

If it’s an Alameda event you know there will be some Rattos in attendance. For decades they have been an integral part of the Island community. The recent Alameda All Parks Reunion was no exception. This reporter saw a Bobby, Donnie, Kathy, Marie, Robby, Stevie and a Denise. Only the Osmonds could pull more family fire power. It’s obvious that the Ratto clan has a nose for fun. The only question everyone asked was “Where’s Ray? Has he gone Hollywood?”

Bob Ratto, Don Sherratt, Bob Howard and Jim Pitts (Mina photo)

Kathy and Steve Ratto

Don Ratto and a member of that other prolific Alameda family

Last but not least, a “wanna-be-a-Ratto” poses with Denise

Bob "Rocko" Rhodes tries to achieve Ratto status (Photo by Mina)

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Who's in this photo?

Here is what we know…

This photo was taken in August of 1966 during an ARPD Pee Wee League playoff game between the Krusi Colts and Rittler Wildcats. Pitcher John Snopkowski shutout the Wildcats 2-0 with his outstanding no-hit, 13 strikeout, 3 walk effort. John also added a bases-loaded  single to drive in Don Ratto and John DeLeau for the games only runs. Bob “Rocko” Rhodes and Terry Valenzuela added two base knocks each for Krusi. It should be noted that Rittler pitcher Mike Benesh was no slouch on the mound, surrendering just six hits and two runs in five innings of work.

Here is what we don’t know… who’s in the photo?

Left to right: Umpire (?); Base coach (?); Catcher – according to the box score, the backstop is either Rick Cecconi (Krusi) or Paul Hollis (Rittler); Batter (?); Third Baseman – it’s either Don Ratto of Krusi or one of the Dalby boys: Fred, Mike, or Ross (Rittler)

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