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Posts Tagged ‘John Perata’

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.

perata_lyons

Pitcher Johnny Perata sporting his Raider knit cap on a summer day.

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We’ve all heard the phrase “the tools of ignorance” applied to catcher’s gear. But never has “fashion plate” been applied in describing a catcher’s attire, although in the case of this photo, “fashionable behind the plate” would be most applicable.

Johnny Plaid and Swingin' Sato in '74 (Photo Acamar)

It must have been difficult for Colt batter Mark Sato to keep his eye on this pitch while catcher John Perata’s neon plaid pants were undulating in the background. As the immortal baseball announcer Harry Caray was fond of saying, “Holy Cow!”

Actually, the suave Longfellow backstop was not alone in his bold “Pumas and Plaid” ensemble. Our mid-1970’s photo archive is loaded with other GQ statements being made on the diamonds of Alameda. (Just wait till you see our photo of Chris “The Alameda Rifle” Speier and Giants teammate John D’Aquisto in their sport jackets while attending one of the annual ARPD Baseball Awards Banquets. Somebody call the fashion police!)

Unfortunately, we don’t know the outcome of this PeeWee League duel held at Lincoln Park. However, we do know that this photo graced the cover of the weekly PlayBall! supplement on August 13, 1974. Mr. Perata was also featured in two additional center spread photos! I guess that would make John the first PlayBall! Batterymate centerfold.

Oh, behave!

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