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Posts Tagged ‘PlayBall! – Alameda’s Sandlot Blog’

Dateline: August, 1954 – The baseball field at Lincoln Park may be named after legendary N.Y. Giant shortstop Dick Bartell, but in the summer of 1954 the king of that diamond was 15-year old Don Sherratt. The Alameda Times Star reported that young Sherratt was on track to follow the great Bartell to the majors after he posted a phenomenal .818 batting average in the ARPD’s Police League summer baseball circuit. No adjustment of your eye glasses is necessary… the kid hit .818 leading his Lincoln Park Dodgers to the East End Championship that featured the squads from Franklin, Krusi and McKinley Parks.

Don played the hot corner and had numerous opportunities to show off his fine arm and glove as the opposition frequently discovered. He was also a member of the 1953 Lincoln team that also won the East End crown. Frisco Sartor, Alameda American Legion baseball coach and Lincoln Park Director, said of Sherratt, “a fine prospect, possessed of many natural abilities and, with the proper guidance, should prove to be an outstanding baseball player.”

Of the experience, Don had this to say, “The ARPD’s Police League was great because of the players connection with a police officer who was the team coach and became the players friend.”

Don Sherratt, a great ball player, career educator (see photo below), and truly an Alameda Legend!

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After his playing days were over, Don had a long and very successful career in the Alameda School District.

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Park Director (1956) – Lincoln

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Thanks to Gabriel Ponce for his recent Facebook post as it enabled this fine digital fish wrap to add yet another baseball player to the official PlayBall! record. Rusty Ladua you are forever part of ARPD Youth Baseball League lore! The addition of Rusty pushes the count of boys and girls who played either baseball or softball to 2,550. Launch the fireworks!

Here’s the photo from back in the day that Gabe surfaced for Longfellow Tigers everywhere to enjoy.

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Speaking of Longfellow, don’t forget tomorrow’s Tiger Reunion. Phil Canalin is calling all Longfellow Park Rats to return to the old stomping ground on Saturday, June 10. Just like the old days there will be BBQ grilling, ceremonial games of catch (bring your glove), and a demonstration by John Canalin on how to slap the ball to right field and take two! Guaranteed to be a great time for all… even Washington Pirates like Rick Delmore!

 

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PlayBall! – Alameda’s Sandlot Blog is pleased to report that the Alameda Elks Club will return as the primary sponsor for Alameda Recreation & Park Department’s legendary youth baseball league in 2015. As all Park Rats know, support provided by the Elks dates back to the golden age of park league baseball when thousands of garden island kids proudly wore the Elks B.P.O.E. logo on their park t-shirt. Tom Curran, 1960’s vintage Franklin Eagle, recalls, “”We all thought B.P.O.E stood for Franklin – Best Park on Earth”.

Elks Trustee, David Hilton, recently confirmed to the Alameda Park League Advisory Committee that Elk generosity would provide $10,000 to the program this year. The t-shirt league’s return in 2014 enabled over 300 Alameda kids to play organized baseball free of charge under the watchful eye of the ARPD and a group of dedicated volunteers. As the great Mel Allen would say, “How about that?”

The Elks have also announced they will hold a special T-Shirt League Dinner Dance Fundraiser on June 5th at 7:00pm. The public is welcome to attend and hob-knob with the horned hoi-polloi. For more information on this gala event, see the attached flyer. Thank you, Alameda Elks!

Come and join the fun in support of the Alameda T-Shirt League!

Come and join the fun in support of the Alameda T-Shirt League!

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Spotting a speedy roadrunner on the Garden Isle is an extremely rare occurence, however, our crack PlayBall! staff has uncovered one recorded sighting. Back in September of ’75 one such bird was captured on Kodachrome at Rittler Park!

Yes, readers, Jeff Oh of the Rittler Wildcats was photographed trying on the golden cleat he was awarded as winner of ARPD’s 1975 Outstanding Baserunner! The Pee-Wee League speedster tore up the bath paths that season and his legend will live on here on PlayBall! for future generations in the new park league to aspire to!

Road Runner Award winner Jeff Oh of the Rittler Wildcats.

Road Runner Award winner Jeff Oh of the Rittler Wildcats.

Speaking of the ARPD’s new t-shirt baseball league, have you purchased your tickets yet to the big fundraiser this coming Thursday night – March 20 – at the luxurious Alameda Theatre? If not, get your own gold cleats on and dash down to the box office today! You can also order online at www.alamedatheatres.com  It’s only $10.00 and owner Kyle Conner is standing by to welcome you to the fun!  BEEP! BEEP!

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The year was 1959. The Krusi Pee Wee entry featured a group of boys who would find success on the diamond and later in life. Can you help us name this lineup?

1959 Krusi Pee Wee Leaguers

1959 Krusi Pee Wee Leaguers

TEAM NAME: Krusi Colts

BOTTOM ROW: Gary Fascilla, (? #2), Mel Arnerich, (? #4)

MIDDLE ROW: Barry Murphy, (? #2), Alan Spatcher, Ron Coffman, Mike Frecerro

TOP ROW: Allan Wallace, Steve Olson, (?#3), (? #4)

PARK WHERE PHOTO WAS TAKEN: Krusi (Diamond #3)

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To celebrate the unbelievable no-hit game thrown by the Giants Jonathan Sanchez, PlayBall! Alameda’s Sandlot Blog commemorates another no-no in history. This one from the ARPD Park League vault.

In June 1970, the Washington Pirates squared off against the Lincoln Lions in an early eason Little Coast game. On the mound for Lincoln was Terry White, the former Franklin Eagles star. Taking the hill for the Bucs was pitching ace Larry Groves. 

Terry White struck out five Pirate batters, but nine walks and timely Washington hitting unraveled his effort. In the end it was Larry Groves who’s great command throughout the day led to twelve K’s and only four walks en route to the 6-0 No-Hit victory! Ken Money and Packy Bosworth were on the receiving end for Groves marvelous seven inning effort.

Photo: Bordanaro & Zarcone

Photo: Bordanaro & Zarcone

Much like Sanchez’ gem, the only real threat for Groves came in the final stanza. Lincoln’s lead-off  batter, Dave Marlow, drew a walk followed by a Washington miscue that allowed the Lion runner to advance to third. In a thrilling attempt to steal home, Marlow was tagged out at the plate thus preserving the shutout. Jerry Jordan and Tom Ravey were the hitting stars for Washington, as each contributed key doubles.

Over the years, the late Larry Groves remained an outstanding pitcher in the park leagues and beyond with outstanding control and a blazing fast ball. 

Caps off to the Giants Jonathan Sanchez and ARPD All-Star Larry Groves!

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