Posts Tagged ‘Rittler Wildcats’

ARPD baseball was in full swing when Rittler met Edison for a mid-July 1975 contest. We have no idea who prevailed but we know the Wildcats were threatening to score in this photo. When the camera shutter clicked, the Rittler batter, “Bomber Bob” Levering, had just connected with the pitch. You can see the ball below the Krusi Diamond designation (3) on the far left. There must have been less than two outs as savvy baserunner Robert Abriol is waiting to see if the baseball gets through the infield before attempting to score. Edison’s Greg Folrath is shown toiling behind the plate.

Park Rat Question of the Day: Is that Pat “Elfie” Thomas watching the action from behind the backstop? Only the Krusi Park faithful know for sure.


Bomber Bob Levering puts the orb in play.


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Someone recently told Alameda’s Sandlot Blog that in 1958 Franklin Park fielded a team named the Mets. The City Desk argued that wasn’t possible since the New York Mets didn’t come into existence until 1962. A little more research led our staff to the magical 1964 season and the second division finish for… the Franklin Mets.

But you may be asking, “Why was magical about the 1964 season?”

The answer is simple and can be found in the standings where the storied Estuary Rams went undefeated with a perfect 11-0 mark!

Here’s the final standings for 1964 in the Little Coast League:

Estuary, Krusi, Franklin and Lincoln were the Little Coast powers in 1964.

Estuary, Krusi, Franklin and Lincoln were the Little Coast powers in 1964.


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Ponce Pounces on Rittler Wildcats

Ponce Pounces on Rittler Wildcats

Longfellow Tiger Gabe Ponce pitched a one-hitter against the Rittler Wildcats in 1970 Pee-Wee League action. The fourth-grade Tiger ace also contributed a three-run homer and a two-RBI base knock in the 17-0 route. (Did Rittler have anyone on the field?) Gabe fanned ’16 Cats but lost his no-hit bid when opposing pitcher Charlie Bertucio laid down a beautiful bunt to reach first base.

Ponce is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Gabrial Ponce of 623 Lincoln Avenue. This is Ponce’s first Player of the Week recognition (we bet he earns another one down the road). Gabe has 29 total strikeouts this season and is tied with another Pee-Wee hurler, Ray Snider of the Edison Indians.

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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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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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“What’s up with Rittler? I can’t believe no one has stepped up as a reunion coordinator for the Wildcats! What’s the deal Shahbazian? Dutcher? This is why I played for Franklin even though I lived next to Rittler.”

Joe Edwards – Franklin Eagles, Little Coast All-Star (1972)

Let the games begin. Will there be a counter from the mighty Wildcats? Who will have the biggest contingent of former park rats at the Alameda All-Parks Reunion on July 31 @ Washington Park? If anyone from Rittler (or McKinley, Edison, Mastick, Buena Vista, Estuary and Lincoln) wants to help out as a reunion coordinator, please contact PlayBall! or  John “Longfellow Rules” Canalin.

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Every year a big box would arrive at the local park office. The contents contained a closely guarded secret that would only be revealed at the appointed hour. Anyone caught peeking inside was sentenced to a day’s banishment from the park. (Or if it was Bill Leitz, you got sandwich duty for a week – that meant the offender was sentenced to ride his bike to the P&G Delicatessen on Park Street to pick up Bill’s lunch order.) Inside the box were dozens of that season’s baseball t-shirts.

Kim Buffy and Mike Jacobs "Come on, let's peek inside the box."

Although the individual park logos had a long shelf life, every few years the park color combinations would change. I imagine Lil got a good price by ordering thousands of shirts at a time. Perhaps the decision for a color change was signaled when the supply ran out! “Shirley, the t-shirts for Woodstock and Lincoln are getting low. Time to swap their colors.” But I digress…

PlayBall! needs your continued help in trying to identify t-shirt colors associated with the parks during the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Here’s what we recall:

Franklin  – Midnight blue shirt, white logo (pre-1966)

Franklin – Burgundy shirt; white logo (1966 – ?)

Krusi – Black shirt, white logo

Krusi – Navy blue shirt, white logo

McKinley – Black shirt, white logo

Rittler – Yellow shirt, black logo

Washington – Yellow shirt, black logo

Washington – Yellow shirt, blue logo

Edison – Forest green shirt, white logo

Edison – Black t-shirt, white logo

Lincoln – ?

Longfellow – ?

Godfrey – ?

Woodstock – Blue shirt, yellow logo (1968)


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