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November 2014

Dont Stop Believin the Giants Win the World Series Again
Lowell Kid Throws Out the Firsts Pitch at a Cubs Game
Former Lowell Player Makes the Big Show
Eddie Mayers story about his baseball career is a typical rags
to riches story except his story turned out better than most but
who would figure on his 82nd birthday that he would throw
out the first pitch in a Big League ball game. He grew up in
San Francisco and like most kids of the day played sports
mostly baseball and basketball. He had one advantage in that
his father, Ned, was an outstanding ball player who played
the Sunday semi-pro leagues for as long as Ed could remember. At one point his father was good enough to get a try-out
to play pro ball and as much as he wanted to go and if he
made the team he would lose his job. It was the depression
time and if you had a job you were one of the lucky few. So
Ned stayed home and worked with Eddie to develop a passion
for the game and playing all the time. Ed was always playing
a game in the Saturday and Sunday leagues and when high
school came around he went to Lowell. Ed had sprouted into
a tall kid about 61 as a sophomore and being left-handed he
was limited in the positions he could play. He gravitated towards the mound because he had a good arm and a lively fastball and a decent change-up. Lowell in those days was not
noted for the baseball teams even though some fine players
had played there including
Jerry Coleman who graduated in 1944. Because of his
outstanding ability on the
mound he was picked up by
Dick Murray to play on his
very strong Gordon Realty
semi-pro team. Eddie impressed lots of scouts but not
enough to generate a lot of
interest in signing him to a
bonus or offers such as that.
So he attended the University
of California and played his
freshman and sophomore
years. After some outstanding
games including a one-hit shut
-out over a strong Santa Clara
team, Charlie Walgren head scout for the Red Sox offered
him a lucrative contract that he could not turn down and so in
1952 he signed and was off to play at San Jose in the Cal
State League and latter that year in Greensboro. In 1953 he
came back to San Jose and went 17-8 that turned lots of heads
in the organization as this young man could really pitch. In
54 he was back with Greensboro Class B ball and again went
17-8. The Red Sox knew they had a prospect on this hands
but also knew they might be able to trade him for a player of
value to help them now as Eddies value was down the line.

So he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals and they put him
in AAA ball with the Rochester Red Wings and Omaha in
1956-57 and he pitched well at that level. So much so that
the Cardinals wanted him to go to Cuba and play winter ball
in 1956. Ed couldnt turn down an offer like because it was
great experience and plus the money was so good in those
days it was a bonus for him. Little did he know that the Cuban team wanted him to pitch practically every other day and
by the end of the winter he pitched close to 400 innings in a
year and half. When he got to spring training in 57 all those
inning pitched showed as his fastball lost some of its zip and
his arm was tired and sore. He did manage to pitch well
enough in spring training but the Cards might have spotted
something and was traded to the Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs thought Ed had some value as a relief pitcher rather
than a starter. Eddie told his manager that he had always
been a starter and relieving was something totally new to him.
To which his manager said, Do you want to be a reliever in
the Major Leagues or a starter in the Minor Leagues. At this
point Eddie was so excited he didnt care what his job was,
here was that skinny kid from Lowell High School going to
be in the Major Leagues by the end of the year. He got called
up in September and got into a few games and did alright and
the next spring in 1958, he was invited to the Cubs Major
League camp. He got the routine of being a reliever down
fairly well and showed the team that he had the ability to
work out of the bullpen and consequently got himself a spot
as a reliever. However, his arm was in terrible pain every
time he threw the ball but he didnt tell anyone. He would
have both good and bad days going 2-2 with a 3.80 era and a
couple of saves to his credit. The over-pitching in 1956 really
started taking its toll on his arm and the Cubs know it as well.
He still wasnt doing too badly but with little zip on the fastball the hitters started teeing off on him.
Consequently when the June 25 man cut-day came along he
was farmed out to Portland of the PCL. For the remainder of
the 58 season he kicked around in Coast League and went 26. He tried pitching again in 1959 but the arm didnt respond
and was moved over to Denver of the American Association
but nothing got better so he decided that his baseball career
was over.
fter working in business for six years he decided to go
back to school and get a teaching credential. He wound
up teaching middle school in Pacifica for 25 years. Now retired he spends most of his leisure time traveling all over the
world with his wife of the past 20 years, Younga. So how did
he manage to be selected to throw out the ceremonial first
pitch at the Cubs on June 27, 2014. My wife and I were
traveling through the Midwest and we were near Chicago and
we decided to see a baseball game, he recalled. I made a call

Board of Directors
John LeTourneau
Vice President
Len Grilli
Ken Mooney
Rich Murphy
Gary Bader
Art White
Frank Brady-Ron Castro
Bob Fife - Cliff Righetti
Bob Hagler - Joe Marino
Con Maloney John McCarthy

Best wishes to the Old

Timers for 2014

to the Cubs ticket office and asked if I could get

a pair of tickets for the game. I told that that I
was a former pitcher on the 1957-58 team and
the person on the other end jumped on his request. The Cubs PR department had been
doing a 50s, 60 and 70s promotion of having
a player from that decade throw out the first
pitch. As it turned out that day was to be a
1950s tribute so they asked Eddie if he would
be willing to throw out the first pitch. Are you
kidding I said, Ill be over right now, exclaimed the excited Mayer. So thats how a kid
from Lowell High School managed to have a
great career in sports and get to throw out a
pitch at ball game.
It was time for some questions for him. Do you
have any regrets about your playing days?
Yes I wish I went to Mission HS rather than
Lowell because I could have learned more
about baseball., he said. Also I wish my
mother had let me sign out of high school so I
could have gotten an earlier start in pro ball.
Has the game changed any since you played?
Yes todays players dont know how to play
small ball and dont know the fundamentals of
the game. The one advantage they have over
old time plays is that we had to learn the game
on our own whereas todays player get personalized instruction on all aspects of the game, he
Do you still follow the game? Yes Ive become more of a fan than ever thought I would
be. I enjoy watching the Giants play and actually like to watch the MLB channel to see who
the new prospects are, he commented.
He was also inducted into the schools Hall of
Fame was presented by Old Timer member,
baseball coach John Donohue.

Timers: Claudia Davis, Debbie Gutierrez,

daughter Vicki, and Diane Hartje. They did a
wonderful job preparing the spaghetti and all
the other trimmings. Also assisting were the
men of the Old Timers: Billy Jones, Bill Davis,
Ed Gutierrez, Gene Hartje, Gary Bader,
Bob Mitchell and Emil Ruggiero. And, how
about the servers from
Lincoln high school.
Those young men did
a truly professional
job. Of taking care of
everyones needs.
Then came the raffle...and the winners
of the $1,000 First
Place cash prize went
to member Joe
Dave longa & Emil
Gualco. The comRuggiero working the
plete list of winner is:
1- $1,000, Mr. & Mrs.
Joe Gualco.
2-$300, Mike Corbin
3$100,Ruth Berckland
4-$75, James Curren
5-$50, Jere Driscoll
6-$25 Paul Varni 7-$25,Bob Hagler, 8thKris
Longa; 9th-$25, Jerry Gibson, 10th-$25 Sherry
Spaghetti Feed/Raffle Night
ats off for a terrific effort by dinner
chairman Joe Marino and raffle chairA very special Thank You goes out to Nicks
man Dave Longa for putting on a great evening Produce Market on Irvine and 19th Avenue.
for the more than 120 members and guests of
Every year for the past two and including the
the Old Timers Association. The entire eveCrab Feed the management at the produce marning went off with out a hitch probably because ket provided free of charge all the condiments
Joe covered for dinner, and that adds up a more than a few
his bases
bucks. So if your out and about stop in and
and got the patronage their store and give them a big Thank
right people You for their contribution to our events.
to do the
The raffle itself did well this year as Dave
work. Led
Longa had a batting percentage of .637 or 214
by his wife out of 336 who bought books of tickets. MemLinda the
ber John McCarthy sold the most with 35 books
in sales. Next year we are back at the Irish Cullady Old
tural Center for the event.

Rich Blackburn
Art Citron - Nick Cannuli
Mel Canevaro - Brian Kearney
Don Dennehy - Al McCarthy
Dan Jacobsmeyer

Marino Pieretti Group Notes

As of this writing thee are 126 people signed up for the Annual Dante Benedetti Awards dinner which will be held on
Wednesday November 12 at the South City Elks Club. Tickets are $30 each and are still available if you contact Dave
Longa at 650-244-9741. The November luncheon will be
held on Wednesday the 19th at Bertoluccis at 12 noon.
Bull Pen Chatter
he baseball season is officially over and the San Francisco Giants are the World Champions for the third time
in five years. It was an interesting Series as both teams battled back from being on the edge of elimination. However
without sounding too much like a hypocrite, I must say that in
my opinion neither team should have been competing in the
World Series by virtue of getting there in that that stupid concept of a Wild card Play in method of producing another
game for two teams the opportunity to play for the title. I am
not in favor of the Wildcard play-in. They didnt get in legitimately so why did they get in through the back door?
Elimination Tourney- If baseball wanted to give every team
the same opportunity of playing a one-game elimination opportunity then why not have a 15 team single elimination
tournament to determine who plays in the World Series. Well
I played a hypothetical tournament through a seeding process,
put the teams in two brackets, National and American
Leagues and played the games on paper. As it turned out the
Mets won the National League and the Angeles won the
American League, with the Mets winning the World Series in
a 3-game series. Shows just what you can do when you have
no lifemaybe Ill suggest this plan to the new commissioner.
And how about the worst call in baseball...the checked swing
call. How many times have you seen this postseason where
the hitter had the bat taken out of his hands on a checked
swing call. It seems as if Brandon Crawford was the victim
of the call on several occasions. This call should be a reviewable because its a critical point during an at bat for the
player. Actually Billy Butler was a victim of a strike three
call that was very questionable in Game 7 in the late innings.
It was the first time in Series history that neither team won at
least 90 games in the regular season. Its also encouraging to
many other organizations that the Royals go to the Series with
a rather modest payroll of just over 90 million. Eighteen
teams spent more than Kansas City on its payroll and 17 of
them went home, only the Giants remaining. Is this the new
blueprint for success in baseball? Probably not but its interesting to consider.

The City Prepares for Another Postseason Parade. The

newsletter went to the printer before the parade on Friday
October 31
started up.
But if its
like the
two there
could be a
million people crowding Market
Street and
blocks up to the Civic Center. Hopefully it will be just a fun
day but dont count on it. A writer for the New York Times
caught up with Kevin Bumgarner, at his home in Hudson,
North Carolina and you can tell where Madison got his laid
back Southern boy demeanor from. The writer, Michael
Powell, went to the Baumgarner home to ask some questions
and when he knocked on the door he was ushered into the
living room where the senior Baumgarner was seated in his
reclining chair watching the Giants beat the Royals for the
Series title. Powell was soon to
be treated with a language
Southern style that he was not
quite familiar with. It started
with the question on whether
Madison should be pitching the
7th game. Said his father, I
didnt know if he had enough
left tonight, but I did know that
boy would try to steal a steak off
the devils plate, Kevin said in
Southern style. He was surprised
Kevin Bumgarner at
that I found my way to his home
and said, Im amazed you found us, did you ever see so
much of nothing? said Kevin. After the Giants got hammered in Game 6, Kevin texted Madison a few notes to get
him prepared if he did pitch in Game 7. I told Madison that
sometimes youre the bug and sometimes youre the windshield, he said. Sometimes youre the pigeon, and sometimes youre the statue. That must mean something in
Southern language, because Madison became the windshield
and statue all at once. Powell also drove around to see where
Madison lived and went to high school. Earlier in the day
Powell drove by South Caldwell HS and baseball coach Jeff
Parham was on the field doing some maintenance work to
the infield. Its a beautiful field with a skinned dirt infield

Best Wishes
To All
San Francisco Old Timers
The Grider Family

Thanks Old Timers

Your Monthly Newsletter
Is a great Read.
Anonymous Donor

without grass In the infield. There are no cheap hits in this

park, Coach Parham noted. Its 341 feet down the lines and
358 to Centerfield. Madison was one of four hitters known as
the Bomb Crew who regularly hit balls out of the park. See
that pole beyond the outfield fence, Parham said. Madison
hit 10 home runs over
that pole and pine trees.
The coach was obviously
proud of his prize pupil
and told this story. In
one close game it was in
the 7th inning (last one
for high school games)
and he hit 97 mph on the
radar gun, coach recalled. I went out on the
mound and asked him if
thats all he had? He
adjusted his cap and said
No sir. his next pitch
Coach Parham showing the pole in deep
98. The fire
left field that Baumgarner hit 10 over.
already was burning in
that boy, Parham recalled. All you needed to do was throw
a little coal on it.
Back to Game 7 and the 8th inning, Keith texted his son a
message. OMG. Youre so much more than awesome, he
wrote. To see you work on the mound reminds me of watching you in high school. You are willing yourself to perfection
and dragging the team along with you. I couldnt be more
proud of your baseball accomplishments. He knew his son
wouldnt read the message until the game was over but
wanted his son to know what his daddy was thinking about
Hes been around here since 2010 and when he got called up
from Fresno in about June or so, he was in the doghouse for
getting some altercation down there. When he came I thought
he was some hotdog and not much of a pitcher. Boy what a
little growing up can to do to somebody with talent. Too bad
they dont use the playoffs as criteria for the awards because
we have the best pitcher in the National League on our team.

season. The event was played at San Pablo Park and turned
out to be a feast for the eyes of the 5,000 fans who crammed
the ball fields bleachers. One of the oldest and best teams in
BIL was Chinese-American Wa Sung Athletic Club that
played in the semipro and sandlot baseball leagues in the East
Also in the tournament were Als Cigars, a white team and
the Berkeley Pelicans, an African-American team. The scene
was representative of not only what the Berkeley International League was all about, but also why it was so important
at the time. At a point in sporting history when racial segregation in organized baseball was rigidly endorsed, the BIL,
the brainchild of one man who slipped between racial identities with ease and brought together white, black Asian and
Latino players on a level playing field with mutual respect
and vigorous competition as its foundation.
In the 1930s baseball was in many ways much more grassroots than it is today, especially economically. One level
there was organized baseball the major leagues a the top
and the minor leagues serving as farm systems. The BIL was
well ahead of
its time and
who more
mention of the
league hasnt
taken place is a
mystery. All
the ethic
groups were
represented in
the league and
there was no
mention of any
The Wa Sung Athletic Club was one of the cornerstone
bad feelings
franchises of the Berkeley International League. The
club was founded in the 1920s.
between players. Of course
this was California and we did things differently back in the
day. Fore example, Stockton had a very good Latino league
whereby the teams had to be made up of both Mexican and
white or black players so not to take away ethic approach to
forming the teams. I think that no more than 4 non-Latin
players could be on any team in the Stockton league. Until
A Wild Experiment in Baseball Segregation
All the politicos turned out for the event. Berkeley Mayor
the BIL came along teams formed from various ethnic groups
Edward Ament rose to give the welcome address, and John like Blacks or Chinese but they only played against other
Hassler and Hollis Thompson the city managers for Oakland team of the same ethnic background. (Blacks against Blacks,
and Berkeley also yakked a little bit. It was the opening cere- Chinese against Chinese) The San Joaquin Valley was the
monies of the Berkeley International League 1935 baseball
breeding ground for the Japanese teams in the 1930s-40s
Alumni Of
George Petty
Clyde Krusinski
Ron Taylor
Sacred Heart
Bud Williams
Brian Kearney
Frank Williams Tom Taylor
Supports the Old Timers Association

and when the Japanese were put into prisoner

camps during WWII one of the major activities
was baseball.
Oakland and Berkeley was fertile soil from
which the BIL grew, segregation that wasnt
necessarily enforced by local law but by economics and racial provincialism. While the
many ethnic groups that migrated to the East
Bay looking for jobs during the Great Depression may have worked side-by-side in the factories but lived in strictly defined cultural enclaves. East Bay semi-pro baseball offered a
way defy segregation on and off the field. It
took someone with influence and vision to bring
it together in multicultural organization like the
Berkeley International League and that person
was Byron Speed Reilly, the founder of BIL.
History tells us that Reillly possessed a dedication to creating a colorful entertainment scene
especially when it came to sports. He teamed
up with Ron Auther a light skinned Black who
could pass as white and between them the BIL
was the most successful sports endeavor the
late 1930s. By the 1940s or when the war was
at its height the BIL suffered like many sports
ventures with most of the men serving in the
armed forces. When Jackie Robinson broke the
color barrier in 1946 the need for having ethic
teams play together became a thing of the past
and so did the BIL. Whether or not the BIL had
much to do about people together and stopping
segregation is only something that has been lost
in history. But one interesting point is that it
took a sport like baseball to get people thinking
differently about their neighbors and is why
there was really no segregation in Bay Area
sports during the 1930s to the 60s. Much of
this information was taken from the SF Weekly
publication and thanks to member Jim Perry
for providing it.

Vince Tudoni - Jim McCoy

Leo Martinez - Bill DeMatie
Jim OConnor
Skip McKinney
George Schnapp

you can go on line at and

read more about what they do for the treatment
of cancer. Its a great group and donations are
always welcome.

More Good Books to Read

I read two more terrific baseball book that are
really good. One is Where Nobody Knows
Your Name by John Feinstein. This a great
read for anyone who has ever played triple A
baseball. Its the hardest league to play in not
only the caliber of play but the constant degree
of turmoil there is for the players. Feinstein
does a remarkable job of explaining the intricacies of baseball at that level. Words or phrases
like called up, sent down, optioned out, release,
arbitration, and being featured in the agate section of the sports page. As a player you play for
yourself to get notices and as a manager to try
and develop players and get them called up.
Feinstein used nine real life players, managers
and an umpire on whats like to play in those
conditions. As a player youre a young player
on his way up or an aging player trying to stay
afloat and get another contract before calling it
quits. As a manager wins are not that important
as developing talent and showing you have the
skills to understand the game. Even as an umpire you have perform or you get your walking
papers. In the book the umpire, Mark Lollo,
spent eight years in the minor leagues before
getting called up only to get sent down and release. Its hear-breaking...I have it anyone
wants to red it.
The other book is Mickey & Willie, by Allen
Barra who does an excellent job evaluating the
careers of these two super stars whose time in
the game were parallel to one another. They
both came up in 1951, both came from fathers
who drove them into the game at an early age,
both suffered from all the problems that come
with stardom. Barra does a fantastic job of deStand Up 2 Cancer
At the end of the 5th inning in game 4 of the
scribing their careers without being bias to eiWorld Series the
ther one of them. He has a feeling for Mantle
fans at AT&T Park but also understands Mays greatness as well. If
were asked to show you believe this but Mays was more sophistitheir support by
cated than Mantle when they both came up but
standing up and hold Mantle was more street-smart then Mays at the
up this placard. The same time. A good read let me know as its just
42,000 in attendance sitting on the shelf.
all got up gave a
cheer as loud as any
Golf Results from Sunnyvale GC
play of the game for their support of cancer. As Soon to be 94 years old, Bill Difu displayed his
a survivor myself I had tears in my eyes as all
skill on the Sunnyvale GC by winning two
those people got up to recognize survivors. If
Closest-to-the-hole contests as he was second at
you want to know more about the organization the par-3, 119 yd. 4th hole and was closest on
Congratulations to the S.F. Old
Timers Baseball Association
The Marino Pieretti Group
Bob Tobener and in memory of
Dante Santora - Frank Strazzullo

Holt & Collins

250 Montgomery Street

Suite 200
San Francisco, CA 94104

122 yd. 13th hole. Rich Huddleston 73

had the closest of the day with a shot of
73 on hole #4 and Difu had the longest
winner which was 61 on hole #13. Results:
#4 forward Tee 119 yds
1st-Leo Martinez 74 2nd Bill Difu
22. Back Tees 142 yds.
1st-Steve Kavanaugh 286; 2nd Frank
Brady 306 #7 Forward Tees 111 yds
1st-Bill Skalko 33; 2nd none
Back Tees 129 yds
1st Rich Ford 26; 2nd-Lou Landini
333 #13 forward tees 122 yds.
1st - Bill Difu 61; 2nd none
Back tees 161 yds
1st-Elliott Bartholomew 265; 2nd-Bill
Jones 29 #15 forward tees 143 yds
1st-none Back Tees 171 yds
1st Rich Huddleston 73; 2nd Joe
Matranga 228
Congratulations to the Old Timers who
won their flights in the 61st Northern
California Family Golf Tournament
played at Golden Gate Park GC. In the
Culligan Family 2nd Flight the winners
were Bill Jones and his son Brian who
beat Matt & Keith Grahman on the 19th
hole. And, winning the 4th flight was
Ken and Steve Mooney who beat Jeff &
Michael Banchero 3-2. The final golf
event for the season will be played Santa
Teresa GC in San Jose on Monday Nov.
3. If you would like to play contact Rich
Ford at 650-873-1144.
San Quentins Giants
his fall as the San Francisco Giants
were taking on the Kansas City
Royals in the World Series, another team
of Giants took the field for the final
game of their regular season. They worn
hand-me-down jerseys and swing bats
from an equipment closet under lock and
key. A trumpeter sounded the opening
notes of The Star Spangled Banner, the
team circled the pitchers mound with
their green-and yellow clad counterparts
from the As. The last game of the San
Quentin State Prison baseball Season
was underway. Clayton Worfolk, a
documentary film producer had contacted one of his colleagues at Heist, a
San Francisco based production company, about a baseball league that was
played at the prison. He started to make

the film about the season ending game

and two inmate teams at the prison and
then found out the history of baseball
and the tense dynamics within the prison
walls that had been going on since the
1920s Before much longer Worfolk had
himself an award winning documentary
on his hands. San Quentin, despite its
grisly reputation of housing Californias
Death Row, has dozens of programs for
inmates from drama groups to the baseball teams. He was quite surprised to
find out that the visiting teams were
from outside the prison walls. After the
final game, the players from the Giants
and As gathered back at the mound to
shake hands and offer congratulations to
the winners. Tryouts for next years
teams begin in the spring. I wonder
where they are getting the players from?
Two Ladies Talking in Heaven
1st woman: Hi Wanda!. 2nd woman: Hi
Sylvia! How did you die? 1st woman:
I froze to death. 2nd woman: How
horrible! 1st woman: It wasnt so
bad. After I quit shaking from the cold, I
began to get warm and sleep, and finally
died a peaceful death. What about you?
2nd woman: I died of a massive heart
attach. I suspected that my husband was
cheating on me so I came home early to
catch him in the act. But instead, I found
him all by himself in the dean watching
TV. 1st woman: So what happened?
2nd woman: I was sure there was another woman there somewhere that I
started running all over the house looking. I ran up into the attic and searched,
and down into the basement. I went
through every closet and checked under
all the beds. I kept this up until I had
looked everywhere, and finally I became
so exhausted that I just keeled over with
a heart attach and died.1st woman:
Too bad you didnt look in the both still be alive.!
Recently someone asked me what I do
since I retired. Do I have a job? I replied, Yes I am my wifes sexual advisor. Somewhat shocked, they said,
What do you mean by that? Very
Simple, I said. My wife told me that
when she wants my f_ _ king advise,
shell ask me for it.
Newsletter Editor: John McCarthy
To provide information call or email.
Cell Phone 209-470-1103

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