“Play Ball! 160 Years of San Francisco Baseball.”
Tonight, my buddy Mitch and myself went to a very cool event at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco called “Play Ball! 160 Years of San Francisco Baseball.” Despite the poor weather, there were many people in attendance and they all seemed to have a lot of fun. There were several notable sports writers and authors from the Bay Area who gave an in-depth presentation on the local history of the game which goes back to 1851.
The presentation consisted of an informative lecture with lots of great photos & video and featured some neat Baseball artifacts on display. I could have done without the various jokes and comments bashing Oakland & The Athletics but I guess that’s what you get when you have a crowd which seemed to consist mainly of Giants fans.
My favorite part of the evening was meeting Rugger Ardizoia, the last living member of the San Francisco Mission Reds of the old Pacific Coast League (photo above). In addition to the Mission Reds he also played with various other PCL teams during his career such as the Oaks and Stars. He also spent some time in the Major Leagues in 1947 with the New York Yankees.
Rugger was a very cool fella who is still sharp and funny for a 92 year old. He told me that he liked my Mission Reds cap and that he wish he would have worn his own too. At one point he sized me up and informed me that he used to be my height prior to various surgeries in 1992. I replied by saying “Funny you say that, I used to be your height too!” We shared a laugh, I told him it was an honor meeting him, we shook hands and we went on our separate ways. It was fun to meet Rugger and I am glad I decided to approach him and introduce myself prior to leaving.
All in all, tonight was a good time. If you’re a Bay Area Baseball fan and did not come out, you definitely missed out.