Recent columns about Harry Renfree Field and Night League baseball drew plenty of reaction. Here's a sampling:
Dolores Renfree Coyle, widow of Harry Renfree: "The field is nothing but weeds, no lights or snack bar as it was burned down by idiots. The city of Sacramento has no money for repairs, but they have millions of dollars for the Kings' arena. It breaks my heart. I went by there a few weeks ago, and all that is left is the playground and a sign that says 'Harry Renfree Field.' Very sad for our family."
Debbie Felix, niece of Renfree: "This baseball field is a forgotten gem filled with so much history. It breaks our family's heart to see the field in the condition it is and to know that Sacramento has let this field fall into disrepair."
Tim Berry (La Sierra): "Many of us have great memories of Renfree Field and the Night League. The story made me think when I was a kid in the sixth grade, playing Little League baseball in North Highlands. Lou Brinson was a mailman in North Highlands for most of the year but spent spring training as some type of equipment manager for the Giants. Lou was also the manager of the Marashs Giants. One Sunday we were playing at McKinley (Park) and there weren't enough guys on the other team, so Lou asked me if I wanted to play. Lou had given me a Giants batboy uniform that I always wore to the game, and I was ready to go. We always looked the best with all the Giants gear. They put me in left field, and I can't remember if it was Leon Lee (Grant) or Leron Lee (Grant) that hit a ball to left over the trees, hit the road and bounced over the house that borders the park. Man, I was finally playing with the big boys."
Gary Kammerer (Bella Vista): "The story on the Night League really brought back some great memories for me. Sacramento had some really great baseball back in those days. I pitched for Gold Nugget in the early '70s. Jimmy Graff (Sacramento) was the best leadoff hitter I ever pitched against, and was fortunate to play with him in Mexican American ball. Jim Johnson (Del Campo) was another great player I played with and against during those years. Oscar Broyer (Burbank, Cosumnes River College) literally owned me. Man, could that guy hit. I didn't miss seeing him go on to play at a higher level. Gary Szakacs (Mira Loma) was the only guy ever to go 5 for 5 against me. I played with Bob Forsch (Johnson, Sacramento City College) on Gold Nugget. That year he didn't pitch on that team, but could he ever hit. He had homers that must still be rolling down I-80 somewhere. Joe Soto (Clarksburg, Sac City, Sacramento State) I remember well. I played against him when he was at Sac City and Sac State. It was nice to have him on my side once in a while "
Gary Rios (Burbank): "I was golfing with Harry Dunlop (Sacramento), and he asked me about the article in which Ed Cervantes (Johnson) recalled me being in a slump. I hit a dribbler in front of home plate, ran out, pushed the catcher out of the way and threw myself out. I told Harry that wasn't the best part. When I returned to the dugout, my team was rolling. My manager, Cal Emery, an ex-major leaguer with the Phillies, says, 'You know, in all my years in baseball, I have never seen that, but it's still going to cost you a $100 fine,' which is a lot of money for 1970. However, my roommate Gary Szakacs took up a collection to help ease the pain."
Jupiter right-hander Scott Lyman (UC Davis) was named Florida State League Pitcher of the Week. He threw seven shutout innings, allowed two hits, walked two and struck out five.
Palm Beach right fielder David Popkins (Woodcreek) was named to the Advanced-A Florida State League Postseason All-Star squad.
Six area players will participate in the Arizona Fall League: catcher David Freitas (Elk Grove, Cosumnes River) for the Mesa Solar Sox, managed by Bill Richardson (coached at Bella Vista, Del Campo, San Juan); pitcher Tyler Waldron (Golden Sierra), catcher Andrew Susac (Jesuit) and outfielder Cory Vaughn (Jesuit) for the Scottsdale Scorpions; outfielder Tim Wheeler (El Camino, Sac State) for the Salt River Rafters; and pitcher Pete Ruiz (Nevada Union) for the Surprise Saguaros.
Mark McDermott is a freelance writer specializing in Sacramento-area baseball. Next Sunday he will select his players of the year in rookie, Class-A, Double-A and Triple-A ball and the major leagues. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.