Frederick Galindo played semi-professional baseball for Saint Mary’s College before playing on a Concord team sponsored by the famous movie distributors Turner and Dahnken.
Before soccer entered the picture, Concord had quite a reputation for its baseball leagues. Many kids started in T-ball, advancing to Little League (CAL and JOBL) ages 9-12, then going to the Babe Ruth league, 13 years old to high school.
The pressure of high school baseball started to separate the mediocre from the talented. The elite went on to play American League ball. That’s where scouts would find recruits and send them on to the minor or major leagues.
The Pacific Coast League drafted players to the San Francisco Seals, Oakland Oaks, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels and a few others. About 1959, the New York Giants came to San Francisco and the Brooklyn Dodgers came to Los Angeles – putting an end to the Pacific Coast League and causing a major shift in the game.
Concord switched to a Rookie League, with A, AA and AAA becoming well known. A few players from my generation were Marty Piscovich, who was drafted to the Philadelphia Phillies; Dwain Adams, who was drafted by the L.A. Dodgers; and Mike Schumacher and Clyde Mashore, along with his two sons.
“As a player, you know when you’ve reached your peak, so it’s not as discouraging as one would think when the pro dreams are over,” Adams said.
Women started playing, even housewives played. Female talent became so strong that the women’s league went from A to adding B, C and then D leagues.
Do you remember donkey baseball in the ’50s? They played on a field where our library is now, and it was an entertaining game to watch. The guys hitting the ball were on donkeys. After they hit, they would hustle to the base – if the donkey was cooperative. You can imagine how funny that was.
Anyhow, soccer started catching on, slowly taking over the limelight from baseball. So it’s not as active as it used to be, especially with COVID shutting the door to all games.
Fortunately, the great American pastime will always be around, one way or another. There’s nothing like watching local baseball on a nice summer night.
Carol Longshore has been a Concord resident since 1950. She is a community leader and past president of the Concord Historical Society. Send comments and suggestions for future topics to email@example.com.