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A Murietan celebrates her 70th birthday on the century's luckiest day, vintage baseball comes to Stonehouse Park, and the Pleasant Grove Lacrosse Club gears up for boy and girl players. Read about your neighbors here.

Good olde boys of summer

The Gold Country Vintage Base Ball League introduced 1886 style and form to Stonehouse Park this month when players with nicknames as colorful and quaint as their striped socks and jerseys stepped out onto the baseball field Sunday, July 1.

"You do call outs, don't you?" inquired Murietan Wally Blair, who served as the lone umpire. The ballists for the Rancho Murieta Bandits and the Amador Crushers assured him that was the case.

But there were other things for the umpire to get used to, like asking the batter's preference for a low or high strike zone and relaying this to the pitcher as, "The striker would like to have it low, hurler."

The way Blake "Calaboose" Carmichael of the Bandits tells it, the main difference between base ball and baseball lies in the equipment. The reproduction bat is chunkier, the ball a bit softer, and the glove is "a glorified gardening glove." For anyone who played hardball in school, "it's a unique way to get out there again. It's a lot of fun," he said.

Playing at Stonehouse made it even better for the Murieta players on the Bandits team. "It's the first game our families could come out to with the younger kids," said Carmichael, whose wife, Brenda, attended with the couple's two small children. "It was really special for me to have everybody there."

Carmichael said the vintage baseball movement started on the East Coast and came to the Bay Area a few years ago. The Gold Country league was established last year and the Bandits, the newest team in the league, is only the ninth vintage team to take the field on the West Coast, according to the league's web site.

It's fitting that the league has taken root in the Gold Country since baseball was popular with miners and local tradesmen back in the 19th Century. A photo of the 1898 Volcano Ball Club appears in an archive on the web site.

The league returns to Stonehouse Park in August with games at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 12 and 26. The Bandits play in the afternoon.

Fans -- cranks and crankettes alike -- are invited to attend and cheer the ballists on with hearty huzzahs as they leg it home.

Team roster for the Rancho Murieta Bandits:
Blake "Calaboose" Carmichael
Matt "Splint" Corsaut
John "Deuce" Dodson
Matt "Shamrock" Floyd
Glen "Big Daddy' Gross
John "Pops" Kellogg
Steve "Dinger" King
Jerry "Mad Man" McCarthy
Chris "Canada" Moenig
Clint "Light'n" Leon
Kevin "Wild Thing" Lane

Lucky lady

70th birthday

Helen Scheinert

If the numbers are any indication, Helen Scheinert, above, has to be the luckiest person around. She turned 70 on July 7, taking the magical date of 7-7-07 to a new level. Family and friends celebrated at the garden party her son and daughter-in-law, Pete and Shannon McKenzie, held in her honor on the lucky day at their home in Murieta South. Family members from as far away as Alaska and New York crowded around her for a photo, causing her to remark, "It's pretty nice to be so loved." Also attending were friends from her former home in Grass Valley and the Murietans she's met since moving to a home down the street from Pete and Shannon.

Lacrosse returns to Stonehouse Park

Lacrosse

Story and photo courtesy of Pleasant Grove Lacrosse Club

After a very successful first season, the Pleasant Grove Lacrosse Club is organizing "informal" practices for returning players and new players who want to learn the game at Stonehouse Park on Sundays starting at noon.

The goal of the club is to field a boys' JV team for 9th grade and up and junior boys' teams for 7th and 8th graders.

In addition, the PGLC is starting a girls' team.

Local residents Heather Manske ( UCLA women's Lacrosse team) and Becca Hintz
(SDSU women's Lacrosse team) are working with the girls on basic skills.

"It's completely different then the boys game" explained Manske. "I can see some of the girls have watched their brothers and picked up things that will need to be re-taught."

The goal of the girls' team this year will be to develop some basic skills. Currently, unlike the boys' teams, there is no formal league schedule. PGLC will be working with other clubs in the area to organize game days/mini tournaments during March and April. The initial plan is to field a team of 6th through 8th graders, but ages might change depending on interest.

"For our first practice the girls picked it up real quick" noted Hintz. Seven girls, ranging from 5th to 7th grade, attended the first day.

Returning to help teach skills to the boys is local resident Scott Stawicki, who played for UCD last season. Boys work on stick skills along with other game skills.

Paul Abess noted that there continues to be a strong interest in lacrosse in our area and the main restricting factor at this point is the need for coaches.

Boys interested in joining the club and anyone interested in helping the club or coaching can contact Paul Abess, 354-4110. Girls who are interested in playing can contact Bill Ousley, 354-0487.

There is a limited amount of loaner equipment available for use.

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