Playing ball in Lincoln, an 80-year experienceBy: Jim Datzman
Playing ball in Lincoln, an 80-year experience
Editor’s note: Part one looks at the former years. Part two next week looks at the latter years and includes William Jessup University Warriors, adult recreational softball and tournaments, the Senior Leagues, and life beginning at 80.
Parks and Recreation T-Ball program
You can spend up to 80 years of your life on a ball field in Lincoln if you are so inclined. You begin by enrolling in the Lincoln Parks and Recreation T-Ball program (T-Ball 1 if you are 3.5 to 4.5 years of age and T-Ball 2 if you are ages 4 and 5). These instructional programs teach you how to hit, catch, throw and run.
At the other end of the rainbow, you can still enjoy doing all of this in your 80s while playing in the Lincoln Hills Senior League or on one of their several traveling teams.
Lincoln Little League program
This program was started in 1959 and encompasses a mind-boggling 66 teams and keeps 780 players (ages 5 through 16) busy on the tightly-scheduled fields.
Many of the games are played on the well-manicured Little League field at McBean Park. League
“Our program runs amazingly well for its size, thanks to the combined efforts of our parents and our volunteer coaches,” said President Bob Ferguson. “Our program has become a feeder program for the high school teams and we work well with their coaches in the interest of moving our players in that direction.”
Lincoln Girls’ Softball Association
The Girls’ Softball Association is led by President Carolyn George and consists of 227 players on 17 teams ranging in ages from 4 ½ years old to 16 years old. Their primary fields for both league and tournament play are the fields at Wilson Park. There are also two girls’ travel teams based in Lincoln with a total of 50 players between the ages of 12 and 16.
Lincoln High School Zebras
The Sacramento Bee publishes a weekly list of the Top 20 teams in the region in major sports activities. For many years, you did not see Lincoln High School teams on that list. This year, the Zebra Baseball team entered May with a Number 13 ranking and a record of 21 wins and only three losses.
The girls’ softball team did even better with a Number 10 ranking based on a record of 15 wins and seven losses.
The high school baseball and softball programs have benefited from the talent pool developed through the local recreational league programs and should continue to do so in the years ahead.
The Lincoln Potters name has a proud history. The semi-pro team gained prominence throughout Northern California in the early 1950s while playing before large crowds at the McBean Park Stadium.
The Potter tradition was renewed last year with the announcement that the Lincoln Potters Collegiate Wood Bat team would be again playing at the same renovated stadium while participating in the highly competitive Great West League. The team provided local fans with plenty of thrills while compiling a record of 35 wins and 25 losses before being nosed out in the playoffs.
This year’s league schedule includes games against the San Francisco Seals as an additional challenge, with league play starting last Friday at McBean Stadium.
The Potter’s games are definitely family-friendly and qualify as affordable entertainment. Additional attractions for the kids include Fireworks Nights and the appearance of various cartoon characters on several pre-scheduled evenings.
For additional information, check out the Lincoln Potters website at lincolnpotters.com or call the office at 916-209-3444 to experience family entertainment Lincoln style.
Jim Datzman is a Lincoln Parks and Recreation Committee member.