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About Seaside signal. (Seaside, Or.) 1905-current | View Entire Issue (April 14, 2017)
4A • April 14, 2017 • Seaside Signal • seasidesignal.com
The championship team
that launched Seaside Kids
R.J. MARX PHOTO
Elk pull into a Gearhart neighborhood “cafe.”
A trip to
By Eve Marx
For Seaside Signal
Seaside won a national championship in 1956 and spawned the organization Seaside Kids.
he year 1956 represented a time when baseball was
America’s national pastime and every kid had a mitt
with the signature of Mantle, Mays or Aaron.
In Seaside, young players starred not only for
the tournament-bound Gulls’ baseball team, but the
Connie Mack American Legion team, with kids age 17-19. The
pitching was so good, Seaside’s Ed Rippet said, that Jim Dick-
son — a future major-leaguer with the Kansas City Athletics
— played second-ﬁ ddle
to ace Garry Holmes.
Seaside Kids’ Pres-
SEEN FROM SEASIDE
ident John Morris and
members Rippet and
Jim Auld paid a visit
to the Signal ofﬁ ces
recently. They were
each children when Seaside Kids was founded in 1956, and
the experience was so profound they helped create and sustain
a program that provides athletic time and team experience for
kids to this day. “Active youth today, active leaders tomor-
row,” Morris said.
“We followed that team, we watched every game they ever
played,” Auld said. “That was the age we were. We lived at
the ball park.”
Seaside’s Connie Mack Legion team played competition
from Portland, Forest Grove and Eugene, culminating in a
three-day tournament held in Seaside. Seaside won three
games in the ﬁ nals, all of them by shutouts, earning the right
to represent the state in the national ﬁ nals held in San Ber-
nardino, California. Holmes won two and Dickson won one,
including a six-hit shutout in a 1-0 thriller.
Bill Fague managed the squad, assisted by coaches Chet
Bowser and Bob Paschall and trainers George Gray and Leo
“Bill Fague was very active in the youth of baseball and
the American Legion,” Auld said.
When the Connie Mack team won the tournament in Sea-
side, Fague began a round of fundraising to get the team to the
tournament in San Bernardino, California.
“He said, ‘Well, let’s see if we can get some money and
we’ll ﬂ y them down there,’” Auld said. “He went through
town and people started giving him money, and he recorded
every bit of money he received and from who. They got an
airplane, got the kids to Portland. None of them had ever been
on an airplane before, and ﬂ ew them down to San Bernardino
for this tournament, billed as the West Coast World Series.”
Amazingly, Holmes threw two three-hit games, defeating
teams from Burien, Washington, and Stockton, California.
Pitcher Hugh Springer won game two in a 1-0 shutout. Dick-
son, while not on the mound, stayed in the lineup and joined
Bob Canessa and Eric Blitz in the run-producing department.
The team hit .374 in the series.
Seen from Seaside
Maybe you remember those old baseball movies where
fans back in the day waited around for telegraph operators to
post the scores.
Such was the scene in Seaside.
“You didn’t have a lot of information going back and forth,
other than somebody phoning information about the games
and positing it in the drugstore windows,” Auld said. “People
knew the inning and what was going on. When they won that
thing, everyone was elated.”
Seaside American Legion collected 16 hits and 11 runs in
the ﬁ nale against Stockton.
After the team plane arrived back in Portland, the squad
R.J. MARX/SEASIDE SIGNAL
Ed Rippet, Jim Auld and John Morris, lifetime participants
and supporters of Seaside Kids.
returned to Seaside for what the Signal called “an all-out
Hundreds of fans were waiting to greet them at the Junc-
tion to escort the “Paciﬁ c Coast champions” to the Elks Club
for a reunion and celebration.
After the party — including a chicken dinner for 165 peo-
ple — Fague found he still had money left over from the city’s
generous contributions. “He said I can’t ﬁ gure how to give it
back, so let’s use that money to create a Seaside kids’ youth
baseball program,” Auld said. “From 1957 on, we operated as
‘Seaside Kids Inc.’ No kid would be charged to participated in
our youth programs. From that point on, it ran itself.”
Fague remained in charge until his death in 1985.
Back to the future
Seaside Kids, Inc. is launching its 61st year with a mem-
bership drive. Funds provide programs for more than 600
South County kids.
Activities include summer baseball and softball, recre-
ational swimming, third- to sixth-grade football, fourth-to-
sixth-grade volleyball and boys and girls basketball clinics.
Games are played in Cannon Beach, Gearhart, Seaside and
Older teams play against teams in the Astoria league and
the organization continues its afﬁ liation with the Oregon
Junior Baseball Association. Full uniforms are provided, and
every athlete is guaranteed playing time.
“It used to be most of our programs were in the summer,”
Rippet said. “Now they’re more concurrent with school. We’d
like to think we’re doing things for kids in their spare time.”
Seaside Kids sponsors free swims in the summer months.
Auld, Rippet and Morris made a pitch for adult volunteers
— coaches, concessionaires, even umpires. New programs,
like bowling, require reliable stafﬁ ng. “We need an adult
person to step up and say, ‘I’ll organize it,’ oversee it on a
Saturday morning,” Rippet said.
Big days for Seaside Kids include the Ducky Derby, the
Sausage and Pancake Feed and the golf tournament, auction
and dinner. And everybody is invited to support the organiza-
“We get the people that send money in are often older
people who don’t even have kids in the program,” Auld said.
“They continue to send that check in. They recognize the
value of Seaside Kids. For us, we can all say it gave us some-
thing to look forward to and activities to participate in. It’s
very important to get kids out and get them involved in some
activities and learn teamwork.”
Keep rates low
On Wednesday, April 12, upwards
of 50 State Farm agents from all over
the state will descend on Salem for our
annual Day on the Hill. A day where
many other Agents and I, from commu-
nities both small and large, meet with
our elected ofﬁ cials. We meet to discuss
and ﬁ ght for legislation up for vote that
will directly affect each of our commu-
nities. These events are an opportunity
for each of us to speak for our clients,
friends and families on bills and laws
David F. Pero
that can either help or hurt our day to
day lives. In the past we have struggled
against legislation as varied as required
increases in coverage, protection for
citizens while using companies such as
Uber and bills that allow people to be
sued even after their insurance compa-
nies have been sued. This year there are
two bills up that I feel especially strong
• House Bill 2858: A bill that will
gives lawyers a virtually unrestrict-
ed ability to ﬁ le two lawsuits for one
John D. Bruijn
insurance claim in court. Not only will
this drive up insurance rates for all Or-
egonians but it will overwhelm already
overburdened courts with new lawsuits.
• Senate Bill 487: This bill will jeopar-
dize our already strained healthcare sys-
tem in rural Oregon by increasing costs to
the Rural Medical Liability Reimburse-
ment Program by increasing the limit
on recoverable limit on non-economic
damages. This is a program that ensures
See Letters, Page 5A
f you’re coming to Gearhart just for elk, stay home,
A woman called me up on the phone just as I was
struggling with my email. I’ve got a Hotmail account
even though everyone says a Hotmail account is a
signal that I’m old. Hey, I graduated from AOL, didn’t
I? For some reason, the thing wouldn’t let me sign on,
which distressed me.
“Is this Eve?” a female voice said. “This is so-and-
so from Salem.”
“Oh, yes,” I said. I’d been expecting her call, just
not at that
moment. A few
I’d gotten a
friend that her sister-in-law through marriage who lived
in Salem might be contacting me. She said her sister-in-
law and her husband were planning a trip to the coast.
They hoped to come to Gearhart and see elk. In fact,
that might be their entire reason for coming.
“I hear you’re a lifelong friend of Lisa P.,” the voice
on the other end said. I agreed. “She said you’ve posted
quite a lot about elk in your yard. My husband and I
watched a show on Oregon Public Broadcasting about
the Gearhart elk and how they just walk right through
town. But Lisa says you have them in your yard. My
husband and I are meeting friends over the weekend in
Cannon Beach, but we want to see elk, so we thought
we’d come on over to your place to see them.”
“I haven’t seen any elk in about two weeks,” I said.
“There’s no guarantee you’ll see them.”
“Oh,” the woman said, sounding crestfallen. “Why
“Well, because they’re not around 24-7,” I said,
feeling a smidge exasperated. “They come and then
they go. There’s more of them around in the fall when
the males are in rut. In the summer, when there’s more
tourists around, they make themselves scarce. This
time of year, you might see them on the dunes. You can
get to Gearhart easily enough from Cannon Beach, but
there’s no guarantee you’ll see elk.”
“Oh,” the woman said again.
There was a pause in the conversation as I fussed
with my email server.
“Is there anyway we can call the elk to us?” the
woman said after a bit. “What would happen if we used
one of those elk call things like they use for hunting?”
“Well, my husband did buy one of those elk calls
a couple of years ago at the Astoria Sunday Market,”
I said. “He used it and elk did show up. They hung
around for an hour and he played his saxophone for
This information got the woman a little excited.
“I have to warn you, however, that the elk aren’t
that friendly,” I said, feeling suddenly concerned what
havoc I might have inadvertently started. A fanta-
sy ﬂ ashed through my mind about this completely
innocent couple blowing elk calls and the entire herd
showing up and possibly charging or trampling them. It
would be my fault of course. “They’re Roosevelt elk,”
I said. “They’re quite large. And there is some concern
the tourists are getting too close to them trying to take
pictures. Somebody could get hurt.”
“My husband says he won’t come to Gearhart if
we’re not going to see elk,” the lady from Salem said.
By now her tone had turned ﬂ at, almost mean. I sensed
she was a bit angry with me for not telling her what she
wished to hear.
“There’s a lot of great reasons to visit Gearhart,” I
said soothingly. “Gearhart’s beach is one of the most
beautiful on the coast. There are a number of adorable
gift shops in town to browse. There’s the Paciﬁ c Way
Café, which has excellent pastry. There’s a new ice
cream shop and wine bar. And a pub just opened. And
you might see elk.”
The woman didn’t seem appeased in any way by
“My husband says he wants to see elk,” she said
sulkily. At this exact moment, my Hotmail account
miraculously returned. I was thrilled.
“Well, then maybe you should skip Gearhart,” I said
gaily, thinking her loss was the town’s gain. I mean,
really, if the only reason you’re coming to Gearhart is
elk, you’ve come to the wrong place. Our conversation
concluded with the woman saying that if the weather
was ﬁ ne, they might just stay home in Salem and work
on their garden.
“Good idea,” I said.
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