Tag Archives: baseball

West Sac man one of nation’s oldest — and liveliest — stadium vendors

Howard Lowe shares some moves on  Westacre Road  (By AL ZAGOFSKY for the News-Ledger)

Howard Lowe shares some moves on
Westacre Road
(By AL ZAGOFSKY for the
News-Ledger)

NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 18, 2015 —

By Al Zagofsky
Correspondent

The “Nation’s Oldest Stadium Vendor” is what a Bay-area publication calls 74-year-old Howard “Crazy Legs” Lowe of West Sacramento.

While Lowe is both embarrassed and humbled by this claim, he nonetheless loves the publicity and the adoration he receives from the many fans he garnered while selling Kettle Corn in Raley Stadium and the major ballparks of San Francisco.

Crazy Legs loves to dance, and when he’s vending his sweet and salty Kettle Corn in stadiums like the Giants’ AT&T Park, and the loud speakers play out a country or rockabilly tune, he gets happy feet and rubber knees, and gets down—free styling to the music. And soon, the kids are up out of their seats shaking their booties along with him. Their parents soon follow and the whole aisle is a-groovin’.

Before the bankruptcy of Tower Records, Lowe worked in their West Sacramento warehouse, a job that had the unique benefit of periodic concerts from the recording artists. He remembers Allison Krauss, and the rapper Coolio, “who strutted through the warehouse with his entire entourage,” Lowe said. “The owner, Russ Solomon, liked to promote young bands, and he would have the musicians come out and play a set for the employees. We used to look forward to that all the time.”

A lifetime baseball addict, when he learned that the River Cats were coming to Raley Field, Lowe applied to work at the concessions—even before the stadium opened. During construction, he toured the stadium several times.

“May 15, 2000 was the first game for the River Cats,” Lowe remembers.  He was assigned to sell beer. It was a night game and drew a crowd of 15,000 people, and most of them had to stay in the concourse watching the thunder and lightning. “It was the most miserable weather. It was pitiful that night. Everybody hung out on the concourse eating food and drinking beer.”

Not liking beer, he transferred to guest services as an usher, transferred again into food service, and became a server. As a server, he would deliver meals from the kitchen to the patrons in the seating bowl.

“The first time I was doing this, I was carrying three or four cups of hot chocolate on a tray,” he explained. “I was trying to be really careful, and wouldn’t you know it—a foul ball landed right in the middle of the tray, right in the middle of the hot chocolates. I saw it coming but I couldn’t react fast enough.”

Lowe took to vending hotdogs, french fries, lemonade— just about everything that the vendors hustled, but as he started reaching his later 60s, he switched to “kettle corn because it was the lightest thing to carry.” He carries 15 to 20 bags in an old Crackerjack bag turned inside out.

While ushering and standing around and waiting, he started tapping his feet to the bluegrass song, Cotton-Eyed Joe.  “I felt the beat. I felt the music and I decided to be me,” Lowe said.  “I love people and I love music and I love sports. It just happened.”

Lowe always loved dancing, but it was at a bluegrass festival in South Sacramento Beach Lake Preserve where he became famous. “They started calling me Happy Feet, Rubber Legs, and Crazy Legs—and the name Crazy Legs stuck.”

Vending at Raley Field was tough work. “In the summers,  it can get really hot—sometimes over 100° in Sacramento, and almost as hot in the Bay area. I put crushed ice in a cloth underneath my baseball cap to keep cool.”

As Crazy Legs approached his 70th birthday in 2010, he was told that the River Cats concessions no longer required his services. Fortunately, during the times that the River Cats were on the road, he found vendor work at several stadiums in the San Francisco area.

And so, if you go to AT&T Park or some of the other stadiums in the Bay area, look for Crazy Legs, spring for a bag of his Kettle Corn, and shake your booty with the granddaddy of the stadium vendors.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2015

West Sac man one of nation’s oldest — and liveliest — stadium vendors

Howard Lowe shares some moves on  Westacre Road  (By AL ZAGOFSKY for the News-Ledger)

Howard Lowe shares some moves on
Westacre Road
(By AL ZAGOFSKY for the
News-Ledger)

NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 18, 2015 —

By Al Zagofsky
Correspondent

The “Nation’s Oldest Stadium Vendor” is what a Bay-area publication calls 74-year-old Howard “Crazy Legs” Lowe of West Sacramento.

While Lowe is both embarrassed and humbled by this claim, he nonetheless loves the publicity and the adoration he receives from the many fans he garnered while selling Kettle Corn in Raley Stadium and the major ballparks of San Francisco.

Crazy Legs loves to dance, and when he’s vending his sweet and salty Kettle Corn in stadiums like the Giants’ AT&T Park, and the loud speakers play out a country or rockabilly tune, he gets happy feet and rubber knees, and gets down—free styling to the music. And soon, the kids are up out of their seats shaking their booties along with him. Their parents soon follow and the whole aisle is a-groovin’.

Before the bankruptcy of Tower Records, Lowe worked in their West Sacramento warehouse, a job that had the unique benefit of periodic concerts from the recording artists. He remembers Allison Krauss, and the rapper Coolio, “who strutted through the warehouse with his entire entourage,” Lowe said. “The owner, Russ Solomon, liked to promote young bands, and he would have the musicians come out and play a set for the employees. We used to look forward to that all the time.”

A lifetime baseball addict, when he learned that the River Cats were coming to Raley Field, Lowe applied to work at the concessions—even before the stadium opened. During construction, he toured the stadium several times.

“May 15, 2000 was the first game for the River Cats,” Lowe remembers.  He was assigned to sell beer. It was a night game and drew a crowd of 15,000 people, and most of them had to stay in the concourse watching the thunder and lightning. “It was the most miserable weather. It was pitiful that night. Everybody hung out on the concourse eating food and drinking beer.”

Not liking beer, he transferred to guest services as an usher, transferred again into food service, and became a server. As a server, he would deliver meals from the kitchen to the patrons in the seating bowl.

“The first time I was doing this, I was carrying three or four cups of hot chocolate on a tray,” he explained. “I was trying to be really careful, and wouldn’t you know it—a foul ball landed right in the middle of the tray, right in the middle of the hot chocolates. I saw it coming but I couldn’t react fast enough.”

Lowe took to vending hotdogs, french fries, lemonade— just about everything that the vendors hustled, but as he started reaching his later 60s, he switched to “kettle corn because it was the lightest thing to carry.” He carries 15 to 20 bags in an old Crackerjack bag turned inside out.

While ushering and standing around and waiting, he started tapping his feet to the bluegrass song, Cotton-Eyed Joe.  “I felt the beat. I felt the music and I decided to be me,” Lowe said.  “I love people and I love music and I love sports. It just happened.”

Lowe always loved dancing, but it was at a bluegrass festival in South Sacramento Beach Lake Preserve where he became famous. “They started calling me Happy Feet, Rubber Legs, and Crazy Legs—and the name Crazy Legs stuck.”

Vending at Raley Field was tough work. “In the summers,  it can get really hot—sometimes over 100° in Sacramento, and almost as hot in the Bay area. I put crushed ice in a cloth underneath my baseball cap to keep cool.”

As Crazy Legs approached his 70th birthday in 2010, he was told that the River Cats concessions no longer required his services. Fortunately, during the times that the River Cats were on the road, he found vendor work at several stadiums in the San Francisco area.

And so, if you go to AT&T Park or some of the other stadiums in the Bay area, look for Crazy Legs, spring for a bag of his Kettle Corn, and shake your booty with the granddaddy of the stadium vendors.

  Do you like what you see here?

  You can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledger newspaper. It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

  You can even try it for free for two months if you live in West Sacramento. Just send your name and mailing address to FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2015

Mariano will be skipper as River Cats become Giants farm team

OB MARIANO will take the helm of the minor league team, which is based in West Sacramento, as the club switches affiliation from the A’s to the Giants   (courtesy photo)

BOB MARIANO will take the helm of the minor league team, which is based in West Sacramento, as the club switches affiliation from the A’s to the Giants
(courtesy photo)

NEWS-LEDGER Jan 28, 2015 —

From the River Cats

Bob Mariano takes the helm as the River Cats’ sixth manager since the inaugural season in Sacramento in 2000.

During his previous six seasons as the Giants Triple-A skipper, Mariano has managed several big leagues stars such as Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, and most recently Joe Panik, Travis Ishikawa, and Roseville native Andrew Susac during this past season.

Prior to managing Fresno, Mariano as served as skipper for Single-A Advanced Vero Beach (Dodgers) of the Florida State League in 2001, the Pacific Coast League’s Tucson Toros (Brewers) in 1997, and the California League’s Stockton Ports (Brewers) in 1995.

Mariano has been with the San Francisco Giants organization since 2005, serving as a coordinator of minor league hitting instruction for the Giants farm system from 2005-11, before beginning his managerial career in 2012. Mariano previously served as the minor league hitting instructor with the Los Angeles Dodgers (2002-04), and in roles with the Baltimore Orioles (1985-86), New York Yankees (1988-92), Milwaukee Brewers (1993-97) and Arizona Diamondbacks (1998-2000).   The Phoenix native also managed in the Italian Baseball Federation and Australian Baseball Federation. The former utility player spent seven seasons in the minors with the Yankees and Orioles  He originally signed with the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent in 1980.

Andy Skeels will serve as hitting coach at Raley Field; Dwight Bernard as pitching coach, James Petra as trainer, Brad Lawson as strength coach and Pablo Lopez as clubhouse manager.

Copyright News-Ledger 2015

River Cats: winning season comes to end without playoff berth

NEWS-LEDGER — SEPT 3, 2014 —

From the River Cats

The Sacramento River Cats’ (79-65) season came to an end on Monday afternoon as they fell to the Reno Aces (81-63) by a score of 2-1 in ten innings at Raley Field, failing to make the playoffs for the second-consecutive season. Reno advances to their second playoff berth in the last three years and will play the Las Vegas 51s in a five-game series in the Pacific Conference Championship starting Wednesday in Las Vegas.

The River Cats had an opportunity in tenth inning to do some damage with runners on first and second with one out, but an inning-ending double play by Daric Barton ended the threat and the game.

Sacramento right-handed starter Arnold Leon (10-7, 4.97 ERA) pitched admirably in the regular-season finale, giving up just one run on five hits and one walk while striking out three in a no-decision. Seth Frankoff and Phil Humber each pitched a shutout inning with a strikeout.McBryde took the loss.

Peterson ended the game 2-for-4 with a run and Barton finished 1-for-3 with two walks for the River Cats.

The River Cats finished 2014 with their twelfth-consecutive winning season and 14th winning season in franchise history. Sacramento also led the Pacific Coast league in average attendance (8,578) and total attendance (617,627) for the second-straight season.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

RCHS soccer player Jaylen Crim leads ‘all league’ honors for school’s spring athletes

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JUNE 4, 2014 —

Sierra Valley Conference – the athletic conference in which River City High School is a member – has released its roster of “all league” honorees for the spring season.

RCHS players named “all league” for girls soccer were Jaylen Crim, Keionna Claypoole, Annie Wampler and Erin Delany. Crim was named “Co-Most Valuable Player” in the conference.

The Raiders’ Jeret Tiller earned “all league” honors in swimming.

In softball, River City’s all-leaguers this year were Brittany Baroni, Jade Chapan and Amaryssa Medina.

And from the RCHS baseball diamond, the honorees were Alex Dodd and Jesus Garcia.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

RCHS Raiders take to the big ballpark

RUBEN SALAS pitched four innings for the River City High squad, contributing to the shut-out victory.  (Photo by Selena Cazares/River City High School Journalism Program)

RUBEN SALAS pitched four innings for the River City High squad, contributing to the shut-out victory. (Photo by Selena Cazares/River City High School Journalism Program)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — APRIL 9, 2014 —

By Austin Miller
River City High School Journalism Class

“It felt amazing. The atmosphere was unbelievable.” said team captain, senior shortstop Alex Dodd. He and his River City High School baseball team had just finished playing a game under the lights of Raley Field, home of the Sacramento River Cats.

Last Thursday, River City played a night game against West Campus High School at Raley Field. Fundraising by both teams gave them the opportunity to play a night game on the professional field, and the experience the field brought to the players was unlike any other.

“So many people cheering you on,” continued Alex, “It gave me chills knowing that all of those people were there to watch River City.”

Kevin Burkes, senior outfielder, also added that “seeing our fans and community all there to show their Raider pride was my favorite part of the game, and also being able to experience the feeling of playing on a big league field.”

The feeling of playing on a professional field, with a crowd of people cheering you on, is unreal. It makes the game that much more exciting and that much more intense. Thursday’s game gave our team a glimpse of the pro-ball atmosphere, and in that one-of-a-kind atmosphere, River City came to play.

For the entirety of the game, the River City pitching staff was in control, allowing their defense to make the routine plays as well as creating some strike-outs of their own. All three pitchers put together a shutout for the team.

Ruben “Chito” Salas started 4 innings for River City.  Jake Pridmore made a relief appearance pitching a 3 and two-thirds innings. Lorenzo Pineda closed the game, getting a final out.

With RBI’s from Austin Miller, Eric Beall, and Isac Tacdol, River City came out on top, 3-0. Isac himself also had 3 stolen bases that game, but noted that his favorite part of the game was “winning to get our seniors a ‘hoorah’ in a big game like this one for their last year.” Smart offensive play along with timely hitting allowed River City to earn that win for its seniors.

A special moment for the seniors, however, occurred during the 7th inning. After getting the second out of the inning, Jake Pridmore was met on the mound by the rest of the senior players on the team. As Lorenzo came in from the bullpen to close the game, the seniors walked off the field together to a standing ovation from the crowd.

“It was pretty emotional knowing that all of us seniors will be gone after this year. This is it! It hit me when we went to go take Pridmore off the mound, who pitched a great game by the way,” said Alex.

The game itself was special to the coaching staff as well. Head Coach Alec Smith explained that “It felt amazing [bringing the players to Raley Field]. I am so happy our young men got the chance to experience playing on one of the best fields in all of the state of California, under the lights, with music and a great atmosphere.”

Coach Alec also noted that he hopes the team takes away “the fun part of it [the game].” I want my young men to learn to compete and have fun while executing at a high level.” What this game proves is that River City Baseball can do just that. If the team can continue to play the kind of ball it did tonight, then there are high hopes for the rest of the season.

  EDITOR’S NOTE: Raley Field — home of the River Cats minor league baseball team — opens its field up to play for regional high school teams as part of an annual program.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Party at Raley Field on Sunday: free hot dogs, bounce houses & kid stuff

FROM THE WEST SACRAMENTO NEWS-LEDGER —

Raley Field will host a party at the seasonal opening of its baseball ticket box on Sunday, March 9. There will be free food (including hot dogs and samples from Round Table Pizza), a live band, bounce house, balloon artists and more. You may earn the opportunity to take five swings on the field with your $20 donation to the River Cats Foundation. River Cats Merchandise and clubhouse facilities will be on display.

The party lasts from noon to 3.

 

 

  Do you like what you see here?

  You can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledger newspaper. It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

  You can even try it for free for two months if you live in West Sacramento. Just send your name and mailing address to FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2014