Tag Archives: raley field

Let Them Eat Cake!

Raley Field hosted annual Beat the Blerch Run

By Bia Riaz
bia@news-ledger.com

Sara Sheller wanted to get off the couch. She needed to do something healthy and active that didn’t require joining a gym. When she learned about the Beat the Blerch Run being planned for Raley Field, she had to sign up.

Sara had always been a fan of the Oatmeal comic strip created by Matt Innman. His character the “Blerch” is an imaginary fat cherub that follows you around and encourages you to eat junk food, stay on the couch, sleep in late, and above all, indulge in cake!

The Oatmeal comic strip on running, recounts Matt’s own struggle with weight loss. Inspired by his journey, five years ago, Sara had joined a Couch to 5K program and gradually built up her stamina and strength as a runner; one minute at a time. It was really difficult at first but she didn’t give up. Within two years she had completed 12 races; including a 7-mile run.

A few years ago, she moved from Iowa to California and recently made West Sacramento her new home. Sara and her boyfriend, Noah Lesh, wanted to find a good neighborhood with a house and a yard, suitable for their dogs. The cross country move to a new place had left little time for running. When the opportunity to participate in the Beat the Blerch run presented itself, she knew she had to sign up to feel healthy again.

The Beat the Blerch Run was scheduled for Nov. 14. Participants could choose to sign up for either the full marathon, half, 10K or 5K runs. Sara, Noah and two of their friends signed up for the 5K. The course started and ended at Raley Field in West Sacramento and took runners through areas of West Sacramento, Sacramento, and river trails.

That morning was a sight to behold. There were runners dressed up in banana suits, strips of bacon, and other assorted Oatmeal-inspired costumes. As promised on the website, the course had rest stations with comfy couches and lots of cake. There were also several “Blerches” enticing runners with sugar laden goodies.

Amanda DiMarco, Race Manager for the event, said more than 4,000 people had signed up to participate. The participants spanned every level of fitness from professional marathon runners to first time runners. The logistics of planning the marathon involved coordinating with the cities of West Sacramento and Sacramento, Yolo and Sacramento counties. A portion of the proceeds from the race were to be donated to charity.

Sara and her friends encountered Blerches with tempting cake and Nutella sandwiches at rest stations. “No, we’re running, we can’t have cake!” said, Sara. “But we did have cake, and it was the best; incredibly awesome.” Sara completed her 5K at 49:37.

Afterward, they celebrated Beating the Blerch at the Jackrabbit Brewery in West Sacramento.

On the web:
http://beattheblerch.com/
http://theoatmeal.com/comics/running

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?

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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

Free bus ride to San Francisco for Giants’ victory parade

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — OCT 30, 2014 —

EDITOR’S NOTE: Since publishing this article earlier this afternoon, we contacted the River Cats and learned that this bus trip is filled up.  A team rep said that season ticket holders were contacted first with this limited offer. The few remaining bus seats, he said, were filled up quickly with other fans.  If you’re interested in going by train, read on.

The Sacramento River Cats will take up to 130 people on two buses from Raley Field to the San Francisco civic center on Friday, in order to celebrate the San Francisco Giants’ victory parade.

The Giants won the World Series this year with a 3-2 win over the Kansas City Royals in the decisive final game of the series. The River Cats, beginning this season, are the Giants’ “farm club” in minor league baseball.

The buses will depart Raley Field at 7 a.m. and will return in the afternoon.

If you’re interested in the free bus ride, RSVP to (916) 371-HITS (4487).

To travel separately, the River Cats suggests considering the Capitol Corridor train (http://capitolcorridor.org/tickets/). Look for #531, leaving Sacramento at 8:20 a.m., or #533, departing at 9:20 a.m. Take Amtrak to Richmond and transfer to BART and the Embarcadero Station (www.bart.gov).

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Free movie at Raley Field and other Halloween events in West Sac

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — OCT 22, 2014 —

  Looking for something to do for Halloween? Here’s a roundup of some of the stuff going on around West Sacramento for the holiday:

halloween (2)‘Hocus Pocus’ at the ballpark
Raley Field will host a free film and trick-or-treat event on Saturday, Oct. 25. From 5-6:30 p.m. there will be trick-or-treating around the warning track area of the stadium, and children are encouraged to show up in costume (there will be a costume contest). There will also be a photo corner, pumpkin patch and bobbing for apples.
At 6:30 p.m., the Halloween film “Hocus Pocus” (starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy, rated PG) will be shown on the stadium’s videoboard. Seating will be on the lower seating bowl or on the field (you’re strongly encouraged to bring a blanket for sitting on the field; no chairs permitted).
The event and parking are both free; refreshments will be for sale. You’re asked to bring a canned food item for the Sacramento Food Bank.

‘Safe Trick-or-Treat’
The West Sacramento Recreation Center will host a “Safe Trick or Treat” event from 4-6 p.m. on Sat., Oct 25, at 2801 Jefferson Blvd. There will be games and activities for kids up to age 14. Costumes encouraged. Please bring a canned food item to donate; one for each child.

Monster Mash
The “garage surf rock” band ‘The Lava Pups’ returns to Capitol Bowl on Oct. 26 for Halloween fun. Halloween costume contests for adults and kids, plus other contests. You’re invited to the event from 1-4 p.m. at 900 West Capitol Avenue. All ages, free admission.

Fall Fun Fest
Your family is invited to the Fall Fun Fest from 4-7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct 26, at Bridgeway Lakes Park, 3650 Southport Parkway. There will be trick-or-treating, face painting, a bounce house, music, food, a craft fair and games. Profits will go toward building a multi-age play structure at the park. Volunteers needed (it’s an opportunity for high school students to achieve their volunteer requirement). Visit http://bridgewayplay.com, email wsboathouse@gmail.com or call 216-0180.

Ghost hunters
Learn about ghosts and the paranormal on the eve of Halloween. 6 p.m. on Oct. 30 at the library, 1212 Merkley Ave.

Family Halloween
The West Sacramento Moose Lodge invites you to its family Halloween party at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 31, at 3240 Jefferson Blvd. Live music and treats for the kids. Adults: $5. Costumes encouraged, refreshments for sale. Information: 371-9684 or www.Lodge1762.moosepages.org.

Halloween at Ikea
Ikea in West Sacramento will host a free ‘trick or treat’ party for kids on Friday, Oct. 31. Open for kids age 3-12. The store is located at 700 Ikea Court. Call 888-888-4532.

Costume Contest
The Arthur F. Turner Branch Library, 1212 Merkley Avenue, will sponsor a costume contest during the week of Oct. 27. Post a picture of yourself in your costume to the library costume page (facebook.com/yolocountylibrary.org) or visit the library to have your picture taken.

‘Trunk or Treat’

Exclusive Realty & Mortgage and a number of other businesses are sponsoring a Halloween event for the kids, with special guest characters such as Cinderella, Malecifent, Darth Vader and others. Visit the Princess Palace, Wicked Witches Cave and more.  The event lasts 6-9 p.m. on Oct. 30 at 1102 Jefferson Blvd.

  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

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