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Del Webb’s connection to Yankees, Milo Candini

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Del Webb’s connection to Yankees, Milo Candini

A softball field is a natural for any community with Del Webb’s name on it.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED January 7, 2012 2:09 a.m.

It isn’t by chance that a baseball field is a common element of Del Webb communities such as Manteca’s Del Webb at Woodbridge.

Delbert Eugene Webb was the founder of the nation’s most high-profile name in retirement communities that is now owned by Pulte Homes.

The native of Fresno was the son of Ernest Webb who not only owned a local sand and gravel company but was a diehard fan of baseball.

Growing up he built on his carpentry hobby by leaving high school his freshman year to work as a carpenter’s apprentice to help support his family.

It was during that time that he developed his father’s fascination for baseball.

During the roaring ‘20s Webb led a vagabond life of sorts roaming the Western United States as a part-time carpenter and a semi-pro baseball player. By the time 1928 rolled around, Webb had moved to Phoenix and set up a small construction firm dubbed Del E. Webb, Contractor. Soon his specialty became large-scale residential and commercial projects. Webb was the primary contractor on Madison Square Garden and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The firm also built military housing projects during World War II.

Then in 1945 Webb became a co-owner of the fabled New York Yankees. The 20 seasons Webb and his partners owned the Yankees the team won 15 pennants and 10 World Series championships.

It was also when the name Del Webb and Manteca first crossed. Milo Candini - a Manteca High product - pitched for the Yankees while Webb owned interest in the team.

Manteca has honored Candini by conferring the name Milo Candini Drive on the street that runs by the Big League Dreams sports complex.

One of the BLD’s six replica fields happens to be Yankee Stadium.

— Dennis Wyatt

managing editor

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