Former Mayor Willie Weatherford knows the story of Fred “Mike” Morenzone well.
Weatherford — a devout slow pitch baseball player — noted the man for whom Morenzone Field was named was a dedicated coach of youth softball and baseball teams for years in Manteca.
The City of Manteca is gearing up to re-dedicate the upgraded Morenzone Field on Center Street west of Union Road on April 6 now that is has been converted into use for lighted youth baseball games for the Spreckels, Manteca, and Northgate Little League senior teams.
Weatherford — along with Councilman Vince Hernandez — was the driving force to have the city convert the field since its use has dropped significantly for adult softball after the Big League Dreams sports complex opened.
Morenzone endured himself to many newcomers to Manteca as the manager of the old and small DMV office in Manteca. He went out of his way to make them feel welcomed. He also worked with a lot of farmers handling their vehicle registration needs.
“I still hear stories from people who moved to Manteca from out of state on how my Dad welcomed them and helped and made the process so much easier with their license and car registrations,” noted Morenzone’s son Mike who works as a counselor at Ripon High.
Morenzone met with representatives from Sacramento and explained why Manteca was in need of a new building for the DMV. He also helped with the design of the building that is now on Davis Street near the Manteca Civic Center.
Northgate Softball Fields were being used for softball and all the fields had names when they started playing games at what eventually would become Morenzone Field. After Morenzone passed away friends approached the city about naming the field after him.
Morenzone was involved in Little League baseball for 8 or 9 years helping coach even though he did not have a son playing. His son said his father enjoyed teaching the game to the youths. He has served as Booster Club president for Manteca High, he played his early games at Sequoia School ball fields in the 1960s then in the late 1970s and 1980s he helped coach and played slow pitch softball and fast-pitch softball for local Manteca traveling teams. He also coached youth softball for four years.