The “Old Geezers” are at the game.
So is William Perry.
Also among the crowd are Roger and Linda LeTresle and their four grandkids.
They’re among the 92 faces of real people who are depicted as fans, players, and the umpire in the latest downtown mural appropriately dubbed “Baseball.”
Muralist Dave Gordon has started placing up the initial cloth panel work for the 138-foot by 7-foot-8 mural donning the wall just north of the Tidewater Bikeway at Library Park.
Gordon started the project for the Manteca Mural society Mural at his studio. The rest of the work will be done over the next four weeks on site to allow him to take advantage of the sun and shadows to get the mural as realistic looking as possible.
Society member Tom Wilson said the goal is to dedicate the finished mural on Saturday, Oct., 6, during the downtown Sunrise Kiwanis Pumpkin Fair.
What makes this mural unique is how the society accepted $25 donation - $50 contributions for preferred seating - to paint folks the donors wanted to see in the stands.
Several people have passed by the mural in progress and have voiced amazement at how realistic the faces are.
“Some of the (people) are still being painted, though,” Wilson said.
Rocky Wilson paid to have his face and those of several of his buddies who refer to themselves as “The Old geezers” who attend Manteca High’s home baseball games.
Among the likenesses of is William Perry - the Post Office worker who took a sabbatical from working in 1935 to build Manteca’s version of the Field of Dreams on a vacant downtown lot where Library Park is today.
Perry financed and built the bleachers and field as a way to provide a place of entertainment, recreation, and pride for the community that was reeling in the depths of the Great Depression.
The mural depicts the final inning of a girls’ game. Lined up alongside the third base fence line are the boys who are waiting to take te field next. On the other opposite fence line are more spectators as well as a passing engine of a Tidewater Southern Railway train.
A runner is positioned to score from third while a right-handed batter is awaiting a pitch. There will be a dog that cases down balls and retrieves them depicted in the mural. Gordon said it was a touch that reflected the fact there were no outfield fences.
It is the fifth and final Library Park mural along a path dubbed “the history walk.”
The other four murals are:
• “The Yokuts Indians” by Terri Pasquini. The mural shows a family of Native Americans whose ancestral lands are in and around Manteca gathered around the evening campfire listening to the story of creation.
• “The Pioneers” by Jessie Marinas. The mural depicts the hard struggle to make a living and provide for the family that was faced by farmers that settled the Manteca area before irrigation was developed.
• “Agriculture” by Colleen Mitchell-Veyna. The mural portrays the bountiful harvests once Manteca farming came into its own with irrigation.
• “Industry” by Brian Romagnoli. The mural depicts images of industry from Manteca.
The other four murals are 32 feet wide by 8 feet high.
Wilson noted the next mural in the weekend project is being considered for April or May of next year. Three sites are under consideration.