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70 years ago, on July 20, 1939, it was a wild struggle in the feature softball game at Recreation Park with everything happening for seven innings, but after the smoke had cleared away, the Valley Brew team from Stockton held a win over the Manteca Honeydews by the score of 11 to 10.

“Hootch” Graham, playing shortstop for the Valley Brews, was robbed of a home run in the first inning when he drove a mighty one into left field, hitting a parked car to return on to the field. Being forced to hold third base on that one, he later smashed one into the tress by the City Hall park for a trip all the way araound.

In other sports stories from the Bulletin files:

90 years ago: July 25, 1919 - Last Sunday, Manteca’s strong baseball aggregation journeyed to Patterson and defeated that team in a fast and snappy game by the score of 6 to 3.

 A big crowd of fans from here went to the game. Elmer Blodgett, hurling for the locals, allowed but a few scattered hits, striking out 13.
He clinched his own game, driving out a home run with two on, bringing three tallies in.

80 years ago: July 25, 1929 - The Manteca Maulers got off on the right foot again last Sunday when they smeared the Gustine Athletics in a slugging fray by the score of 16 to 13.

This was the opening game of the second half of the Don Pedro League and put the Maulers in line for bigger and better accomplishments. Hank
Theiler, the former castoff, made good with the Mauler fans. Theiler showed some fleet-foot outfielding and hit the ball hard all day. Hank got two hits. Dan Alley pounded three hits for the locals, including a three-bagger.

70 years ago: July 27, 1939 - The Manteca Merchants almost sneaked away with a victory Sunday over the Escalon

Merchants but couldn’t quite hold on to a one-run lead in the first half of the ninth and were the unlucky victims of a close 8 to 7 count.

Jim Barber will leave Sunday for Spokane, Washington to join the Washington Redskins professional football team, with which he has been an outstanding player.

The team will undergo training at Spokane for three weeks, after which games will be played in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Boston before the league schedule opens.  

60 years ago: July 28, 1949 - Jess “Satchel” Payan notched his second victory in as many attempts last Sunday by the score of 10-5. Sharpe Depot was the opponent of the Manteca Merchants. Playing under the most adverse weather conditions of wind and dust, Payan managed to strike out 12 and allow only eight hits. The hitting star was Merle Kleist, who contributed a single, double and triple to bat in five runs.

50 years ago: July 28, 1959 - A pitching duel highlighted play in the Little League this week. Larry Gonsalves of Manteca Drug and Bob Leatherwood of Bobson’s Cleaners pitched seven scoreless innings of play. The game was finally stopped because of conflicting time schedules. Both teams came very close to scoring the winning run, with Leatherwood out in the third innng trying to steal home.

40 years ago: July 25, 1969 - The Matneca Babe Ruth all-stars traveled to Sonora last week to compete in the District tournament for 14-15 year-olds. They were eliminated after four games. Manteca opened by beating West Side 8-1, as Vic Liles pitched a four-hitter. Liles and Craig Souza got two hits each.

The next day,  John Thissen threw a three-hitter to shut out Tuolumne County 3-0. Liles and Dan Valdez led led the way with two hits apiece. Turlock beat Manteca 4-2 the next day,  with Liles and Tom Smith getting two hits each in a losing cause. The locals were eliminated the next day by a 5-4 eight-inning loss to Lodi. Manteca held a 4-1 lead going into the bottom of the seventh inning. Valdez had a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate for Manteca.

Four Manteca boys placed in the preliminary AAU Junion Judo Olympic Championships at Burbank High School in Sacramento. Placing were Mike Buchanan, Robert Mora, Robert Franco and Sam Okamoto. These boys are now eligible to compete in the Pacific Association Junior Olympic Judo Championships at Cal Expo next month.

Manteca opened the second half of the San Joaquin Amateur Baseball League successfully with two wins last week. Mark Winter’s timely double in the first inning drove in both  runs in a 2-1 win over San Joaquin Employees Association. Kirk Hinton’s two hits, including a two-run triple and theft of home, highlighted a 5-2 win over St. Mary’s.

Brian Shankle won a ribbon and silver medal for placing third in the 300-yard dash semi-finals of the Western Regional Special Olympics.

30 years ago: July 23, 1979 - Steve Winter, the golf and sophomore basketball coach at Manteca High School, was appointed yesterday to replace Pat Douglass as the varsity basketball coach, Walker Vick, MHS athletic director, announced. Beginning his ninth year at Manteca High, Winter boasts an 84-70 record as the sophomnore cage coach. He also led the Buffalo golf and swim teams to championships.

East Union High has dropped its competitive gymnastics program, Principal Richard Durham said Monday. The cancellation of the Lancer activity was announced the same week Manteca High announced the name of its new gymnastics coach. Vanessa Burns, a 1979 San Jose State graduate, has been named to replace Pat Martinson, who left Manteca High at the end of the school year. Burns will teach physical education and social science.

20 years ago: July 25, 1989 - The Manteca Dolphins finished a perfect regular swim season by defeating Los Banos and Ripon in a three-way meet in Manteca Saturday. Manteca racked up 850 points, Ripon finished in second with 661 and Los Banos tallied just 256. Several Dolphins won three individual events. Jack Harvey and Kelly Masterson each won three races in the six-and-under category and Jason Beier and Alicia Lowry were three-time winners in the 7-8 age group. Deni Lowry won three races in the 9-10 age group, Lisa Pendexter was a three-time winner in the 11-12 group and Julie Gaynor won three races in the 13-14 category.

Manteca’s Pete Richardson came within one sescond of taking home two gold medals from the United States Masters track meet held on the San Diego State track recently. Richardson, 54, won the silver medal in the 1,500 meter race and was a member of the winning 4x400 relay squad. Richardson’s time in the 1,500 was 4:27.84.

10 years ago: July 28, 1999 - In a game of squandered opportunities, Tri-County’s Babe Ruth 16 year-old all-stars’ run in the State tournament at Hanford came to an end as Modesto’s pitching took carge in a 4-1 decision last night.

Stymied through  six innings, Tri-County finally came through with a run in the final inning. Robert Breedlove’s solo home run was the only dent that Manager Jack Thomson’s boys  could make in the Modesto pitching.

At the CentralW California State Babe Ruth 13 year-old tournament in Tulare, the host team dealt the Manteca all-stars a resounding 16-1 defeat to eliminate the locals from the tourney.

 For manager Mike Keller, he was left watching more of the same error-filled game by his players as he saw in the tournament’s opening game. “They scored 10 runs in the top of the first inning,” said Keller. “We made four errors and hit three batters. It was just one thing after another.” Jake Garcia was the only local to record a hit. On Saturday, Manteca had committed eight errors and had given up 13 runs, bringing their two-day total of being outscored to 29-4.