Tacoma and Pierce County’s distinctive baseball and softball history will be celebrated with a community event Sunday, May 1 in the newly renovated Cheney Stadium. Fan Go-Round will bring together fans and former players such as Hall of Famer and five-time All Star Gaylord Perry and provide opportunity to meet players, listen to their memorable stories and get autographs.
The event will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. and feature free admission, parking and autographs. Autograph signing will take place from 1:30 and 2:30 and from 3:30 to 4:30. The Meet and Greet session runs from 2:30 to 3:15. Broadcast Banter sessions are scheduled for 1:30 to 2:20 and 3:30 to 4:30. Interactive games for youngsters will run all afternoon. Memorabilia dating to 1895 will be displayed featuring uniforms, gloves, caps, photos and championship rings. A highlight will be a bat and ball signed by Babe Ruth during his 1924 Stadium Bowl appearance.
Players attending include professionals from Tacoma’s Pacific Coast League teams (Giants, Cubs, Twins, Yankees, Tugs and Rainiers) from 1960 to 2010. Besides Perry, who was first to win the Cy Young Award in both leagues, players include former Tacoma Cub Don Larsen, the only man to pitch a World Series perfect game, and Ed Nottle of the Tigers, named all-time Tacoma manager in 1984 at the franchise’s 25th anniversary celebration. Others are Don Carlson and Dick Estelle of the Giants; Aaron Pointer and Bobby Gene Smith of the Cubs; Mike Adams, Gregg Bemis, Mike Brooks, Jim Nettles, Bill Ralston and Jim Van Wyck of the Twins; Rich Borchers of the Tugs; Dave Heaverlo and Bill Krueger of the Tigers; and Steve Gajkowski and A.J. Zapp of the Rainiers. Others include members of outstanding local amateur teams, most notably the 1956 national champion Stanley Shoemen baseball squad.
Special guests include Stan Naccarato, general manager of Tacoma’s teams from 1972-94. He is credited with saving professional baseball locally by bringing together a group of local investors to keep the franchise in Tacoma. Others are National Hall of Fame softball pitcher Louise Mazzuca (Stadium High School), pitcher Doug Sisk (Stadium High School) of the Mets, Orioles and Braves, Baltimore and Kansas City pitcher and later Mariners pitching coach Wes Stock, PGA golfer and world-class baseball fan Ken Still of Tacoma and Fircrest Golf Club.
Fan Go-Round is a collaborative effort between the Tacoma Athletic Commission, Tacoma-Pierce County Baseball-Softball Old-Timers Association and Tacoma Rainiers Baseball Club. A list of sponsors and other information is available at www.oldtimerbaseball.com.