Title: 16th & Bryant
Publisher: Clubhouse Publishing
Publication Date: 2007
Book Condition: New
Bookseller Inventory # P11097865174X
Synopsis: From 1951 through 1957, Billy was Visitors bat boy, Seals ball boy, and Visitors clubhouse man for the San Francisco Seals in America s finest ballpark at 16th & Bryant. Seals Stadium had everything: a glass backstop, indoor concessions, female ushers, high-quality sound and lighting, Jacuzzi hydro-massage tubs in the clubhouse, even a live band. Because the Bay Area had a second professional baseball franchise, the Oakland Oaks, there was a spirit of intense rivalry that regularly drew crowds across the bridge. He was a working-class kid from industrial West Berkeley, watched the times change and was changed by the times. 16th & Bryant is his hard-hitting coming-of-age story set during a pivotal time in American history. World War II was over yet the Cold War was driving battles in Korea, Hollywood, and the Senate. The color barrier in professional sports started to come down and people were marching for equal rights, yet we still weren t comfortable with one another. Professional baseball clubs reflected all of American society: black, white, Irish, Italian, Jewish, immigrants from Latin America, war vets, as well as farm-fresh country boys. Famed film-historian Ken Burns said the moment Jackie Robinson stepped beyond the chalk-lines at Ebbett s Field in 1947, Baseball became our national past-time. This clubhouse-dugout-view gives us a glimpse of just how America was changing even as the Seals struggled to survive. Throughout it all, Billy watched and learned and applied what Joe DiMaggio told him: Kid, you ll get a lot farther if you learn to say please.
About the Author: A fourth generation San Franciscan, Bill Soto-Castellanos grew up in the same West Berkeley neighborhood of Augie Galan, Emil Maihlo, and Billy Martin. At age 15, while attending Burbank Junior High School in West Berkeley, he went to work for the san Francisco Seals baseball club. When he graduated from Berkeley High School in 1954 he was in his fourth season with the Seals. From Visitors batboy to Seals ballboy to the Visiting team s clubhouse man, Soto-Castellanos worked with the franchise during their last seven seasons in the old Pacific Coast League. He went on to a career in Labor Relations, retiring in 2000 to write 16 and Bryant. He is married 47 years to Alicia Corella, also of West Berkeley; they have one daughter, Gina-Monique, and a grandson, Luis-Antonio. Soto-Castellanos is Historian for the Berkeley Senior Yellow Jackets, an alumni group of men who attended Berkeley Public Schools and continue to get together annually.
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