I was just looking at my Google Analytics stats and saw I had a spike yesterday in the number of people who read my obituary on former Sacramento Solons owner Fred David, who died in October at 100. I wondered if the Sacramento Bee had finally written anything about him. They declined to do a standard obituary, because their obit writer learned of David’s death more than two weeks after the fact. I talked with one of their columnists after my post ran, and he said he was interested in writing something, though I’ve yet to see anything.
After seeing the statistical spike, however, I wondered if the column had finally run. Instead, I did a Google search on David and found this Craigslist ad from January 30:
We will be liquidating the Estate of longtime Sacramento Businessman and owner of the Sacramento Baseball Solons of the Old PCL Thursday – Sunday Feb. 4th – 7th. Many items from the old stadium on Broadway will be for sale. Also, the remaining contents of David Candy, including Signs, displays, office, racks, memoribilia. Get on our email list www.schiffestateservices.com to get more information and photos on Monday.
David had a warehouse at 10th and R Street in Sacramento, where he stored many items that he salvaged from the Solons ballpark after it was torn down in 1964. I had wondered what would become of the memorabilia and had first heard through David’s niece last fall that there would be a sale. The Craigslist ad doesn’t make the location of the sale clear, but the estate service company Web site said it will be held at the warehouse.
Anyhow, it looks like I now have my weekend plans set. I was already kicking around the idea of going to Sacramento to see my folks, do laundry and return some library books. This pretty much seals it. I have some stuff in the Bay Area I need to do today, but will probably get on the road for Sacramento tomorrow morning and maybe stay through Saturday. Expect pictures and a full description by Sunday.
A footnote: While I was writing this post, I received a phone call. As I have noted here in the past, I am interested in writing a book on a former Sacramento baseball player named Joe Marty. Marty played in the 1930s and ’40s with the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies and was once thought to be a better prospect than Joe DiMaggio. That never happened and he wound up running a bar in Sacramento, where he became “his own best customer,” as one old-timer told me.
On a whim last month, I checked the biographies of every one of Marty’s major league teammates (it was a Saturday, I wasn’t doing much, and this totally beats Netflix.) I found that four of Marty’s teammates were still alive, all in their 90s. I tried calling all four and didn’t have any luck in getting through and one of the men subsequently died, so I was kind of bummed. The longer it goes, the greater the likelihood has seemed I won’t get to talk to any of the remaining teammates.
However, I just got a call from the daughter of one of the players. We talked and I am going to send some written questions which she will review with her dad, who is 96. She said we could do a follow-up call from there, when her dad is near the phone. I had called this player’s son a few weeks ago and hadn’t been real encouraged this would lead anywhere, after he gave me the indication his dad is private. My spirits are lifted now, though. The daughter asked her dad some questions while we were on the phone, and I could hear him in the background, correctly remembering that Marty was an outfielder. He sounds lucid.