Today, Dec. 7, marks the 72nd anniversary of when families across our nation lost loved ones when the attack on Pearl Harbor entered us into the Second World War.
Crescent City was no exception. Rosco “Rocky” Peterson was aboard the battleship USS Arizona when it went down.
Rocky was an outstanding basketball and baseball player while competing for the Warriors. While Rocky was good on the basketball court, he really excelled on the baseball diamond.
At age 14, when most teenage athletes were looking to play on a youth team, Rocky became a starting player for the Crescent City Merchants, which was an adult men’s baseball team that played the best teams in Southern Oregon.
Between his junior and senior years, Rocky signed a professional baseball contract to play for Yakima, Wash., of the International League, so he was ineligible to play for the Warriors. After his season with Yakima, he was assigned to play for Lewiston, Idaho, where he had another great season.
He was then assigned to play for the Portland Beavers in the Pacific Coast League, one step from the majors.
Rocky knew he had a military obligation coming and wanted to perform his service to his country so he could then continue his baseball career. He joined the Navy and was assigned to the Arizona.
I have had the honor of visiting the Arizona Monument in Pearl Harbor and I cannot describe the emotional feeling I experienced standing over so many of our fallen heroes. It was even more emotional knowing that a former Del Norte Warrior was among them.
Here was a great young man whose dream of becoming a major league baseball player came to an end in defense of our country.
Today the local residents visit our local baseball facility, Peterson Park, a fitting memorial for Rosco “Rocky” Peterson.
Dick Trone writes on his reflections and the history of Del Norte High sports. He played football for the Warriors and graduated in 1951, later serving as the school’s football coach for a number of years.