Friday marked the 71st anniversary of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. This was a day when communities all across this country lost loved ones.
Crescent City lost one of its own too. Rosco “Rocky” Peterson was a former Del Norte High School athlete who was a standout in both basketball and baseball.
It was on the baseball diamond that Rocky was really making his mark.
For many years Crescent City had a men’s baseball team called the Crescent City Merchants. This team played other men’s teams from Southern Oregon and Northern California.
At the age of 14 when most youths were hoping to be good enough to play on a youth baseball team, Rocky became the starting outfielder for the Merchants.
Rocky’s baseball talents were such that between his junior and senior years in high school he signed a contract and started his professional baseball career. This made him ineligible to play for the Warriors during his senior year.
Rocky was having a successful career in the Minor Leagues and was making big steps toward the Major Leagues.
With the threat of war coming, Rocky joined the Navy. When that fateful attack came on Pearl Harbor, Rocky was stationed aboard the battleship USS Arizona.
Rocky was on the ship when it went down. This great ship is still the final resting place of many young Americans, Rocky being one of them.
There is a memorial in Pearl Harbor over the USS Arizona honoring those who gave their lives. I have had the privilege of visiting this special place on two occasions.
There are no words that can express my feelings when I set foot on this sacred place. Knowing that a former Del Norte Warrior is there made it even more special.
Now, when local sports fans attend an event at Peterson Park, they are visiting a facility named in honor of Rosco “Rocky Peterson,” who gave up his life and dreams in defense of this country.
Thank you, Rocky.
Dick Trone writes on his reflections and the history of Del Norte High Warrior sports. Trone, who played football for the Warriors and graduated in 1951, had an illustrious career on the gridiron at Humboldt State University. Trone was football head coach at Del Norte High for a number of years before retiring.