Warrior Memories: Spring brings memories of baseball past

Dick Trone

Being the athlete nut that some claim I am, I function on a different schedule than most people.

With me the four seasons are not winter, spring, summer and fall, they are football, basketball, baseball and hunting.

I am now going through one of those season changes. Basketball has just ended and the calendar now tells of the start of baseball season.

As the 2012 Warriors take the diamond I get to look back at when I took the diamond with the 1949 Warriors. This group won the first of three straight HDN championships.

We took the field under the direction of Brick Bralich, who was only

here one year. We all looked forward to what first-year Warrior Dick

Turner was going to do on the baseball field.

Dick had enrolled at Del Norte as a senior in the fall, transferring

here from Drain High School in Oregon. He had already made first-team

all-league as a running back in football and first-team all-league as a

forward in basketball and was about to take the mound for the first time

as a pitcher.

He lived up to his reputation and pitched us to the league

championship and was again selected first-team all-league. After

graduation Dick went on to Oregon State University on a football

scholarship. The rest of the team were old Del Norters, some that played

together for two more years and helped us win two more league

championships.

As I look back at my 1949 teammates, the roster includes members who

became life-long friends. The outfield was Bob James, Don and Leon

Morgan. Don was a junior at the time and as a senior pitched us to an

undefeated championship and to this day remains one of my most cherished

friends.

Al Young was the first baseman and only a sophomore, so we played

together two more years, and I had the honor of being best man at his

wedding when he married Betty. This was a long time ago and they are

still going strong.

The second baseman was Ken Kellis, who held the position for three

years. Third base was held down by Sonny May, another three-year

starter. Shortstop was Louie Fowler.

The catcher was Bunky Peterson, the youngest of the three Peterson

brothers. Rocky, Rich and Bunky all were great Warrior athletes.

I was the team cheerleader and played as a backup at catcher, first

and second base, and all three outfield positions.

The team included others who are still good friends. Arnie Lopez, our

No. 2 pitcher, Dick March, an infielder and Wayne "Butch" Nichols, who

became a very good friend and was best man at my wedding. His passing

left a real hole in my life.

My experience as a 1949 Warrior baseballer will always be a special

memory.

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.

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