Vaughn Pyke made winners out of Warriors

Written by Dick Trone December 17, 2012 05:33 pm

I was parked by the recreation fields looking at the sign which reads “Pykes Field,” and I couldn’t help but reflect how much Vaughn Pyke had done for the Warriors.

Mr. Pyke used to own Pyke’s Variety store on the old 2nd street. He was a great supporter of Del Norte High.

When I joined the Warrior baseball team as a freshman, we were not very good, and in fact lost all our games. Back then there were no youth baseball programs at that level of competition.

Mr. Pyke decided to change that. He purchased a set of bright blue uniforms and all the equipment needed to start a baseball team. Thus the Crescent City Blues started.

This was a team made up of high school-age players and during the summer after my freshman year we played anyone we could schedule. Mr. Pyke got my dad, Shirley Trone, to coach the team and we learned a lot about how to play baseball.

In the spring of my sophomore year the Warriors fielded a lineup of mostly Blues players and went from a team that did not win a game the year before to a team that won the Humboldt-Del Norte League championship.

When school was out we again put on the bright blue uniforms of the Blues and played all summer. Now we were winning most every game we played.

Again in the spring of my junior year the Warriors put a Blues lineup on the field and the Warriors won their second HDN League championship. When school was out we again became the Blues and we were now beating some men’s teams as well as other youth groups.

In the spring of my senior year the Blues were again in the lineup and the Warriors  won their third straight HDN League championship.

After my senior year the American Legion took over and sponsored a great youth program.

I look back on at my baseball career and can never thank Mr. Vaughn Pyke enough for what he did for me and my teammates. He was a special man who really cared about the youth and helped make Crescent City and Del Norte County such a great place to grow up and such a great place to live.

Pykes Field is a special reminder to all of us who know this wonderful, caring man.

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.