Pykes Field named after Vaughn Pyke

December 14, 2007 12:00 am

No look back at Warrior or Crescent City sports history would be complete without a look at some of the things that one of our former citizens contributed to Del Norte County sports.

As you pass by the recreation complex that occupies the area behind what was once the home of the Warriors you see the sign for Pykes Field. Vaughn Pyke once owned a variety store on the old 2nd Street that was destroyed by the 1964 Tsunami. He rebuilt his store where Jim Wright now has his business on 3rd Street. Vaughn was much more to our sports community then just a businessman. The area now known as Pykes Field was once the local high school football field.

In the early days, all the high school games were played there on Saturday afternoons since the field had no light. In 1948, Vaughn organized a drive to raise the money to put up lights, and for the 1949 season we started playing on Friday nights. This was one of his later efforts.

In 1937, he was one of the original members of the board of directors of the Crescent City Baseball Association. This group turned the area that was a stump farm into what we now know as Peterson Park.

I first got to know Mr. Pyke real well after my freshman year in high school. During the summer of 1948 he organized a youth baseball team called the Crescent City Blues. This team was for boys that had high school eligibility left.

We wore bright blue uniforms and played boys and men's teams from all over the Southern Oregon area. The experience this provided us, I believe, helped us have the success we had during my final three years in school. The Warriors won the HDN baseball championship during the 1949-50-51 seasons. During that time we were guided by three different coaches. In 1949 Brick Barlich, 1950, Chuck DeAutremont and 1951, Mike Whalen.

Mr. Pyke was one of those special people that made sure that any young man that wanted to play sports had the chance. When things were needed they seemed to just magically appear.

Vaughn was an avid sportsman and loved to hunt. Once while my brother Frank and I were in school he took us on a backpacking and hunting trip. It turned out there wasn't much backpacking since Mr. Pyke had a pet burro that did all the work. I still remember the wonderful week we spent hunting and fishing in the back country of Lake County.

Vaughn and his wife, Edith, had three children, Ernie, Bud and Valerie, all of which were very active in Warrior activities. I still never pass Pykes Field without remembering the great times I had playing football there and the super Warrior supporter that helped make it possible.