66 Year Old Don McCreary Comes Full Circle
"From 85 year old Historic Clark Field in Woodland California… August
Submitted by Lanny Ropke, Woodland-Davis MSBL
The Woodland Davis Roy Hobbs Men’s Baseball League celebrated its 28 year anniversary with the retirement of 66 year old Don McCreary, the
very first batter in the league’s inaugural game on August 1, 1987.
About a hundred people were in attendance at historic Clark
Field last Monday night to see McCreary dig into the same batter’s box as he
did on August 1, 1987. After his at bat,
the game was then stopped by Board Member Lanny Ropke who then presented
McCreary with a plaque denoting his long time service to the league. Playing
for Wagnon Chiropractic at that time, later renamed the Seals, McCreary had the
distinction of playing for the same team his entire 28 years, according to one
of the league founders and past president, Lanny Ropke.
"Don is a very unique person, a friend to everyone, was a
wonderful center fielder and knew how to play the game the right way, a true sportsman
and gentleman” said Ropke. His presence
around the ball park will be truly missed.
Many of Don’s teammates and fellow competitors from the past
attended the game, including two from the original league, Lee Jackson and Tom
Melendrez. Don was also a member of the inaugural Men’s Senior Baseball League World Series championship team in 1988, as the Woodland Davis team defeated a team from Sacramento that featured ex Giant’s
pitcher Jim Barr.
"I love the game of baseball,’ said McCreary, ‘and I will
miss all of the camaraderie of being with my teammates.’ No one, including McCreary, could remember if
he got a hit in that first at bat, but he went out in style on Monday night,
with a hit up the middle.