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Looking Back: Rain ends Yankee training school here; proposed game for Sunday p.m. cancelled 

Looking Back

Click here to read the full front page of the April 4, 1936 Paso Robles Times.

Excerpt from Saturday, April 4, 1936 Paso Robles Times

The New York Yankee’s spring training camp, after getting off to a late start Tuesday because of rainy weather, was unoffiically brought to a close Friday noon, when threatening skies and a falling barometer combined to forecast wet weather for the rest of their allotted time here.

The heavy rain of Friday afternoon, left the grounds too soggy for further use this week, and the exhibition game scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled. A majority of the boys, many of whom came to Paso Robles from distances as far away as Seattle and Idaho Falls, left for their homes soon after it became apparent that further workouts would be impractical.

Of the nearly 80 youths who passed in review before the trained eyes of Yankee scouts this week, there were eight who showed better than average ability on the diamond, according to Joe Devine, veteran seeker of major league material. Two of these, he said, show almost immediate prospects of developing into class A rookies.

After watching them for four days, Devine said, ”we have picked “Kewpie” Lewellyn, catcher with the Cal Poly nine, and Joe Erano, also a catcher, of San Jose, as most likely to succeed in professional baseball.”

If present plans mature, we will send them out to one of our “farm” clubs, probably Joplin, Mo. Lewellyn will leave after he finishes school in June, and Erano will probably go there within a month or so. We haven’t discussed the details of the arrangements with the boys yet, however and of course we will have to have the consent of their parents before any contracts are signed,” Devine declared. Both boys are 19.

Of the other “top” players, two are pitching material, two are second base, one first base, and one fielder. While they will not be sent to any Yankee clubs this season, Devine said, the club will continue to watch their development and in all probablity will find places for each in next year’spring training camps.

This list includes “Red” McGuire, pitcher of Mill Valley; Albert Anderson, 2nd base, Los Angeles; Joe Lee, first baseman, and powerful hitteer, of Stockton; George Perry, pitcher, Santa Maria; G. Fustiana, infield, Guadalupe; Carl Barbettini, 2nd base, Betteravia.

“We scouted approximately 80 players during our week in Paso Robles,” Devine said, “and on our biggest day, we had 66 men in training at the local ball park. Our visit has been most successful in spite of the ‘unusual’ weather, and we will probably return to Paso Robles year after next.”

Devine, himself a veteran scout, was assisted by Bill Essick and Bob Coltrin of the Yankee training staff. During the series of workouts, they gave instructions to the would-be major league players, and to the local high school team.

Read previous Looking Back articles

This “Looking Back” view at Paso Robles history comes from one of the hundreds of local newspapers in the Paso Robles Area Historical Society collection. Several local newspapers, dating from the 1800s, have reported on local, national and world events, providing priceless historical views of our community that are not available from any other source. The Historical Society is seeking community support for the multi-phased Newspaper Preservation Project to help fund the transfer of these aged and fragile pages to microfilm and digital images. See the society website for more information about becoming a member or donating to any phase of this project.

The Paso Robles Daily News is pleased to support this important project. Watch this space for future “Looking Back” articles.


About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at