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Looking Back to 1936: Storm brings rain and ends Yankee training school 

Looking Back Paso Robles

This look back at Paso Robles history comes from local newspapers in the Paso Robles Area Historical Society collection. News for this column is selected with the assistance of the society’s Vice President Nancy Tweedie and Research Director Jan Cannon.

Excerpts from Saturday, April 4, 1936, The Paso Robles Times:

Storm brings 1.23 inches of rain

Eighty-eight hundredths of an inch of rain fell on Paso Robles yesterday, most of that within about three hours during the afternoon. Light showers, with intermittent dry spells marked the morning and early afternoon hours.

The usual islands and deltas of sand, mud and gravel washed to the center of the city from unpaved streets in the residential section, bore witness this morning, to the intensity of the storm.

Looking Back

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

The storm continued unabated throughout the night, and the rain gauge at the Southern Pacific Milling Co. at seven o’clock this morning, showed a precipitation of 1.23: of this .35 fell during the night.

This has been the second major storm during the season, and was exceeded in volume only by that of February.

In the Adelaida district, which consistently receives a far greater amount of moisture than here, 1.89 inches of rain were reported by M.B. Ayars, from readings taken at eight o’clock this morning.

The rainfall at the Shandon pumping station of the Union Oil Co. was .71 yesterday, .25 were measured at 7:00 a.m. Friday, bringing the seasons total at Shandon to 9.86.

At the Creston station, .71 inches were reported. At El Pomar 1.03 inches were reported by W.L. Reber for the storm Friday and a .50 inch fall recorded for last Monday.

Rain ends Yankee training school here; proposed game for Sunday cancelled

The New York Yankee’s spring training camp, after getting off to a late start Tuesday because of rainy weather, was unofficially 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 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 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 probability will find places for each in next year’s spring training camps.

The list includes Red McGuire, pitcher of Mill Valley; Albert Anderson, 2nd base, Los Angeles; Joe Lee, first baseman, and powerful hitter, of Stockton; George Perry, pitcher Santa Maria; G. Fustiani, 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 year.”

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 instruction to the would-be major league players, and to the local high school team.


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Thank you to sponsors of Looking Back

Paso Robles Pioneer Museum – Come take a real look back into local Paso Robles history. Open Thursday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 2010 Riverside Ave., Paso Robles, CA 93446, www.pasoroblespioneermuseum.org (805) 239-4556.

Estrella Warbird Museum is an aviation museum dedicated to the restoration and preservation of military aircraft, vehicles, and memorabilia. Woodland Auto Display is also open. Hours: Thursday through Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. 4251 Dry Creek Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446, ewarbirds.org, (805) 227-0440.

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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

Jackie Iddings is a contributing reporter and photographer for the Paso Robles Daily News.