Creating advocates for history through the stories of greater Los Angeles.
by Paul R. Spitzzeri
We couldn’t have asked for better weather for today’s second installment of the Homestead’s “First Sunday Picnic.” Several dozen visitors, including families with children, couples, and groups of friends have been here to enjoy the grounds, tour our historic houses, play lawn games and more.
It was a bonus for me to see my 14-year old son, Julian, tickling the ivories for two groups visiting our 1920s Spanish Colonial Revival home, La Casa Nueva.
We will have two further offerings of the “First Sunday Picnic” on August 7 and September 4, which just happen to be first Sundays, so come out and partake in the fun on one or both of these days.
Meantime, tomorrow, of course, is that great American celebration and we have an artifact in our collection that combines the holiday with that great American pastime.
On 4 July 1928, the Los Angeles Angels, precursor to today’s “Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim”, hosted one of its Pacific Coast League rivals, the Sacramento Senators, in a double-header at Wrigley Field.
That’s right, there was a Wrigley Field in south Los Angeles, built by the same William Wrigley, Jr., who owned the Chicago Cubs–the Angels were a sort of farm team for the Cubs.
There were fireworks that went off that day at Wrigley, but, unfortunately for the home team and its fans, the excitement was all generated by the visitors. As the Los Angeles Times expressed it the following day in its coverage:
[Manager] Marty Krug’s sinking Seraphs gave a very unpatriotic exhibition of how to spend the Fourth of July yesterday at Wrigley Field where they dropped a couple of highly uninteresting struggle to the snappy Solons from Sacramento. The Angels were outslugged, 11-7, in the opener and were then subjected to a 3-to-0 white washing by Ray Keating in the nightcap.
Though it was an ugly pair of outings for the Angels, the program offered for sale at the ballpark that day is pretty attractive when it comes to its vignette on the front cover. It shows Wrigley Field against a bright red background and a logo of baseballs over crossed bats with “Pacific Coast League” and “Season of 1928” lettering in the balls.
The cover ad for the Western Oil & Refining Company claims that you feel a “SOCK!” representing “that same thrill” which was “experienced when you step on the accelerator, and you car responds to WESTERN GASOLINE.”
Well, if the Times‘ description of the game corresponded to Western’s performance in someone’s flivver, it must have been a dull ride!
Let’s hope your 4th is anything but a dull ride and that you enjoy, as they say these days “a safe and sane” holiday!