Pops’ Grandson

My wife and I were back at Evans Stadium in Cal Berkeley on Mother’s Day, April 12, mainly to watch Cal first baseman Andrew Vaughn, grandson of Erbie and Knolee Vaughn and the grandson of Shine and Beth Tuttle, and sister of Linda Tuttle. Andrew called the late Ronnie Vaughn "Pops," instead of Grandfather. Ronnie was my best friend as kids growing up in Anderson Valley. In addition, we were always in contact until Ronnie Vaughn died followed three months later by his wife Doris. So Andrew is a shining jewel of memory as Ronnie and Doris’s boy.

We arrived in Berkeley around 10:30 AM. We walked through the park to a nice vegan Cafe where I had an omelet of eggs, tomatoes and avocados. I don't know the name of what my wife had but we loved the food and coffee.

We then headed up to the park and the game: Cal Bears versus Stanford Cardinals. Stanford won 5-2 over Cal. Andrew Vaughn hit a two run line drive home run with a man on first base in the eighth inning for Cal’s only two runs. Cal, 14-10 overall, is now in fourth place in the team standings with Stanford holding down second place in the PAC 12 Conference. Oregon is in first place.

Andrew Vaughn is a 6 foot / 200 pound first baseman for the Cal Bears. He’s all chest, shoulders and thighs in his uniform and is baseball fast with quick reflexes. He is such a good hitter that he is generally not pitched to when he comes up to bat. He is walked most of the time and hit by pitchers often. He stole second base twice and third base once in this latest game.

He won the Golden Spike award for best amateur player in the United States last year and he is not out of the running for the Golden Spike award this year. But he’s not the favorite to win this year because the opposition walks him when first base is open.

His batting average is still a whopping .373. He has 14 homers and an incredible on-base percentage of .990. This last number is what gives him a chance at his second Golden Spike award. It would be the first time in history that anyone has won the golden spike toward more than once.

Lately, Andrew's name shortened down by the crowd with chants of "Drew, Drew, Drew!" when he comes to bat. The last time I saw him play a month ago the crowd chanted, "Andrew, Andrew, Andrew."

Andrew never changes expression whatever they chant. He is a good athlete with good coordination and quick reflexes. He loves baseball. He is a star. Every eye is on him when he plays. His world is his team and his own baseball form. When he is in the on deck circle he always lifts his forward foot to get momentum then puts his foot down and continues his forward motion with practice swings to gain timing before actually coming to the plate.

This kid has the game to play major league baseball. He has the skill and attitude to play in the Bigs. I would move him to third base to make use of his great quickness and his strong arm.

One Response to "Pops’ Grandson"

  1. Gene V. Zanoni   May 30, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    The very last time I saw Ronnie, after over a fifty year period, was at the fair in Boonville a few years ago. On that occasion, he confided in me that you were his idol. I must confess that Ronnie was a favorite of mine since 1954. That was the year the grammar school in Navarro officially closed forever. I was in the fourth grade with Ronnie that first year at the grammar school in Boonville. There was an immediate attraction, fostered by mutual respect, between the two of us. This was largely due to our competitive nature, especially as it related to sports. I still think of him quite frequently and that will always remain.
    I hope to see you this year in September at the fair. Keep well.

    Reply

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