In Memoriam

BOBBY HARTKOP PASSES AWAY ON JANUARY 14

Here's a note from Bobby's wife, Dennice:

"It is with crushing sadness that I let you all know Bobby passed away on Monday the 14th. For those he regularly communicated with, bantered with, debated with, you all made his life richer and I thank you for that.

"He absolutely loved playing with all of you. His competitive spirit was strong as you know and he always had something sassy to say. I think that's one of the reasons he so enjoyed the Lodi tournaments because that was certainly the place for all the good-natured banter."

Bobby joined WCFBA in 2004 and was a .375 hitter with 85 RBIs in nearly 400 at-bats.


GIANTS MOURN THE PASSING OF JIM DAVENPORT

The Giants family was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jim Davenport on February 18, 2016 in Redwood City due to heart failure.

Davenport, 82, played all 13 seasons of his Major League career in a Giants uniform from 1958- 1970. He was a member of the original 1958 San Francisco Giants and spent 51 seasons in the organization, having played, coached and managed at both the Major and minor league levels.

The Siluria, Alabama native posted a .258 lifetime batting average in 1,501 Major League contests. He earned All-Star status and a Gold Glove in 1962 and was voted by the fans as the third baseman on the Giants' 25th Anniversary Dream Team in 1982.

"The passing of Jim Davenport brings great sadness to our organization," said Laurence Baer, Giants President & Chief Executive Officer. "Jim had a wonderful spirit and was a great Giant. We will always remember Davvy. We express our deepest condolences to his family and will have them in our thoughts and prayers."

Davenport is survived by his wife, Betty, daughter Cathy, sons Randy, Ken, Don and Gary.


DAVID "DOGGIE" DENHAM PASSES AWAY

Long-time Giants camper and former Lodi resident David ‘Doggie’ Denham passed away on February 4th at the age of 64.  Doggie was a fixture at several Giants fantasy camps and tournaments throughout the 90’s before moving up to Oregon.  He was left-handed and loved to pitch and play first base.  His thick glasses made it seem like he couldn’t quite see home plate which was a little frightening to those who stepped in the box against him.  Doggie introduced his first wife, Cher, to fantasy camp and she also played in several camps and tournaments before their divorce.  He lived with his second wife, Debbie, in Oregon until his death.
 
To read more about Doggie and read some of the condolences, see the obituary announcement.


DODGER AND GIANT DENNIS MCCROSKEY PASSES AWAY ON JANUARY 7, 2015

Many of you may have heard through social media about the recent passing of long-time fantasy camper Dennis McCroskey on January 7th.  Dennis was found in his Mendocino home by his brother.  ‘Mac’ is believed to have passed due to a massive heart attack.  He was 67 years old.
 
Dennis is best known for putting together baseball trips outside of the United States.  His favorites were the trips to Cuba.  He was very excited about recent trade development changes between the US and Cuba which would make the trips easier to put on. 
 
Dennis went to a large number of fantasy camps including those of the Dodgers, Giants, A’s, and Cubs.  He called Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida one of his favorite places to visit.  He played in many tournament events with the WCFBA over the years.  On one occasion, he wore parts of uniforms from all the different teams he went to camp with.
 
Dennis played with the Men’s Senior Baseball League Greenwood Ridge Dragons for many years and was one of their top pitchers in his prime.  The Dragons always had a competitive squad and Dennis was a big part of that.
 
Condolences can be sent to the Nicholson House at 951 Ukiah St., Mendocino,CA  95460.  This is the B&B that Dennis owns.
 
Brent Baker, Mac's brother, has let us know that he will continue to honor Mac’s batting average discount at the B&B:

The Nicholson House Inn
951 Ukiah St.
Mendocino, CA 95460
Phone: 707-937-0934 or 877-937-0934


GIANTS' DAN METTLER PASSES AWAY ON SEPTEMBER 28, 2014

WCFBA member Dan Mettler passed away suddenly on September 28th of a massive heart attack.  He was 63 years old.  Dan resided in Lodi and was a regular participant in the 'Stuck in Lodi' tournament every August. 

Dan went to the San Francisco Giants fantasy camp in the late 80's and brought back stories of the great times he had. He is responsible for drumming up interest in the camp with many of the Lodi locals including our own Rich Thomas.  On the field, Dan was a 3rd baseman and solid, line drive hitter.  At his last tournament, he still wore his fantasy camp uniform from the 80's. How many of us can say that?

Dan's obituary can be found here.  (feel free to sign the guestbook)

There will be a celebration of life for Dan on Sunday, October 19th at 11:00am.  Fittingly, the event will be held at Tony Zupo Field, the home of our annual 'Stuck in Lodi' tournament.  The address is 350 North Washington Street in Lodi.  Any Giant campers who plan to attend are welcome to wear their black away jerseys as a show of support.


GIANTS' LOU 'LINDY' PAUL PASSES AWAY ON APRIL 21, 2014

WCFBA member Lou 'Lindy' Paul passed away on April 21, 2014 at the age of 88 in Gilbert, Arizona.  He spent the final nine months of his life in a dementia care facility after his wife Betty could no longer act as his primary care giver. 

Betty and Lou settled in Arizona in 1991 after spending the previous 15 years in Marin County.  John Wintersteen remembers that Lou attended his first fantasy camp in 1990 at the age of 64.  He became fast friends with Tom Haller and Willie Mays.  Even though they lived in Arizona, Lou continued to play in tournament events like Lodi and San Diego as often as he could.  Each year, Betty and Lou would spend time with old friends in Marin County and Lou would participate in as many WCFBA league games as he could as a pool player.  His frequent designated driver was Steve Bennett.  Lou continued to play with us into his early 80's.  Lou always played second base and was in great physical condition for his age due to his experience as a handball player.  Lou's batting style was to punch the ball by the pitcher and try to beat it out.

When Lou used to live in Omaha, he was member of the Jewish Federation acting as their athletic director.  His obituary can be found in the Jewish Press at:

Louis "Lindy" Paul

In memory of her father, and to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Association, Lou's daughter, Judy Paul, will participate in the Chicago Marathon this fall.  The family has requested that memorials be sent to http://act.alz.org (click on ‘AlzStars’; then type in Judy’s name in ‘Find an Athlete.’). Memorials may also be made to the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization.


GIANTS' TRAINER BARNEY NUGENT PASSES AWAY ON FEBRUARY 22, 2014

Former Giants trainer and our fantasy camp buddy, Barney Nugent, passed away after a long bout with colon cancer on February 22, 2014.  He was 61 years old.

Most of you Giants campers remember that Barney was the lead trainer at most camps.  Barney retired from the Giants in 2003 and has been living in Arizona with his wife Denise.  The Nugents visited us at the San Diego tournament from time to time as they are close friends with many members of the WCFBA.  A few months before he passed, Barney found out he had colon cancer and that the disease was in an advanced stage.  He and Denise moved to Massachusetts to be close to family while he battled the disease. 
Here is a note that Denise posted on Facebook from Barney while he struggled with the disease:


"I am not on Death's doorstep yet. I am very tired sometimes and still fighting infections, as well as doing as much as I can holistically. I still expects a miracle.  I am up and about at home, go out on occasion and talk to friends who call, and stop by. I like seeing friends and family.

That said, I also began Hospice services this week. Many people only use hospice for the very end of life care. Hospice also helps to prolong ones quality of life, help to keep one out of the hospital and managed at home, helps with pain control and other symptoms so they can do as much as they can or want to. They offer music therapy, massage and other holistic avenues. They also offer support to other family members including nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, etc.  And one can go on and off hospice if they need or want to.  So, we begin this phase of the journey. We share this info so that rumors won’t be created from info out there.--or you have me in a grave before I am. Thoughts create realities.

We know from our own experience that this is hard to talk about or deal with.. and often folks don't know what to say or they stop coming around. That leaves Denise and I wondering..why? This is when we need you...this is hard for us all. This is when it's OK to cry and laugh together.

So, as a former player who called me today began his conversation with--"I don't know what to say, this really sucks"...that is a good starting point!!!

Thanks."
Barney's Obituary

The Family requests in lieu of flowers, donations be made to:
PITCH 4 KIDZ
5010 E.Shea Blvd, Suite D-202
Phoenix AZ, 85254 (www.pitch4kidz.org)


GIANTS' DUANE BLEVINS PASSES AWAY ON SEPTEMBER 30, 2012

WCFBA member Duane Blevins passed away on September 30, 2012 at the age of 53 in Kapolei, Hawaii.  It was determined that his death was due to a heart attack.  Funeral services were held at the Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall in Honolulu on October 20th. 

We only knew Duane for a short period of time, but he made quite the impression on the WCFBA during the one year he played with us.  He began league and tournament play with us during the 2008 season.  He was an above average player who played a lot of baseball during his high school years in Thousand Oaks, California.  He played the left side of the infield and did some pitching as well. 

Early in 2008, Duane and his future wife, Rhonda, decided to get married on the field of play during our annual San Diego tournament at Pt. Loma Nazarene University.  The Giants team and the Dodgers team scheduled to play at that time participated in the ceremony.  It is an event that many of us still talk about today.

Duane and Rhonda decided to move to Hawaii near the end of 2008 to start their life anew.  He would check in from time to time to let us know that he missed us all, but he was very happy in his new life.  Rhonda continues to live and work in Hawaii.


LODI'S SHIRLEY MICHAELOFF PASSES AWAY ON OCTOBER 14, 2011

A fixture at our annual Lodi tournament, Shirley Michaeloff, the 'Corn Dog Lady', passed away on October 14, 2011 at the age of 77.  Shirley's family has run the snack bar at the Lodi tournament ever since Rich Thomas started the event back in 1991.  Shirley's family recipe for corn dogs made each year's trip to Lodi that much more fun for all of us.  Many of us have pre-ordered boxes of corn dogs to take home after the tournament.  We were not alone.  Shirley's corn dogs have been popular in the Lodi area since the 70's.  She has run concessions at many local events for years.

Shirley always had a smile on her face and loved working our events.  Rich often said that if Shirley stopped working the tournament, he would stop running it.  Thankfully Shirley has passed down her recipe to her granddaughter Christi.  Christi Michaeloff has agreed to keep working the Lodi tournament along with the rest of the concession staff that we have come to love.

Click on the link below to read Shirley's obituary on Legacy.com:
Shirley Michaeloff Obituary


GIANTS' STEVE BENNETT PASSES AWAY ON APRIL 3, 2010

Steve Bennett loved his life and lived it to the very fullest. A man of many talents, Captain Steve, as he was known to many, passionately embraced at least four different worlds. By trade he was an airline pilot for 26 years: first with Western Airlines, then as a captain with Delta Airlines, putting in hundreds of thousands of miles of flight time.  He also owned a meticulously renovated 1969 single-engine Piper Comanche with which he ferried fellow ballplayers to and from tournaments around the state, and his mom to and from her home in Nevada. His enthusiasm to fly also led him to join the Navy League’s Oakland chapter where he helped with the refurbishing and preservation of the Hornet aircraft carrier. He was also liaison to the active carrier, Enterprise, and helped with events for the sailors during Fleet Week in San Francisco.

Having never played baseball, a friend coerced him into signing up for the San Francisco Giants Fantasy Camp in Scottsdale in 2003.  Since then, he played baseball with the enthusiasm of a twelve year old. There he found a new family and legion of devoted friends by joining the West Coast Fantasy Baseball Association and played in every game possible for the next seven years. He readily admitted that it wasn‘t just the game that attracted him, but “the hang” with teammates and their families. The most recent squad renamed the team “The Captains” in honor of Steve and in support of his battle against cancer.

Then there was Steve Bennett the musician, one of the most talented bassists in The San Francisco Bay Area. He acquired his musical genes from his late father Russ, who played guitar with thirties and forties Big Bands and is enshrined on more than a few discs of vinyl that Steve was most proud of.  A Santa Cruz product with 40-plus years of funk, R&B, jazz, rock, Brazilian and Latin music experience, Steve toured, played and recorded with the likes of Richie Cole, Pat Simmons, Russell Ferrante, Joyce Cooling, Smith Dobson and Terry Garthwaite.  He performed at the San Francisco and Monterey Jazz Festivals and for many years enjoyed playing with several talented musicians in the Marin County area.

Steve’s first and greatest passion was his family: wife and soul mate Kristen (and their two kitties) of Mill Valley, his “Mother Bear“, Mary Lou, of Gardnerville, Nevada, nephew Jordan LeBeouf and Kristen’s loving extended family.

Steve was one of those rare people whose personality naturally drew others to him. He was a man of humor, integrity, innocence, generosity and great talent whose joie de vivre proved contagious. He and Kristen often enjoyed entertaining friends and sharing gourmet food and outstanding vintage wines from his private collection. And he was a social golfer whose often three-digit scores never diminished the fun he had with Kris and friends on the course. His secret weapon . . . the 1 iron.

Steve often remarked how lucky he was to have the life he led; he truly appreciated everything and everyone he shared it with.  He was, to put it simply, one of the nicest guys anyone could ever hope to meet and get to know.  And to know him was to appreciate all he had to offer.  He will be sorely missed by so, so many.

Steve is survived by his wife Kristen, mother, Mary Lou Corp, nephew Jordan Le Beouf, in-laws Jack and Ann Myers, Marye Joshua,  Dan Myers and wife Alexandra, Jack Myers and wife Suzanne, Curt Myers and wife Sonia, and eight nieces and nephews.


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