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Archive for April 6th, 2017

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, April 6, 1977

By George and Dianne Wilson

All the fuss about the Mariners, Seattle’s new major league ball team is okay, according to Diodato (Duda) Vernarelli of Black Diamond, but to him the familiar cry of “Play Ball” has a new meaning. It brings back memories of “Sand Lot” baseball and pleasant thoughts of bygone days in this area. Baseball was a popular and important sport in the mining towns that once dotted the area. The above picture of “Duda” and his “spring swing” was taken in 1923.

All the fuss about the Mariners, Seattle’s new major league ball team is okay, according to Diodato (Duda) Vernarelli of Black Diamond, but to him the familiar cry of “Play Ball” has a new meaning. It brings back memories of “Sand Lot” baseball and pleasant thoughts of bygone days in this area. Baseball was a popular and important sport in the mining towns that once dotted the area. The above picture of “Duda” and his “spring swing” was taken in 1923.

As the cry “Play Ball” echoes across the land, baseball enthusiasts all throughout Puget Sound country are greatly excited about the Seattle Mariners, newly formed Major League expansion team. But that familiar cry has a different meaning for Diodato (Duda) Vernarelli of Black Diamond … it means “Sand Lot” and pleasant memories of bygone days.

As Duda recalls, in the 1920s baseball was an important and popular sport in all the mining towns that dotted the area. At that time there were four teams in Black Diamond plus the “big team,” the Pacific Coast League Briquettes.

Commonly called sand lots, they were actually only cleared areas in the fields approximately 100 by 150 feet. He laughed as he told us some of the problems encountered.

At that time Black Diamond had no “herd laws” and many families had milk cows which were allowed to graze freely during the spring and summer months.

The cows enjoyed resting in these cleared fields which retained the warmth of the sun into the night, and the constant ding-ding of their bells was a familiar sound. The results? We can only say the baseball teams had some problems the Mariners won’t have to contend with in the Kingdome. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, April 6, 1919

tntISSAQUAH, Saturday, April 5—The powder house of the Pacific Coast Coal Company, one mile from Issaquah, containing between one ton and one ton and a half of dynamite, blew up at about 10 o’clock last night, shaking the town of Issaquah to its foundation but doing no other damage in the town than the breaking of windows in many of the houses.

At the mine the roof was blown off the engine house by the force of the explosion and the doors were smashed from the hinges of the cook house and its windows broken. The cook house has not been in use for some time.

No one was injured. (more…)

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