A "MAJOR LEAGUE" FIRST PITCH: The Eye didn't make it out to the ol' ballgame but saw on Facebook that a Hollywood actress from a classic baseball flick recently threw out the first pitch at a Pittsburg Mettle game.
Stacy Carroll, who played Suzanne Dorn in the 1989 movie "Major League," took the mound before the June 29 game.
According to co-owner Cris Franklin, the players were chatting with her husband, manager Wayne, and the topic came up of memorable baseball movies.
"(Infielder Nash Hutter) said, 'Hey my mom was in that movie,'" Cris Franklin said. "When she came up to visit, we thought it would be really fun to have her throw the first pitch."
According to her biography on IMDB, Carroll left the movie biz in 1992 to raise her family and attend graduate school.
The Mettle, an independent team in its first season, plans to bring out a couple of other notable figures to throw out the first pitch during the season at City Park, along with a Little League night and Boy Scouts night, Cris Franklin said.
EXCUSED ABSENCE: Antioch Unified trustees were willing to let Superintendent Donald Gill get a hall pass for missing a meeting last month.
Gill was absent from the June 28 meeting, which included his annual evaluation, to be with his daughter and son-in-law in Southern California as he became a grandfather for the first time.
Gill said the birth of Kennedy Paige Foster "was a good excuse" to miss his first board meeting in six years as a district administrator.
The meeting turned out to be a real family affair as later in the meeting, the board approved new teacher hires for the upcoming school year.
Board president and proud mother Joy Motts recused herself from voting on accepting a report of the district's new hires, as her only child, Rachel, is now an English teacher at Antioch High School.
FIGHT THE POWER IN RICHMOND: The Eye never misses a Juneteenth festival in Richmond, a city with a well-deserved reputation as host to some of the best ethnic festivals and parades in the Bay Area. This year was no exception, as thousands flocked to Nicholl Park for an outdoor concert featuring artists such as former En Vogue singer Dawn Robinson and the funk band Slave. The food was great too, and local favorite CJ's Barbecue and Fish was a hit with partygoers as usual.
What the Eye did miss was a powerful entrance to the parade by Councilwoman Jovanka Beckles (the Eye sleeps late on Saturdays), but videos and photos posted to Facebook captured the scene for those who got up late.
Beckles, who is of African descent and is the first openly gay councilwoman in the city's history, rode in the bed of a pick-up truck decorated with wood panels to look like a locomotive. With the title "Freedom Train to Progress," Beckles stood tall and pumped her fist to the incendiary rhythms of Public Enemy's iconic "Fight the Power," the theme song of the 1989 Spike Lee film "Do the Right Thing."
Yellow flags with the words "freedom" and "progress" jutted from the faux smokestacks and whipped in the wind.
It was quite a scene, and the clarion rapping bellow of Chuck D rang timeless:
"Cause I'm Black and I'm proud, I'm ready and hyped plus I'm amped, Most of my heroes don't appear on no stamps," Chuck D rapped.
Powerful song and powerful imagery. Well-played, councilwoman.
Staff writers Paul Burgarino and Robert Rogers contributed to this column.