The history of local baseball of the nonprofessional variety is celebrated starting this weekend in Richmond.

"Semipro Baseball In Richmond" is the new exhibit at the Richmond Museum of History, 400 Nevin Ave., which opens with a reception at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Baseball was played in the greater Richmond area almost from the moment of its establishment as a city, and teams played under the banner of the Standard Oil refinery, the Kaiser shipyards of World War II and sponsored teams such as the Richmond Merchants, Grace Brothers, Lighthouse Inn and El Cortez.

Some players even made it from the sandlots to the big time, including Lefty Gomez, Jim Landis and Pumpsie Green. Others went on to play in the Pacific Coast League. Willie McGee of Richmond is a later member of the area's baseball legacy.

The exhibit covers the period from the early 20th century up to 1958, when Major League Baseball first brought teams to the West Coast, with photos, memorabilia and artifacts, articles from company newsletters and coverage in the Richmond Independent and Richmond Daily Herald Journal.

It also includes all-black teams of the day and will look at local all-girls teams in a discussion that will "touch on the greater social changes that took place during that time."

WEST COUNTY NOTES: The life of Patty Berndt, a tireless worker for community needs in El Cerrito, will be celebrated at a service at 1 p.m. Sunday at Sunset View Cemetery, 101 Colusa Ave. in El Cerrito.


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Berndt, named El Cerrito Citizen of the Year in 1974, was a former contributor to the West County Times and El Cerrito Journal and was a mainstay for years at the El Cerrito Chamber of Commerce.

  • Pinole Mayor Debbie Long will give a State of the City address at a Pinole Chamber of Commerce luncheon at 11:30 a.m. at Ristorante Due Rose. The deadline to reserve seats is Monday. For details or reservations, visit www.pinolechamber.org, call 510-724-4484 or send an email to pinolechamber@yahoo.com.

  • Recycling is good, but the folks at the Richmond Art Center say it's even better to upcycle. In honor of Earth Day, the center is hosting its Upcycle Richmond Festival from 1 to 4 p.m. April 20 at its space at 2540 Barrett Ave.

    What, you ask, is Upcycling? It's a chance to get creative with recycled and salvaged materials by turning them into mixed media sculptures.

    According to the RAC, "Activities will include hammering and shaping copper leaves; creating mosaic trash bins; screen-printing T-shirts; building musical instruments; designing marionette puppets, paper hat sculptures and more."

    If you really want to honor Earth Day, go to the center on your bicycle and take advantage of the free valet bike parking that day -- plus learn about bicycle repair and the advantages of cycling.

  • Right next door to the Upcycle event will be the fourth annual Richmond Tales Family Festival, a free event from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Civic Center Plaza, Nevin and 27th avenues in Richmond.

    Children can have fun with free books, games, crafts and face painting, and the whole family can enjoy healthy snacks, live entertainment, raffles, health screenings and resources, and a visit from Summer Brenner, author of the youth novel "Richmond Tales: Lost Secrets of the Iron Triangle."

    Contact Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/christreadway. Stay up-to-date on West Contra Costa news at IBABuzz.com/westcounty.