It's Easier If You Know What We Did
Most athletes listed here achieved fame in high schools. Some went onto greater glory later on in their career. Others gained entry into BASS by their selection on a prep all-star team in baseball, basketball, field hockey, football, soccer, softball, volleyball or water polo. All-league teams are not considered for these listings. Major regional teams that gives athletes a spot in BASS were selected by many publications.
STATE: Cal-Hi offered All-State teams annually in a variety of sports. They are mentioned here with the permission of the Cal-Hi Record Book and Almanac's author, Nelson Tennis.
Northern California: The San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner published All-Northern California teams in basketball and football from the 1940s to the 1970s. Currently, local sportswriters continue to pick regional All-Star teams in a variety of sports.
Bay Area: All-Star football and basketball teams were chosen by the Examiner from the late 1960s until the Hearst Corp/ bought the Chronicle in 2000 and the Examiner name became affiliated with another newspaper. The new Chronicle started selecting All-Metro teams in 2001. Most of the athletes came from Alameda,Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties. The Catholic Monitor picked baseball, basketball and football teams from the late 1940s until the late 1960s. These were limited to Catholic schools only.
Alameda County: The Oakland Athletic League is contiguous with the CIF's Oakland Section. OAL all-star teams were picked by coaches or the staffs of the Oakland Tribune and the Oakland Post-Enquirer, which stop circulation in 1950. All-East Bay teams were selected by the Tribune and later Bay Area News Group writers and included Contra Costa players.
Contra Costa County: The Contra Costa Times picked regional all-star teams until 2008, when the newspaper merged into Bay Area News Group -- carried under the new owners name. These teams occasionally included Alameda County players.
San Francisco City & County: The Academic Athletic Association (called San Francisco Athletic League - SFAL- from 1915-25) provides sport competition for schools in the city league and constitutes the San Francisco Section of the CIF. Coaches or staff of the Chronicle (until the early 1970s and again after 2001) and the Examiner (until 2000) picked the All-AAA players. Two other San Francisco newspapers, the News and the Call-Bulletin published all-star teams until they went out of business in the late 1960s.
San Mateo County: The San Mateo Times began selecting all-star teams in the late 1950s and Athletes of the Year in the 1970s. The Peninsula Times-Tribune honored athletes from San Mateo County and northern Santa Clara County on All-Peninsula teams from 1979 until it ceased operations in 1993. Athletes of the Year were picked by staffs of the Times-Tribune and it's predecessors, the Palo Alto Times and the Redwood City Tribune between 1954 and 1992.
Santa Clara County: The San Jose Mercury News chose county, regional or Central Coast Section teams beginning in the 1950s. The CCS has schools in Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco and Alameda Counties as well as counties not included in the BASS coverage area.
Napa and Solano Counties: Athletes were named to All-Superior California, All-City and All-Metro teams by the Sacramento Bee.
Sonoma County: The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat honored players from Sonoma County and a few from Marin, Napa and Solano Counties, plus schools north of Sonoma County that are outside the area of BASS coverage, on the All-Redwood Empire squads. Players were recognized in two divisions (large & small). BASS listings are for Large schools unless designated as Small.
Other athletes appear here for their individual accomplishments in cross country, golf, gymnastics, swimming, tennis, track & field, wrestling and a few other sports not contested in Bay Area schools. Individual winners in the AAA, OAL, CCS, NCS and SSJS are listed as Champ or Champs (in the case of tennis or badminton doubles). When known, their winning time, distance, height or score is shown in parenthesis. In the early years track & field and swimming showed scores in fractions instead of decimals. We chose to list them as they were reported.
Here are more tips to help you enjoy Bay Area Sports Stars. Remember, this is a living project, it will continue to grow and will constantly be scrutinized for accuracy. The search continues for undiscovered athletes. Future athletes will join the list as they achieve their future success!
Most of these names were obtained from newspapers which may not provide correct spelling and did not always give first names. Accuracy is the top priority. So, an athlete may appear twice -- once with a first name and again without one -- because often there is no way to determine if it is the same athlete or two different athletes. Tim Morton listed as 100yd Champ 1932, might be the same Champ in 1933, but shown only as Morton. When only a last name is found, it is a boys champ. In such cases, female champs are listed as "Girls Champ or Champs."
BASS recognizes many state, national and other record holders, not just the current record holder, by showing each record when it was set, even it it gets broken later.
Counties, schools and athletes are listed alphabetically. School locations, nicknames, prior names and date opened are listed. Colleges attended appear in parenthesis and are listed in order of attendance. When known, married names and nicknames are shown.
Before WWII, not everyone attended high school. A list of elementary schools or junior high schools attended by these athletes is shown in the "Athletes Not Attending High School" section. Home schooled athletes are also listed there. In the "Where Did They Go?" section is a listing of athletes thought to have been schooled in the Bay Area, but not verified.
When seasons overlap two calendar years, the year in which it ended identifies the season, so the season 1998-99 appears as 99. Years in which their first accomplishment happens is listed in full (1998), after that it will be listed as (98).
Big Names Dot The Bay Area Landscape
Among the thousands of athletes with BASS listings are hundreds whose names became widely recognized by sports fans in later years and scores who reached the pinnacle of celebrity in their sport through induction into a Hall of Fame. Dozens of these Bay Area Sports Stars are enshrined in national or international halls of fame and many others have been honored by such regional groups as the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame (BASHOF) and the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame.
Baseball was the first sport to induct the product of a Bay Area high school into a national hall of fame in 1952, when Harry Heilmann (Sacred Heart High - San Francisco joined the pantheon of greats in the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, NY.
The Bay Area could field a Hall of Fame baseball team at every position but 3rd base. Pitching for the team would be starter Lefty Gomez (Richmond), reliever Dennis Eckersley (Washington - Fremont), catcher Ernie Lombardi (Cole Elementary - Oakland), 1st base George Kelly (Polytechnic - San Francisco), 2nd base Tony Lazzeri (St. Teresa's Elementary San Francisco), or Joe Morgan (Castlemont - Oakland), shortstop Joe Cronin (Sacred Heart - San Francisco), and outfielders Harry Heilmann (Sacred Heart - San Francisco), Joe DiMaggio (Galileo - San Francisco), Chick Hafey (St. Joseph's Elementary - Berkeley), Frank Robinson (McClymonds - Oakland), Willie Stargell (Encinal - Alameda) or Rickey Henderson (Oakland Technical). Frank Robinson could also manage the team. Ed Montague (San Mateo), Babe Pinelli (Sacred Heart - San Francisco) and Ray French (Alameda) could call balls and strikes.
Carney Lansford (Wilcox - San Jose) former American League batting champ, could play 3rd base. Billy Martin (Berkeley), Bill Rigney (Oakland) or Ossie Vitt (Wilmerding - San Francisco) could also manage or be base coaches. Others available to come off the bench would include catcher Gus Triandos (Mission - San Francisco), infielders "Dirty" Dick Bartell (Alameda), Dolph Camilli (Sacred Heart - San Francisco), Hal Chase (Los Gatos), Eddie Joost (Mission - San Francisco), Jimmy Rollins (Encinal - Alameda), Willie Kamm (Hamilton Elementary - San Francisco). Roaming he outfield could be Barry Bonds (Serra - San Mateo), Dom DiMaggio (Galileo - San Francisco), Augie Galan (Berkeley), Duffy Lewis (Alameda), Vada Pinson (McClymonds - Oakland) and Tommy Harper )Encinal - Alameda). The pitching rotation would boast future hall of famer "Big Bird" Randy Johnson (Livermore), Dave Righetti (Pioneer - San Jose), Dutch Ruether (Lowell - San Francisco), Dave Stewart (St. Elizabeth - Oakland) and Jim Tobin (Roosevelt - Oakland).
Top minor league talent would include pitcher/outfielder Russell "Buzz" Arlett (Fremont - Oakland) who has been voted one of the all-time minor league greats and lefty Tony Freitas (Tamalpais - Mill Valley) who pitched 340 minor league wins, an all-time record for southpaws. Pacific Coast League skipper Lefty O'Doul (Bay View Elementary - San Francisco) could manage or be the Batting Instructor.
Outfielders Sam Chapman (Tamalpais - Mill Valley) or Jackie Jensen (Oakland) could ply for this team if they weren't at running back on the region's all star football squad. Other candidates for the gridiron team would include College or pro Hall of Famers quarterback Gary Beban (Seqouia - Redwood City), Jim Plunkett (James Lick - San Jose) and Gino Toretta (Pinole Valley - Pinole) all Heisman Trophy winners, Dan Fouts (St. Ignatius - San Francisco), "Stormin Norman" Norm Van Brocklin (Acalanes - Lafayette), John Brodie (Oakland Technical) and Craig Morton (Campbell). Running the ball would be All-Americans Vic Bottari (Vallejo), Nello Falaschi (Bellarmine - San Jose) and Hall of Famers John Henry Johnson (Pittsburg), Ollie Matson (Washington San Francisco), Ernie Nevers (Santa Rosa) and O.J. Simpson (Galileo - San Francisco).
Hauling in the passes would be the first West Coast's Walter Camp's College All-American from Cal, Brick Muller (Oakland Technical). Also on the team would be Chris Burford (Oakland), Brent Jones (Leland - San Jose) and Hall of Famer Lynn Swann (Serra - San Mateo). Lineman and linebackers would include Bill Corbus (Vallejo), Chuck Taylor (San Jose), Matt Hazeltine (Tamalpais - Mill Valley), and Hall of Famers Gino Marchetti (Antioch) and Bob St. Clair (Polytechnic - San Francisco). Hall of Fame coaches would roam the sideline with Bill Walsh (Hayward) and John Madden (Jefferson - Daly City). Dick Vermeil (Calistoga), Jack Del Rio (Hayward) and John Robinson (Jefferson - Daly City) could serve as an assistant coach. Madden could also double up as the tv announcer.
An Old-Timers vs. Newcomers basketball game would be competitive if the dividing line was set as 1960. The pre-1960 five would have Hall of Famers center, Bill Russell (McClymonds - Oakland), forward Jim Pollard (Oakland Technical), guards K.C. Jones (Commerce - San Francisco) and Hank Luisetti (Galileo - San Francisco) along with rugged forward Tom Meschery (Lowell - San Francisco). Pollard was a standout on Stanford's 1942 NCAA Champs and the Minneapolis Lakers in the NBA. Luisetti pioneered the one-handed shot and scored 50pts in a game when most teams did not average 50pts! Coming off the bench would be NBA stars Don Barksdale (Berkeley), Bob Feerick (Lowell - San Francisco), Jim Loscutoff (Palo Alto), Fred Scolari (Galileo - San Francisco). Coaching the squad could be Paul Silas (McClymonds - Oakland), Howie Dallmar (Lowell - San Francisco), Bruce Hale (Galileo - San Francisco). Hall of Fame referee Lloyd Keith (Polytechnic - San Francisco) could call the game.
An opposing quintet might start Dennis Awtrey, center (Blackford - San Jose), forwards Cliff Robinson (Castlemont - Oakland) and Kurt Rambis (Cupertino), guards (Jason Kidd (St. Joseph's - Alameda) and Gary "The Glove" Payton (Skyline - Oakland). Reserves would include guards Phil Chenier (Berkeley), Eddie House (Hayward), "Jumpin" Joe Ellis (McClymonds - Oakland), Charlie "CJ" Johnson (Seqouia - Redwood City) and Todd Lichti (Mt. Diablo - Concord). Doing the dirty work down low could be Mark "Mad Dog" Madsen (San Ramon Valley), Lamond Murray (Kennedy - Fremont), Erwin Mueller (Livermore), Antonio Davis (McClymonds - Oakland) and Isaiah "JR" Rider (Encinal - Alameda). The coaches would be the Van Gundy brothers, Jeff and Stan, (Alhambra - Martinez).
Santa Clara High could field capable of winning nearly any swimming competition. The school and nearby Santa Clara Swim Club produced Olympic stars Donna de Varona, Sharon Finneran, Claudia Kolb, Karen Moe, Keena Rothammer, Don Schollander, Mark Spitz, Lynn Vidali and Lillian "Pokey" Watson. Other swimming Hall of Famers include Matt Biondi (Campolindo - Moraga), Natalie Coughlin (Carondelet - Concord), Lynn Burke (Los Gatos), Steve Clark (Los Altos), Larry "Buster" Crabbe (Oakland), Ann Curtis Cuneo (Washington - San Francisco), John Hencken (Cupertino), Pablo Morales (Bellarmine - San Jose), John Naber (Woodside), Dick Roth (Menlo-Atherton), Svlvia Ruuska (Berkeley), and Chris Von Satza (Los Gatos). Taking the plunge would be divers Helen Crlenkovich (Mission - San Francisco), Kristian Ipsen (De La Salle - Concord), Vicki Manalo Draves (Commerce - San Francisco), Patty Elsner (Galileo - San Francisco) and Zoe Ann Olson (Oakland).
On the courts we would find Don Budge, (University - Oakland), first player to win the Grand Slam 1938, Rosie Casals (Washington - San Francisco), Brad Gilbert (Piedmont), Helen Jacobs Hull & Hellen Wills Moody (both Ann B. Head - Berkeley), Ar Larson (San Leandro), Bill Johnson & Maurice McLoughlin (both Lowell - San Francisco), Alice Marble (Polytechnic - San Francisco) and Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman (Berkeley).
Teeing off would be Johnny Miller & Ken Venturi (both Lincoln - San Francisco), Lawson Little (Galileo - San Francisco), George Archer (San Mateo), Dorothy Delasin (Washington - San Francisco) and Paula "Pink Panther" Creamer (Pleasanton Elementary).
On the track our team would include many World Record holders. Sprinter Hal Davis (Live Oak - Morgan Hill) was the "California Comet" and America's fastest man in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Ben Eastman (Burlingame), Lee Evans (Overfelt - San Jose), Jim Hines and Ray Norton (both McClymonds - Oakland) held world marks at distances from 100yds to 880yds. High jumpers Ed Beeson (Healdsburg) and George Horine and Les Steers (both Palo Alto) all owned world records. Ralph Rose (Healdsburg) tossed the shot put to a world record.
A Wednesday bowling league would feature Hall of Famers Billy Hardwick (Hillsdale - San Mateo), Helen Duval (Berkeley), Mike McGrath (El Cerrito) and Niki Gianulias (St. Vincent - Vallejo). Future HOFers Kim Terrell (Irvington - Fremont) and Wendy McPherson (Las Lomas - Walnut Creek) would be in reserve.
There are many other BASS notables in many more sports. I hope you enjoy the trip through Bay Area prep sports!
Understanding the Biographies
A Guide To Understanding The Format
An athlete who qualifies for inclusion in BASS is given a biography that resembles the following fictitious sample:
Harry Overachiever "Harry the Horse" "The Big O" FB/BK/BB/Track RB/Forward/OF/100yds (San Pablo JC & UC Mountain View); EX All-Metro 74 (fb); EX All-Metro 75 (bk); All-East Bay 76 (bk & bb); NCS Champ 75 (9.8); All-Times 74 (bb), All-PAC-10 76-78 (fb); AA 76-78; All-PAC 10 79 (bk); ist rd pick SF 49ers 79; SF 49ers 79-84; CAL-HI Sports HOF ; College FB HOF; Pro FB HOF; BASHOF; NFL rcd 41 pts gm 85; Head Coach fb UC Mountain View 86-2001 (67-16); prep & college teammate Biff Blocker & Easy Catchem; father of Harry "Little Acheiver" Overachiever, Jr,; ML baseball player & Harriet "Lady O" Overachiever, Olympic swimming Gold medalist; also attnd San Leandro High (A)
At the top, the biography's heading shows the athlete's name, his best known nicknames, abbreviations of sports played (football, basketball. baseball, track) and his position in each one (running back, forward, outfielder and a track event) See Abbreviation section for complete list of meanings.
The community college and university Harry attended are followed by his high school all-star honors in three sports accorded by the San Francisco Examiner's All-Metro team, the Prep Writers' All-East Bay team and the Contra Costa Times All-Regional team. His win in the 1975 NCS 100yd dash in a time of 9.8 also appears.
Harry won All-PAC 10 and All-American honors in 1976-78. He was a 1979 NFL 1st round pick of the SF 49ers and had a long career with them. Later, Harry was inducted into several Halls of Fame and became head football coach at his alma mater.
The last part lists other well known athletes he played with and relatives who went on to achieve fame. It also shows that Harry attended another high school in the BASS coverage area.