John Manke is an active former Bay View resident who is involved in numerous neighborhood organizations, including the Bay View Historical Society, the Humboldt Park Fourth of July Association and the Shore Shore Farmers Market. He believes Bay View has a fine tradition in its past that we do not want to lose in the future.
When I was younger, I used to look forward to playing softball. Usually in spring, during Lent, some warm weather arrived here. We used to play softball on the street or go to I.C. Catholic Church playground to play softball. I can remember many of our neighbors joining in on the fun. The Cupertinos, the Venturis, the Sobanskis, the Sucheks, and many other children were there to join us.
I can remember one day when I hit the ball on top of the school roof. The janitor told me that if I could hit the ball that far, that I should no longer play on I.C. Playground. I asked him if it was all right to play ball if I batted lefthanded. He said yes. When I was up at bat the next time, I hit the ball over the fence over Russell Ave. and just missed the picture window of the Pastor's house from St, Luke's Episcopal Church. The church janitor did not know that I was a switch hitter and could bat good both right-handed and left-handed. I was banned from playing at I/C Playground after that incident.
There are many good incidents that happened back then. These are moments to remember.