3-minute interview with Bill Soto-Castellanos

The starting shortstop for the Berkeley High School baseball team in 1953-54 has written a book about his days as a batboy, ballboy and clubhouse attendant with the San Francisco Seals and Oakland Oaks called “16th & Bryant: My Life and Education with the San Francisco Seals.” The book by the 71-year-old Pinole resident, who lived in the Mission district before moving to the East Bay at age 4, is available at www.amazon.com.

What inspired you to write this book? Two things. Ken Burns’ documentary “Baseball,” which came out in 1994. Another guy, Dick Dobbins, wrote a book two years ago called “Nuggets on the Diamond.” That was about the origins of the Seals and the Oaks, going all the way back to 1903. I read that and said, “There’s something I can contribute to this.”

What is your fondest memory of that experience? Working directly with all eight Pacific Coast League teams. I got dressed in the Seals’ clubhouse, worked out with the Seals and [then] the batboys took infield after the team. Then, during the game, I worked for the visiting team.

What was it like hanging out in the dugout with players such as Joe DiMaggio? I didn’t find it necessary to get an autograph from anybody. Wasn’t important to me. I just listened to what they would say. One time, maybe an hour before the game, a fan gave me a ball and asked me to have everyone in the dugout sign it. There were about seven or eight guys in the dugout. Iget down to DiMaggio and hand it to him. He says, “You know, young man, you could get a whole lot more cooperation if you said ‘Please.’” That was an education.


Check out more 3-minute interviews from our San Francisco newsroom.

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Chase Center and the Golden State Warriors hosted a media Welcome Back conference to discuss the safety protocols and amenities when fans return for a basketball game on April 23rd at Chase Center on April 13, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Golden State Warriors ready to welcome fans back to Chase Center

COVID-19 tests, app-based food ordering among new safety protocols announced this week

People came out in numbers to memorialize George Floyd, who was fatally shot by police, outside San Francisco City Hall on June 9, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD prepares for possible protests as Chauvin trial continues

Police to schedule community meetings, provide officers with crowd control training

Mayor London Breed said Tuesday that with other counties moving ahead with expanding vaccine eligibility “we want San Franciscans to have the same opportunity.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Everyone in SF ages 16 and up is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine

San Francisco expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday to everyone ages… Continue reading

San Francisco Park Rangers have seen their budget and staffing levels increase significantly since 2014. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Citations for being in SF’s public parks after midnight soar

Data shows disproportionate impact on Black residents

Central City SRO Collective tenant leader Reggie Reed, left, and Eddie Ahn, executive director of Brightline Defense, were among those distributing environmental awareness posters throughout the Tenderloin, Mid-Market and South of Market neighborhoods. (Courtesy Central City SRO Collaborative)
Environmental dangers are connected to racism

Let’s attack problems with better policies, greater awareness

Most Read