But Don also was the Tracy High varsity baseball coach for eight seasons in the 1960s and ’70s.
One former player who has never forgotten Don’s time as a baseball coach is Greg “Hot Rod” Reed, the former Sacramento State standout basketball forward and baseball pitcher.
“I can say for sure that I never played for a coach who had more integrity or who loved the game or his players more than he (Nicholson) did,” Greg wrote in an e-mail.
The tall pitcher said he and Don would stay after practice so Greg could pitch to him and run drills over and over.
The extra practice sessions paid off. Greg ended up pitching three years at Sac State, won two championships, pitched in the Western Regional Championships and was offered a pro baseball contract.
“I had a lot of great coaches in my time, including coaches (Bill) Swenson and (Dutch) Grose, but as far as pitching goes, I can never thank coach Nicholson enough.”
Greg plans to be at tonight’s dedication ceremonies. A well deserved honor, Don.
All bus, no station
Several readers have commented on Greyhound’s refusal to use the new Tracy Transit Station as its Tracy bus stop.
Gus Carlson noted he was a member of the transportation subcommittee of the Tracy Tomorrow 2000 task force.
“One of our many recommendations was that the needs of the various transportation systems be worked out before the station was designed and built. Despite the long delay (in building the station) that ensued, it appears that the negotiation with Greyhound never happened. That’s sad.”
Rhonda Phillips, who lives close to Grant Line Road and Holly Drive, where a curbside tree serves as the Greyhound “station,” said she has noticed Greyhound passengers huddled under the tree on numerous occasions. The location in front of a trash-strewn vacant lot is especially disheartening, she commented.
And then yesterday, I drove past the bus stop on Grant Line, and even the tree that had provided some shade and cover for waiting passengers was gone, pulled down as part of reconstruction of the torn-up street!
The guy in the middle
In this space a couple of months ago, I reported that 1988 Tracy High graduate Scott McAdams was serving as mayor of Sitka, Alaska.
Since then, McAdams, a standout tackle for Tracy High’s 1987 section football champion team, has risen into the next level of Alaskan politics as the Democratic Party nominee for U.S. Senate.
It’s a strange race, with McAdams finding himself in the middle of a three-way battle. First, incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski was upset for the Republican nomination by Joe Miller, a Tea Party activist supported by, you guessed it, Sarah Palin.
And then, after losing the primary, Murkowski decided to run as a write-in candidate in the Nov. 2 general election. She is busy counseling Alaskans how to properly spell her name, so the write-ins will count.
McAdams got off to a slow start raising campaign funds, but he has generated more financial support in recent weeks. If Murkowski and Miller split the conservative vote, McAdams, described as a moderate, might just have a chance to win Nov. 2.
Former Tracy High coach Wayne Schneider and former teammates will be watching the election results from Alaska closely.
• Sam Matthews, Tracy Press publisher emeritus, can be reached at 830-4234 or by e-mail at email@example.com.