Looking back with 1963 Ports alum Dick Yencha

Each week we get the opportunity to catch up with members of the 1963 California League Championship Ports team. This week we caught up with shortstop Dick Yencha to reminisce on his time in Stockton and see what he is up to these days.

1963 Alumni Questionnaire

About you…  

1. Birthplace:

– Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

2. Date of birth:

Dick is in the second row, far right

Dick Yencha is in the second row, far right

–  3/14/1942

3. High school:

– Plains High School

4. College/degree:

– 2 years, never finished

The Ports

1. What is your favorite memory from your time on the Ports in 1963?:

– Of course, winning the championship.

2. What accomplishments from your days with the Ports are you most proud of?:

– I’m proud of hitting a whole bunch of triples. I think every time I hit the ball, I was going for a triple.

3. What favorite memory do you have about your 1963 teammates?:

– Best punch of guys I ever played with. Every game someone picked the team up.

4. Who was the most memorable character from your 1963 Ports team?

–  ME.

5. How involved were you and your teammates in the community?:

– We were all involved in the community supporting the town’s events.

6. 1963 was a memorable year in American history. Did the current events at the time affect your team at all?

– Civil rights was a big issue but I don’t think it or other current events affected our team at all. We just went out and did our job.

7. What was your favorite ballpark in the Cal League to play in?

– Stockton

8. Who was the toughest opponent you faced?

– Modesto because they had the likes of Joe Morgan, Sunny Jackson, and others.

9. What was Stockton like when you were with the Ports in 1963?

– I remember it was a small town but the people there were great and supported the ball club.

10. What was the best part about winning the 1963 California League Championship Title?

– Beating Modesto. They won the first half, I believe. We won the second half. They had a great ball club.

11. During your time with Stockton, was there a major league baseball player that you looked up to? Modeled your playing after?

– I didn’t think about any particular player. I just went out and played.

Since then…

1. Where do you currently reside?

– Tunk, PA

2. What major league team do you currently follow?

– We follow the Yanks and the Phillies.

3. Spouse/children/grandkids

– 3 kids and 6 grandkids

4. Did you ever make it back to Stockton after you were finished playing for the Ports?

– No, but I would have liked to.

5. Have you followed the Ports at all since you were on the team?

– Now and then.

6. Do you keep in touch with any of your 1963 teammates? If so, whom?

– Yes, since I have gotten the list I have been in touch with Danny Baier, John Ellen, Bob Olson, Tim Sommer, Dick Hickerson, and finally the big Cajun, Lloyd Fourroux

7. What are you doing now after baseball?

– Retired since 1995. Enjoy trading and selling coins and gold jewelry.

8. What has been your biggest success in your career following your time with Stockton?

– Family and kids.

9. If you could give any piece of advice to current Ports players, what would it be?

– Just focus and go out and do your job the best you can. And make friends with your teammates. You can’t do better than that!

Dick is in the top row, second from the left

Dick Yencha is in the top row, second from the left

I would love to attend the reunion and to see the fellas and spend time with them to go over old times. But because of my health, it is not possible. Like I said before, Harry was a great manager and they were a great bunch of guys and I miss them. I was, and still am, the best looking guy on the team! (ha, ha).

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