Charred remains of Paul’s Resort backdrop for Little League play
The call to “Play Ball!” at Paul’s Field was met with heavy hearts today as Sonoma Little League marked its opening day of the 2013 season.
Just a few yards behind center and right fields, the charred remains of Paul’s Resort were visible to spectators cheering for their favorite teams. As kids rounded bases, workers in orange vests could be spotted amid the rubble of the onetime resort.
The Marcucci family, longtime owners of Paul’s Resort, has long supported local Little League by leasing the adjacent Paul’s Field for reportedly $1 per year.
Fire raged through the century-old Paul’s Resort on Verano Avenue early Thursday morning, leaving little of the 10,000 square foot building that once served as a popular dance hall and restaurant.
Although boarded up for more than 30 years, the historic 1908 building was a treasured part of El Verano’s history.
Owner Yvonne Marcucci-Thibault, who grew up on the property once owned by her father, Paul Marcucci Jr., told Press Democrat reporter Mary Callahan, “It’s like losing a family member.”
Thirty-two firefighters battled the blaze for several hours after the building erupted in flames around 2:40 a.m. The Little League outfield was flooded, jeopardizing opening day games.
But by Saturday morning, thanks to league volunteers and with the cooperation of sunny skies, ballplayers were on the dried-out field engaged in the great American pastime, just as youngsters have been doing at Paul’s since 1958.
– Dianne Reber Hart