It was a fitting tribute to a longtime, beloved community member and devoted Escalon Cougars fan.
On Friday, Aug. 30, friends and family gathered at Hogan-Ennis Park to dedicate one of the baseball fields in the name of Emanuel “Sketti” Franceschetti.
“Sketti” passed away in December, 2018 at the age of 97. He was a cornerstone of the Escalon community and someone who was a true ambassador of the city. Sketti was a man with an effervescent smile and an engaging personality. He loved music, sports, Escalon High athletics, and above all, people. Sketti served in the Escalon Lion’s Club, was a member of Spring Creek Country Club, and perhaps gained his greatest notoriety as a “Ball Dude” for the San Francisco Giants. In honor of everything he did for the Escalon community, the Escalon City Council felt that it was only proper to have a baseball field named in his honor.
Serving as the Master of Ceremonies for the dedication was Rusty Fachner. He introduced Escalon City Council members Ed Alves, Walt Murken, Jeff Laugero, and Mayor, Robert Swift. Russell Fowler, from Assemblyman Heath Flora’s office, spoke next and presented the family with a certificate honoring the night’s proceedings. Fowler was followed by Escalon resident, Randy Schmidt, who read a heartfelt poem that he had written in memory of Sketti’s passing. Sketti’s son, Mark, then spoke to the gathering. First, he introduced his sister, Jill, and his brother, Bob, and gave a special thank you to all the family members who had attended. After that, Mark proceeded to tell several wonderfully humorous stories that reflected the amazing way that Sketti lived his life. He went on to thank those in attendance, and to offer a special debt of gratitude to the Hogan Family, the Escalon City Council, Joe Dick, Brett Van Boven, the Escalon Lion’s Club, and Rusty Fachner for making the dedication of Sketti Field a reality.
The dedication concluded with a special presentation of a letter from longtime San Francisco Giants baseball announcer, Mike Krukow.
Krukow had the privilege of working with Sketti for many years when Sketti served as a “Ball Dude” for the Giants. Krukow acknowledged what a great ambassador Sketti was for the Giants, and the game of baseball, and how he, like everyone else loved Sketti’s “energy and positive spirit.”
Krukow concluded his letter by stating that it made him happy to know that there is a field named in Sketti’s honor to carry on his special legacy. At the end of it all, Mark Franceschetti’s words summed up the feeling of this special event: “It is an incredible honor for an incredible man in an incredible community.”