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Loureiro Field Formally Dedicated
With rain clouds threatening to open up at any time, festivities to dedicate the Bob Loureiro Field scoreboard at Escalon High kicked off right on schedule Saturday morning, Feb. 23.

After more than four decades of coaching, longtime teacher, coach and athletic director Bob Loureiro - now retired from EHS - was on hand for the dedication of the new scoreboard in left-center field of the varsity baseball diamond and the naming of the field in his honor.

Serving as Master of Ceremonies was Rusty Fachner, also a teacher and coach at the school.

Fachner said it was an honor for him to be part of the event.

"Bob is my friend, my teaching colleague, my mentor," Fachner said, noting that Loureiro also sat on the selection panel that resulted in him being hired at the high school. "He is the ultimate baseball man. Bob has traveled the country watching the American pastime."

Also a former draft pick of the Chicago White Sox, Loureiro coached baseball at Escalon High School for 42 years. During that time, he coached to 604 victories and suffered 357 defeats. His teams earned eight Trans-Valley League titles, one section title, the 1970 mythical California state title, three section runner-up crowns and Loureiro was named Trans-Valley League coach of the Year in 1979 and again in 1991. He also has been presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Baseball Coaches Association.

The first league title for the Cougars came in 1968, when the father - Joe Gasper - of the current varsity pitching coach - Andy Gasper - was a part of the team.

"That's one of many father-son tandems that Bob has coached," Fachner said.

Unique to the celebration was the gathering of 'the three Bobs,' namely Bob Loureiro, Bob Amerman and Bob Benjamin. Loureiro, the honoree, has been friends with Bob Amerman, current varsity coach of the Linden Lions, for years and the two were teammates on the ball field before they coached against each other. The Lions were in town for the season opening game against this year's Cougars, following dedication of the field and scoreboard. Bob Benjamin, meanwhile, has been an umpire for years and called many games between the two.

"You've got way over 100 years of experience here," Benjamin said as the trio posed at home plate for a commemorative photo. "Probably over 120."

Loureiro and Amerman were teammates at University of the Pacific before they went their separate ways to careers that eventually brought them back together on the ball field.

"It's an honor to be here," Amerman said in brief remarks to the large crowd braving the chilly wind and threatening skies. "I deeply appreciate my friendship with the people in the community and with Bob. I could tell you a whole bunch of stories ... but we've got a ball game to play."

School board member John Largent, father of the current Escalon varsity baseball coach Greg Largent, presented Loureiro with a special commemorative bat designed for the occasion and Loureiro also offered some thoughts to the crowd, addressing them from the pitcher's mound with the new scoreboard looming behind him.