James H. Garvine Sr.


A native of, Pennsylvania, James Harold Garvine Sr. first arrived in Manteca in 1925 at the age of 27 to work at the Kraft Cheese plant. After work, he began coaching the firm’s softball team.

Leaving the Area for several years, he returned to Manteca in 1937 and, for the next 29 years, spent Countless hours organizing and coaching various baseball and softball teams in the community.

Mr. Garvine, as everyone called him, directed the first recreation type baseball league for boys aged 12 and under, playing at what is now Library Park. Among his other accomplishments were: reviving American Legion Baseball in Manteca, pressuring state Babe Ruth Baseball officials to bring that sanctioned program to the town, and coaching an adult softball team in his "spare time". Amazingly, all this was done after he had finished delivering milk for a local dairy.

A quiet man, he could regularly be seen at the City Ball Park or Manteca High School grooming and marking the playing field. Summer time saw him driving his milk van around town on game days, collecting his ball players - as many as 16 at a time. Hardly anyone knew that he occasionally bought gloves for those players who could not afford that equipment. He passed away in the early morning hours of December 19, 1966. while on his daily milk delivery route.

A recipient of many honors, this unassuming man was truly Manteca''s "Mr Baseball".