Albert Roy Ronning
September 21, 1926 - October 10, 2013
Resident of Sunnyvale
Born on September 21, 1926 on the family farm in Everett, Washington; Al was one of nine children born to Oliver and Olga Ronning. Al passed peacefully at his home in Sunnyvale, CA on October 10, 2013. All eight siblings preceded him in death.
Al joined the U.S Navy at the young age of 17, serving from 1944 to 1946. He then started his professional baseball career in 1947 as a 21 year old catcher for the Bremerton Washington Club, with stints in Victoria, Pueblo, Montreal, Fort Worth, Mobile and Spokane. He was then drafted as a player in the Brooklyn Dodgers system in 1950.
On June 15, 1951, Al married Christina Walters at home plate in Pueblo, CO and was widowed on January 7, 1970.
With Al's baseball credentials, the club quickly took advantage and hired him to coach in many levels of their farm system from 1959 to 1964. During this time, he received Pioneer League's Manager of the Year award in 1961. The Kansas City and Oakland organizations also looked to Al for his coaching expertise before moving into scouting. In 1973 he was named the Montreal Expos' Scout of the Year.
In 1974 Albert married Beulah "Bea" Hubble who passed away in 2003. He joined the Major League Scouting Bureau in 1974 and served them until 2002, when he received the West Coast Scout of the Year award. Al enjoyed fishing and hunting in his younger days but baseball was his love and he was involved with local area teams for over 50 years. Through his career he recruited many Major League players and has either coached or played with many Major League coaches, assistants, and players concluding with his inclusion in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Diamond Mines exhibit dedicated to scouts in Copperstown.
He is survived by three children; daughter Lani Deck, stepdaughter Nancy Newhart and stepson Mark Rigby. Two stepgrandsons Sean and Jason Cass and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
Friends are invited to attend a Funeral Service Friday, October 18, 2013 at 11:00a.m with Visitation beginning at 10:00a.m at LIMA & CAMPAGNA SUNNYVALE MORTUARY, 1315 Hollenbeck Ave., Sunnyvale. Memorial donations are kindly suggested at donor's choice.
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Oct. 16, 2013