Celebrating 100 Years of Oakland Technical High School
Ernie Goldsby ’58
I played baseball at Tech with Al Kyte. I’d known him since I was 13. I played trombone in the dance band and tuba in the ROTC band. There were about 90 kids in the ROTC band and about 15 in the dance band. I did it because you had to take an art class. Most kids came into music at Tech already playing an instrument, but I started playing at Tech and did pretty well. The dance band played for money at different schools including private schools in the area. The teacher, Mr. Mortarotti, kept the money and then once a year, he took us all to his cabin in the Sierras and used that money for our food. Those were great times. I learned how to read music at Tech. He was surprised how well I played. I haven’t played since high school, but I learned how to appreciate all kinds of music, like symphonic music, at Tech.
I signed with Cincinnati after high school and spent one year in the minor leagues, which wasn’t really that great because I was playing with guys who had been there 2 or 3 years. It was like a big meat market. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you really love it. I know guys who did well and got bad breaks. If someone doesn’t like you, that’s it. It is better to get an education. The scouts know when you’re still early on in high school if they want you. Now they use colleges as a farm system, so there isn’t the money spent on farm teams today. You have to be in the right flow.
I was drafted into the Army in 1963. I had two years in the Army and 2 in the Reserves. I was sent to Germany. Then I worked for the post office in Oakland for 35 years and retired in 1995 to take care of my parents. I have one son. He went to college and is a banker.