kim's blog

An Offbeat Recollection of 76 Ball Manufacture

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A reader writes to say: Someone correct me if I am wrong (but I believe I remembered this correctly!) -- the original Union 76 fiberglass BALLS (NOT DISKS) were manufactured ONLY in my hometown of Galva, Illinois (population 12[?]).

Just FYI (a little fun factoid): one Spring (I was, perhaps, nine years old), Galva was hit by a tornado, and the 76 balls (which were usually neatly lined up in rows OUTSIDE of the factory) were blown all over the town! My next-door neighboor was gifted by Mother Nature with one, and we rolled around inside of it until the fiberglass worked its nastiness on us!

I also remember someone a few blocks away cutting one in half for his dog to use as a doghouse! (I hope the dog escaped the wrath of the fiberglass!) I may have that wrong (I was young!), but I am fairly certain that Galva is the ONLY place where the infamous orange balls were manufactured! I'd like to know more information, if anyone has any!

Thanks! Sharon (Johnson) Palmer

P.S. Galva is sister city to Gavle, Sweden!

A Visit To The 76 Ball Graveyeard

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Intrepid 76 Ball Fan J. Eric Freedner has made a startling discovery near Fresno, CA, a discovery that bodes well for those of us who believe ConocoPhillips needs to REPLACE the 76 Balls that they've taken down from their poles. He reports:

Well, I had a feeling I would find the "missing" 76 balls and... here they are!

A whole bunch of orange balls is now in the yard of Nelson Sign Service on Golden State Highway (Old Route 99) in Fresno, California.

These weren't here a few months ago!   What do they plan to do with them?   Spheres take up a whole lot more space than flat signs so I have a feeling Mr. Nelson won't keep them around forever...

 

 

There are also some flat 76 signs such as this old Fast Break one.  I'm not sure if the "Fast Break" chain is still in business.   Haven't seen any with the new red 76 logos, anyway.
 
Lots more "petro-jumble" at Nelson's but this sums it up as far as the Balls are concerned.   I would think a similar yard exists for the Los Angeles area, at least for those balls the sign people don't clumsily drop to the ground!    

 

Historic Dodger Stadium 76 Ball DESTROYED

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ConocoPhillips doesn't care about Southern Californians, tradition or good design. That's the only possible explanation for the grisly news that the beautiful and beloved blue and orange 76 Ball that has flown high at Dodger Stadium for generations has been replaced with a flat liver-colored disk.

ConocoPhillips will not stop their campaign of design terrorism until the last 76 Ball is pulled from its pole and smashed into a million pieces... unless YOU the consumer make it clear that you won't stand for it. Sign the petition if you haven't already. Then contact ConocoPhillips and let them know they won't get a penny of your gas buying dollar unless an ORANGE and blue 76 BALL is looking over the pumps. The red disk just doesn't make it.

Together we can SAVE RAY'S BALLS! 

76 Ball Discussed On KVTA Radio, Weds.

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Save The 76 Ball webmistress Kim Cooper will be interviewed tomorrow evening, around 6:45pm West Coast time, on the Marc Wheeler Show on KVTA Newstalk 1520-AM (Ventura, CA). You can listen online here.

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