Memorial service info for “Pops” Mitchell

I wanted to follow up on something that was in today’s paper to make sure everyone got the word. Funeral services will be held for former El Cerrito High standout James “Pops” Mitchell on Saturday at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church in Richmond. Here’s the info that appeared in today’s paper.




Arrangements have been set for former El Cerrito standout James “Pops” Mitchell, who died last Thursday of a heart attack at the age of 44.

Friends may attend the visitation Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Harris Funeral Home, 1331 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. The funeral will be Saturday at 11 a.m. at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, 831 S. 43rd Street, Richmond. Internment will follow at Sunrise Cemetery, 2201 Sacramento Street in Vallejo.

A “Pops” memorial fund has been established at Chase Bank, 12121 San Pablo Ave., Richmond. The account number is 2948893440. Donations can be made in the name of “Shelley Mitchell.”







Ben Enos

  • This is definately a shock to me . I played Babe Ruth baseball in Oakland with “Pops”, along with Antoine Pickett, Melvin and Ervin Houston.. just to name a few. These guys were Bushrod legends back in the day playing for Montclair Babe Ruth. My prayers go out to his family and Pop’s ” will be missed, dearly.

    Coach Michael Cunningham

  • Chs1012

    Those of us who played in the RBAL/ACAL circa late 70’s, 80’s know quite a lot about the great talent Richmond/Berkeley Unified districts put out on the diamond…
    Berkeley- Gene/Jeff Ransom, Shooty, Brian Guinn, etc.
    El Cerrito- Pops, Brian Nichols
    Richmond- Willie McGee, Matty and Mike Felder
    El Sobrante- Timmy Wallace, Sean Farley
    Pinole- Dale Sveum
    …..and quite a few more.
    Pops had a great mentor in Larry Quirico at El Cerrito (later CCC) who coached many of the above players on his summer teams. Pops was in good company with some of the list above, with several getting the call up to the big time, and Willie and Dale getting in a decade in the bigs. Pops kept his hand in the game after his playing days were over, more recently calling balls and strikes for Men’s Senior Baseball and many of his former compadres from high school ball were happy to still see him out there, even though his playing days had been cut short….it’s one of those things that when you play the game, it’s hard to keep out of it and it was heart warming to see him out there.
    Sincere condolences from us former RBAL-ACAL and MSBL players to James’ family and friends.

  • Lem Sneed

    I to am one of those late RBAL 70’s grads who was mentored by Coach Larry Quirico. I can remember seeing Pops and A.Picket at our gms rooting us on. Then a few yrs later we were back @ Cerrito Vista rooting for them.
    This is truly a shock, but I’m glad to have memories that we shared down through the yrs, and even as partners while umpiring baseball games together. Pops you will truly be missed but not forgotten.
    To the children, family member’s, & many friends. Keep your heads up and think about all of the fantastic memories that were left with you . My Prayers are with you, and keep this in mine. This is just so long for now, cause soon & very soon we’ll all be called home & reunited one day !!! Until that day rest in peace James Pops Mitchell and I’ll see you soon !!! Lem

  • I can’t believe he has passed. My old Richmond Steeler teammate and Leader is gone. We played together in 1979, the last year of jr.Bantams. We met again in 198O, Skyline vs. El Cerrito JV. Then in 1981 varsity( we tied). Pop’s was RB/LB/noseguard, me left guard/olb. Loved playing with him and against him. He even got out of my way for a clean shot on his jv QB :). Pops made my time playing Pop Warner one of the most memorable times of my life. He loved picking on me! We were the same size at the time, and we go at it whenever possible. He was truly a Richmond Steeler. Loved the guy! It is a total shock to see he has passed. Damn, so young. My condolences to his family. Rest in peace.

  • Troy T, Oh yeah “POPS” was a beast on the gridiron! I played JV @ Oakland High the same year 80-81, and Pops and I went heads a few times. I remember he dragged me about 15 yds and I was hanging on for dear life!! I was a 135 lb safety and he was 200 plus running back. Myself , Pops, and Pickett all got a good laugh out of that. We were kids having fun playing football and always friends. God Bless James “Pops” Mitchell .

  • Brenda

    I always called “Pops” James because I met him in Kindergarten, long before he became “Pops”. He was always a great athlete, but more than that he was a great friend. My fondest memory of James was playing kickball on the schoolyard. He would always be picked as the team captain. I was never good at sports and he knew that I did not like to be the last player picked for a team. James would always pick me for his team before I was the last kid waiting to be picked. He always had my back in that way. and I always appreciated him for that. I had the pleasure of going to school with him from K – 12th grade. Looking back over all of those years, I do not have one bad memory of him. I just remember his smiling face every time I saw him. He is truly gone too soon and will be missed!