Petaluma physical therapist Theo Atkins dies

Theo "Ted" Adkins, a Petaluma physical therapist who played professional baseball and fathered two entertainers, died Jan. 3 in Petaluma of complications from several long-term ailments. He was 85.

Adkins was born in Mississippi but grew up in the Sierra foothill town of Tuolumne, where he was a star athlete and earned a full scholarship to College of the Pacific in Stockton, now University of the Pacific.

In college, he excelled in baseball, football and boxing, but he chose to focus on baseball as a career.

"He was good at all sports, but he always wanted to play pro baseball," said Gwen Adkins of Santa Rosa, his former wife and advocate caregiver. "He was just a natural athlete. He could not play golf for 10 years, then go out and break the course record."

After graduating in 1951, he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates and played first base in the team's minor league system.

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