7,086 See Buffs Hand Louisville 3-1 Defeat
By CLARK NEALON, Post Sports Editor
Houston Post, April 23, 1960
Sharp pitching by Lefty Dick Ellsworth early and by Barney Schultz late produced a 3-1 victory for the Houston Buffs over Louisville’s Colonels in the Busch Stadium American Association nasenall opener before 7,086 paying fans Friday night.
Ellsworth allowed only three hits in six shutout innings before he injured his pitching hand, and Schultz, coming in as the fourth Houston pitcher with the bases loaded and none out in the eighth, pitched his way out of the threatening situation at the cost of only one run to save a bright new night for the Buffs.
JOE MACKO’S SECOND homer of the season in the second inning and a two-run sixth provided the Buffs with their three runs to the delight of a “Babe Ruth Night” gathering that was the biggest opening crowd of the American Association season so far. The Buffs drew 7,483 for their Houston opener last season.
The victory sent Manager Enos Slaughter, who didn’t play because of lingering rib injuries suffered in the season’s second game, away to a flying start as a manager. In fact, Enos probably will settle for the way his pitching changes worked out Friday night during the remainder of his managerial career.
The big one was Schultz, who came to Dave Jolly’s rescue after singles by Bob Knoop, Pinch-hitter Mack Jones and Don Lassetter had filled the bases with nobody out in the eighth inning.
THE KNUCKLEBALLING righthander retired Bob Taylor on a fly to right with no advance, saw a run score as Bob Morgan forced Lassetter at second but ended the frame by retiring Earl Hersh on a grounder to Jerry Kindall.
Schultz breezed through the ninth in order and fans who had seen the Buffs lose 104 games in 1959 went away happy over a winning start at home, the fourth victory of seven starts and undisputed third place so far in 1960.
An unfortunate failure of the public address system ruined the audio portion of the pre-game ceremonies honoring the memory of Ruth, what with short speeches by Mrs. Claire Hodgson Ruth, the Babe’s widow, and Mayor Lewis Cutrer heard by only a few of the fans. Youngsters of the Babe Ruth League surrounded the diamond and the Buffs and Colonels were lined up along the first and third base lines.
HALL OF FAMER Rogers Hornsby batted, Mayor Cutrer pitched and Chicago Cub Farm Director Gene Lawing caught on the ceremonial first pitch. The Mayor got the first one by “The Rajah” but Hornsby signalled for another and cracked it toward third base.
Moving pictures of Ruth’s last appearance in Yankee Stadium were shown on a screen behind the pitcher’s mound, and recordings of Ruth’s voice and that of the late Lou Gehrig were played. Fred Nahas was master of ceremonies.
Ellsworth, though he was credited with his first victory of the season, had cause to wonder at the fates. First he was felled by a line drive off the bat of Taylor in the third inning on a Buff mound that is rapidly becoming a jinx, what with the injuries to Glenn Crable of the Buffs and Ron Piche of Louisville by batted balls last season.
The ball hit Ellsworth in the stomach. He trapped it there for the out, but went down in a struggling heap. Up after a minute, he stayed in the game, only to leave after another freak injury in the sixth.
ELLSWORTH’S BAT splintered in his hands as he popped out the Amado Samuel at short, injuring Dick’s pitching hand enough to force his departure from the game. However, the injury was believed to be only minor, a slight flesh wound.
ELLSWORTH ALLOWED only three hits, fanned six in his six innings of work.
Each team got six hits in a tight pitching duel, with the Buffs getting their margin of victory in Jerry Kindall’s double, two stolen bases, a wild pitch and an error in the sixth. The defeat ended a four-game winning streak for the Colonels.
Kindall’s blow barely missed being a homer at the very top of the left field fence. Jerry stole third and scored on Bob Talbot’s single. Talbot, who stole two bases and got two hits, swiped second, went on to third on Lefty Bob Hartman’s wild pitch and scored when Taylor’s throw toward third slipped off the side of the catcher’s hand and went into left field for an error.
SLAUGHTER RELIEVED Ellsworth with Lefty Marcelino Solis staring the seventh, but after retiring one man, Solis walked Hersh and Samuel in succession. Quickly, Enos called in Jolly, who responded by fanning Pinch-hitter Eddie Haas and inducing Howie Bedell to ground into a forceout to end the inning. Gene Littrell had been announced as the hitter for Hartmen, but when Slaughter switched to the right-handed Jolly, Manager Ben Geraghty of the Colonels switched to the left-handed hitting Haas.
When Jolly yielded the three hits starting the eighth, Slaughter wasted no time calling on Schultz, with Catcher Dick Bertell relieving Ray Noble to catch the testy knuckle-ball.
Macko’s homer was a line shot over the 342-foot sign atop the triple-deck scoreboard in left-center.
The teams meet in a doubleheader starting at 6:30 PM Saturday at Busch Stadium. Lefty Jim Brewer (0-1) and Al Lary (0-0) are due to work for Houston, with Vic Rehm (1-0) down for one game for the Colonels but Manager Gerahty undecided on who his second choice will be.
A contribution by independent researcher for The Pecan Park Eagle, Darrell Pittman.
Thank you, Darrell, for another splendid discovery.
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The Pecan Park Eagle