Some Texas League Longs and Shorts

The Texas League also has served as home to clubs from several surrounding states.

Over the long sometimes interrupted history of the Texas League of Professional Baseball Clubs, a number of records stand alone for their association with famous people. Others are remarkable for their deviant defiance of the norms for achievement in any average baseball season or individual game. That team record 21 homers that Corsicana hit against Texarkana on June 15, 1902 is a prime example of that challenge to the norm. Almost needless to add the eight straight homers that Nig Clarke hit in that famous game, or his record 16 runs batted in that same day are hardly marks to ignore as impossible challenges in the Texas League record book.

Bob Turley, San Antonio, 1951

Bob Turley of the 1951 San Antonio Missions holds the Texas League record for most strikeouts by a pitcher in a single game, He pulled off that feat with 22 K’s on August 11, 1951. Dave Righetti of the Tulsa Oilers is second on that list. He fanned 21 on July 16, 1978.

The longest Texas League by innings and time unsurprisingly was the Jackson at San Antonio game that was played over the course of three dates, from July 14 to 16, 1978,  The 26-inning contest finally went to San Antonio by a score of 1-0, as it also consumed a record 7 hours and 23 minutes of actual play.

The shortest regular season Texas League occurred on te last day of the season, September 7, 1913, when San Antonio met Galveston on the Island City in a contest of no consequence to anything but our ancient need to eat everything on our plate. In awareness of that consideration, the game umpire told both clubs prior to the first pitch that he was ready to go home. Each club was advised to swing at anything because every pitch was going to be called a strike.

The short of it is: The boys took the ump to heart. They were ready for a quick getaway too. Galveston took the game, 4-0, in only 49 minutes for a full nine-inning contest.

The game became something of a benchmark on the development of ethics and rules against making a farce of any baseball game. Had baseball not acted to discourage this kind of chicanery, we would have needed to change the lyrics of our anthem to “Take me out to the ball game, but keep the meter running.”

Have a nice Sunday, everybody, but try not to hurry things up too much.

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3 Responses to “Some Texas League Longs and Shorts”

  1. tom murrah Says:

    A little extra on Bob Turley’s record…during the 16-inning marathon,
    Turley allowed 12 hits, all singles, and walked 9 batters. Because of
    the League’s 11:50 p.m. curfew rule, the game was called a 3-3 tie
    at the end of 16 innings. He eventually ended the the season with 20-8
    record in 34 appearances, striking out 200 in 268 innings.

    A few weeks later, Turley and “Vinegar Bend” Mizell combined for 31 K’s
    in a 3-2 Houston win over San Antonio.

  2. Mark Wernick Says:

    My late Uncle Al went to a spring exhibition game between the San Antonio Missions and the New York Yankees in late March of 1951. His wife had the game program in a shoebox for many years. Before she died, she came across it and gave it to me. It features Mickey Mantle, # 6, batting 3rd and Joe DiMaggio batting 4th. Also on the Yankees roster is Lew Burdette, # 27; Clint Courtney at catcher; and Jackie Jensen in the outfield. Turley, #15, is listed as a San Antonio pitcher, although he didn’t appear in that game, won by the Yankees, 13-10. Gene Woodling was their hitting star that day. There is a Mancuso listed at catcher for the Missions, but I don’t know if it’s Gus or Frank.

    Mark

  3. Bill McCurdy Says:

    Mark:

    The Mancuso listed was Frank. Gus played his last minor league ball in 1948.

    Baseball Reference.Com shows Frank Mancuso playing part of 1951 with Beaumont and the other earlier part with San Antonio.

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