Babies Lose Edge, Drop 2 at Katy Festival!

The looks on the faces of Houston Babies SS Robert Pena (L) and left fielder Alex Schmelter speak for the whole team as the leave fields after one of many tough innings on defense.

The looks on the faces of Houston Babies SS Robert Pena (L) and left fielder Alex Schmelter speak for the whole team as they leave the field after one of many tough innings on defense.

The Houston Babies drove west on I-10 Saturday morning with every intention of starting 2013 where they left off in 2012, but it wasn’t to be. Somewhere in the Highway 6 intersection area, their Grade A Vintage Base Ball Game skills fell off the team bus and things just went from there as all things go when you hit the top of the hill with no brakes – As you must have figured, knowing our Babies and our roster, the trip down into the Valley of Abject Defeat wasn’t much fun. Although, we were deeply moved by the opening day ceremonies.

The Katy group ordered a moment of silence in honor of our late team leader, Larry Joe Miggins. The colors were presented and first pitches thrown out by two 90-year old veterans of World War II (one of Normandy) and both of UT baseball in the early 1940s. One of the gentlemen had once caught the great Bobby Layne, a pretty fair college pitcher, but a lights out Hall of Fame QB in the NFL. I regret that I do not have their names. That big “E” is on me.

Back to vintage base ball, 1860s rules version: Even though the team won the coin toss for home field advantage in both their 10 AM and 12 NOON games against the Katy Combine and the Boerne White Sox, the games finished up as follows:

Katy Combine (aka “Floresville”) 5 – Houston Babies 3.

Boerne White Sox 10 – Houston Babies 5.

Let’s be merciful here, folks. Whereas, most teams are loaded with with “prospects” and “suspects”, the Houston Babies are a roster filled mostly by “artifacts”, players who love the game, but who also remember when FDR was president. We can give it our all – just not everyday. And Saturday, April 20, 2013, was definitely not one of those days.

When you can’t hit, catch, throw, run, or get all the way to the dirt on ground balls, bad things happen that quickly lead a team to the outcome file in which the prospect of winning is now an overwhelming improbability. That’s what happened to the club yesterday.

But we’ll be back. On one of our golden days, the Houston Babies can still beat anybody.

"You can't roller skate or win a game pitching in a buffalo herd." Larry "Buffalo" Hajduk (0-1) followed Bob Blair (0-1) to the mound in two  complete game losing efforts when neither hurler gave up an earned run.

“You can’t roller skate or win a game pitching in a buffalo herd.” Larry “Buffalo” Hajduk (0-1) followed Bob Blair (0-1) to the mound in two complete game losing efforts when neither hurler gave up an earned run.

With little help in the field, Bob Blair (0-1) took the loss against Katy; and Larry Hajduk (0-1) took the defeat against Boerne. According to official scorer-player Jo Hale, neither Blair nor Hajduk gave up an earned run in their two complete game losses. Does that tell you anything?

As we said, it was just one of those days when little went right. To be fair too, luck was out the window for the Babies on defense. The one-bouncers were mainly those short twisting kind that bounced unpredictably, whereas, the one-bouncers the Babies hit to the other teams mostly went straight to the fielders on easy one-bounce paths.

Kyle Burns had the we-gem catch of the day.

Kyle Burns had the web-gem catch of the day. in deep center field.

Kyle “Third Degree” Burns, the Babies center fielder, made a brilliant catch on one ball hit over his head that he had to secure at a galloping pace for the first bounce catch going away. The other “web-gem” play of the day was third baseman Bill Hale’s infield grab and behind the back flip to second for a successful force out play.

Bill Hale pulled off the web-gem total play of the day with a behind-the-bak toss to second for a force out.

Bill Hale pulled off the web-gem total play of the day with a behind-the-back toss to second for a force out.

On offense, the Babies got back into the old pattern of hitting those arching flies that make easier-to-catch first bounces straight at fielders, while otherwise, they kept hitting easy pop flies and infielder grounders. The Houston boys also ran themselves out of scoring chances with some daring dash attempts that might have worked thirty years ago, but were doomed to reality-wheel-failure in 2013.

On the day, six Babies had multiple hits: Kyle Burns had 4; Phil Holland had 3; Bill “Slick” Hale had 3; Robert Pena had 2; Robbie Martin had 2; and Alex Schmelter had 2. With Mike  McCroskey singling against Boerne and his fleet-footed daughter Meghan running for him, the Babies were able to produce a run that got them off the zero-schnid. Had it not been for the younger McCroskey, the Babies might not have broken into the scoring column in the loss to Boerne.

Thank you, Meghan McCroskey!

Mike McCroskey: He's what baseball had in mind when they invented the "DH".

Mike McCroskey: He’s what baseball had in mind when they invented the “DH”.

After the game, we had a brief morale meeting, but we quickly disbanded when none of us could find any. On the bright side, we just wrote it off as one of those days. Contrary to rumor, no Houston Babies vintage club players were issued bus tickets to our minor league vintage farm clubs at Oklahoma City, Corpus Christi, or Lexington.

At least, not yet.

Just kidding. We’ll get better and have our kind of day again. We have to improve. Our next big games are “by the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea” in Galveston at 6:00 PM on May 18th. Stay tuned for further details.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright; The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light, And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout; But there is no joy in Mudville - mighty Casey has struck out.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville – mighty Casey has struck out.

Ditto!

Ditto!

Boerne  Wins The Day at Katy. Monday, April 22, 2013. This just in from Tom Flores of the Combine and Katy Festival group: The Boerne White Sox (2-0) went back to the San Antonio era the big vintage ball winner of the day by taking an 11-10 win over the Katy Combine (1-1) in a 2:00 PM Saturday, April 20th game shortened to 6 innings so that the visitors could get home at a reasonable hour. With the Houston Babies already in the barrel at (0-2) on the day, the fearless Boerne group went home with the best record on the day.

In behalf of the Katy Festival, Tom Flores also thanks all the teams for helping make it another great spring event in the name of all things good about our community, our state, and our nation.

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2 Responses to “Babies Lose Edge, Drop 2 at Katy Festival!”

  1. Matt Rejmaniak (@tejasmatt) Says:

    Dr. Bill, thanks for your account of Saturday’s Double Header. Based on your description of events I’d have to say that The Houston Babies gave it their best-shot & played up to their abilities which is more than I can say for the Bayou City AL team who played an error filled batting practice…or game, last night. Perhaps I will have to come out of semi-ritrement to play for the Babies on 18 May.

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      You’re right, Matt. The Babies always give all of whatever they’ve got and they never give up. – Yes, please join us on May 18th in Galveston. We welcome your help.

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