1972: HWBD Fetes Baseball’s Little Big Man

DONALD DAVIDSON 1972 WINNER JOHNNY KEANE AWARD

DONALD DAVIDSON
1972 WINNER
JOHNNY KEANE AWARD

In 1971, the HWBD was captured by the accomplishments of Little Joe Morgan. In 1972, the 12th Annual Houston Writers’ Baseball Dinner (HWBD) was a good story about the hosts’ deliberate plan to honor baseball’s biggest of all little men – a fellow named Donald Davidson. It was a concisely well told tale by a consolidation of news reports from that era:

BASEBALL’S LITTLE MAN TO BE FETED AT HOUSTON

Lamarque Times. Thursday, January 13, 1972. Not many people can lay claim to having played pitch with such immortals as Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, and Ty Cobb, but Don Davidson, assistant to the president and traveling secretary for the Atlanta Braves, played with these greats during his days as a clubhouse boy.

Davidson, who has been in the Braves organization since 1948, will receive the Johnny Keane Award for his “contributions to baseball” at the Houston Baseball Writers dinner in the Grand Ballroom of the Astroworld Hotel, Friday, Jan. 21.

Although only four feet tall, Davidson is considered one of the biggest men in the big leagues.

Davidson began his baseball career at the age of nine in his home town of Boston. After one of the Braves games, he was trying to get autographs and a player took him into the clubhouse to meet the players.

Soon after, he was asked to serve as clubhouse boy for the Braves. When he was 17 he took a position with a Boston paper as a sportswriter.

Three years later, Donald  joined the Braves’ publicity staff as an assistant to the director. He served as both publicity director and traveling secretary before being named as assistant to the president last month.

VIDA BLUE 1972 WINNER DICKIE KERR AWARD

VIDA BLUE
1972 WINNER
DICKIE KERR AWARD

Vida Blue of Oakland will take home the Dickie Kerr Award as the group’s choice for big league pitcher of the year

JOE TORRE 1972 WINNER TRIS SPEAKER AWARD

JOE TORRE
1972 WINNER
TRIS SPEAKER AWARD

Joe Torre of St. Louis, who will be present to receive the Tris Speaker Award;

HANK AARON 1972 WINNER EDDIE DYER AWARD

HANK AARON
1972 WINNER
EDDIE DYER AWARD

Hank Aaron will be at the head table as the recipient of the Eddie Dyer Award, now described as the tribute to baseball’s “slugger of the year.” Hank’s 1971 record of 47 homers, a .3227 batting average, and a .669 slugging average spoke loudly in hs behalf as the no-brainer nominee.

BURT HOOTON 1972 WINNER JIMMY DELMAR AWARD

BURT HOOTON
1972 WINNER
JIMMY DELMAR AWARD

Burt Hooton of the Chicago Cubs, who will be given the Jimmy Delmar Award as the  Texas-born minor league player of the year in 1971;

DON WILSON 1972 WINNER JIM UMBRICHT AWARD

DON WILSON
1972 WINNER
JIM UMBRICHT AWARD

Don Wilson of Houston, winner of the Jim Umbricht Award as the 1971 MVP of the Houston Astros.

 

AL BARLICK 1972 WINNER BILL KLEM AWARD

AL BARLICK
1972 WINNER
BILL KLEM AWARD

Umpire Al Barlick, who will take home the Bill Klem Award as the last, but not least, on a long list of honored guests. Al presided over Enos Slaughter’s “mad dash” to score from first on a lazy double to right center by Harry Walker of the Cardinals in Game 7 of their 1946 World Series with Boston, but there was no big challenge to his easy safe call on that play, but a lot of comment on the absence of alertness in the Red Sox defense against the victorious Cardinals.

DANNY MURTAUGH 1972 WINNER WORLD SERIES SPECIAL AWARD

DANNY MURTAUGH
1972 WINNER
WORLD SERIES SPECIAL AWARD

Danny Murtaugh, manager of the World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates, also is this year’s winner of the new Special World Series Award.

Morris Frank will be the Master of Ceremonies of the $12.50 a plate fete. The reception is at 6:30 and the dinner is at 7:30. Also, for the first time ever, a $7.50 ticket will be offered for children 16 and under.

Tickets are available at all five Foley’s stores and the Astrodome ticket office.

~ Lamarque Times, Thursday, January 13, 1972, Page 9;

~ Amarillo Daily News, Saturday, January 22, 1972, Page 13;

~ Newport Daily News, Saturday, January 22, 1972, Page 9;

~ Odessa American, Saturday, January 22, 1972, Page 14.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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