Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A 1″ Pitch Mistake = A 400′ Baseball Ride

August 29, 2018

“DAD GUMMIT! ~ WE CAN’T WIN ‘EM ALL, BUT…. WE LET GAME 2 IN THIS SERIES WITH THE A’S SLIP TOO EARLY AND AGAIN TOO LATE DOWN THE BAD TIMING PITCHES SIDE TO BE RECOVERED IN THE NAME OF VICTORY! ~ GO GET ‘EM IN GAME 3 THIS AFTERNOON, ASTROS!”

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A Peek at the AL Batting Average Race 

Through Games of 8/28/18: 

1. J.D. Martinez, BOS

.338

2. Mookie Betts, BOS

.336

3. Jose Altuve, HOU

.329

4. Jean Segura, SEA

.315

4. Manny Machado, BAL

.315

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AL WEST Contender Scores

Through Games of 8/28/18:

Oakland 4 – Houston 3.

San Diego 2 – Seattle 1.

********************

AL WEST STANDINGS:

Morning of Wed., 8/29/18

TEAMS

WON

LOST

PCT.

GB

Houston

81

51

.614

—-

Oakland

80

53

.602

1.5

Seattle

74

58

.561

7.0

LA Angels

64

69

.481

17.5

Texas

58

75

.436

23.5

********************

AUGUST

HOUSTON

0AKLAND

SEATTLE

29

OAK

@ HOU

@ SD

30

LAA

SEA

@ OAK

31

LAA

SEA

@ OAK

SEPTEMBER

1

LAA

SEA

@ OAK

2

LAA

SEA

@ OAK

3

MIN

NYY

BAL

4

MIN

NYY

BAL

5

MIN

NYY

BAL

6

7

@BOS

TEX

NYY

8

@BOS

TEX

NYY

9

@BOS

TEX

NYY

10

@DET

11

@DET

@BAL

SD

12

@DET

@BAL

SD

13

@BAL

@LAA

14

AZ

@TB

@LAA

15

AZ

@TB

@LAA

16

AZ

@TB

@LAA

17

SEA

@HOU

18

SEA

LAA

@HOU

19

SEA

LAA

@HOU

20

LAA

21

LAA

MIN

@TEX

22

LAA

MIN

@TEX

23

LAA

MIN

@TEX

24

@TOR

@SEA

OAK

25

@TOR

@SEA

OAK

26

@TOR

@SEA

OAK

27

@BAL

TEX

28

@BAL

@LAA

TEX

29

@BAL

@LAA

TEX

30

@BAL

@LAA

TEX

 

********************

Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

Baseball Lifer Doc Edwards Passes

August 21, 2018

Doc Edwards passed away on Monday, August 20, 2018 at the age of 81. The former MLB catcher (1962-65, 1970) and the manager of the Cleveland Indians will be missed by all who benefited from his 57 year career in professional baseball at all levels of play. ~ May he never be forgotten and may his soul rest in peace.

Ira Liebman of the Sugar Land Skeeters has sent us a beautiful summary of Doc Edwards’ gift to the game and we quite gladly post it here for the readership of The Pecan Park Eagle.  Thank you, Ira, for good work generously shared.

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Baseball Lifer Doc Edwards Passes

San Angelo, TXToday we lost a great baseball man and an even better person, Doc Edwards. Doc, 81, spent over half a century of his life in baseball and was still managing up until 2014, finishing a career that last 57 years in the game. Edwards, who earned his nickname “Doc” after serving as a former Navy medic, was born Howard Rodney Edwards.

Doc Edwards

Former Cleveland Indians scout and Pirates Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner signed Doc as an amateur free agent in 1958. The Red Jacket, West Virginia, native made his Major League debut on April 21, 1962, in Yankee Stadium while playing for the Tribe. In his first plate appearance, he drew a walk against the legendary Whitey Ford, who would be a future teammate. Doc, who went on to hit .273 in his rookie year, also played for the Kansas City Athletics, New York Yankees, and Philadelphia Phillies.

Doc has always touched different parts of baseball history.  He was part of a few prominent trades featuring some well-known names, such as when he was sent to the A’s in 1963 for catcher Joe Azcue and shortstop Dick Howser (Howser would later become a Major League manager himself with the Royals and Yankees). In 1965, Doc was traded to the Yankees for Johnny Blanchard and Roland Sheldon, when Elston Howard was injured. While in New York, he played with such Yankees greats as Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, and Jim Bouton, who wrote the controversial book,“Ball Four,” amongst others. Doc would once again touch baseball history when he had the opportunity to catch the oldest rookie in baseball history in an old timer’s game, catching Negro League legend Satchel Paige.

After not playing in the bigs since 1965, Edwards came out of retirement after nearly five years and in 1970 finished his last season hitting .269 in 35 games, leaving the game as strong as when he started. Doc, also a solid defensive catcher, had a career fielding percentage of .985. Doc played his final game that year while with the Philadelphia Phillies on August 23, 1970.

Although it may have been the end of his playing career, his coaching and managerial careers were just beginning. Doc went on to coach for the Phillies (1970-1972), Indians (1985-1987) and the Mets (1990-1991) and managed in the minor league systems of the Yankees, Cubs, Expos, Phillies and Orioles, on several different levels. While in the Orioles organization he managed their Triple-A team, the Rochester Redwings in 1981. There, he would once again be part of baseball history, when he was at the helm for the longest game in professional baseball history, a 33-inning marathon against Pawtucket. On that Rochester team he managed future Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr., who was making his last stop in the minors, while the opposition featured another future Hall of Famer in Wade Boggs.

Just a few years later Edwards career would come full circle, when the Indians fired Pat Corales and Doc returned to the majors, getting his shot as a major league manager with Cleveland, the team in which he started his baseball career. It would make one of Doc’s more interesting claims to fame, come to fruition. He had become the real manager of the Cleveland Indians when the, now baseball movie classic, “Major League,” came out. Although he was no “Lou Brown,” (the fictional manager in the movie who vows to win despite the lack of support from his owner), in which Doc said there is no truth that the character was based off him. Doc always jokes though, that with the excitement that the movie generated for Indians fans, that the hit film may not have directly gotten him fired, it didn’t help. That was just the kind of fun loving sense of humor he had even when it was literally at his owns expense. His Indians went 65-78 the year the movie came out, and he was unable to finish the season as the season’s skipper.

He led Cleveland from 1987-1989, managing in 380 games and finishing with a record of 173-207 (.455). On those Indians squads were some very recognizable names such 300 game winners and Hall of Famers Steve Carlton, Phil Niekro, as well as Hall of Famer Eddie Murray. Other notables included World Series hero Joe Carter, former Texas Longhorns standout Greg Swindell who was drafted in the first round (2nd overall) in 1986, Astros Third Base Coach Dave Clark.  He also skippered future major league managers that included John Farrell (Blue Jays), Ron Washington (Rangers), Bud Black (Giants) and Terry Francona (Red Sox and Indians). Other notables Cleveland players on those Indians squads were the likes of Albert Belle, Cory Snyder, Brooks Jacoby, Julio Franco, Tony Bernazard, Mel Hall, Andre Thornton, Tom Candiotti, Willie Upshaw and Doug Jones.

Doc also had a significant effect on another future Hall of Famers during his career. One in particular, even mentioned him as a significant turning point of his career. During Bruce Sutter’s Hall of Fame Speech, one of the people he thanked for his success was one of his most influential coaches, Doc Edwards. While Sutter was in the minors working on his famous split-finger fastball and struggling with it at times, it was Edwards who encouraged him to throw it all the time until he could get the hang of it, the rest is baseball history.

After serving as a bench coach with the Mets in the early 1990s, Doc became a major league expansion scout for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was instrumental part of putting the original Diamondbacks team together with Buck Showalter and just handful of others during their 1997 expansion draft. The Diamondbacks went on to be the quickest team to win a World Series, in only their fourth season of existence as a franchise, in 2001.

In his final years he would manage in Independent Baseball and his accomplishments included managing the Atlantic City Surf to the championship during the inaugural season of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball in 1998. After other Indy ball stops he came to San Angelo, Texas. It would also be Doc’s final resting place, where he managed the independent league San Angelo Colts for nearly a decade from 2006-2014.  On September 2, 2009, Edwards was awarded the 2009 United League Baseball Manager of the Year award, as the Colts manager.

In all Doc was that rare person who was impossible not to like.  He treated everyone like family from his neighbors, front office staff, coaches, players, even the opposing team always had kind words to say about him.

Doc is survived by his wife, six children, Shirley, Michelle, Mickey, Jim, Carl, Eric, 16 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren, and will be missed by all who were truly honored to know him.

By Ira Liebman, “Voice of the Skeeters”

Senior Director of Broadcasting & Sr. Sales Manager

Sugar Land Skeeters Minor League Baseball Team

1 Stadium Drive, Sugar Land, TX 77498

Cell: 631-457-9421 

 

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

Analytics and the Rules of Survival

August 18, 2018

Billy Beane didn’t exactly invent analytics,
but he did open the gate and let them in.

 

SABR friend Bob Dorrill sent me an interesting group mail article yesterday. It was entitled: “More Strikeouts Than Hits? Welcome to Baseball’s Latest Crisis.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/16/sports/baseball-mlb-strikeouts.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=mini-moth®ion=top-stories-below&WT.nav=top-stories-below

This apparent analytics-inspired crisis is that baseball may soon be reaching the point in which we shall see more strikeouts than hits in the game over the course of a season.

To that fearsome day, I say, “so what?”. Baseball has been moving in this direction, no matter how swiftly it now seems we go, since the 1920s and the introduction of power baseball as the tonic the game needed to help fans recover from the tedium of the dead ball game and the blow to the game’s integrity that generated from the Black Sox Scandal.

Of the few suggestions made in this brief small company of e-mail respondents, the one I liked best was the same one I offered ~ let it be. This well-known baseball figure said it best too. In words to the same effect as mine, but more particularly stated, he said let it be for five years then check again to see how the ratio was working. People adapt their hitting to changes that are hurting them. The smart ones will adapt to shifting defenses by learning how to “hitting where they ain’t” within all the broad surface of today’s park on the inside portion of the HR fence. ~ Then he adds, in so many words, if they haven’t adjusted in five years, re-examine the ball. A deader ball that will not clear fences easily will encourage a decline in power swinging and an increase is placement batting.

Whatever will be, will be. My point today is not this specific issue. The issue of SO/Hit ratios just shows how quickly analytics has found a link to all we do in baseball. The really important systems issue today is that we all ~ fans too ~ need to get up to speed on how Analytics got into the driver’s seat in some capacity with every big league team, or so it seems, by the year 2018. Am not sure how strong it is everywhere ~ or how long it’s been true ~ but it seems to be plain as day ~ that they are ~ everywhere.

A Little Systems Theory. I spent a few baseball unfriendly weekends in graduate school studying social systems theory because it was important to my interests in how mental health services in this country got so screwed up in the first place. In irony, it turns out that they got screwed up by the not so little dynamic that kicks in with the creation of every new government or non-profit organization.

They run straight into Social Systems Law #1 in the creation of every new government or non-profit organization. It’s the same systems law that was sociologically in place when the government created Social Security, Medicaire, Obamacare, HUD, U.S. Postal Service or what have you ~ and it works exactly like this, even if is never stated ~ and it works its way to the same end ~ whether the new action was created majorly by Democratic or Republican support:

Social Systems Law #1 (Gov’t/Non-Profit): Once a government or non-profit program or service entity is created, its original purpose is immediately replaced in priority by the new unit’s need for survival. The governing boards and administrative bodies will continue to espouse the creation goals of the new program, and may actually do some immeasurable good, but they will manage to find a niche in the bureaucracy of things that shields them from qualitative review or efficacious criticism. 

Social Systems Law #1 (For Profit Entities): Like all for-profit ventures, these entities hit the ground running with survival directly tied to the financial success of their entity in the marketplace. Irony knows no boundaries. The first publicly successful deployment of Analytics at Oakland was not terribly far from Silicon Valley ~ nor from Sutter’s Mill near Sacramento and, of course, the gold rush on analytic experts quietly was on after Billy Beane and Money Ball captured our public imagination.

But let’s keep in mind that analytic experts may sometimes ~ to often ~ or always be driven by their own career survival/advancement needs to give us one of those “the sky is falling” reports for their own purposes ~ even if it’s simply to see how baseball people are going to react to the “crisis” news that we may be soon seeing more strikeouts than hits at major league games.

After that heartbreaking 4-3 10th inning loss to Oakland in the Friday night opener, I’d just like to see the Astros get a few more homers with men on base. Get more men on base by hitting the ball to the opposite field that defenses are leaving open. Of course, if you want to help the analytics prove that we are in crisis, keep swinging from the heels at pitches that will get you.

If either the Bregman or Maldonado solo homers had come with one man on, the Astros would have won it 4-3 in nine ~ even with that disappointing, but possibly correct overturn of the out call on the A’s runner at the plate in the 9th.

Yeah, I know. If’s and buts and candy and nuts!

********************

Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pecan Park Eagle Trivia Contest Questions

August 2, 2018

 

1st Annual Pecan Park Eagle
Baseball Trivia Contest
By Maxwell Kates

Questions Today, Thursday, August 2, 2018.

Answers Tomorrow, Friday, August 3, 2018.

Note: Please do not post your answers in the Comment Section of today’s Question Phase of the quiz. We would like to keep this thing open and fun without help for all who wish to play. ~ Posting your answers or thoughts about the quiz tomorrow in the Answer Phase is both invited and encouraged.  ~ TPPE.

Sharpen your pencils, it’s time to play the first annual Pecan Park Eagle Trivia Contest. But first, some baseball nostalgia for you. Most of the questions relate in some way to columns I have written for the Pecan Park Eagle in the past year. Good luck to all those who play.

(1) Which Hall of Famer was the subject of a recent biography by Marty Appel?

(2) In what National League stadium did Willie Mays hit his 600th home run in 1969?

(3) Justin Verlander pitched two no-hitters for the Detroit Tigers. Who were the opponents?

(4) Which Astros player hit 53 leadoff home runs in his major league career?

(5) Roy Halladay was the third Toronto Blue Jays’ pitcher to win the Cy Young Award. Name the other two.

(6) Who won the American League Most Valuable Player Award in 1953?

(7) Five members of the 1982 Houston Astros, four in uniform and one broadcaster, also managed the team. Name them.

(8) According to Irish folk legend, what is the surname of the only man capable of killing a local man-eating sea serpent?

(9) What five Astros players represented the team at the 1994 All-Star Game?

(10) How many African American pitchers have won 20 games in a season? Which of the ‘Black Aces’ won 20 games one season for the Astros?

(11) What village in upstate New York hosted the first SABR convention in 1971?

12) Name two members of the Larry Dierker Chapter, both of Irish heritage, who played professional baseball before the formation of the Houston Colt .45s. (Note that I didn’t say MALE baseball players.)

(13) Who is the only living Hall of Famer to work as the director of a funeral home?

(14) What pitcher surrendered Rick Monday’s decisive home run in Game 5 of the 1981 National League Championship Series for the Los Angeles Dodgers?

(15) Who was the winner pitcher in Game 7 of the 1964 World Series?

Bonus Question:

“We DO have a bonus question for you ~ and we promise ~ it WON’T take much of your valuable time.”

What was the name of Bill McCurdy’s east end Houston 1950 sandlot baseball team?

 

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

Call ‘Em All Shirley

July 30, 2018

Call ’em all Shirley because that’s who they are. They are the only five Shirley surname players, so far, to do time as big league ballplayers.

Here they are ~ from fair-to-middling as MLB talents ~ to worse:

                               1. Bart Shirley (1964, 1966-68)

Bart   Shirley

 

https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/shirlba01.shtml

 

 

 

 

2. Bob Shirley (1977-1987)

Bob   Shirley

 

https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/shirlbo01.shtml

 

 

 

 

3. Mule Shirley (1924-1925)

Mule Shirley                         

 

https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/shirlmu01.shtml

 

 

 

 

 

4. Steve Shirley (1982)

Steve
Shirley

 

https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/shirlst01.shtml

 

 

 

 

 

5. Tex Shirley (1941-42, 1944-46)

Tex
Shirley                                       

 

https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/shirlte01.shtml

 

 

 

 

Have a great week ~ and let’s hope the Astros get well and find their mojo working again in Seattle!

Let’s state that even stronger. ~ Surely they will get their act together again – and sometime very soon!

 

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

1962: Larker Finds Use for Colt .45 Bats

July 27, 2018

 

Another great research find by Darrell Pittman.

 

 

GGGGGGGGGGG

Bregman Stats Climbing at the Break

July 19, 2018

What Alex Bregman may look like someday when he’s too old to play any more baseball.

Well, he may not really be Paul Newman, but Alex Bregman is still playing a Cool Hand Luke brand of baseball these days. He works hard at his craft and he fights back fiercely at everything that fate and pitching dementia throws at him, apparently against all odds.

That first observation also begs for another Newman-driven movie title here to theorize why things first stuck in adversity so often bounce back Bregman’s way. ~ Maybe, yes, just maybe, ~ “Somebody Up There Likes Him.”

What happened Monday and Tuesday in Washington was typical of the snapback pattern this guy has in his determination to make something good happen. Monday night, as the only American League contestant in the Home Run contest, Alex had to beat out this mad grinning, much bigger Bluto of a guy from the Cubs in the first round. He pretty much came on like Popeye in the process. With time running out, Alex needed one more homer to force a tie that he probably could have then broken for a first round win in the bonus time he had earned en route.

Alas, the last long drive to deep left center fell about two feet short and Bregman was done. For Monday night, at least. As for how this low AL interest in the Monday Home Run Derby started, we may have gotten our answer Tuesday. Some of them apparently were saving their homers for the Tuesday game itself.

Maybe it just takes a guy like Alex Bregman to see and then take best advantage of every golden opportunity that comes his way. It also helps to be lucky – and also to have a manager like A.J. Hinch, a guy who knew that putting Bregman in the lineup as a sub at shortstop could make a difference at a critical moment late in the game. And wouldn’t you know it? The home boy NLs tied up the game at 5-5 through nine – forcing about the dreaded extra innings and a kid named Alex Bregman leading off the top of the tenth – and standing squarely in the way of the game reaching a player over-use crisis.

Bregman took the count to 2-2 – long enough for Joe Buck to start yakking about the problems of all-star games and player over-usage when – all of a sudden – it didn’t matter.

Remember, the pitcher had two strikes on Alex. ~ Bregman had him right where he wanted him. Alex drove the next ball over the left field fence and into the bullpen. The face and fire of joy took over the Bregman body and soul as he answered every slap of congratulations from his teammates with resounding force and deliriously happy fury.

Somewhere now standing from the best seat in the house, Commissioner Manfred had to be upright for as far as he can rise, applauding, and grinning his head off as he silently screamed his newfound mantra: “Thank God for Alex Bregman! ~ Now I’m off the hook for my own embarrassing Bud-Selig-All-Star-Game tie moment in the bottom of the 17th inning! ~ And, Oh YES!  Thank You too, George Springer! Why, I only had to rise once to see the Astros serve the turkey and dressing ~ and then they also quickly poured gravy on it too! What a beautiful, butt-saving, flying-frito deal this is turning out to be! ~ Don’t go far away, Mr. Alex Bregman! You don’t know it yet, but you just won the MVP award, if this lead holds!”

You just read what happened next in the Commissioner’s mind. There was barely time for Bregman to celebrate alone because Astros teammate George Springer then walked to the plate and took the very first pitch thrown since the last dinger went yard and crunched it even deeper to right for an opposite field homer.

The Bregman-Springer two-pitch back-to-backs would stand as a baseball version of the old one-two punch-out to both cheeks of the NL pitching face. The AL then used a series of hits to add the only run scored without homer aid as the game retired to the bottom of the tenth with an 8-5 AL lead looming large. The NL found a way to add their 5th HR for the 10th record homer of the game, but AL 8 – NL 6 would hold up as the final score.

Wow! And wouldn’t you know it! Mr. Bregman was named the game’s MVP. He even got to select a Chevy Camaro as part of the gift package. The rest of the gift was the fact that he got to be seen by millions as he gave the car in person to his mother, who happened to be at the game with his father.

Raise your hands if you have a kid who ever gave you a Camaro?

Yep. Tuesday came with all the character we Houston fans have come to enjoy. It toyed with all the elements we need around here for pleasant dreams from all the “walk-off” redemption wins we’ve enjoyed, courtesy of Alex Bergman. In fact, the first such game of note involving Alex Bregman that most us will remember forever is worth its weight in ways that go way beyond gold or the even lesser value of any new Chevy Camara or Chevy truck.

It was called Game 5 of the 2017 World Series.

Offense Leaders at the All Star Break

The following table shows where the Astros are relative to AL offensive categorical leadership at the 2018 All Star break. Jose Altuve remains the only Astros leader, but even Jose is off the mark in the important batting average category.

As for whose hanging close to the leaders in 2018, it is now Alex Bregman’s name that is appearing most often as the closest Astro in the chase. Bregman is also now hitting .288 and he seems to be on a steady climb from his earlier plateau around .260. If he keeps it up, he’s well on his way to the magical .300 mark gate.

2018 AL Offensive Category Leaders

And Astros Contenders in Each:

LEADER NAME TEAM STAT NEXT ASTRO RANK   STAT
BA MookieBetts BRS .359 Jose Altuve 2 .332
GAMES Jose Altuve Astros 99 Bregman/Springer 4t 96
HITS Jose Altuve Astros 129 no one close
1BH Jose Altuve Astros 95 no one close
2BH E. Escobar Twins 35 Alex Bregman 2 31
3BH Y. Sanchez CWS 9 Marwin Gonzalez 10t 3
HR JDMartinez

J. Rameriz

BRS Indians 29 (1t) Alex Bregman 12t 20
RUNS F. Lindor Indians 85 Alex Bregman 7 67
RBI JDMartinez BRS 80 Alex Bregman 6t 64
WALKS Mike Trout Angels 86 Alex Bregman 5t 56
SLG % MookieBetts BRS .691 Alex Bregman 8 .539
OB % Mike Trout Angels .454 Jose Altuve               Alex Bregman 5         8 .394 .389
OB+SLG% MookieBetts BRS 1.139 Alex Bregman 8 .928

 

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

Hero of the 1950 All Star Game

July 15, 2018

Red Schoendienst and Bill McCurdy (L)
Cardinals Club Suite
Busch Stadium II
May 1998

In that limited time I had with Red Schoendienst

In the limited time I had with Red Schoendienst in the Cardinals Suite back in 1998, I was able to tell him how his 14th inning NL game-winning home run in the 14th inning back in the 1950 All Star Game made our entire little Houston sandlot team happy. Red answered my news with a patient smile and a two-pat light slap on the shoulder. All I needed to hear could be seen in the sincerity of the man’s eyes.

That 1950 All Star Game, which we could only “watch” over the radio in Houston during those pre-television days, kept us tied to our home radios for most of the afternoon. And when it was done, we all had some welcome steam to play us away into the darkness of a later than usual stopping point.

The 1950 All-Star Game

(Excerpted precisely from Baseball Almanac.Com)

As the All-Star game entered its third decade, the National League was tired of being baseball’s perennial loser. Trailing 12-4 in All-Star Games and losing the three previous World Series, the National League did not have the fans or American League players respect anymore.

Inspired by their poor showing in the previous decades, the National League resolved to make this year different. The 1950 All-Star Game turned out to be the first to go into extra innings, featured two dramatic home runs and produced some of the finest All-Star pitching ever. As usual, the American League was leading (3-2) in the top of the ninth. Then, Ralph Kiner led off with a long home run that tied the score and set the stage for a three-inning pitchers’ duel.

Larry Jansen pitched for the National League into the eleventh inning while giving up one hit in five innings. Allie Reynolds matched him, taking the American League into the twelfth and giving up one hit over three innings. Pitcher Ted Gray took over for the American League in the thirteenth and maintained the status quo. In the fourteenth, however, the National League fired another leadoff rocket off the bat of Red Schoendienst. He was an unlikely hero as he had sat for ten innings while Jackie Robinson played second. Entering the game defensively in the eleventh, Schoendienst stepped up in the fourteenth and homered into the left-field stands. Even more disheartening was the American League loss of Ted Williams. While making a running catch of a Kiner drive in the first inning, he ran into the wall and broke his elbow. He stayed in the game, visibly injured, and went one-for-four. Later he underwent surgery and didn’t play again until September 15. The National League had gone the distance and made a statement. Finally, they had established a momentum that would last for several years.

1950 All-Star Game1950 All-Star Game Program
1950 All-Star Game Official Program

Game Number

17

Date / Box Score

07-11-1950

Location

Comiskey Park

Attendance (Rank)

46,127

1st Pitch

Connie Mack

M.V.P. Award

Not Awarded Until 1962

Starting Pitchers

Vic Raschi

Robin Roberts

Managers

Casey Stengel

Burt Shotton

Coaches

Frankie Crosetti

Jake Pitler

Bill Dickey

Milt Stock

 

1950 All-Star GameLine Score

League

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 R H E

National

0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 4 10 0

American

0 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 8 1

Robin Roberts
Don Newcombe (4th)
Jim Konstanty (6th)
Larry Jansen (7th)
Ewell Blackwell (W, 12)

Vic Raschi
   Bob Lemon (4th)
Art Houtteman (7th)
Allie Reynolds (10th)
Ted Gray (L, 13th)
Bob Feller (14th)

Ralph Kiner (9th)
Red Schoendienst (14th)

None

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Houston Baseball Affinity History Notes

15-16 years later, NL right hander Robin Roberts would start and win 8 games for the 1965-66 Houston Astros. … NL shortstop Marty Marion would earlier serve as principal owner and President of the last group to own and run the minor league Houston Buffs from 1959 to 1961 over the last three years prior to the city’s emergence as a 1962 NL expansion club.

The Schoendienst eventual game-winning homer in the top of the 14th at Comiskey Park during the afternoon of the 1950 All Star Game gave the spirit of the Pecan Park Eagles an extra boost as we went into afternoon sandlot competition a little later than usual.

 

********************

Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

Houston ’98: Stadium Work on Schedule

July 14, 2018

Excerpt from the Victoria (TX) Advocate, July 24, 1998:

As the Astros sign to remain in Minute Maid Park through 2050, here’s another timely historical contribution by the always keen researching mind that is Darrell Pittman.

 

 

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

“Chairman of the Bored” No More

July 13, 2018

Jack Strider Thriller #1
2012

 

Jack Strider Thriller #2
2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brand New 2018
Jack Strider Thriller #3

Before we talk a little more about Jack Strider, I feel compelled to write a little about his Victor Frankenstein, author Rob Sangster. A cautionary note: As a fictional character of great genius for sniffing out some of the most intelligently malevolent villains on earth and then beating them to the punch on their various designs for an exploding world of tumbling egos, Jack Strider is only a monster in his capacity for toppling the giants of evil with great intellect and whatever else it selectively takes each time with great panache.

SANGSTER 5 CLOSE UP

Rob Sangster Today

Rob Sangster, even at this point in our lives, is still one of my favorite grounding wires to what’s really important in life when it comes to how we spend our time and energies, as I hope this little example will demonstrate.

It was an afternoon class in Latin IV in the spring of 1956. We had no AC back then and fully open windows were not helping much. Sitting side by side near the back of Father Sheehan’s class, Rob was busy sketching something – while I was occupied with working on an update of the Houston Buffs’ team stats. When I looked over to see what Rob was creating, he held his work high enough for me to see. It was a board room scene. A lot of “Z”s were flying through the air. An arrow pointed to the man sleeping at the head table position. An identifying script described him as “Chairman of the Bored.”

Then, looking over, Rob shot me a quick smile as his right hand index finger pointed first to the sketched bored chairman –  and then his right thumb gave the hitch-hike sign to himself. I was able to respond with a mime’s version of “me too.”

Enough said.

There is nothing boring about Jack Strider and his small crew of very with-it human super heroes. Each of the three books in this series features Debra Vanderberg as Jack’s law partner and “very significant other” and Gano LeMoine as his ongoing supportive man Friday, air pilot, tail gunner and purveyor of all necessary skullduggery.

It isn’t necessary to have read all three Jack Strider adventures in a row to enjoy any of the three stories. They will all sweep you up for the most exciting ride you’ve ever taken by the printed word because – Rob Sangster is the best action/adventure/thriller writer in the world today.

In fact, whenever “No Return” becomes a big screen movie, the visual producers will be hard-pressed to concoct an opening scene that plays out as shockingly as the one that kicks off the one you are about to read and live through in print form.

SANGSTER 4 FULL FOTO

Rob Sangster was not born with a mind and spirit to over-live its spark in board rooms.

About the Jack Strider Series. “Rob Sangster’s first Strider novel, Ground Truth, was #1 on Amazon Kindle. His second, Deep Time, 2017 Epic Award for best suspense/thriller of the new year. A Stanford lawyer with experience in finance, politics, and public service, he’s an avid sailor who has travelled in more than 100 countries. Rob and his mystery writer wife divide their time between homes in Tennessee and on the wild coast of Bova Scotia.”

A Very Small Footnote: A new Strider figure makes his debut as a fictional character in “No Return”. And his name is …. whoops …. Bill McCurdy.

SANGSTER-MCCURDY

STRONG? …. GOOD SHAPE? …. TAKING ON DESK JOCKEYS IN GUN FIGHTS? …. YEP! …. THAT’S ME ALL RIGHT!

Please forgive my inner smile as I read and witness my own fictional character getting rapidly into more trouble than even these few lines can – or – should – reveal out of full context with a story that is altogether brilliant, dynamic, and fast moving. In my case, my fictional life turns out to be far more romantic and incredibly inter-woven into a larger darker plan than my pleasant easygoing reality could ever hope to abide.

If you like to run your adrenalin juices through a credible reality escape story, however, you should enjoy “No Return” as much as you did the first two Tales of Strider! And if this is your first Sangster read, be prepared to want more when you’re done here.

Nobody today does this genre better than Rob Sangster. ~ Nobody.

This tsunami of credible terror has been brewing since Rob Sangster was “Chairman of the Bored” back in our St. Thomas High School days.

 

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle