Posts Tagged ‘Houston Babies’

Babies Bring Home Bacon from Sealy!

April 1, 2012

The Houston Babies and the Katy Combine squared off at the Sealy, Texas Spring Quilting Festival on March 31, 2012. The Babies won their only contest of the day, 13-4, over Katy. In a second game, Katy also fell to the Boerne, Texas White Sox by a 5-2 count.

A late 19th century sports writer for the Houston Daily Post might have written it this way:

Following a pleasant spring morning day trip up the road west of town, the Houston Babies Base Ball Club descended upon the quiet village of Sealy, Texas Saturday and immediately seized their eyes upon the sight of boundless festive opportunity. Scrambling quickly and firmly upon the pig of good fortune, and fueled unfailingly by their superior ginger of spirit, the urbane Babies fastly slaughtered and roasted their rural neighbors in base ball, albeit in the civilly prescribed manner put forth by the gods of the game, and then proudly brought home the bacon of victory to all their cranks in the fair City of Houston. By nightfall, the entire colorfully spirits-boosted sporting community of Houston was up and about and lifting their cups of joy to the cherished  memory of General Sam.

By noon Saturday, the aspiring and delightful White Sox of Boerne, Texas also arrived in Sealy to witness the Babies coming back from an early 0-4 deficit due to some muffing fingers a-field, but in time to turn the crank on a hitting display that decidedly vanquished all hope for a Katy club survival. The Hajduk family led the Babies in a glowing blaze of Father-Son Glory. Father Larry Hajduk, the old shuffling Buffalo from Buffalo, New York again pitched a complete game victory in the 2012 season opener for the Babies, giving up only two earned runs on the day. Son Alex Hajduk, known alternately as Beef, or “Son of Kong,”  went three for five with a double and a fences-clearing home run to inspire and direct the bombastically devastating Babies offense.

In the second game, the Boerne White Sox were able to lay a second wounding defeat upon dear Katy with the import help of two “temporary revolvers” named Alex of the Hajduk and Schmelter families and one kiddo named Kyle from the surnamed Burns familial group.

In the ongoing absence of sufficient minimal player numbers for a tourney match game against the same talent-providing Babies in a third championship contest of the day, the Houston Babies exercised their civil spirit and declined to take a forfeit victory over Boerne under the circumstances, but they and all others in attendance  implicitly acknowledged that the Houston Babies, indeed, had won the day and the base ball tourney by both their performance on the field against Katy – and also off the field in conjunction with their Boerne win declination. The Babies’ gracious actions stood tall this afternoon as a straight-from-the-heart Houston-style tribute to good sportsmanship.

Raise your glasses tonight and come see us play the next time out, Houston. The next vintage ball action in these parts is scheduled for May 5, 2012 in Katy, Texas. Stay tuned for further details.

In the meanwhile, here’s the Babies Box Score from today’s action in Sealy and one more photo of the Katy-Boerne clubs.

Houston Babies Box Score Activity, March 31, 2012.

Player                    Nickname           ( AB – R – H)   Extra Base Hits

Kyle Burns            3rd Degree           (5- 3-3)

Phil Holland          Hoover                 (4-1-1)                      2BH

Bob Stevens           Crowbar              (1-0-0)

Alex Hajduk           Beef                     (5-3-3)                     HR, 2BH

Larry Miggins        Longball               (5-1-2)

Bill Hale                Slick Willie            (3-0-2)

Jo Hale                  Red                      (2-1-2)

Robby Martin      Speedy                   (5-1-1)

Mike McCroskey   No  Wheels          (1-0-0)

Larry Hajduk         Buffalo *             (4-1-2)    (W) / 2 Earned Runs

Robert Pina            Slick                  (4-0-0)

Alex Schmelter      Keed                  (4-2-2)

Totals                                           (42-13-16)

Babies Team BA, This Game = .381

Katy                     220 000 0 –  4

Houston            025 600 x – 13

Final Score: Houston Babies 13 – Katy Combine 4.

Field Manager:  “Baseball Bob” Dorrill

General Manager:  Bill “Doc” McCurdy

* Newer nickname suggestions for hurler Larry Hajduk: (1) “Double Duty” and (2) “CG” for Complete Game.

Sportsmanship and Camaraderie are essential to the spirit of vintage base ball, played by 1860 rules. Here are members of the Boerne White Sox and the Katy Combine gathering for a game picture after the 5-2 Boerne win at Sealy, Texas on Saturday. March 31, 2012.

Houston Babies in Action Today!

March 31, 2012

The Houston Babies are in Tourney action at Sealy today, Saturday, March 31st.

The Houston Babies vintage base ball team joins  with clubs from Katy and Boerne today for tourney action at the Spring Picnic and Airing of the Quilts festival in Sealy, Texas today, Saturday, March 31st. Action begins about 10:30 this morning, but continues through the afternoon in the middle of numerous other festival activities.

Sealy, Texas is an easy 50 mile drive west on I-10 from Houston and the spring weather today is predicted to be perfect among the wild flowers for this old-time, family fun celebration of the good life. Here’s a link to further info on the festival and the base ball tournament:

http://www.allacrosstexas.com/events/events.php?spring-picnic-and-airing-of-the-quilts&id=1848

If you’ve never seen baseball played by 1860’s rules with no gloves, come on out. The Houston Babies once existed as the first professional baseball team in Houston. Come on out and help support their glorious return to play in the 21st century too. We will appreciate the boost from your energy.

For further information about the Houston Babies and how you can join in the fun as a player, sponsor, or new team founder, please feel free to get in touch with either Babies Club General Manager Bill McCurdy (houston_buff@hotmail.com) or Babies Field Manager Bob Dorrill  (BDorrill@aol.com) and talk over how you can become involved. Both will be at today’s game and are open to your questions.

It’s spring again. – Let’s play some vintage base ball.

 

Houston Babies Open Season, March 31st

March 5, 2012

Houston Babies

A sharply hit grounder races back over the middle.

Skimming the infield grass and sparking the fragrance

Of freshly minted chlorophyll.

Cirrus clouds roll in as the masts of every dream we ever embraced

On sandlots past – as hope startles its determined way to life again,

As a ship of new dreams, coming to life reincarnate, late in the day.

This sweet afternoon time, we pursue our joy with no leather to protect us;

No glove for the catching action; no protection from the whopping sound

Of animal hide crashing hard into the meat of every aspiring human hand.

It’s vintage base ball time again; time for second chances with one-bounce outs by the 1860 rules – but time for serious negative consequences too for those fielders who misjudge a ball’s chances for a perpendicular hop. Still, muffs are muffs – and everybody who plays the game has them.

If you’ve never played or seen a game of 19th century vintage baseball, come see the SABR-sponsored “HOUSTON BABIES” open their season as part of the March 31st Sealy, Texas Historical Society’s Spring Picnic, Vintage Base Ball, and 19th Century Quilting Meet.

For more information about the general spring festival, contact the Sealy Historical Society through the website:

http://www.sealyhistoricalsociety.org/index.html

For more specific information about the Vintage Base Ball Schedule of games involving the Houston Babies and clubs from Katy and Sealy at the March 31st event, please contact the Babies Manager, Bob Dorrill through his e-mail address:

BDorrill@aol.com

Boerne White Sox Are Dedicated Vintage Ballists

October 24, 2011

EVERYBODY LOVES JIMMY! After posing with his home town favorite Houston Babies club on Saturday, Oct. 22nd, Astros Icon Jimmy Wynn also sat for a photo with Kristy Watson and the visiting Boerne White Sox at the George Ranch Field.

The feisty Boerne White Sox also came to town last Saturday, October 22nd, to participate in the one-day tournament with the Houston Babies and Katy Combine at the George Ranch Field near Sugar Land. It was their fourth trip to the Houston area in recent memory for the purpose of engaging our local clubs for a few rousing rounds of vintage rules base ball.

Miss Kristy “Horseshoe” Watson is the firebrand spirit of the White Sox, if not their designated leader, and you can see Kristy in the featured group photo that appears with this column. She is the only blonde and only female in the bunch – and the nicest representative of vintage base ball that anyone could ever possibly hope to meet. In fact, anyone from the San Antonio-Boerne area who may be interested in vintage base ball should check out the club’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/vintagebaseball and get in touch with Kristy about playing and sponsorship opportunities. Vintage Base Ball is the closet experience anyone could ever have to the thrill of our childhood sandlot days.

Boerne also boasts of a second newer club they call the Tusculum Freethinkers, a team with some overlapping involvement by members of the White Sox roster, but that’s cool too. The little Texas community that has spawned both these vintage clubs has something of an overlapping history with its own community identity.

A brief history of Boerne explains it this way: “Boerne, the county seat of Kendall County, is located on Cibolo Creek, Interstate Highway 10, and U.S. Highway 87 thirty miles northwest of San Antonio in the southern part of the county. In 1849 a group of German colonists from Bettina camped on the north side of Cibolo Creek, about a mile west of the site of present Boerne. They called their new community Tusculum, after Cicero’s home in ancient Rome. In 1852 Gustav Theissen and John James laid out the townsite and changed the name to Boerne in honor of Ludwig Boerne, a German author and publicist.”

Only in Texas do culture and commerce come together at the tap root quite so often in these same entangled ways. Or so it seems.

A more complete history of the community prepared by the Texas State Historical Association is available at

http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hgb09

Kristy Watson & Boerne Company

The Boerne group is planning a vintage base ball activity for March of 2012 and we will do our best to keep you posted of those plans as they become known and made available to The Pecan Park Eagle.

Babies Sing Happy Birthday with DH Sweep!

October 23, 2011

Astros Icon Jimmy Wynn joined the Houston Babies Legion Yesterday and the club responded like their own version of the Toy Cannon in taking a DH sweep from the Katy Commerce and the Boerne White Sox by Pujolsian Cardinal scores of 13-2 and 18-3.

What do you give a septuagenarian decade vintage base ball club manager on his birthday? If you’re the Houston Babies 1860 era local club, how about two pile-driving wins on his birthday, wins win which 31 total runs were scored, for starters? Then, how about throwing in several batters who post insane hit totals on the day, two pitchers who go insanely lights out on the mound, giving up only 5 runs total by the opposition while some of the younger Babies roam the pastures at the George Ranch Field near Sugar Land like so many sure-handed gazelles, recording more one and no bounce outs than anyone bothered to count?

Houston Babies Manager even got a “HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOB” sign posted by fans in his honor as all this success and beautiful weather in the country blended quickly into a perfect day. Hey! On a day when he could not have possibly wanted for more, Bob Dorrill even got a personal visit by former Houston Astro great, Jimmy “The Toy Cannon” Wynn, as his primary guest and Numero Uno Houston Babies New Fan!

Oh, one more thing, the Houston Babies DH Sweep allowed the club to remain undefeated during the 2011 calendar year season. That certainly didn’t hurt the mood elevation of the unflappable Mr. Dorrill either, but nothing probably helped more than the list of the unbe-fluidly-lievable individual accomplishments:

Kyle Burns, with his “Octavio Dotel Style Socks” went 10 for 11 on the day to OUT-WOW all other phenoms, but those incredible others were not that terribly far behind in the pack of old form baseball assassins. – Larry Joe “Longball” Miggins went 8 for 9; Bill Hale was 6 for 7 and Travis Laird rang the bell at 5 for 8. – Alex Hajduk arrived in time for a 2-home run game against Boerne while Larry Joe Miggins, Kyle Burns, and Travis Laird each also had single shot round-trippers on the day. Alex Hajduk also hit for the cycle by banging out a triple, double, and single to go along with his two homers.

Bill Hale was the winning pitcher in Game One against Katy, 13-2, and Larry Hajduk took the pitching victory in Game Two against Boerne, 18-3.

As a batter, Bill Hale also admitted to playing one potential home run into a double for the simplest, most logical reason. “It’s a long way to second base,” Hale explains.

Other key contributors for the Houston babies included Robert Pina, Robby Martin, Jo Hale, and Alex Schmelter. And not just “by the way,” our Jo Hale did pretty darn well for herself this summer. She played for a Houston softball club that won their national championship in a tourney of which found that found Jo Hale to be the competition’s Most Valuable Player – and just another reason that the ever-still-humble Babies are playing so great these days.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Bob Dorrill! And Keep on Truckin’, Houston Babies!

Things are Looking Up, Mr. Dorrill. - Happy Birthday again - and thanks for all you do for both SABR and the Houston Babies!

The Houston Babies do not have another scheduled game until Saturday, May 5, 2012, at 10 AM at Katy Park on Avenue D in Katy as part of the Third Annual Katy Heritage Festival, but we are still trying to put together a league of four clubs to play on a regular league basis next season. Stay tuned for further developments.

We shall leave you today with a three-photo real person cartoon entitled …

Bill Hale on How To Throw a Vintage Fast Ball!

Panel 1: "You say you want to see my ancient white heat pitch?" - Bill Hale.

Panel 2: "Watch your head! Here comes the heat!" - Bill Hale.

Panel 3: "What day did you say Bill's fastball was due to arrive, Mrs. Hale?" - Katy Batter.

Some Like It Hot: Babies Take Twin Bill!

June 26, 2011

Bill McCurdy & Deacon Jones reminisce prior to the Katy games on Saturday, June 25th, about their treasured long ago days as teammates on the Mudville Nine and that now celebrated time that Deacon came to bat in the bottom of the ninth for the "Gumbo Goblins" with with two runners on base and two men out, and dear old Mudville trailing, 4-2.

After months of quiet waiting through a drought of both rain and vintage base ball action, the Houston Babies flew back into action on Saturday, June 25th, as one of three invited teams selected to play in the Katy Heritage Festival at Katy City Park. Along with the host club Katy Combine, the Babies filled out a dance card of three games played at 10:00 AM, 11:30 AM, and 1:00 PM. The third club came all the way from Boerne, Texas to play as the Tusculum Free Thinkers. Named for an ancient Roman city that once thrived in the Alban Hills of Italy, Tusculum also served as the name of the early settlement in Texas that now lives on as Boerne.

The Babies took the opener, 4-2, over the Katy Combine.

Playing without several regulars due to injuries and other commitments, Larry Hajduk pitched the first of two masterful games against the Katy Combine in the opener, winning a close one by 4-2, Shortstop Tim Stouffer and third baseman Robby Martin contributed some stellar defensive plays to keep the home club Katy folks on the short side of the bell-ringing scoring ledger all day as pitcher Larry Haduk kept coaxing playable out balls off the Combine bats. Kyle Burns and Chris Chestnut each contributed three hits each in Game One as all Babies, but pitcher Hajduk picked up at least a single hit in the 14-safety attack.

Larry Miggins: The Hands of a Vintage Ball 1st Baseman.

It’s hard to see the bruises i the photo, but the swelling in the hands of first baseman Larry Miggins was fairly obvious and the opener was in the can. Miggins is old school. He does it effectively and without complaint. This guy could have played vintage ball by the 1860 rules back when the world of baseball was still evolving from its most practical birthplace on the Elysian Fields of New Jersey.

Deacon Jones runs out his first batted ball in Game Two.

The Babies were honored to have the DH services of former MLB player and Astros batting coach, and now spokesperson for the new Sugar Land Skeeters independent club, Deacon Jones, in Game Three at 1 PM. Game Two resulted in a 7-1 win for Tusculum over Katy, so, in effect, our game with Tusculum was for the championship pf the day.

In Deke’s first of two plate appearances, he slashed a sharply hit ball that could have easily resulted in a single to right against an ordinary defender, but the nameless (to me) fist baseman for Tusculum was no ordinary fielder. He quickly caught and converted 75 year old Deacon Jones had smash into a sharply played 6-3-6 double play to end the Babies’ inning.

Deacon Jones's 2nd Smash was a hard hit ball to the right. (This photo by Matty Green.)

Deacon talks with "Blind Tom" as Bat Boy Jackson scurries to collect a bat.

You may be able to see the ball in the above photo. In his second time at bat, Deacon ones has just crushed one down the line. Unfortunately, the same superman is still playing first base. The guy literally leaps to his left through the air to capture the line drive in foul ball flight as old pro Jones walks away wondering what one has to do to get a hit in this crazy game called vintage base ball.

For one thing, Deke, we just appreciate you for who you are and what you do as a real baseball man – a guy who lives, breathes, feels, and thinks baseball from the top of your head to the bottom of your toes.You don’t have to prove yourself at vintage ball or anything else. You’ve already done all of what needed doing by the life you already have lived and by the way you now give yourself so willingly to the future of Sugar Land Skeeters Baseball.

The upcoming “Deacon’s Dugout” is your legacy, Mr. Jones – yours and no one else’s.

Tusculum 3 - Houston 8 was our second game final score.

Shortstop Tim Stouffer and Catcher Mike McCroskey each had three-hit games in the Houston Babies’ 8-3 win over Tusculum. McCroskey and Chestnut from Game One were the only two perfect plate day Babies. Each played in a single game – and each went 3 for 3. Again too, it was our Pitcher Larry Hajduk shutting down the visitors with only 1 earned run among 3, and never being troubled at any point, that made everything work out OK for the Houstons. The double pitching gems pushed Hajduk’s 2011 record to 2-0 on the year.

Hopefully, the Houston Babies will have additional games in the fall. In the meanwhile, here are box score performances of the Houston Babies in the two games played yesterday. Have a a peaceful Sunday, everybody.

Note: As you read the batting averages, these figures are for the whole season of 2011 and, since this doubleheader also represented the first two games of this calendar year season, the averages you see in Game I are for that game only. The averages for Game 2, however, reflect how players did in both games of the new season. It’s the cumulative batting average of each player for both games.

Got it? ……………………. Good.

Houston’s 1st Game: March 6, 1888

May 24, 2011

Houston Babies, 1889: Uniforms were olive green, The lettering & trim were red.

March 6, 1888 in Houston came to light in the middle of a rainy period. The new Houston base ball club was set to play what we think was their first competitive professional game against a team from elsewhere, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, at 3:30 PM that same afternoon. The game would be played at the Houston Base Ball Park at a still unconfirmed location near our present downtown area.

Some say Houston came into stick and ball battle that day decked out as the Houston Babies, a tribute to the fact that they were the last of the new Texas League clubs to get their organizational act together to join the loop. Others say that the Houston club, like their guests from Ohio, hit the field that first time as the Houston Red Stockings. Still others contend that our first local professional team may not have even bothered to drag a nickname with them for those first few games. These guys wore their team identity splashed in large red letters across the jerseys covering their hearts – and, as was the case for the men in today’s photo of the 1889 club, the letters in 1888 also spelled out “HOUSTON.”

Houston didn’t fare too well in that first game. A pitcher named “Flood” went the distance for Houston, but Cincinnati still won big, 22-3. Deep water puddles dotted the playing field that day, necessitating a search for several lost balls in play. Apparently the game ball lacked a certain buoyant quality – and probably aided by their use of the same ball for the whole soggy game.

Here’s the first box score from that first Houston professional game in town played between a team representing Houston against a club from another city on March 6. 1888:

Cincinnati Red Stockings – 22

REDS AB R H PO A E
Nicol. RF   7   4   3     1   0 0
McThee, 2B   7   4   4     2   4 0
Fennelly, SS   5   1   1     0   0 1
Riley, 1B   5   3   1   13   0 0
Kappel, CF   5   3   1     1   0 0
Keenan, C   6   2   4     8   2 0
Tebeau, LF   5   1   1     1   0 0
Carpenter, 3B   6   3   3     1   1 0
Serad, P (W)   6   1   2     0   9 2
   TOTALS 52 22 20   27 16 3

Houston Babies – 3

BABIES AB R H PO A E
Harry Howard, 2B    4   1   1    1  1  2
H.B. Dauthett, CF    4   0   3    3  0  1
Pat Flaherty, LF    4   0   0    1  0  0
Daniel Murphy, 3B    4   0   0    2  0  2
James Vogel, RF    4   0   1    1  0  0
Thomas J. Flood, P (L)    3   0   0    1 10  6
R.H. Craig, 1B    3   1   0  11   0  0
Joseph Lohbeck, C    3   0   0    7   4  2
Jack Horan, SS    3   1   1    0   5  1
  TOTALS  32   3   6   27 20 13

Earned Runs: Cincinnati 8, Houston 3.

Bases on Balls: Cincinnati 4, Houston 2.

Strike Outs By: Flood 7, Serad 5.

Left On Base: Cincinnati 7, Houston 4.

2BH: McThee (2), Kappel, Serad, Dauthett, Horan.

3BH: Fennelly

HR: none.

Passed Balls: Lohbeck 6, Keenan 1.

Wild Pitches: Flood 3.

Stolen Bases: Howard, Dauthett, Craig (1 each), Cincinnati 8.

Umpire: Kid Baldwin.

Time of Game: 1 Hour & 45 minutes.

Assuming this contest really was the first Houston professional home game, first baseman R.H. Craig scored the first run in home game (or any game) history in the fourth inning. Already trailing 4-0, Craig led off with a walk and then stole second. After Lobeck then flew out to right and Horan was retired in some unspecified way, second baseman Harry Howard singled to left to plate Craig for the locals’ first run in history. The boys would score two more on the day before going down hard by  finl tally of 22 to 3.

Our anonymous Houston Post reporter described Howard’s historic RBI line drive over the Cincy shortstop’s head as “a corker.” The same reporter left this comment for the ages about Houston pitcher Thomas Flood: “Flood’s speed surprised (Cincinnati), but owing to a sore finger he could not control his balls or get in any of his deceptive curves.”

The Post reporter also admitted to giving up scorekeeping in the sixth inning, His opinion of the Houston team pretty much imbedded itself in this throwaway comment about the fielding of second baseman Howard: “…like every other man in the (Houston) team, (Howard) appeared to be stiff.”

Unfortunately, 1888 would not be the last year that a bunch of stiffs took the field for Houston.

Babies Play Rocky Horror Base Ball in Katy

October 31, 2010

Houston Babies Have Scary Day in Katy DH Loss.

Yesterday was Halloween Weekend Saturday. The way the Houston Babies played at their vintage base ball tourney in Katy, Texas left no doubt of the fact.

The boys and girl of the Houston club were a  little rusty in their first action since April, reverting to the old habit of hitting up on the ball and setting themselves up in the process for a ton of one-bounce-catch outs that took away all hope for victory against any club that is hitting straight away and gap-slashing the bejabbers out of the old round pill.

The day started out on a cheerful note.

It always seems like old times when Bob Blair pitches.

Ace Babies hurler Bob Blair pitched the Babies’ first game as visitors against the new Katy Combine club, but he had little support from a team that appeared to be suffering from the San Francisco site version of Rangeritis highlighted too recently by that more famous bunch of ballers from Arlington, Texas.

“We just couldn’t hit doodily,”  said Bob Dorrill, the mild-mannered mentor of the pediatric punching Houston Babies.

Down 3-1 with two outs in their last time up, the Babies had the tying runs on 2nd and 3rd, but couldn’t bring them home. One more lazy true-bouncing fly to left field and the game was in the can as a 3-1 Katy win in their first tourney action.

While we are kidding around (a little bit) in our loser stew, it is important we also tip our Babes caps to the Katy Business Association for putting together a Halloween Vintage Base Ball Weekend activity that took the pumpkin orange cake as a wonderful tribute to the history of the old ballgame.

Presenting the Colors.

At 10 o’clock, the day began with individual introductions of each member of the Housotn Babies and Katy Combine clubs. A scouting group then brought in the flag for a presentation of the colors as a Five State Champion barbershop quartet sang Our National Anthem. Then some kid and me were chosen to throw out and theoretically catch the first pitch of the game. The kid threw it a little wide. I retrieved it from the backstop.

After Game One, barbecue, fries, and soft drinks were served free  to all club members and we were entertained throughout the rest of the day by a talented little kid banjo band that played everything from “The Theme from Deliverance” to “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Had comedian/musician Steve Martin dropped in on us yesterday, he would have felt right at home picking music with the kids.

You might have thought that all of this hoopla would have inspired our veteran Babies club to new heights in our second game after lunch against the visiting Boerne (TX) White Sox. Well, I guess it did in the sense that we used Game Two to hit some even higher one-bonce-catch outs as we also dove into a much messier job of mishandling the ball on the field. As a result, we lost Game Two of the day to Boerne by 8-4. Larry Hajduk pitched credibly against Boerne, but he got very little help from the outbreak of dropped balls and errant throws in the field – and against another club that understands that vintage ball is all about slashing the ball where the fielders “ain’t” there long enough for a one-bounce-catch out.

"We'll be back!" - Houston Babies

Yesterday’s action will be our last vintage ball play until 2011, but look for a return of the Houston Babies in even better form early next year. We’ll be back. It happens every spring.

Meanwhile today, have a safe, fun, and happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from The Houston Babies!

Base Ball Today in Katy

October 30, 2010

Katy, Texas Ready for Halloween Base Ball!

It all starts today like a giant misplaced Fourth of July firecracker, one now set to explode on the day before Halloween in Katy, Texas in nippy fall weather under beautiful blue Texas autumn skies. Our Houston Babies are one of four teams participating in the one-day, loosely organized schedule in which each of the four teams will play two games, wrapping the 1860s style vintage base ball tourney around a communal lunch that I think includes hot fogs and barbecue.

The other three clubs include the Richmond Giants, the Boerne White Sox, and a new club from Katy whose name is not yet known at this late publication date. Site of the games is Katy City Park #1, located in the 2200 block of Avenue D at Franz Road in Katy, Texas. To reach the park from Houston, drive I-10 West to Katy and then take the Highway 90 exit. Follow Hwy 90N to Avenue D, turn right and proceed to the park.

The Houston Babies (Our new uniforms are much more colorful than these old digs.)

Opening ceremonies begin at 10 o’clock this morning with a Scout Commemoration ceremony and the playing of our National Anthem. Our Houston Babies play in the opener at 10:30 AM against an unspecified opponent. We will also play again in the afternoon at a time to be determined.

As one final, but very big extra, Houston baseball legend Jimmy Wynn is expected to join the Houston Babies today as our honorary team captain. Jimmy had finally heard enough from us about this base ball game that we were playing without gloves and had to come see for himself. We, of course, are all deeply honored by his desire to join with us in this beautiful and fun way to preserve baseball history.

Please join us, if possible. And look for a game results story in tomorrow’s Halloween Day version of today’s activities. We will hope, of course, that what we have left to report at the end of the day is not a horror story.

It can’t be a horror story. Babies manager Bob Dorrill would never allow it. Since this probably will be the Babies’ last playing appearance of 2010, Dorrill will have the troops grinding away at top form.

Babies Break Out New Look! Split Katy DH!

April 11, 2010

Houston Babies Take Richmond, 14-8; Fall to Boerne, 5-3.

Resplendent!

The Houston Babies/Red Stockings broke out their new red and grays just in time to launch a new era of play at Katy Park on Avenue D in Katy, Texas yesterday, winning their 10:30 AM opener over the Richmond Giants, 14-8, before dropping a close and hard-fought contest to the visiting Boerne (TX) White Sox in their second and early afternoon (1:00 PM) game. Richmond and Boerne later squared off against each other, but we have no results to report here on the outcome of the finale.

Playing for the first time at the splendid diamond that is Katy Park, the locals also originally had been set to play in what would have been a four-team, one-day tournament, but Katy had to postpone, pending further team developments. Without Katy, our three remaining clubs decided to simply round robin the rest of the day against each other.

Babies Manager Bob Dorrill

The Babies had a nice infusion of some additional older players who could really pick ’em up and lay ’em down in their two games as the visiting entrant. The other surprise of the day turned out to be the weather. Light rain at the start, clouds, and a heavy chilling wind were enough basis to send forecasters Frank Billingsley (Ch 2), Gene Norman (Ch 11), and David Tillman (Ch 13) all back to graduate school. It was not the perfect day that all the media weather folks had predicted.

The two Babies contests proved to be a clear display of the Babies’ two dispositions. In Game I with Richmond, Bob Blair pitched as the Babies battled back and forth for a 7-6 tie heading into the 6th scheduled  inning of our regular 7-inning game. Then the Babies bats broke out for a 7-run spot that boosted the game tally to its 14-8 final tab. A lot of good hitting and quick-minded fielding took place, with Alex Hajduk’s fast-track race around the bases for an inside-the-park homer leading the way. Newcomer older fellow Tim Stouffer also amazed with a double and lightning speed, both  on the base paths and in sparkling defensive play in the outfield.

Bob Blair was the winning pitcher in Game I versus Richmond.

Game 2 against Boerne also played out close, with the Babies jumping off to a 3-0 lead behind second game pitcher Larry Hajduk, but it was an advantage that they eventually gave away. The Babies had some lapses in the field in Game 2 – and they also fell back into the 1860’s-rules rally-killer pattern of trying to kill the ball on offense. As a result, the Babies spent most of the latter innings swatting flies that lent themselves too easily to one-bounce outs. On defense, the Babies twice elected to take one-bounce outs in the outfield over making the straight on-the-fly catch of balls that would have prevented the deciding runs from scoring. As a result, the seasoned White Sox club of Boerne took full advantage of these lapses to eek out a 5-3 win over the home area Houston Babies.

On the day for both games, here’s how the Houston Babies stacked their offensive deck:

Alex Hajduk and Bob Stevens both went 4 for 6 with a run scored. Alex also got that HR and an RBI for his efforts.

John Civitello ent 4 for 7 with 2 runs tallied.

Jo Hale went 3 for 5 with a run scored.

Speedy Tim Stouffer went 3 for 7 with a double and 3 runs scored.

Bob Blair (Winning Pitcher, Game 1) and newcomer Robert Pina each went 2 for 5 with a run scored, and Pina also contributed a triple on the day.

Larry Miggins and Bill Hale each went 2 for 6 with a double a piece. Larry tallied 2 runs; Bill scored 1 time.

Larry Hajduk and Phil Holland each went 1 for 6 with a run scored.

April Zamora also was 1 for 6 on the day and made a sparkling play in center field. Other defensive gems came as tips of our new red caps to Bill Hale, Bob Blair, Phil Holland, and Tim Stouffer.

Jimmy Disch and Robby Martin also went 0 for 3 in their two one-game appearances.

Alex & Larry Hajduk (R): Special Father-Son Bonding Time.

Special thanks also go out to Larry Hajduk (Losing Pitcher, Game 2) for his one-man ground crew treatment of the rain-battered infield to the Richmond Giants for supplying all of us with hot dogs, chips, cookies, and soft drinks for lunch. Food really doesn’t get any better than that. I don’t give a solid dadgum what people like Dr. Oz says! What does a guy like Dr. Oz know about having fun, anyway?

The action was sharp!

The camaraderie was straight from the sandlot memory bag!

The dugouts were first class!

The pre-game discussions with the Blind Tom (umpire) were both civil and amusing.

The post-game congratulations were gentlemanly.

The time machine rumbled again on Saturday. If you weren't there, you don't really know fully what you missed.