Posts Tagged ‘Houston Babies’

Houston Babies Fall in 2010 Opening DH!

February 28, 2010

The Houston Babies Lost by Scores of 9-0, 29-4 on Saturday, Feb. 27th.

Forget the highlights from yesterday’s opening day doubleheader of vintage base ball for the Houston Babies. There weren’t any.

The Babies dropped a twin bill to the Richmond Giants at George Ranch on Saturday, February 27th, by the scores referenced here only once in the caption to our featured team photo. I will not mention them a second time. The memory itself is sufficiently painful as a reminder of how far the Babies have to go to get back into the shape they were in at the close of the 2009 campaign. These losses brought a six-game win streak by the Babies to a train-wreck level close on a sunny, brisk, and windy Saturday at a game played in the greater Houston area. Even the historic site of the wonderful George Ranch State Park failed to halt the pain or relieve the injury of our club’s 2010 embarrassing start.

To put it mildly: “We wuz awful!”

On the bright side, the Babies problems were few and easy to diagnose: (1) We couldn’t hit; (2) We couldn’t run the bases when we did reach; and (3) We couldn’t make basic plays in the field.

Silent Bats! Unholy Sight! All Laid Calm! Far into the Night!

The brighter news is that we can only get better from here, but we’ve got to recapture the heart we found in our first two seasons of 21st century revival. Remember! The original Babies got bombed by the Cincinnati Red Stockings in their first game back on March 6, 1888 and they came back with heart to play decently. By 1889, the Babies had captured their first pennant as champions of the Texas League.

Babies General Manager Bill McCurdy assured the post-game media that he has every confidence in the world that Babies field manager Bob Dorrill will be able to pull the Babies out of their starting gate swoon and get them back into their winning ways. “We are extremely fortunate to have a man of Bob Dorrill’s savvy and wisdom guiding our Babies team out there on the field. He has my complete vote of confidence as general manager. In fact, if Bob ever gets in trouble as manager, I’ll probably be getting a call on the same day too. …. What’s that, you say? ….  You say I’m wanted on the phone? …. Forget it for now. …. Whoever it is, tell ’em to call back and go to voice mail. ….. Thanks.”

Nobody’s losing confidence in you Babies players either, guys and dolls! Hope that doesn’t register as too unbecoming to today’s PC standards, but there has to be room for a little Damon Runyan perspective on a plight like our current one – and not just maybe, but hell yes, a lot of Douglass Wallop too. (Wallop is the guy who wrote “The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant,” the inspiration for “Damn Yankees.”)

In their honor, I want to leave you with these words, Babies. Carry them with you into our next game on April 10th. There’s something important here about baseball and I want to try to get it across to all of you in the words of the great Broadway song lyricist Benny Van Buren. In the musical “Damn Yankees,” the manager of the Washington Senators is talking, then singing to his team after they’ve just been drubbed again by the New York Yankees. I’ll also simply close my words to you all today on these lyrical notes of how I feel we generally have to face all disappointments in life:

See boys, that’s what I’m talking about. Baseball is only one half skill, the other half is something else…..something bigger!

You’ve gotta have….Heart! All you really need is heart! When the odds are sayin’ you’ll never win, that’s when the grin should start! You’ve gotta have hope! Musn’t sit around and mope. Nuthin’ half as bad as
it may appear, wait’ll next year and hope.

When your luck is battin’ zero, get your chin up off the floor. Mister, you can be a hero. You can open any door.There’s nothin’ to it, but to do it.You’ve gotta have heart! Miles and miles and miles of heart!  Oh, it’s fine to be a genius of corse!But keep that ol’ horse before the cart! First you’ve got to have heart!

Smokey: A great pitcher, we haven’t got!
Rocky: A great slugger, we haven’t got
Sohovic: A great pitcher, we haven’t got!

All: What’ve we got? We’ve got heart! All you really need is heart! When the odds are sayin’, You’ll never win, that’s when the grin should start! We’ve got hope! We don’t sit around and mope! Not a solitary sob do we heave, mister’- cause we’ve got hope.

Rocky: We’re so happy, that we’re hummin’.

All: Hmm, Hmm, Hmm

Manager: That’s the heart-y thing to do.

Smokey: ‘Cause we know our ship will come in!

All: Hmm, hmm, hmm

Sohovic: So it’s ten years over due!

All: Hoo, hoo, hoo.We’ve got heart! Miles and miles and miles of heart! Oh it’s fine to be a genius of course, but keep that old horse before the cart!

Smokey: So what the heck’s the use of cryin’?

Manager: Why should we curse?

Sohovic: We’ve got to get better……

Rocky:….’cause we can’t get worse!

All: And to add to it; we’ve got heart! – We’ve got heart! – We’ve got Heart!

WE, THE HOUSTON BABIES, HAVE GOT HEART TOO!


Vintage Base Ball Today!

February 28, 2010

Houston Babies in Action at George Ranch Today, February 27th!

The Houston Babies spring into vintage base ball action today at the George Ranch Field in Sugar Land. The SABR-sponsored club will be facing the Richmond Giants and Lone Star College Saw Dogs in a round robin tourney doubleheader beginning at 10:30 AM. The second game will start about noon.

Led by dauntless manager Bob Dorrill, the Babies will be putting a six-game winning streak on the line as they throw out the first pitch of the 2010 season. This marks the third year of the resurrection of the club that last took the fields for Houston in the late 1880’s as the first professional base ball team in Houston.

These games are played by the 1860 rules of baseball. The principle differences from the modern game are that we use no gloves. You have to catch the balls bare handed and, the one-bounce out rule is in effect.

If you’ve never seen a vintage base ball game, come join us today. It’s free and very satisfying, the closest thing to sandlot baseball expression that any of us have ever known. I am no longer able to play, but I just enjoy being there. We even play ball in vintage uniforms that cover us a little better than the attire worn by the Babies in our featured picture.

Come on out. We’d love to meet you too!

Sincerely,

Bill McCurdy , General Manager, Houston Babies


Rookie Alex Schmelter Leads Houston Babies to Twin Bill Sweep of Richmond Giants, 13-7, 5-2!

October 25, 2009
ON A DAY LIVED IN HEAVEN, BABIES SWEEP GIANTS, 13-7, 5-2.

ON A DAY LIVED IN HEAVEN, BABIES SWEEP GIANTS, 13-7, 5-2.

It was a great day for autmnally roaring vintage base ball at the  George Ranch yesterday as the Houston Babies squared off against the local Richmond Giants yesterday, October 24, 2009. Only the date claimed anchorage in the 21st century. Everything else suggested that we had all, finally and at last, found our way through that time warp into the 19th century romper room of baseball’s infancy as the national pastime, when it was a game played without gloves and with abundant fortitude for the contest that needed two words, “base ball,” to describe itself.

SKIPPER BOB DORRILL'S MODEL T STYLE SUITS BABIES TO A T!

SKIPPER BOB DORRILL'S MODEL T STYLE SUITS BABIES TO A T!

 Some Babies players arrived for the 10:30 AM scheduled twin bill with the Giants by automobile. They parked their vehicles with the same kind of finely-tuned precision and machine-powered mechanization that goes into their approach to team-victorious vintage 19th century base ball – when no one had even heard of a Model T and most simply laughed at the concept of a horseless carriage!

NEVER LOOK BACK. SOMETHING MIGHT BE GAINING ON YOU.

NEVER LOOK BACK. SOMETHING MIGHT BE GAINING ON YOU.

Four of ten members who attempted coming by bicycle out the Southwest Freeway also arrived, but we’ll take a .400 arrival percentage any day of the week and twice on a perfect Saturday Game Day in October. We tried to get our cyclists, especially, to heed the wisdom of the wonderful Satchel Paige about the danger of looking back. Too bad about the deep sixers we lost. We simply feel fortunate that 40% actually did heed the warning . Had we lost those four players too, we would have faced the perils of renegotiation on our double game contract and possible forfeiture to the Richmond club.
"HAVE YOU HEARD THE GERMAN BAND?" ... EXCERPT FROM "THE PRODUCERS"

"HAVE YOU HEARD THE GERMAN BAND?" ... EXCERPT FROM "THE PRODUCERS"

Our Houston Area Vintage Base Ball Commissioner, Wee Willie Kaiser, showed up with the missus, the ever sweet and smiling Wilhemina Kaiser, to boost morale and offer his support for the old time ball movement in our region. Commissioner Kaiser is hot on the trail of sponsorship money for new uniform and team equipment, but, so far, he’s only come up with enough cash to pay for the splendid outfit he wore to yesterday’s Babies@Giants twin bill. When asked yesterday how he could justify spending our limited funds on himself, Kaiser replied, “What are you talking about? I have to look presentable when I go calling on potential investors, don’t I?’ We doubt that salty answer will fly far or settle all disgruntlement, but we’ll stay on it for future developments.
A 6 FOR 8 DAY AT THE PLATE & SPARKLING DEFENSE EARNED MVP HONORS FOR ALEX SCHMELTER!

A 6 FOR 8 DAY AT THE PLATE & SPARKLING DEFENSE EARNED MVP HONORS FOR ALEX SCHMELTER!

The 13-7, 5-2 victories by the Houston Babies yesterday over the Richmond Giants  increased the club’s all time 21st century record to 6-3, as Manager Bob Dorrill also picked up his 6th straight win as the undefeated manager of Houston’s most time-honored base ball club. The Babies came out of mothballs in 2008, but proceeded to lose thieir first three games in 120 years of suspended play by mistakenly taking the field and playing by commitee. Things are much better now with the even keel headed Dorrill at the helm. The man both inspires and steadies the boat ride to happy destiny of vintage baseball triumph.
 
Bob Dorrill can also thank his grandson for a lot of yesterday’s outcome, as well. 13 year old Alex Schmelter accompanied his grandparents, Bob and Peggy Dorrill to George Ranch yesterday, perhasp, never dreaming that he had a job to perform on the field as well. Well, when we lost those six turned-their-heads cyclists, we needed all the help we could get. Little Alex Schmelter gave the Babies all the hlp they needed and then some. Playing nd base and batting clean up, Alex went 6 for 8 on the day with 2 runs scored and 2 runs batted. He also handled the ball well in the field, getting some key outs and participating in a couple of successful rundown plays. For his efforts,  Alex Schmelter was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the entire day by his Babies teammates. What a fine young man and ballplayer this kid is turning out to be. His parents and grandparents have every right to be very proud of him.
FOR ALEX SCHMELTER, IT WAS A TECHNICOLOR MEMORY OF HITTING!

FOR ALEX SCHMELTER, IT WAS A TECHNICOLOR MEMORY OF HITTING!

BOB "DOUBLE DUTY" BLAIR PITCHED AND WON BOTH GAMES!

BOB "DOUBLE DUTY" BLAIR PITCHED AND WON BOTH GAMES!

 In addition to the outstanding spark the Babies got from young “Alex the Great,” our venerable righthanded “Iron Man,” Bob Blair pitched another games down the corridor of his own personal journey into the Houston Babies Hall of Fame. Blair held the normally hit-raining bats of the potent Richmond Giants to a mere drizzle on the mound in both games, for two more wins on his vintage ball bats. If memory serves, Balir has been the winning pitcher in four of the six games captured by the Babies. He probably could have had them all, but had to miss  one of our victorious twin bills a while back. Also, although Bob doesn’t see himself as a hitter, he went 3 for 8 with 2 runs scored on the day and made some meat-slapping stops on liners up the middle on defense. Keep it up, Mr. Blair. McGinnity of the old New York Giants has nothing on you as a contributor to team excellence.

Here’s how the recorded Babies lineup fared yesterday, and special thanks to Brigitte Blair for keeping score and providing us with this data:
(1) Bob Blair, p (3 for 8, 2 runs)
(2) Jimmy Disch, c (2 for 8, 1 run)
(3) Larry Joe Miggins, 1b (6 for 8, 4 runs)
(4) Alex Schmelter, 2b (6 for 8, 2 runs)
(5) Bill Hale, 3b (5 for 8, 2 runs)
(6) John Civitello (6 for 7, 3 runs)
(7) Eric Blair, lf (4 for 7, 2 runs)
(7a) Nate Who, lf (1 for 1, 1 run)
(8) Robert McArthur, cf (4 for 6, 2 runs)
(9) Bob Stevens, rf (1 for 6, 0 runs)
(9a) George Osborne, c (o for 1, 0 runs)
 
 
Eric Blair shined in left field, stopping many a long hit with straight on and one bounce out catches. John Civitello was the toughest out of the day, proving again that those dyed-in-the-wool  Connecticut boys take to base ball like kids take to candy. Bill Hale earned the Fearless Fosdick Award for handing some of those fierce body-hole-piercing drives down the third base line. Robert McArthur and Bob Stevens manned the other two cow pastures most ably, never allowing a Giant home run to survive on the trail and spoil the day. Larry Joe Miggins was a human baseball trap at first base, and he ended up the day with the red stinging hands to prove it. Last, but not least, Jimmy Disch called a masterful game behind the plate for Bob Blair, and he never came close to a Ray Fosse experience with any of the rosy running big boys of the Richmond Giants arsenal.
WHEN JIMMY DISCH SCORED, IT TURNED ON THE TECHNICOLOR!

WHEN JIMMY DISCH SCORED, IT TURNED ON THE TECHNICOLOR!

alex mvpAlex Schmelter (above) received the MVP from his grandad, Babies Manager Bob Dorrill, as Grandma Peggy Dorrill looked on over his right shoulder. Also in the photo, left to right, are Kathleen and Larry Miggins, the former Cardinal and Buff, Babies General Manager Bill McCurdy, plus Bob “Double Duty” Blair and his wife, our Babies scorekeeper, Brigitte Blair. 

LARRY MIGGINS & FAMILY WERE THERE TO CHEER THE BABIES TOO!

LARRY MIGGINS & FAMILY WERE THERE TO CHEER THE BABIES TOO!

Former St. Louis Cardinal and Houston Buff Larry Miggins was there yesterday with his lovely wife Kathleen. We see them pictured above with their son and daughter in law, Mr. and Mrs. Larry Joe “Long Ball” Miggins. The Miggins family are  the keepers of the flame on the memory and signifiance of the Dick Dowling  statue in Hermann Park – and that has been true  for forty years. If it were up to me, I would appoint Lerry Miggins as the Patron Saint of Houston’s Baseball Heart too. He’s that purely dedicated to both the science and the poetry of the game. When I asked Larry yesterday how much he enjoyed his first trip to George Ranch to watch vintage base ball, his answer was swift, simple, and unecumbered by any need for interpretation. “I think we’ve all died and gone to Heaven,” Larry answered, with that always Irish smile in his voice.
EVERYBODY WAS HAPPY!

EVERYBODY WAS HAPPY!

AND IT REALLY WAS A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN BASE BALL HEAVEN!

AND IT REALLY WAS A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN BASE BALL HEAVEN!

Next time we have one these playing dates, especially if it’s at the  beautiful George Ranch, come on out and play with or watch the Houston Babies in action. Our club is a slice of Houston living base ball history and it is most deserving of your support. You’ll be doing yourself and Houston baseball history too by hooking up with our little tribe of baseball, Houston, and history lovers. Of course, if you want to help us sponsor the purchase of our own authentic Houston Babies uniforms, that will free us from having to borrow the used duds of the Montgomery County Saw Dogs every time we play.  If you are interested in sponsoring the Houston Babies, seriously, please contact Babies Manager Bob Dorrill at 281-361-7874.
 
 
 
The Houston Babies: Playing with Heart Since 1888!