Posts Tagged ‘Vintage Base Ball’

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.

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.