Did You Know? ... with Davis Barker
Did You Know....that John Alton "Al" Benton, whose only Texas League experience (14-17, Oklahoma City, 1933) earned him a shot at the majors, pitched off and on in the "bigs" from 1934 to 1952 and holds the distinction of giving up home runs to both Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle?
Did You Know....that Willie Mitchell, who once struck out 20 in a single Texas League game in 1909 while with San Antonio (vs. Galveston, August 19, 1909), was the losing pitcher in 1914 when Babe Ruth won his first major league mound decision?
Did You Know....that former Texas Leaguer and native Texan Debs Garms (Wichita Falls 1928, '29, '31, Wichita Falls-Longview 1932, San Antonio 1935, '36) got the first hit off Johnny Vander Meer following Vandy's two consecutive no-hitters? Garms' fourth-inning single stopped Vander Meer's hit-less streak at 21 2/3 innings.
Did You Know....that although he returned to the Texas League for only a short period of time, Dizzy Dean of Tulsa was selected as the starting pitcher in the 1940 Texas League All-Star Game by North Manager Rogers Hornsby? Dean pitched only one inning, yielding one hit while collecting a strikeout. "Ol' Diz" became the first player to appear in both the Major League All-Star Game (1934-37 with the National League) and the Texas League All-Star Game. Beaumont catcher Birdie Tebbetts was the first TL All-Star to "graduate" from TL All-Star to Major League All-Star, playing in the inaugural Texas League game in 1936, then the 1942 game with the American League squad. Rogers Hornsby coached the American League All-Star team of 1935 before managing the North All-Stars in the TL game of 1940, but his Southern counterpart in 1940, Eddie Dyer, became the first man to manage both the Texas League and the Major League All-Star teams when he piloted the 1947 National League stars.
Did You Know....that in the Texas League's second annual all-star match up in 1937, South left fielder Frank Secory became the first player to hit a home run in all-star play? Secory later became one of the few men to play and umpire both in the Texas League and in the Major Leagues. Secory spent most of four seasons in the Texas League, tying for the league lead in runs scored with 100 in 1938. He went on to play nearly 100 games in the big leagues prior to returning to the loop as an umpire in 1949, 1950, and 1951. He jumped right to the National League from the Texas League and umpired the 1955 Major League All-Star Game.
Did You Know....that veteran Texas League curveballer E.E. "Hick" Munsell probably achieved the league's greatest mound turnaround? After losing 27 games (mostly with Austin) in 1914, he rebounded to notch 25 wins in 1915 for San Antonio. The accomplishment reportedly earned "Hick" his only big league shot when he was invited to the New York Giants' camp in Marlin, Texas, for drills the next spring. The trial, however, ended abruptly when Munsell and the Giants' infamous manager, John McGraw, engaged in fisticuffs in the middle of the diamond. The altercation, which came in an intersquad contest, resulted from Munsell's continual use of the curve ball in violation of McGraw's specific orders.
Did You Know....that on May 30, 1922, former Texas Leaguer Cliff Heathcote (Houston Buffs, 1918) played with two major league clubs in one day? Traded by the Cardinals to the Cubs for fellow outfielder Max Flack between games of a doubleheader, Heathcote played the first game for the Cards and the second for the Cubs, while Flack did the reverse. In their dual debuts, Flack got one hit while Heathcote collected a pair.
Did You Know....that according to past history, if you want to see a nine-inning no-hitter in the Texas League, you should reserve a ticket somewhere in the circuit for Tuesday, August 11? Based on an analysis of the league's 111 nine inning-plus no-hitters, that date represents the next time all the star-crossed odds and chances align again. Tuesday is the most common day of the week (20 no-hitters), August the most common month (30), and the 11th is the most common date (9). In fact, August 11 represents the specific date on which five Texas League no-hitters have been tossed. Luis Arroyo of the Houston Buffs no-hit Dallas 3-0 on August 11, 1954, the last time a nine-inning no-hitter occurred on that date. The other four were Joe Berry, Tulsa (1-0 vs Oklahoma City, 1942); Buck Harris, San Antonio (6-0 vs. Dallas, 1907); Rudy Schmenck, Fort Worth (13-0 vs Dallas, 1904); and H. Conover, Dallas (8-0 vs Ft. Worth, 1903). The most recent Texas League no-hitter of nine or more innings was a perfect game thrown by a trio of Frisco hurlers, A. J. Murray, Steve Karsay and Scott Feldman, on July 28, 2005, when they beat Corpus Christi 3-0. Alas, in 2009 August 11 falls on a scheduled Texas League off-day.
Did You Know....that since the Sporting News initiated its annual Rookie of the Year award in 1946, the first Texas League graduate to win the trophy was Clint Courtney? Courtney, who had played in the Yankee Chain at Beaumont in 1947 and 1950, won the American League version in 1952 while catching for the lowly St. Louis Browns. His average in 119 games (.286) was the highest of any catcher in the league that season. "Scrap Iron", as he came to be known, went on to log eleven seasons with six different American League teams. In his career, he became famous for his backstop "firsts". He was the first person to play behind the plate wearing glasses. He was the first catcher to use the spread "butterfly" mitt to catch a knuckleballer. When the Browns moved their franchise to Baltimore for the 1954 season, Clint hit the first home run in Oriole modern day history. That year he also set a mark which still stands -- he struck out just seven times all season.
Did You Know....that former Texas Leaguer Dale Mitchell seemed to always be connected with World Series "lasts"? Not only was he the final batter in Larsen's perfect game in Game 5 (he struck out as a pinch hitter) of the 1956 World Series, but he is also the only player to have participated in the last World Series games of the New York Giants (as a pinch hitter for Cleveland in the final game in 1954) and the Brooklyn Dodgers (as a Dodger pinch hitter in Game 7 of 1956). The next World Series for both the Giants and the Dodgers would come on the West Coast. There would be no more World Series for Mitchell; he retired following that Game 7 in 1956. Now, by no means, were these bouts with "lasts" and "failures" indicative of Mitchell's professional experience. A native of Paris, Texas, Mitchell hit .337 for Oklahoma City in 1946, his only Texas League season, and went on to log a solid .312 major league average over eleven seasons. He hit over .300 six times and his 23 triples in 1949 were the most by any American League player since 1912. As a pinch hitter, he was among the era's best and most oft used, finishing at a .266 level for 177 official pinch hit at bats. As for strikeouts, Mitchell was among the era's toughest to fan, coming up empty at the plate only 119 times in almost 4,000 at bats.
Did You Know....that William S. "Alec" Alexander established the Texas League record of having the longest span of time between first and last TL appearances at 34 seasons (1895-1929)? In a somewhat related matter, pitcher Homer Price Rainey, who left after one TL season to follow a path that would lead him to become the President of the University of Texas and a candidate for governor, holds the loop record for most seasons between two Texas League appearances with twenty years. The former Austin College star formally hung up his spikes after the 1919 season, but was asked, as a publicity stunt, to pitch in a Texas League game again in 1939. Other lengthy absences between TL games include Jim Murray with 17 years between (1899-1916), Ducky Medwick with 16 years (1932-1948), and 15 years each for Eddie Dyer (1923-1938) and Harry Ables (1910-1925, also a publicity stunt).
Did You Know....that former Texas League pitcher Lloyd Brown was the only Major League pitcher to give up two of Lou Gehrig's record 23 career grand slams? Brown, a native of Beeville, Texas, who pitched for Wichita Falls in 1924 and 1925, went on to pitch 12 years in the major leagues, winning a total of 91 games for six different clubs. Nicknamed "Gimpy", Brown's best seasons came in 1930-32 when he won 16, 15, and 15 games for the Washington Senators managed by the great Walter Johnson.
Did You Know....that former 19th century star Ollie Pickering was the first batter in American League history? A durable outfielder who played for over a quarter of a centrum, Pickering played in Ft. Worth, Galveston, and Houston in 1892 and 1895. He hit .309 and scored 102 runs for Cleveland in 1901.
Did You Know....that former Texas League umpire Charles Pfirman was behind the plate in the 1934 All-Star Game when Carl Hubbell (Ft. Worth, 1927; Beaumont, 1928), struck out Ruth, Gehrig, Foxx, Simmons, and Cronin in a row?
Did You Know....that the only one player to have hit a home run in his lone official Major League All-Star Game at bat was a former Texas Leaguer? Lee Mazzilli (Jackson, 1976) can claim an All Star Game record of one at bat, one run, one hit and one home run.
Did You Know....that former Texas Leaguers Fred Nicholson (Dallas 1913; San Antonio, 1915; Shreveport, 1932) and Cotton Tierney (San Antonio, 1917) were two of the five big leaguers to participate in all three games of the only triple-header in major league history on October 2, 1920?
Did You Know....that Austin-born Texas Leaguer John Owen "Chief" Wilson (Houston-Austin-Ft. Worth, 1905; Ft. Worth, 1906-07; San Antonio, 1917) became the first native Texan to play in a World Series when he appeared with the Pirates in the 1909 Fall Classic?
Did You Know..........that Texas Leaguer John R. "Mule" Watson (Shreveport, 1916) was, on October 10, 1923, the starting pitcher in the very first of eighty-five World Series contests hosted by Yankee Stadium?
Did You Know....that the only player in circuit history to lead both the Texas League and the Major Leagues in strikeouts was the incomparable Dizzy Dean? In fact, "Ole Diz" achieved the feat in consecutive seasons -- leading the TL with 303 in 1931 and the majors with 191 in 1932. Dean went on to pace the majors in K's until the 1936 term, when he was unseated by the Dodgers' Van Lingle Mungo.
Did You Know....that Johnny Berardino, San Antonio's second-baseman in 1938, left an 11 year big league career behind to star as Dr. Hardy on the popular soap opera "General Hospital"? Earlier, as a child actor, Berardino (stage name Beradino) appeared in several episodes of the "Our Gang" series. For the Missions in 1938, the California native hit .309 with 13 homers and 41 doubles in 141 games. He was a regular in the infield with the St. Louis Browns for the next three seasons until his career was interrupted by World War II. After having missed all but 29 games in 1942 and all of the 1943-45 seasons, Berardino came back to hit .265 in 144 games in 1946 for the Browns. Traded prior to the start of the 1948 season, Berardino was sent to the Cleveland Indians who went on to win the World Series that season.
Did You Know....that on September 27, 1963 the Houston Colt 45's started an all rookie line up in the field against the New York Mets? The line up was: Brock Davis, LF; Jimmy Wynn, CF; Aaron Pointer, RF; Rusty Staub, 1B; Joe Morgan, 2B; Glenn Vaughn, 3B; Sonny Jackson, SS; and Jerry Grote, C. None of the players were older than 22 years of age, while five of the nine players were under 20. Joe Morgan had just turned 20 eight days prior to the historic game. The Colts starting pitcher was Jay Dahl, an 18-year old who would be making his only big league appearance in the 10-3 Houston loss. Everyone in the line up except Dahl and Staub played in San Antonio with the Bullets. Grote and Wynn played for San Antonio only in 1963. Jackson, Morgan, and Vaughn were on the 1964 Texas League Champion Bullets squad. Aaron Pointer was with both teams while Brock Davis spent 1963, 1964 and 1969 with San Antonio. While many of the players had fine seasons with San Antonio, Jimmy Wynn's stats for 1963 might be the most amazing. In only 78 Texas League games, the "Toy Cannon" had 15 doubles, 11 triples, and 16 home runs.
Did You Know....that there has only been one triple-header in the modern history of big league play? On that date, October 2, 1920, five players set a major league record by playing in three games in one day. Two of them, James "Cotton" Tierney and Fred Nicholson were Texas League vets. Nicholson first appeared in the league in 1913 at Dallas, and then again at San Antonio in 1915. He did not return until 1932 when he played for Shreveport, an absence of 16 years! The former outfielder later became the president of the East Texas League. Tierney, a second baseman, played over 600 games in the National League, ending with a .296 lifetime average.
Did You Know....that future Texas League hurler Orville Armbrust's only major league victory, a 5-3 Washington win over New York, came on the day that Babe Ruth played his final game in Yankee pinstripes? Armbrust, who would never appear in another major league game, drifted to the Texas League where he toiled in 1936-38, posting a 17-28 record for three league clubs. In three games for the Senators in 1934, Armbrust had a 2.13 ERA and pitched 12.2 innings issuing only 10 hits and three walks.
Did You Know....that over the life of the circuit, many Texas League batting leaders have gone on to lead the major leagues in the identical categories? Some examples: In 1907 Tris Speaker hit .314 to pace the league in batting average. In 1916, he led the entire major leagues with a .386 mark. In 1934 "Beau" Bell led the Texas League with 51 doubles. In 1937 he led the American League with the same total. In 1942 Dick Wakefield led the league with 192 hits and 44 doubles. Just one year later, he led the American League in the same categories, collecting 200 hits and 38 doubles. Hank Greenberg paced the Texas League with 39 round-trippers in 1932, before becoming one of the American League's premier sluggers. In 1938, he led the majors with 58 dingers while leading the American League in 1935 and 1940 with 36 and 41 home runs, respectively. Gorman Thomas led the American League in homers in 1979 (45) and 1982 (39) after leading the Texas League with 26 long flys in 1972. Al Rosen drove home 141 to lead the loop in 1947. In 1952 he led the American League with 105, then led the majors with 145 in 1953.
Did You Know....that Texas League outfielder Cal McVey (New Orleans 1888 and Fort Worth 1889-90) was a member of the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, America's first professional sports team? Then in 1871, when the National Association was formed as the first pro circuit, McVey hit .419 for the Boston Red Stockings. When the National League picked up where the National Association left off in 1876, McVey continued with the upstarts and starred with Chicago, hitting .328 over his four year career in the NL. McVey continued his pattern of performing in new ventures as he played in the inaugural season of the Texas League in 1888.
Did You Know....that future Dallas pitcher (1916) Jack Warhop gave up Babe Ruth's first career home run in 1915? Ruth, a member of the Boston Red Sox rotation, would hit but four home runs that season, but was 18-8 with a 2.44 ERA on the mound. Warhop, ironically, was in the last of eight seasons in the majors, all as a starting pitcher for the New York Yankees. Incidentally, Warhop holds the distinction of being one of the few pitchers to have stolen home plate twice in his career.
Did You Know.........that 19th Century Texas League hurler Elmer Stricklett (Dallas 1898) is usually given credit for introducing the spitter?
Did You Know....that the "game" in the Texas League may have been a serious business longer than many realize? A case in point concerns Houston's demand in 1926 that the Cincinnati front office either pay for or raise from the dead and return former Buff's star Marv Goodwin. Near the end of the 1925 season, Houston sold Buff Manager/Pitcher Goodwin to Cincinnati for $2,500 down and an additional $5,000 if the Reds failed to return him to the Texas League club by March 15. The 34-year old Goodwin, who had spent parts of six previous seasons in the major leagues and was one of the majors' last "certified" spitballers, pitched in four late season games with the Reds, signed a new contract for 1926 and was penciled in to hold down the staff's sixth spot. Tragically, however, Goodwin was killed while on duty with the Army Air Reserve, when the plane he was piloting crashed. On March 17, in a shocking move, Houston petitioned the Reds for the $5,000 the club owed them since Goodwin had not been returned to the Buffs. When the Reds refused, Houston appealed to Commissioner Landis, who emphatically ruled in favor of Cincinnati. Goodwin pitched in seven seasons for Houston. He won 21 games for the Buffs in 1925 and had an overall TL record of 72-54 in 146 games.
Did You Know....that Al Lamacchia, one of baseball's most successful scouts, threw the last pitch at San Antonio's Tech Field in 1946, then was the first San Antonio hurler to throw a pitch at Mission Stadium the next season? Lamacchia, who was known as "Tony" during his years in the TL, is now a professional scout for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He pitched for the Missions in 1942, 1946-'47, 1949-'50, compiling a 27-30 record.
Did You Know....that between 1904 and 1957 only three times, 1918, 1949 and 1953, did the Texas League pitching staffs fail to produce a twenty-game winner? Since that time, a period of over 50 seasons, only one hurler, Bill Larkin of Albuquerque in 1966, has achieved the twenty-win plateau in a single TL season.
Did You Know.........that when Shreveport's Ken Guettler established a new league mark with 62 homers in 1956 that 30 (48%) were solo shots, 39 (63%) were hit at home and 51(82%) were hit off right hand pitching?
Did You Know....that in the second Texas League All-Star game on July 17, 1937 at Houston, local Buffs right-hander John Grodzicki stole the show from the mound by striking out six Northern batters in a row? After replacing the starter Eddie Cole in the top of the fourth inning with the score tied 1-1, Grodzicki struck out the side, beginning with the loop's leading hitter at .401, Homer Peel. After Grodzicki struck out the side again in the fifth, Ft. Worth second baseman Clyde McDowell led off the sixth by lofting a soft fly to right field ending the skein. The following year on July 23, the Southern mound magic continued as starter Harry Kimberlin waded through the initial three frames facing only the minimum nine batters. The 6'2" San Antonio right-hander K'd five of the nine, including four in a row including the side in the second. Kimberlin also managed a bloop single to short left in the top of the third, marking the first hit by a pitcher in Texas League All-Star competition. His early success in the 1938 game set the stage for the South's third consecutive All-Star win and the first shut-out, 2-0, as the staff limited the North to just six hits. During their three year streak, Southern moundsmen limited Northern batters to just three runs and 20 hits while striking out 22 and walking just three.
Did You Know....that in 1956 Shreveport slugger Ken Guettler set the all-time Texas League home run record with 62? What made the record even more remarkable was the fact that Guettler wore prescription glasses with lenses so strong that they looked like bubbles. He could get along with lenses less strong off the field, but he was almost harmless as a hitter without his special specs. About mid-season Shreveport checked into Houston for a series with the Buffs. Guettler had already murdered Houston a couple of times with homers earlier in the year. Arriving for the game the next day the devil broke loose Guettler's special glasses had vanished. The Sport's manager Mel McGaha was irate. He didn't accuse anyone directly, but he wanted every one around the stadium questioned from the general manager on down. It seems that Guettler had just one pair of the special glasses. Getting a new prescription would take time as they had to be made in Rochester New York, arriving well after the Houston series had finished. Houston Manager Harry Walker said, "I don't know a thing about it, but it was a good idea." Guettler missed the Houston series and games in San Antonio before the new specs arrived. How many home runs did he miss out on because of the missing glasses caper? We will never know.
Did You Know....that one of the Texas League's greatest contributions to the big league mound, Lynwood "Schoolboy" Rowe, ended up being almost as famous a hitter as he was a hurler? As a pitcher, Rowe, a Waco born right-hander who won 39 of his 51 Texas League decisions (Beaumont 1932 & 1938, Shreveport 1950), was best remembered for setting an American League record by winning 16 consecutive games in 1934, leading the A.L. in winning percentage in 1940 after a serious two year bout with arm problems, and winning over 150 big league games (with 22 shut-outs) in his big league career. In fact, after Rowe collected 24 wins in 1934, only one Texas Born hurler, "Tex" Hughson in 1942 and '46, would win as many as 20 games in the "bigs" until 1973. As a hitter, he led the National League in pinch-hits and pinch-hit appearances in 1943 and became the first pitcher to hit grand slams in both major leagues. Rowe also pinch hit in the 1947 All-Star game for Warren Spahn and in doing so became the first player to appear in the major league All-Star game for both the American League and National League squads.
Did You Know....that in the first 60 years of the Texas League there were only nine seasons when the league did NOT go through an in season managerial change?
Did You Know....that Ash Hillin's thirty-one win season of 1937, the second highest single-season total in Texas League history, came on the heels of a twenty loss season? Hillin, a former star at Texas A&M and only the seventh thirty-game winner on the TL books, had finished 11-20 in 44 contests with the San Antonio Missions the previous campaign. Of course, Hillin was not the only member of the Texas League's more elite hurlers who, at one time or another, reached the twenty-loss plateau. Other of these well-known mound performers are: "Oyster Joe" Martina - the loop's all-time strikeout leader; Dick Whitworth - holder of the circuit mark for career mound appearances; Hick Munsell - who, among other things, holds the record for most innings pitched in one season; Snipe Conley - former popular Dallas hurler who holds the Texas League mark for most consecutive wins. Hatton Ogle, Oscar Tuero, Cy Watson, George Crable, Grover Brandt and Adam Rankin Johnson were also twenty game winners and losers in different Texas League seasons.
Did You Know....that fellow Texas Leaguers Charlie Berry (Dallas, 1927) and Walter French (Shreveport 1924) may hold the distinction of being the only professional athletes to be team mates on a big league football and big league baseball team in the same year? Berry, a consensus All-America end from Lafayette, and French, an All-America back from West Point, were team mates with Connie Mack's 1925 Philadelphia Athletics in the summer of 1925 and the Pottsboro Maroons of the National Football League later that fall. Berry had captained that Pottsboro squad in '25 and led the NFL in scoring. He would play only one more season of professional football, but enjoyed a long career in the American League - spending three decades behind the mask: eleven as a catcher (mostly in reserve) and another 21 as an A.L. umpire. During the off-season of his time as an umpire, he also served as a Head Linesman in the NFL. In fact, Berry umpired in the World Series in the early fall and that winter refereed in the famous overtime championship classic between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants. French, who had left West Point early to play in the NFL in 1922, never played pro football again after 1925, but hung on with the A's until the end of the decade as a back-up outfielder.
Did You Know....that in the modern history of the Texas League there have been eight men who have been 20-game winners in both the Texas League and the Major Leagues? The first was little Dickey Kerr who was 21-10 for Ft. Worth in 1915, then posting a 21-9 record for the Chicago White Sox in 1920. Kerr joined the ChiSox in 1919 and was a valuable contributor on the eventual American League championship club with a 13-7 record. The diminutive left-handed was one of the honest men playing in the tainted 1919 World Series, winning both his starts, including a 3-0 shutout in game three. The next Texas Leaguer to turn the feat was Dizzy Dean who posted a fantastic 26-10 mark for Houston in 1931, then went on to win twenty or more games for the St. Louis Cardinals four times. Howie Pollet of the Houston Buffs is the only one of the eight to have had two 20-win seasons in the TL and two or more 20-win seasons in the "big". After going 20-7 in 1940 and 20-3 in 1941, the Cardinal lefty led the National League in wins in 1946 with a 21-10 mark, then posted 20-9 mark for the Card's in 1949.
Did You Know....that Texas League hitters have twice paced all of Organized Baseball in home runs? Patrick Newnam, a long-time TL veteran who hit only 57 round trippers in his entire minor league career, was the first when he uncharacteristically found the range in 1908, hitting 18 clouts for San Antonio. Then, in 1924, Clarence Kraft set an O. B. record by driving out 55 when with Ft. Worth - breaking the old record, by 10, set before the turn of the century by Perry Werden of Minneapolis....Two other Texas League stars, Frank Howard and Arlo Engle, led minor leagues in round-trippers, but were bested by totals produced at the major league level. Howard launched 43 homers in 1959, splitting time between the Texas and Pacific Coast League. Only National Leagues Eddie Mathews (46) and Ernie Banks (45) produced better totals than "Hondo" that year...In 1963, Engle found four-base range 41 times with El Paso to lead all the minors. His total was surpassed by men named Aaron, McCovey and Killebrew. Not bad company, eh?
Did You Know....that in 1912 Dallas Giants right-handed throwing 1B Cy Forsythe had been a left handed pitcher until his arm gave out? The story may never have come to light had infielder "Chick" Edmiston not come to the Texas League to play for Beaumont. Forsythe and Edmiston had been teammates in Illinois some years earlier where it was reported that Forsythe was one of the best in the league. One day, an accident occurred and Forsythe threw his arm out of commission. He was so disabled that his left arm was useless for throwing again. Forsythe began throwing with his right arm, believing that he could return to the mound as a right-hander. It was a year before he built up his right arm well enough to return to baseball. He joined Dallas in 1911 hitting .317 in 147 games. He followed that with another solid season in 1912, hitting .320 and 47 extra-base hits in 142 games. The left-handed swinger hit over .300 his first six seasons as a position player (1909-'14) despite having to wear a brace on his injured left shoulder.
Did You Know....that Texas League hurler Thornton Lee (Shreveport, 1932), who pitched in the Major Leagues until the age of 42, once yielded a home run to Ted Williams? Ten years later after Lee had retired, his son Don who was pitching for Detroit gave up a homer to Williams. It is believed to be the only time one player homered off father and son in Major League History.
Did You Know.........that Philadelphia Athletics manager Connie Mack paid Waco $5,000 for pitcher Roy Moore in 1920? Moore went on to lose his first 13 decisions for the A's after having posted a 15-15 record with a 2.13 ERA for Waco in 1919.
Did You Know....that former Texas League player Ransom "Randy" Jackson was the last player to hit a home run for the Brooklyn Dodgers? Jackson, who played for the Oklahoma City Indians in 1949, accomplished the feat on September 28, 1957. He was also one of only two people to play in Cotton Bowl games with two different schools, Texas Christian University in 1945 and the University of Texas in 1946.
Did You Know....that during the 1969 season the Texas League adopted a designated pinch hitter rule? The wild card pinch hitter could bat up to four times in a game for anyone in his team's lineup. Of course, once a player was hit for by the DPH, he had to be replaced in the lineup. With limited rosters, that meant that the DPH usually hit for the pitcher and was rarely used early in the game.
Did You Know....that during the 1991 season San Antonio outfielder Mike White wore a piece of a human rib on a chain around his neck? White had the rib removed in 1990 to relieve a pinched vein that threatened to curtail his career - and the use of his right arm. He wore the rib to remind him of the ordeal. The "lucky" rib must have helped. After missing all but 13 games in 1990, White hit .293 in 1991 for the Missions.
Did You Know....that Arkansas relief pitched Lee Plemel was the base guitar player in the alternative rock band V.I.E.W. that was headed by future Cy Young Award winner Jack McDowell? Plemel and McDowell, who were roommates at Stanford, hatched the idea for a band in 1990 during a cross country drive from California to Florida for spring training. McDowell found their drummer Wayne Edwards later that year. The group recorded and released the album Extendagenda in 1991, receiving notice in a feature in Rolling Stone as a fresh new group on the music scene.
Did You Know....that Simon Rosenthal who hit .344 in his five year Texas League career was injured during the Normandy Invasion in 1944? During the assault Rosenthal's ship struck a mine off the French coast and he ended up a paraplegic. He had enlisted over age after his son Irwin "Buddy" Rosenthal, 17, was killed in the First Marine Division's invasion of Gloucester Cape, New Britian on Christmas Day 1943. In later years despite his handicap, Rosenthal devoted his efforts toward polio drives, aid to the blind, fighting cerebral palsy, and countless other charity campaigns. He was also active in several veterans' organizations including the Jewish War Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and Military Order of the Purple Heart. Rosenthal was even praised in his hometown of Boston from people such as the Archbishop of Boston Richard J. Cushing, and the Mayor John F. Collins who in 1960 formally declared a "Si Rosenthal Day". On March 28, 1963 he was honored at a testimonial staged by the Disabled American Veterans for his service in the fostering of brotherhood. Here's one more instance that shows just how great a humanitarian Simon Rosenthal was: In 1967 Catholic Priests of the Divine Word Seminar dedicated a gymnasium at Bay St. Louis, MS to Rosenthal for his part in teaming with Father Charles Burns of Greenville, MS in raising $55,000 of the $120,000 then needed for the gym. In honoring Rosenthal the Seminary noted that he contributed $5,000 of his own money and raised another 10,000 from personal friends across the nation.
Did You Know....that the San Antonio uniforms in 1898 were gray, with the words San Antonio lettered in Garnet across the breast. The "Gentlemen" also wore garnet stockings, lacking only a matching cap.