Incredible Performances in Texas League History
1. Walker tosses 15 no-hit innings.
Tom Walker, a right handed pitcher for the Dallas/Fort Worth Spurs, throws a 15-inning no-hitter, beating the host Albuquerque Dodgers 1-0. Enos Cabell's two-out RBI double in the top of the 15th plated the game's only run, causing Spurs manager Cal Ripken to reverse an earlier decision to remove Walker from the game after 14 innings pitched.
2. June 15, 1902: Corsicana 51, Texarkana 3.
The Corsicana Indians were easily the class of the Texas League in 1902, rolling up 27 consecutive victories en route to an 86-22 record and Texas League Championship. Conversely, Texarkana was mired at the tail end of the circuit and would be gone in less than a month, folding at the midway point of the season on July 8. To avoid violating Sunday Blue Laws, the game was moved to Ennis, Texas and played at a ballpark with either short fences or no fences at all (historians are unclear on the point). Regardless, the Indians stroked 21 home runs, led by 19-year-old catcher Justin Jay "Nig" Clarke - who homered in an unbelievable eight consecutive at bats - and cruised to the 48-run decision.
3. Rye's eighth inning for the ages.
Trailing the Beaumont Exporters 6-2 entering the top of the eighth inning on August 6, 1930, Gene "Half Pint" Rye of the Waco Cubs does the impossible by homering three times in the frame and etching his name into the all-time record books. By the time the final out was recorded, Rye had driven in eight of the team's 18 runs that inning, leading the visitors to a 20-7 victory.
4. Fort Worth buries Sand Crabs.
In the greatest outburst of runs in a single inning in league history, the Fort Worth Panthers plate 19 runners in the 4th inning on their way to a 31-4 victory over the Galveston Sand Crabs on June 29, 1896.
5. Guettler powers Sports in '56.
Despite a disappointing seventh place finish in the standings, fans of the 1956 Shreveport Sports cheered outfielder Ken Guettler to a Texas League-record 62 home runs.
6. Kraft leads Fort Worth to record 109 wins.
Clarence "Big Boy" Kraft, the first baseman for the Fort Worth Panthers, drove in a Texas League-record 196 runs to help his club to a 30 1/2-game margin over second place Houston during the 1924 season.
Clarence "Big Boy" Kraft
7. Boone eclipses .400
San Antonio outfielder Ike Boone becomes the last Texas League player to hit .400 or higher when he finishes the 1923 season with a .402 batting average.
8. Dickson blanks Fort Worth - twice!
On the next to the last day of the 1906 season, Walter "Hickory" Dickson starts and wins both ends of a double header to clinch the second half pennant for the Cleburne Railroaders. Dickson tossed identical five hit, 2-0 complete game shutouts against the second place Fort Worth Panthers. The Panthers, some say discouraged by the double header loss, failed to show up for the post season playoff, so Cleburne was awarded the league title in its only season in the loop.
9. Righetti KO's Midland.
Tulsa Drillers' 19-year-old phenom Dave Righetti establishes a record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game when he whiffed 21 Midland Cubs hitters on July 16, 1978. Righetti did not figure in the decision, leaving the game after nine innings with the score tied 2-2, and Midland pushed across two runs in the top of the 10th to steal a 4-2 win. Righetti's mark eclipses the 20 batters struck out by San Antonio's Willie Mitchell on August 21, 1909.
10. Fort Worth Dynasty.
The Fort Worth Panthers established the only true dynasty in league history by finishing first seven consecutive seasons, winning six straight Texas League titles. The Panthers finished the 1919 season in first place, but lost the post-season championship series to Shreveport in six games. The Panthers would not have to play another post season game until 1925, as they won five straight regular season pennants. The Panthers were forced into a playoff with Dallas following the second half of the 1925 season when Fort Worth and Dallas finished the half tied. The Panthers then swept the Steers 3-0 in a playoff to determine the second half champ, winning the TL Crown in the bargain. In addition, the Dixie Series, which pitted the winner of the Southern Association against the champions of the Texas League, began in 1920. Fort Worth won five of the six contests, losing only to Mobile in 1922.
Fort Worth's yearly record and games finished ahead of the second place club:
1920 108-40 +23
1921 107-51 +15.5
1922 109-46 +15
1923 96-56 +13.5
1924 109-41 +30.5
1925 103-48 +17
1923 Fort Worth Cats
11. Diablos beat Golden Gators five touchdowns to three.
On April 30, 1983, the El Paso Diablos pound the Beaumont Golden Gators 35-21. It is the highest single-game run output in TL history.
12. Horne's quartet of homers.
Tyrone Horne of the Arkansas Travelers accomplishes what is believed to be a professional baseball first when he hits for a home run cycle at San Antonio on July 27, 1998. Horne, who would go on to win the league home run title with 37, hit a two-run shot in the first, a grand slam in the second, a solo homer in the fifth and a three-run, opposite field blast to right in the sixth. He struck out in his fifth at bat in the ninth inning, receiving a standing ovation from appreciative Missions' fans after his third cut. Horne produced 10 RBI's in the 13-4 Travelers victory.
13. Turley strikes out 22 in 16.
San Antonio's Bob Turley established a new mark for strikeouts in a single game when he fanned 22 Tulsa Oilers' batters in a 16-inning game in San Antonio on August 11, 1951. The Missions hurler did not get a decision as the contest was called due to darkness after the 16th with the score tied 3-3.
14. Going the distance.
Harry Ables of San Antonio and Arthur Loudel of Waco both pitch all 23 innings of a 1-1 tie at San Antonio on July 5, 1910.
15. Series-clinching no-no.
On September 20, 1959, Austin native Charlie Gorin throws a no-hitter to lead the Austin Senators to a 2-0 win over the Mexico City Red Devils in the fifth and deciding game of the Pan American Series. It is the only occasion when a no-hitter wins the deciding game in a Texas League post season series.
16. Austin 44, San Antonio 0.
On July 23, 1907, in what was turned out to be the most lopsided loss in league history, San Antonio played a disgraceful game in the second contest of a doubleheader. Sulking after a first game forfeit defeat in which there were numerous disputes with the lone umpire, the Bronchos allowed 22 Austin stolen bases, switched positions frequently, let easy chances fall safely and generally made a farce of the game. After the contest, several Austin fans got up a petition to send to league president William Robbie to protest the manner in which the Bronchos were allowed to play.
17. Able-armed hurler.
Harry Ables of San Antonio opens the game at Dallas on August 8, 1910 by striking out the first ten batters the Giants sent to the plate. Ables goes on to win the game 4-2, tossing a four-hitter, while striking out a total of 15 and walking none.
18. Rain, rain, go away.
On September 7, 1913, San Antonio and Galveston finish the regular season with a 49 minute game - won 4-0 by the host Pirates. Amazingly, there are 20 hits in the contest, 13 by the winners. It is said the players were racing to try to beat the approaching rain storms, urged on by management hoping to avoid having to hand out rain checks that would have to be held over to 1914.
19. Consistency pays off for El Paso.
El Paso established a league mark on April 25, 1970 when they scored single runs in all 10 innings of play to beat the visiting Shreveport Braves 10-9. In the wild contest, Shreveport rallied to score four runs in the top of the ninth to take a 9-8 lead, but the Sun Kings answered with their ninth single run in the bottom of the inning. After holding Shreveport scoreless in the top of the tenth, second baseman Rich Shribley sent everyone home happy by driving in the 10th and final run with a two-out single.
20. Piatt wins Triple Crown.
Midland's Adam Piatt wins the Texas League Triple Crown in 1999, the first time the feat has been accomplished in 72 years. Piatt, in just his third year of professional baseball, hits .345 with 39 home runs and 135 RBI. Piatt also paces the circuit in runs scored (128, 28 more than the second-place finisher), total bases (335, the highest total in 45 years), walks (tied at 93), on base percentage (.451), extra base hits (90) and slugging percentage (.704, just the fourth player to lead the Texas League with a mark above .700). He was also second in hits with 164 and doubles with 48. Piatt joined 39-year-old Waco player/manager Del Pratt, who hit .386 with 32 home runs and 140 RBI in 1927 - with 16 more games on the schedule.
21. Cabrera's May a season's worth of production.
El Paso Diablos first baseman Alex Cabrera had a short but amazing stint during the 2000 Texas League season. The 28-year-old Venezuelan, who had not played in the U.S. since 1996, had one of the most spectacular months ever by a professional baseball player. In May of that year, Cabrera hit .394 with 21 home runs (second most ever in pro baseball) and drove in 50 RBI. This included a stretch of hitting a home run in six consecutive games, May 9-14, including five homers in a six at-bat stretch over two games. Although he played in only 82 minor league games, Cabrera finished with a .353 average, 39 homers and 94 RBI. On June 25, Cabrera was rewarded with his outstanding play by being promoted to the Arizona Diamondbacks. He continued his storybook season by hitting a home run in his first major league at-bat and a triple in his second. Cabrera was recognized by several media outlets as the Minor League Player of the Year.
22. Smith's pair of gems.
Arkansas Travelers left-handed pitcher Robert "Bud" Smith entered the record books as he tossed two no-hitters during the 2000 season. Smith joined George Hinrickson of Galveston in 1910, Dode Criss of Houston in 1915 and Larry Maxie of Austin in 1961 as the only Texas Leaguers to accomplish this feat. On May 6, he capped a doubleheader by no-hitting Midland in a seven-inning affair. Smith repeated the feat by no-hitting San Antonio in the second game of a doubleheader on June 11. He compiled a 12-1 record in the Texas League including an 11-game winning streak before being promoted to Triple-A. Smith continued his effective pitching at the next level and was recognized as the Minor League Pitcher of the Year by several media outlets.