This Date in Cedar Rapids Professional Baseball – June 25, 1949 – CR Rockets Sweep Rockford in Doubleheader

Jack Cookman (Cedar Rapids Rockets – 1949) and his family joined us at the ballpark yesterday afternoon as the Kernels defeated Beloit for our first win of the second half. We kept his group busy with another Kernels Timeline tour, numerous introductions, a first pitch and a radio booth visit for an interview with Morgan Hawk. The southpaw can still bring it to the plate. Jack also brought in some great old photos from the 1949 season to donate to our Hall of Fame. I have to get them scanned to share. We are glad to have you and your family back anytime Jack. Thanks to Kernels photographer Stevie Pedersen for the shots of Cookman’s first pitch. I decided to stick with the 1949 team with today’s look back at Cedar Rapids Professional Baseball history.

This following article was written by Pat Harmon and was published in the June 26, 1949 edition of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. It contained coverage of a Central Association doubleheader against the Rockford Rox held on June 25, 1949. The 1949 Cedar Rapids Rockets featured one player who played in Major League baseball either before or after their time in Cedar Rapids (Packy Rogers). Pro Football Hall of Famer Emlen Tunnell was also a member of the 1949 Cedar Rapids Rockets squad.

Rockets Top Rockford Twice, 3-0, 5-1. Cassidy, Schroer Hurl Wins

The Cedar Rapids Rockets won their first double header of the season by beating Rockford, 3-0 and 5-1, Saturday night on the expert pitching of left-handed Gene Schroer and right-handed Dick Cassidy.

They held Rockford to three hits in 16 innings. Schroer pitched a 2-hit shutout in the opener, which went seven frames. In the second game, Cassidy allowed one hit and one unearned run. He missed a no-hitter on Bob Dill’s towering fly to the left field fence in the third inning. Paul Slaughter misjudged it and it landed for a double.

Jarring John Tanner helped Cassidy’s cause in the second game with a third-inning homer, his 14th of the season. Smacko Joe Macko of Burlington also hit his 14th Saturday night in another Central Association game, and they are tied for the league lead.

The twin pitching masterpieces were witnessed by 2,160 clients, including 772 special ladies’ night admissions. Tonight, the Rockets open a series against Burlington with Joe Meshelski, who pitched a one-hitter over Clinton on June 18, on the mound. Cedar Rapids and Burlington will play a doubleheader Monday at 6:30 p.m., with Jim Johnson and Jack Bremer or Lou Michels the probable local pitchers.

The fielding of the Rockets, particularly that of the 18-year old shortstop, Roger Scoles of Ute, Ia., touched new heights Saturday. Scoles handled 12 chances and figured in three double plays. His most spectacular  act was in the second game. After Dale Hess had slashed the ball off the pitcher’s glove, it was bounding for the open spaces by second base, but Scoles scooped it in and turned it into a double play.

Jay Sousley also pulled two dazzlers around first base, and Tanner ended the evening with a running catch over his shoulder of pinch hitter Jim Fister’s fly to right field. Tanner, incidently, did not play the first game because of a sore arm. His home run in the second was one of his longest. It cleared the fence just to the left of the scoreboard, high over the 350-foot marker.

Cassidy’s one-hitter in the second game should be explained for those who were there. When Joe Patanelli of Rockford was ruled safe at first by umpire Roxie Lawson in the first inning, the scoreboard flashed the “hit” sign from the official scorer. But Lawson, when questioned, said he had called the runner safe because the fielder failed to tag the bag, not because Patanelli had beaten the throw, which was from Sousley to Cassidy. Under the rules of the official scoring manual, this had to become an error.

Cassidy walked seven and hit Dill, the Rockford manager so that the Rox got a man on base every inning save the sixth. Schroer’s two-hitter shaded the picthing of Oje Henning, former University of Minnesota athlete, in the opener. Henning has now pitched three games for the Rox, and they haven’t scored a run for him. He lost his first two starts to Keokuk by identical scores of 2-0. Harry Pritts was his opponent in those games, so he has lost all three to left-handed rivals.

In the first game, Joe O’Brien scored for the Rockets in the third on a passed ball. An Error by Patanelli, sacrifice by Ray Waychoff, walks to Packy Rogers and Sousley and hits by Slaughter and Del Marquardt scored the remaining two runs in the sixth.

The Rockets used a progressive hitting system in the second game, starting with the second inning. Tanner singled, Sousley doubled, Marquardt tripled. That scored two runs. Then in the third Tanner hit for four bases, this time with Rogers on base.

Rogers’ single, Dill’s two-base error in left field, and Sousley’s fly to center brought Rogers in with the last run.

The Rox only run off Cassidy was unearned. Bob Johnson, after walking, went to third on Rogers’ high throw trying to nail Fred Lietz. Johnson scored on Dick Meyer’s fly to right.

Transcribed from the digital archives of the Cedar Rapids Public Library.

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