Results tagged ‘ Cedar Rapids Gazette ’

Cedar Rapids All Star Games – All-Time Cedar Rapids MWL All Star Selections

The Cedar Rapids Kernels closed out the first half with a four game winning streak. Three Kernels were selected to attend the 2012 Midwest League All-Star game that will be held tonight at Kane County. Kaleb Cowart, Ty Kelley and Stephen Tromblee will represent the West squad and the Kernels at the event. As our other players get a few days off, I will be writing / transcribing a few All-Star stories from our past.

My fourth All-Star installment in the series is a list of every player who has been selected to represent Cedar Rapids at the summer All-Star game. I am still working on the data from 1985-87. Apologies to the Cedar Rapids Reds fans for the data gap. Some reason the Cedar Rapids Gazette archives online are unavailable between 1985 and 1988. I was able to fill some of the gaps utilizing MWLGuide.com and our older programs in the Kernels Hall of Fame Collection. If anyone has the all-star rosters from 1985-87, I would appreciate updated info. Here is my best effort up to this point. 176 Midwest League All-Star selections and counting. Jeff Jones leads the way with three appearances (1980-82). Enjoy the game tonight.

1964 Cedar Rapids Red Raiders – 4 (Link Curtis – OF, Dick Rowe – OF, Bill Stinchcomb – P, Jim Garbeff -P)

1965 – No MWL All-Star game held

1966 Cedar Rapids Cardinals – 3 (Ted Friel – P, Sal Campisi – P, Jose Arcia – 2B)

1967 Cedar Rapids Cardinals – 3 (Bobby Cox – OF, Jim Gruber – 2B, Chuck Schoene – P)

1968 Cedar Rapids Cardinals – 5 (Bob Bonalewicz – C, Bobby Diaz – 2B, Jesse DuBose – P, Luis Melendez – OF, Bob Chulupsa – P)

1969 Cedar Rapids Cardinals – No selections

1970 Cedar Rapids Cardinals – 1 (Rosario Llanos – P)

1971 Cedar Rapids Cardinals – 6 (Hector Cruz – OF, Rob Sievers – 3B, Bob Forsch – P, Felix Roque – P, Ted Hemenway – P, Bruce Thompson – P)

1972 Cedar Rapids Cardinals – 1 (Tony Velazquez – P)

1973 Cedar Rapids Astros – 3 (Fred Mims – 1B, Romualdo Blanco – P, Elano Cuen – P)

1974 Cedar Rapids Astros – 1 (Luis Sanchez – P)

1975 Cedar Rapids Giants – 1 (Brian Felda – OF)

1976 Cedar Rapids Giants – 4 (Jeff Yurak – OF, Wayne Cato – C, Steve Watson – P, Jose Barrios – OF)

1977 Cedar Rapids Giants – 2 (Mark Kuecker – SS, Steve Sherman – P)

1978 Cedar Rapids Giants – 3 (Chili Davis – OF, Craig Hedrick – OF, Pat Alexander – P)

1979 Cedar Rapids Giants – 4 (Paul Plinski – 2B, Mark benson – OF, Johnny Rabb – 3B, Phil Sutton – SS)

1980 Cedar Rapids Reds – 6 (Jeff Jones – OF, Jose Mota – OF, Eski Viltz – SS, Frank DeJuilio – P, Mike Kripner – C, Larry Buckle – P)

1981 Cedar Rapids Reds – 6 (Jeff Jones – OF, Ken Scarpace – OF, Ray Corbett – C, Emil Drzayich – DH, Scot Ender – P, Brad Lesley – P)

1982 Cedar Rapids Reds – 5 (Jeff Jones – OF, Dave Hall – 3B, Freddie Toliver – P, Mark Rothey – P, Curt Heidenreich – P)

1983 Cedar Rapids Reds – 2 (Mike Knox – P, Louie Trujillo – P)

1984 Cedar Rapids Reds – 6 (Danny LaMar – C, Kurt Stillwell – 3B, Mike Manfre – INF, Jordan Berge – OF, Tim Dodd – P, Brian Funk – P)

1985 Cedar Rapids Reds -

1986 Cedar Rapids Reds -

1987 Cedar Rapids Reds -

1988 Cedar Rapids Reds – 7 (Pete Beeler, Greg Lonigro, Bill Dodd, Jeff Forney, Butch Henry – P, Darrell Rodgers – P, Scott Scudder – P)

1989 Cedar Rapids Reds – 5 (Jeff Branson – SS, Adam Casillas – 1B, Benn Colvard – OF, Steve Foster – P, Chris Schnurbusch – INF)

1990 Cedar Rapids Reds – 7 (Ed Taubensee – C, Mike Mulvaney – 1B, Scott Bryant – OF, Reggie Sanders – OF, Dave McAuliffe – P, Victor Garcia – P, Mo Sanford – P)

1991 Cedar Rapids Reds – 3 (Eddie Rush – SS, Larry Luebbers – P, Mark Borcherding – P)

1992 Cedar Rapids Reds – 5 (Brian Koelling, Jon Fuller, Mike Ferry, Steve Gibralter, Kevin Riggs)

1993 Cedar Rapids Kernels – 4 (Tony Chavez, Chris Smith, Michael Wolff, Larry Hingle)

1994 Cedar Rapids Kernels – 5 (Willard Brown, Geoff Edsell, Brooks Drysdale, Tony Moeder, Derrin Doty)

1995 Cedar Rapids Kernels – 9 (Paul Failla, Aaron Iatarola, Greg Morris, Bengie Molina – C, John Donati, Michael Freehill, Dan Petroff, Deshawn Warren, Demond Smith)

1996 Cedar Rapids Kernels – 3 (Larry Barnes – 1B, David Davalillo, Jose Cintron)

1997 Cedar Rapids Kernels – 1 (Rob Sasser – 3B)

1998 Cedar Rapids Kernels – 6 (Dwayne Dobson, Mark Harriger, Doug Nickle, Heath Timmerman, Adam Leggett, E.J. t’Hoen)

1999 Cedar Rapids Kernels – 4 (Jason Hill – C, Mike Christensen – 3B, Randy Duarte – P, Greg Jones – P)

2000 Cedar Rapids Kernels – 2 (Sean Brummett – P, Phil Wilson – P)

2001 Cedar Rapids Kernels – 3 (Johnny Raburn – 2B, Zach Roper – INF, Joel Peralta – P)

2002 Cedar Rapids Kernels – 5 (Jeff Mathis – C, Steve Andrade – P, Dustin Griffith – P, Jon Rouwenhorst – P, Joe Torres – P)

2003 Cedar Rapids Kernels – 6 (Alberto Callaspo – 2B, Erick Aybar – SS, B.J. Weed – OF, Jared Abruzzo – C, Kevin Jepsen – P, Rich Thompson – P)

2004 Cedar Rapids Kernels – 8 (Matt Pali – 1B, Howard Kendrick – 2B, Matt Brown – 3B, Brandon Wood – SS, Bobby Wilson – C, Kevin Jepsen – P, Michel Simard – P, Bob Zimmerman – P)

2005 Cedar Rapids Kernels – 4 (Aaron Peel – OF, Freddy Sandoval – 3B, Bill Edwards – P, Rafael Rodriguez – P)

2006 Cedar Rapids Kernels – 4 (Jordan Renz – OF, Hainley Statia – SS, Nick Adenhart – P, Stephen Marek – P)

2007 Cedar Rapids Kernels – 6 (Hank Conger – C, Chris Pettit – OF, P.J. Phillips – SS, Matt Sweeney – 3B, Doug Brandt – P, Tim Schoeninger – P)

2008 Cedar Rapids Kernels – 4 (Efren Navarro – 1B, Michael Anton – P, Ryan Brasier – P, Trevor Reckling – P)

2009 Cedar Rapids Kernels – 6 (Alexi Amarista – 2B, Tyson Auer – OF, Mike Kohn – P, Manuel Flores – P, Tyler Chatwood – P, Ryan Chaffee – P)

2010 Cedar Rapids Kernels – 7 (Fabio Martinez – P, Garrett Richards – P, Mike Kenney – P, Tyler Skaggs – P, Mike Trout – OF, Casey Haerther – 1B, Jean Segura – 2B)


2011 Cedar Rapids Kernels – 3 (Travis Witherspoon – OF, Dakota Robinson – P, Max Russell – P)

2012 Cedar Rapids Kernels – 3 (Kaleb Cowart – 3B, Ty Kelley – P, Stephen Tromblee – P)

There have also been several Cedar Rapids Managers who have managed or coached at the Midwest League All-Star game. Here are the ones I have identified thus far.

Salty Parker (1976), Randy Davidson (1981), Jim Lett (1984), Dave Miley (1989 & 1990) each managed a Midwest League All-Star game. Rollie Hemsley (1964), Ron Plaza (1966), Roy Majtyka (1970), Bobby Dews (1971), Leo Posada (1973), Wayne Cato (1979) and Bruce Kimm (1983) all coached at the event.

Cedar Rapids All Star Games – 1964 The First Midwest League All Star Game

The Cedar Rapids Kernels closed out the first half with a four game winning streak. Three Kernels were selected to attend the 2012 Midwest League All-Star game that will be held tonight at Kane County. Kaleb Cowart, Ty Kelley and Stephen Tromblee will represent the West squad and the Kernels at the event. As our other players get a few days off, I will be writing / transcribing a few All-Star stories from our past.

Our third All-Star installment in the series is about the first Midwest League All-Star game. The 1964 Midwest League All-Star game was held on Sunday, June 28, 1964. Davenport played host to the game. The Cedar Rapids Red Raiders had four players selected to represent the 1964 Midwest League North All-Stars squad. Dick Rowe started in center field and Link Curtis, the 1963 MWL HR Champ, was slated to start as well but missed his ride to the game and was not at the event. Pitchers Bill Stinchcomb and Jim Garbeff each earned a roster spot and Red Raiders manager Rollie Hemsley was on hand to help coach the North squad.

The North jumped out to a 3-0 lead as Waterloo’s Bob Montgomery hit a two-run HR in the second and added a RBI double in the third, but the North could not hold on as the South rallied to win the game 6-3 with a four run barrage in the bottom of the fifth. Bill Stinchcomb worked 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief and Rick Rowe was 0-4 at the plate. Check out the Cedar Rapids Gazette for the explanation Curtis gave for missing the event.

Here is the coverage from the June 29, 1964 edition of the Cedar Rapids Gazette written by John Berry.

Link-Less North Loses 6-3

One of the links was missing in the Northern All-Stars’ attack here Sunday night as the South team, composed of players from Quad Cities, Burlington, Clinton, Decatur and Quincy, posted a 6-3 victory in the first Midwest League All-Star baseball game in history at Muny Stadium.

A disappointing crowd announced at 1,272 turned out for the game to see the league’s best, but not all of the stars were out on this clear, hot and humid summer night.

Conspicuous by his absence was Cedar Rapids outfielder Link Curtis, last year’s home run champion and author of 10 round trippers already this season. Curtis was slated to start in right field for the North team, composed of players from Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Dubuque, Fox Cities and Wisconsin Rapids, Curtis didn’t show.

The three other Raider All-Stars and manager Rollie Hemsley were on hand and all but relief acre Jim Garbeff saw action. Hemleys coached the entire game at first base. Outfielder Dick Rowe played the entire game in center but failed to get a hit in four trips. Billy Jack Stinchcomb, lanky right-hander, hurled 1 1/3 innings and fanned three, allowing only one infield hit.

Curtis, when reached at home by phone about 7 p.m. – half hour before the game was to start  related the following excuse;

“We were supposed to meet at the (C.R.) ballpark at 4 o’clock to leave for Davenport. Jack Hutchinson (Raider’s first baseman) and I went for a ride in Jack’s car. We were driving around Lake Macbride and ran out of gas. By the time we got back they had already left.”

When asked why Hutchinson didn’t drive him down after the gassed up, Curtis said, “He had a date for Sunday night.” Dubuque’s Joe Taormina replaced Curtis in the North outfield and was one for three at the plate.

The North jumped off to a 3-0 lead with two runs in the second and one in the third. Waterloo’s Bob Montgomery accounted for all three runs with a long homer over the left field fence in the second with hawk teammate Al Montreuil on board and a double in the third with Fox Cities’ Dave May board.

Both May and Montreuil had got on with singles. Taormina’s hit followed Montgomery’s clout in the second and those were the only North safeties until shortstop Dave Nelson of Dubuque singled in the ninth with one out. he died on second.

The South scored twice in the third inning on a singles by Euesbo Rosas of Burlington and a homer by Quincy’s Bob Iglesias. The South wrapped it up by scoring four in the fourth, three unearned, as 10 hitters paraded to the plate.

There were four hits in the inning, the big one being a double by Decatur’s Bob Marshall. It was following Marshall’s double that the weirdest play of the game occurred. Pinch hitter Jim Sollami walked and the fourth ball delivered was a wild pitch. catcher Bob Montgomery couldn’t find the ball and Marshall came all the way around to score. When Montgomery did find the ball he threw wildly to second and Sollami went all the way to third.

Waterloo’s Luis Pelliot made his first pitching start as a professional when he drew the assignment for the North team. Pelliot has a 6-1 record for the Hawks, all in relief.

Righthander Lester Mundel of the Quad Cities was awarded the victory. he pitched the last three innings and didn’t allow a hit while fanning six North stars. Dick Peterson, the only Wisconsin Rapids player to make the All-Star team, was the losing pitcher for the North. Peterson, a left-hander was touched for only one hit, Marshall’s double. He was a victim of three unearned runs out of the four scored on him but an error he committed himself by fumbling a sacrifice bunt in the fatal fourth contributed to his downfall.

Cedar Rapids pitcher Billy Stinchcomb may have found out here Sunday night that if his career as a baseball player ever falters he may have a future as a baseball clown. Billy assisted Johnny Johnson in his routine before the game and proved most capable. He was exceptionally adept at playing in a pantomime routine, the role of a manager pulling out a pitcher after he had been shelled.

Waterloo’s Montgomery, who drove in all the North runs, had a couple of “passed balls” in Saturday night’s game at Burlington. Waterloo Courier Sports Editor Bob Herdien reports that after Montgomery had been called out on strikes for the second time, a couple of pitches “got by him” in the next inning and caught plate umpire amidships.

Transcribed from the Digital Archives of the Cedar Rapids Public Library.

Cedar Rapids All Star Games – 1981 Midwest League All Star Game

The Cedar Rapids Kernels closed out the first half with a four game winning streak. Three Kernels were selected to attend the 2012 Midwest League All-Star game that will be held on Tuesday night at Kane County. Kaleb Cowart, Ty Kelley and Stephen Tromblee will represent the West squad and the Kernels at the event. As our other players get a few days off, I will be writing / transcribing a few All-Star stories from our past.

Our second All-Star installment for today is the 1981 Midwest League All-Star game that was held on June 20, 1981. Cedar Rapids played host and brought in the San Diego Chicken as part of the evening’s entertainment. I actually worked an internship for The Famous Chicken for the better part of a summer traveling the country in his “Rock Star” bus.

The Cedar Rapids Reds were represented by 6 players on the 1981 Midwest League South All-Stars squad. Ray Corbett, Emil Drzayich, Scot Ender, Jeff Jones, Brad Lesley and Ken Scarpace each earned a roster spot and Reds manager Randy Davidson led the South squad.

The North squad built a 4-0 lead but the South squad battles back to tie the game. It was knotted up at 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth when Jeff Jones came through with a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to win the game 5-4. Five of Cedar Rapids representatives played in the game. Brad Lesley was held out of action as he was promoted to AA Waterbury.

Here is the coverage from the June 21, 1981 edition of the Cedar Rapids Gazette written by Mark Dukes.

South Wins in bottom of 9th

If he’s looking for a more dramatic act, the San Diego Chicken might want to track down the guy who wrote the script for Saturday night’s Midwest League all-star baseball game.

The Chicken delighted an estimated crowd of 3,100 fans at Memorial Stadium until the seventh inning with a variety of skits, then went outside the main gate to oblige hundreds of autograph seekers.

But the late-inning drama was reserved for the all-stars – and the crowning touch came from Jeff Jones of the Cedar Rapids Reds. With one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, Jones lofted a long fly ball to right field that easily scored Henry Cotto of Quad City, giving the Southern Division a 5-4 win over the Northern Division.

Cotto started the inning with a double and went to third on a ground out. The North manager Bill Plummer of Wausau elected to intentionally walk Burlington’s Murphy Su’a and Carlos Ponce to load the bases.

Jones slammed the first pitch, a fastball, from Wausau’s Tom Brennan for the game-winner. “I was shocked to see them walk the bases full,” Jones said. “When they did, I knew he had to throw me strikes. I liked the chance, because I didn’t come through in the seventh.”

In the seventh with the score tied, 4-4, Jones struck out with two outs and the bases loaded. “It seems so easy one time and so hard the next,” he said. “We could have used another run last night (Friday, when the Reds lost the first half finale 3-2 to Clinton). Actually, in the ninth inning, I was still mad about The Chicken attacking my girlfriend (Lynn Garvey).”

Jones was jesting about being upset with The Chicken, who pulled Garvey atop the dugout at one point as part of his act. The Chicken, in the person of Ted Giannoulis, captured the crowd’s attention by: soliciting cheers for both teams, dancing creatively to western and rock music, having a mock argument with home plate umpire Ray Kluever, Wading through the stands to shake hands with kids, and among other things, displaying his version of the way to run the bases.

The North team, led by 10 members of first half champion Wausau, looked as if it might turn the game into a rout during the first four innings. The North scored one run in each of the first four innings, slapping 11 hits off start Scot Ender of Cedar Rapids and reliever Tom Smith of Quad City.

But over the final four innings, Clinton’s Greg Bangert and Quad City’s Jim Gerlach yielded just one hit and retired 14 of the last 16 North batters, the final seven in a row.

Cedar Rapids all-stars contributed amply to the South attack. Designated hitter Emil Drzayich singled home a run in the two-run fourth inning, center fielder Ken Scarpace cut the South deficit to 4-3 in the fifth with a RBI single, and Jones tied it in the sixth with a run scoring double. Catcher Ray Corbett also singled in three at bats.

“It was a great game for the Reds and a helluva game and a lot of fun for everyone else,” said South manager Randy Davidson of Cedar Rapids. “It’s a good thing we won in the ninth, because it was agreed the game would be called after nine innings since we were running out of pitchers.”

The North got run-scoring singles from Wausau’s Kevin King in the first, Jim Eisenreich of Wisconsin Rapids in the second and Wausau’s Enrique Diaz in the third. Harold Reynolds of Wausau tallied in the fourth on a passed ball.

Cedar Rapids star relief pitcher Brad Lesley was one of five South pitchers who did not see action. part of the reason was that Lesley has been promoted to Class AA Waterbury (Conn.) and was scheduled to leave today. he posted a 4-1 record, 12 saves and 0.80 earned run average during the first half to help the Reds tie for the championship.

Transcribed from the Digital Archives of the Cedar Rapids Public Library.

Cedar Rapids All Star Games – 1949 Central Association All Star Game

The Cedar Rapids Kernels closed out the first half with a four game winning streak. Three Kernels were selected to attend the 2012 Midwest League All-Star game that will be held on Tuesday night at Kane County. Kaleb Cowart, Ty Kelley and Stephen Tromblee will represent the West squad and the Kernels at the event. As our other players get a few days off, I will be writing / transcribing a few All-Star stories from our past.

We start today with the 1949 Central Association All-Star game that was held on July 13, 1949. Cedar Rapids hosted the event during the inaugural season at Veterans Memorial Stadium during our first season of professional baseball following World War 2. Cedar Rapids did not field a team from 1943-1948. Packy Rogers was selected to manage the North squad in the game. Six Cedar Rapids Rockets were selected to attend the event. Del Marquardt, Roger Scoles, and Jack Tanner were selected as starters while Lou Michels, Lou Percy, and Gene Schroer made the squad as reserves.

The South squad would defeat the North 13-4. Roger Scoles, the starting shortstop for the North, was selected as the fan’s choice as the most valuable player. Scoles handled five putouts and had five assists while going 1-4 at the plate. The voting done in the stands favored Cedar Rapids players with a Rockets player appearing on more than half of the ballots. Jack Tanner was 1-4 with a HR in the game. Del Marquardt started at catcher and went 1-2 with a double.

Here is the coverage from the July 14, 1949 edition of the Cedar Rapids Gazette written by Pat Harmon.

Favored South Wins All-Star Tilt, 13-4

Jack Tanner and Wopinek Hit Homers

Them That has gits. This stunning phrase, applied by a Civil War general 85 years ago, was appropriate again Wednesday night, when North and South met in another internecine challenge at Memorial Stadium. The South all-stars had seven of the leading batters of the Central Association, five of the eight top pitchers, and all the first division teams. The North had what was left.

So the South won. Natch. The score was 13-4 and all the talent ran true to form. Even 2,298 spectators were performing in regular season style. They booed the umpires when the came onto the field. Even Packy Rogers of Cedar Rapids, the resident genius of the North strategy cabinet, was in customary tongue. He inquired dramatically of umpire Red Mackay’s final decision and then walked a few paces with the arbiter, arm in arm, laughing.

Walt Wenclewicz, the 6-foot 5-inch Kewanee tower who had shown Cedar Rapids fans so much in two games here last saturday and Sunday, was the winning pitcher. he worked three innings and had a 5-1 lead when he turned the game over to Wallie Rush, the 17 year old pitching prodigy from Burlington.

Gene Schroer of Cedar Rapids, who has won six and lost one to become of of the leading light of Northern pitchers, was tapped for a 4-1 portion of that deficit. Since the North never caught up, he fell heir to the role of losing pitcher.

Picking a towering star out of the field of all-stars would be difficult. Wenclewicz was just as he had looked here last week – almost untouchable. John Poliak of Rockford was the only man to get three hits, but there were eight others who got two. Some of them might have had more if the had not retired to let other performers take their turn.

George Wopinek of Keokuk hit a home run with none aboard for the South in the seventh inning. Jack Tanner of Cedar Rapids came to bat for the North in the eighth with one on base and hit perhaps his longest home run of the year. The Central Association homre run leader popped the ball clear over the outer fence in left center field.

Even among these top notchers, the best in the league , the fielding ace was a rookie shortstop from Cedar Rapids who celebrated his 18th birthday a week ago – Roger Scoles from Ute, IA. He handled five putouts and five assists and knocked down three other balls on which he couldn’t throw the man out at first but which kept from becoming more dangerous hits.

Transcribed from the Digital Archives of the Cedar Rapids Public Library.

This Date in Cedar Rapids Professional Baseball – June 16, 1954 – Art Pennington HR, CR 10, Peoria 9

This full article was written by Gus Schrader and was published in the June 17, 1954 edition of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. It contained coverage of a Three-I League game against the Peoria Chiefs held on June 16, 1954. The 1954 Cedar Rapids Indians featured three players who played in Major League baseball either before or after their time in Cedar Rapids (Bob Anderson, Dick Drott and Al Unser). Art Pennington, a long-time resident of Cedar Rapids, also played for the 1953 and 1954 squads. Pennington hit .345 with 16 HR to win the Three-I League batting title in 1954. He had played for the Chicago American Giants and the Birmingham Black Barons in the Negro Leagues between 1941-45.

Special to the Gazette, Peoria, Ill.

5 C.R. Homers for 3rd in Row!

Nothing like Woodruff field in Peoria to accomplish miracles for the Cedar Rapids Indians. Cedar Rapids clubbed out five home runs for the third time in four games here this season as the Indians defeated Peoria, 10-9, in a 10-inning thriller Wednesday night. It was the first time this season that Cedar Rapids has won as many as three games in a row.

The thing that crushed a crowd of 1,320 was that Peoria blew a 7-0 lead in the game. The Chiefs earned this edge in the second inning at the expense of the Indians top pitcher Len McClure. Big Ed Funai checked the Peoria sluggers the rest of the way until the 10th, while his mates were busy chopping homers off two Peoria pitchers.

In the 10th, Art Pennington drilled his ninth homer of the year over the 370-foot centerfield fence with no one aboard. Then, after Earl Birnel walked, Benny Kozub smashed the Indians fifth homer over the high screen on the 285-foot right field fence.

That was Kozub’s first homer for the Indians in the parts of two seasons he has played for Cedar Rapids. Turned out the Indians needed Kozub’s homer too, as Funai finally weakened in the last of the tenth and Peoria scored two runs off him before Ray Coombs rushed in to bring about the final out.

The teams will go at it again tonight at 8 in the second game of the series. Elio Scarpa, Peoria’s leading pitcher, looked like a cinch to grab his eighth victory of the season as his mates presented hime with a seven-run margin in a big second inning uprising against McClure.

A Cedar Rapids outfield error combined with singles by Bob Rand, Gene Faszholz, Jim McClung, Scarpa, Mike Trapani and a grand slam homer over the left field fence by Bob Kosis supplied the punch. Funai came in to pitch to Rand on his second appearance in the inning and that was the end of the Peoria scoring until the 10th inning.

Scarpa ran into home run trouble in the third when Funai belted the ball over the right field fence with one on and Bill Beery dumped one in the same sector. The ejection of catcher Percy Hough after a dispute with umpire Dick Gustavo and an injury to Emil Borgini in that inning brought Don Lauters in to catch, sent Art Pennington to right field and put ailing John Kreuter on first.

Funai quieted the Peoria bats with just four blows through the ninth and his cohorts tied the score in the seventh when Kreuter and Funai singled ahead of Beery’s second home run blast. In the 10th then, Pennington batting right handed against southpaw John Balay, hammered the ball over the center field fence with one out. Balay walked Earl Birnel and Kozub gave Bill Prince’s outfit the payoff runs with a four base punch to right.

Th Chiefs gave it a try in their half of the frame as Bob Vogel singled for Balay to lead off. Sam Goody bunted for a base hit but it turned out to be only a sacrifice. Tucker dragged the ball past the pitcher for a hit and Trapani’s hard shot to Olczak in left scored Vogel from third. Bob Shawver’s single drove Tucker across after the Peoria outfielder swiped second.

Coombs then replaced Funai and ended the game by making Kosis pop to Ray Bellino at short. Funai had good stuff until the 10th, striking out eight and walking five. Balay gave up not a hit after taking over in the seventh until the 10th when Pennington connected for his homer.

Gus Mancuso, former Cardinals catcher and now an ivory hunter for the Redbirds, viewed Wednesday night’s contest as the start of quite a tour which will take him to five of six of the Cardinal farms in the higher classifications.

Averaging 4 Homers a Game at Peoria

Man, those Cedar Rapids Indians love that Peoria baseball park more than Art Pennington loves southern fried chicken! If you’re in a mood for devouring some simple statistics, look at what the Indians have done in their four games at Peoria so far.

In four games, they have clubbed 61 hits, scored 51 runs and poled 16 home runs. Cedar Rapids has won three of the games there by scores of 18-12, 18-10 and 10-9 while Peoria won the other game 8-5. If the Indians could stay at Peoria all season they would win the pennant at that rate and break every known hitting record.

Art Pennington has blasted four homers in four games there. Johnny Olczak, Bill Beery and Ray Bellino have hit two each and Earl Birnel, West Westfall, Percy Hough, Don Lauters, Ed Funai and Ben Kozub each one.

The remarkable thing about Wednesday night’s 10-9 win at Peoria was the way the Indians came back from a 7-0 deficit with a patched up crippled up lineup. When the Indians left home, Manager Bill Prince said he intended to rest first baseman John Kreuter for several days to allow his severe charlie horse a chance to heal.

But then Percy Hough got himself kicked out by umpire Dick Gustavo and Prince had to use Emil Borgini, the catcher who has been on the shelf with a convalescent eye and a pulled side muscle. Borgini discovered he couldn’t swing it, and that brought about an emergency situation.

Don Lauters solved it by taking up the tools of ignorance and catching the rest of the way without so much as a passed ball. Although, Lauters hadn’t caught previously this season, it wasn’t exactly new. He played all nine positions last year for Albuquerque.

So the limping Kreuter went to first base , sending Pennington back to right field. And that’s the shape the Indians were in when they came in on a wing and a prayer with that 10-inning victory, their third in a row.

The failure of Borgini to make it means the Indians need catching reinforcement badly. Some have been hoping that Jim Fanning might be sent here from the Beaumont club, but the 1953 Indians star apparently is going too well for such a change.

The Cubs have signed a highly regarded right handed pitcher named Richard Drott of Cincinnati, and he is to be sent here on option from the Beaumont club. The kid got quite a bonus for signing.

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

This Date in Cedar Rapids Professional Baseball – June 15, 1949 – Emlen Tunnell Breaks the Central Association’s Color Barrier

Emlen Tunnell was a member of the 1949 Cedar Rapids Rockets squad. Tunnell joined the Rockets on this date in 1949 and went 2-5 in his pro debut while breaking the Central Association’s color barrier and becoming the first African American to play minor league baseball in Iowa after Jackie Robinson broke the MLB color barrier. Tunnell played in five games over four days for Cedar Rapids gathering five hits in 18 plate appearances while playing in the outfield for the Rockets.

“After the game on June 18, 1949, Adam Pratt, the Rockets owner said “(Emlen) came to us after the game and said he was going home, his bag was already packed.  He said he hadn’t been doing as well as he should and since he would have to leave before the season was over anyway to join the (New York Giants) football club, he had decided to go.’ – from ‘EmlenTunnell, Minor League Less Than’ by Steve Smith

Tunnell played in nine pro bowls during his 14 seasons in the NFL playing safety for the New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers. He played two seasons for the University of Iowa’s football team (1946-47) following his service in the Coast Guard during World War 2. Most NFL teams thought he would return for a third season at Iowa, but he reached out to the Giants searching for professional opportunities. Tunnell became the first African American to play for the New York Giants. He would become the first African American to be enshrined into the Pro Football hall of Fame.

Emlen Tunnell finished his Hall of Fame NFL career with 79 interceptions for 1282 yards and 4 TD. Tunnell had 2217 yards in punt returns including 4 TD and 1215 yards in kickoff returns including 1 TD. He also passed for 50 yards and rushed for 43 during his career. At the time of his retirement in 1961, he held the NFL record with 79 career interceptions

Emlen Tunnell continued to be a part of the New York Giants team following his playing career as he became a scout and then became the first African American assistant coach in the NFL

This following article was written by Pat Harmon and was published in the June 16, 1949 edition of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. It contained coverage of a Central Association game against the Kewanee Athletics held on June 15, 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).

The Drouth is Broken: Rockets Smite Kewanee, 16-2

Schroer Gives 6 Hits; Tunnell Makes Debut

A man can take only so much. he can be pushed around only so far. After he has been kicked once too often, he will kick back, but good. The Cedar Rapids Rockets kicked back, but good, Wednesday night in Memorial stadium. The cuffed the Kewanee Athletics like a tribe of men suddenly let out of a cage. The score was 16-2, as the Rockets choked their 11-game losing streak.

Gene Schroer,  a 6-foot, 180-pound left-hander from Topeka, Kansas, pitched his first Rocket game, and Cedar Rapids would like to see more like this. He  had a way of bending his long left arm in the direction of first base and sweeping the plate with a crossfire that kept Kewanee on tenderhooks all night. It was the motion of a sort of a left handed, and minor-league Ewell Blackwell.

Schroer walked eight, but he struck out the same, and he gave six hits, all in the last four innings. While Schroer was stopping the Athletics, the Rockets were unwinding their pent up batting hopes. They collected 17 hits, including four by Lou Percy and three each by Jay Sousley and Roger Scoles. Everyone except John Tanner got a hit.

The game was also distinguished by the debut of the Central Association’s first negro player, Emlen Tunnell. The former University of Iowa half back, now property of the New York football Giants, was at bat five official times and hit two Texas Leaguers. he also whiffed twice. Playing left field for Cedar Rapids, he had no fielding chances.

Tunnell, who flew here Wednesday from his home in Garrett Hill, Pa. will be available to the Rockets until August, when he departs for the pro football training camp.

The Rockets got enough free runs in the first inning to clinch the victory. parker Swam, who had a record of three victories and two defeats prior to this game, started for the Athletics and he had everything Santa Claus ever offered except a set of whicskers. he faced seven men and walked six. By the time Bob Tweedie had succeeded him, the Rockets had accumulated three runs gratis.

Tweedie pitched the last 8 2/3 innings without rest, though rapped for 17 hits, because the Athletics only have five pitchers on this trip. The same teams were to meet again here Thursday, with Dick sawyer pitching for Kewanee and Jim Johnson for Cedar Rapids.

Foerstner Delivers

Emlen Tunnell didn’t want to come to Cedar Rapids, because of what people might think of him for leaving the University of Iowa football team. For three weeks the Rockets had been trying to get him, and he finally surrendered Wednesday. He stepped off a plane at 6 p.m. and was playing left field two hours later.

“I didn’t know if I’d be welcome if I came back to Iowa,” he explained. “Some folks out here gave me a hard time because I quit the university before my elgibility was used up. I got some letters from them last year when I was with the Giants, but they didn’t sign any names.

Tunnell had quit the football squad during the 1947 football season, rejoined it for the last two games, and then left school for good. That Tunnell was in Cedar Rapids uniform Wednesday, the first negro to play in the Central Association, was due to George Foersterner of Amana. It was Foerstner who first suggested to the Rockets through this writer, that they contact Tunnell. He had used Tunnell on the famous Amana Freezers, managed by Hal Trosky in 1947. He felt that Tunnell could help the Rockets.

The Rockets wrote Tunnell but received no answer. They asked Foersterner to phone him. Tunnell promised to come but did not show up. That was two weeks ago. Foerstner called again and this time the former Iowa halfback took the plane from Philadelphia near his home of Garrett Hill, Pa and came in.

Tunnell played left field Wednesday and said it was the first time he had played outfield this season. “I’ve been pitching and playing shortstop and third base three or four games a week back home. I’ve also been playing in a summer basketball league one night a week.”

He obtained an agreement with the Rockets that he may leave in August, whhen the pro football training starts. It was recently announced that Tunnell had signed for his second season with the New York football Giants and that he would be used on offense this season. “I hope it’s true,” he said Wednesday. “That offense is a lot easier. I played defense last year, and I’ve been hearin’ I might be the safety this year.

I want to see Dr. Eddie Anderson. i know I owe my pro football career to him. They told me at the Giants they wouldn’t have signed me unless Dr. Eddie had put on his okay. If I see him, I want to ask him about that safety position, too. I might have to learn something about it.

“I hope they use me on offense, and at right halfback in the T formation. We’ll have a better team this year. Bill, Kay, Joe Grothus and Ralph Doran from Iowa will be with us. I’ve never see Doran, but they tell me he’s good. Tunnell got two hits and struck out twice Wednesday. he looked weak a couple times reaching for wide pitches, but he may have been too tired. He traveled all day.

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

Welcome back to Cedar Rapids Jack Cookman (Cedar Rapids Rockets – 1949)

Every so often I get the honor of meeting a former Cedar Rapids alumni who happens to drop by the area to check in on the stadium and remember ballgames of the past. I was lucky enough to meet Jack Cookman (1949 Cedar Rapids Rockets) this morning. Jack was in town for personal business and dropped by to see the facility. He ran into Jim Curran, once again fixing stuff at the stadium, who tracked me down while we were prepping for tonight’s game.

I gave Jack a tour of our Cedar Rapids Baseball Timeline located on our suite level and shared our 1949 Cedar Rapids Rockets display along the way. K.C. Waycoff, one of our ushers, had brought in several items of interest from his father’s playing days. Ray Waycoff was also a Cedar Rapids Rocket in 1949 and had saved letterhead with team logos, numerous correspondences and even a special opening day ticket to the first game at the original Veterans Memorial Stadium. We also have a team signed ball on display from the ’49 team with manager Packy Rogers autograph on the sweet spot.

Jack shared a lot of stories along the way as we toured the Timeline area and checked out our Cedar Rapids Professional Baseball Hall of Fame area in our souvenir store. He said he and a couple other players were actually fined 10% of their pay for not participating in what basically amounted to a full fledged brawl during one of the games. Jack and a couple players from each team watched the battle from the pitchers mound staying out of the fray. Player manager Packy Rogers came out of the battle worse for wear and had noticed their inactivity and fined the group.

Jack also told a story of pitching and winning both ends of a doubleheader. It reminded me of another great feat by a Cedar Rapids professional baseball alum, Dutch Levsen (Cedar Rapids Bunnies – 1923). Levsen is still in the baseball record books and likely will hold his spot in history forever as the last pitcher to tally complete game victories in both ends of a doubleheader. Levsen, born in Wyoming, IA and an Iowa State University alum, shutdown the Boston Red Sox in game one (6-1) and game two (5-1) as the Cleveland Indians swept a double header on August 26, 1928.

Jack Cookman couldn’t remember the date of the games, but through some digging using the Cedar Rapids Public Library’s Digital Archives of the Cedar Rapids Gazette, I was able to find the event, which occurred on July 17, 1949. Cookman remembered the date fondly stating he had annoyed his manager during the first game pitching a lot of inside pitches which gave Packy Rogers a lot of work at third base. Rogers urged Cookman to work the outside corner more as he didn’t need anymore ‘practice’. When Cookman continued to work the inside corner, his punishment was being sent back out for game 2 after picking up the win with a seven inning complete game shutout  in game 1 (6-0). Cookman worked 7 more shutout innings in game 2 before the Rockford Rox picked up one run in each of the eighth and ninth innings. Jack earned his second win of the day with his second complete game of the day as the Rockets defeated Rockord 11-2 in nine innings. In another rare feat, Jack Tanner hit three HR in game 2 to lead the way offensively for the Rockets. Tanner’s 37 HR in 1949 has only been bested once in Cedar Rapids baseball history (Jeff Jones hit 42 HR for the 1982 Cedar Rapids Reds).

Jack Cookman posted a 9-9 record with a 4.89 E.R.A. in 29 games for the 1949 Cedar Rapids Rockets in the first year of professional baseball following a six year absence due to World War 2. The 1949 Rockets finished in fourth place in the Central Association with a record of 63-67 under manager Packy Rogers guidance. 1949 was Cookman’s final season in the minors due to an arm injury. He had played two season with the Fon du Lac Panthers, the New York Yankees affiliate in the Wisconsin State League in 1947 and 1948 before coming to Cedar Rapids. We hope Jack and his family may catch a few baseball games this season and he has an open offer to throw out a first pitch at his convenience.

Thanks again for visiting us and sharing your stories Jack. Hope to see you again soon.

Cookman Pitches, Wins Doubleheader, 6-0, 11-2 – Cedar Rapids Gazette, July 18, 1949 edition

This Date in Cedar Rapids Professional Baseball – June 11, 1952 – Rocky Colavito’s Final C.R. HR

This full article was written by Gus Schrader and was published in the June 12, 1952 edition of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. It contained coverage of a Three-I League game against the Davenport Tigers held on June 11, 1952. The 1952 Cedar Rapids Indians featured six players who played in Major League baseball either before or after their time in Cedar Rapids (Orie Arntzen, Jimmy Bloodworth, Rocky Colavito, Bud Daley, Billy Harrell and Dolan Nichols). Al Smith, a long-time member of the Cedar Rapids baseball board of directors, also played for the 1952 squad. Colavito’s HR in this game was his last he would hit in Cedar Rapids.

3 Points from 3rd, C.R. Hits Road

The rich are getting poorer and the poor are getting richer in the Three-I League. The top two clubs were dealt the old equalizer again Wednesday night, Evansville dropping a 7-0 loss at Burlington and Cedar Rapids giving away another chunk of charity to slowly reviving Davenport, 10-5.

Cedar Rapids now is in a virtual tie with Keokuk for second place, leading the Kernels by three percentage points. Evansville, which maintained its three-game lead over the Indians, has managed only three hits each of the last two nights.

But recent games have been especially hard on the Indians. Playing at home in eight games, they won only three and lost five against three second division foes. It was a golden chance to gain on Evansville which now returns home for 10 games.

What makes it worse for the Indians, the sweet pitching and fielding that carried them to the top of the league early in the campaign have suddenly soured. The hitting has improved but not enough to top foes who are collecting 14, 12 and 10 runs a game. The Indians pitchers have had trouble getting the side out, but the blame is not all theirs. In the 12-6 and 10-5 losses of the last two nights, 15 of the 22 Davenport runs have been unearned.

The Indians took the bus Thursday with their agile first baseman, Al Smith, crippled up with an injury to the Achilles tendon in his left foot. Smith was hurt when he stamped down on the first base bag in the fifth inning. he refused to leave the game until the inning was over and the foot started to swell.

It was the same type of injury that benched Smith part of last season. He left Thursday morning on the long (13 days) road trip, but it was certain Smith would miss at least several games.

Wednesday night the Indians gave Davenport six undeserved tallies and bowed to Ewell Utley’s seven-hit pitching despite solid home runs by Rocky Colavito and Mickey Finn. Charlie Bradshaw started and looked like a long lost relative to the Tigers. He gave up 10 hits before manager Jimmy Bloodworth brought in Wally Harr during Davenport’s five-run seventh. Harr got only one man out before Daley came in to finish up.

To the Indians offense goes the credit of catching the Tigers for a 4-4 tie after trailing by 4-1. They did this in the sixth, mainly on doubles by Maley Truss and Finn and shortstop Charlie Moore’s boot. But the enjoyment was short lived for the 1,457 fans. Davenport went out ahead, 9-4, and added another tally in the eighth, also unearned on a low throw to third by Bob Wortman, the catcher who was filling in for the injured Smith.

Colavito hit his eighth homer of the year (he now has five other hits) in the fifth with no one aboard. It left the park by way of the 340-foot spot in left field. Finn’s fifth circuit wallop also was a solo trip. He poled his over the deepest part of the outfield fence, more than 370 feet from home plate in center field.

Bud Stone homered for the Tigers and it also was a one-run blow, leading off the sixth inning. It traveled 350 feet. Keith Jones continued to steal hits from the Indians in center field. He went back to the 370-foot mark to haul down one of Truss’ drives in the fourth, but Truss poked a double over Jones’ reach in the same spot two innings later.

Finn’s two wallops in four trips hiked his average to .275, the highest point of the campaign.

The total adult paid admissions for the first 21 Indian home openings is 41,355, an average of 1,969. That does not include 1,831 ladies and others admitted for the 30-cent ticket, nor the Knotholer”s and other free admissions. The Indians have been rained out six times at home, with one game made up in a doubleheader.

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

This Date in Cedar Rapids Professional Baseball – June 7, 1969 – Larry Bowlby No-Hitter

This article was published in the June 8, 1969 edition of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. It contained coverage of a Midwest League game against the Decatur Commodores held on June 7, 1969. The 1969 Cedar Rapids Cardinals featured three players who played in Major League baseball either before or after their time in Cedar Rapids (Ken Reitz, Jorge Roque and Bob Sadowski). The 1969 squad went on to finish the season with a 55-68 record in the Midwest League under manager Roy Majtyka.

Bowlby Pitches No-Hitter for Cedar Rapids

Larry Bowlby of the Cedar Rapids Cardinals pitched the first no-hitter of his professional career and the first of the Midwest League this year with a 2-0 shutout in 10 innings over Decatur Saturday night in the second game of a twin bill.

Bowlby’s masterpiece, coupled with the Cards’ 5-3 win in the opener, increased C.R.’s winning streak to seven games and moved them into third place in the league standings with an 18-14 record.

It was Bowlby’s first appearance for Cedar Rapids this year, as he joined the club only last Thursday. The 6-5, 215-pounder hurled for Cedar Rapids two years ago, but spent last season with Modesto in the California League.

Saturday night, Larry struck out eight and walked three. One runner was thrown out by catcher Dave Cichon while attempting to steal second. Only one runner reached second and that came in the seventh on Bowlby’s wild pitch.

Four Decatur errors helped the Cards score their three runs in the 10th. Jorge Roque reached base on an error, was sacrificed to second by Gary Marion and came all the way around on Jerry Bartee‘s infield hit. That run proved enough for the win.

Bartee picked up two of the four C.R. hits in the game, with Lou Cosenza and Marion getting the others. It was the seventh straight loss for Decatur and their 10th in the last 11 games.

The Cards scored all their runs in the top of the seventh in the first game, ironically, with the help of five infield hits. However, Hector Navarro got the big blow with a line single that scored two runs and aided Jack Price in winning his first game after two losses.

Transcribed from the digital archives of the Cedar Rapids Library.


This Date in Cedar Rapids Professional Baseball – June 6, 1962 – Cedar Rapids 3, Quad Cities 1

This article was written by Jack Ogden and was published in the June 7, 1962 edition of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. It contained coverage of a Midwest League game against the Quad Cities Angels held on June 6, 1962. The 1962 Cedar Rapids Braves featured one player who played in Major League baseball either before or after their time in Cedar Rapids (Adrian Garrett). The 1962 squad went on to finish the season with a 58-66 record in our first season in the Midwest League.

Olson Fans 14, C.R. Topples Quads, 3-1

Terry Olson made the strikeout his big weopon Wednesday night as he fanned 14 batters and hurled the Cedar Rapids club to a 3-1 victory over Quad Cities. Olson pitched his way out of numerous jams as he stranded 13 Quad City batters to end the brief home stand on a successful note.

Manager Kenny Blackman, who wasn’t around for the finish Wednesday took his squad on a five-day road trip Thursday that includes two games at Burlington and three at Dubuque. Blackman was thumbed out in the third inning by umpire Joe Sentinco as a climax to a bitter argument that ended a strange inning for the home forces.

Dick Harris led off the inning with a walk, but was picked off first by losing pitcher Ed Sukla. Then, with two out, Vern Agnew went all the way to second on an apparent throwing error by third baseman Paul Schall. Quad Cities called for the ball however, and erased the error as Agnew was called out for failing to touch first. That started the argument and before it was over, Blackman was back in the clubhouse.

Sukla gave up only five hits in the seven innings worked, but Cedar Rapids put two of them together for a pair of runs in the second. Chico Diaz, who wound up with two of the six Cedar Rapids hits, started it with a single. He came in on Milt Swift’s triple to right center and Swift tallied on Vince Ferguson’s ground out.

Cedar Rapids, which stranded 10 fewer runners than the losers, got its only other score in the seventh. Diaz tripled to lead off the inning and scored on a sacrifice fly by Swift.

Quad Cities scored its lone run in the fifth when Sulka led off with a bunt single and went to second on a passed ball. Bob Lucas walked and Ed Singleton scored the run with his second double. All told he had three of the eight hits for the losers.

Olson then settled down to fan two batters and pitch his way out of trouble. Olson stranded three runners in the first inning, fanning Bob Johnson and Ramond Alston with the bases loaded, and he left two runners aboard in five other innings.

Quad Cities (1)                  AB    H      RBI

Lucas, SS                             4        1       0

Singleton, 2B                      5        3       1

Schall, 3B                            2        0       0

Taylor, LF                           4        1        0

Johnson, 1B                        5        1        0

Alston, C                              4        1        0

Meyers, CF                          4        0       0

A.Clark, RF                          3        0       0

Mosley                                  1         0       0

G.Clark, P                            0         0       0

Sukla, P                                3         1        0

Koch, RF                              1         0        0

Totals                                  35        8        1

Cedar Rapids (3)               AB      H      RBI

Harris, RF                           3         0        0

Stock, 1B                              4         1        0

Agnew, SS                           4          1       0

Diaz, 2B                               3          2       0

Swift, 3B                              2          1        1

Garrett, CF                          2          0       1

Ferguson, LF                      3          0        1

Hart, C                                 3          1        0

Olson, P                               2          0        0

                                     IP  H  R  ER  BB  SO

Sukla  (L, 1-4)            7    5   3    3      2     5

Clark                            1    1   0    0      0     2

Olson (W, 3-2)           9   8   1     1      5     14

Transcribed from the digital archives of the Cedar Rapids Library.

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