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.

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