Results tagged ‘ Cedar Rapids Public Library ’

This Date in Cedar Rapids Professional Baseball – July 29, 1967 – Jerry Reuss Earns 1st professional win

On July 29, 1967, the Cedar Rapids Cardinals defeated the Clinton Pilots 11-0 as Jerry Reuss earned his first professional victory with a two-hit shutout. Reuss, the Cardinals second round pick in the 1967 amateur draft (Ted Simmons was their first rounder that year), struck out 12 and walked only one batter in the opening game of a doubleheader. Raul Guerrero supplied the offense with a grand slam in the third inning and Ted Simmons went 3-4 with three RBI. The Cardinals rallied in game two with a three-run sixth inning to sweep the day’s games with a 4-2 victory. Ted Simmons was 1-3 with a RBI single in the three-run sixth.

This following article was published in the July 30, 1967 edition of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. It contained coverage of a Midwest League contest against the Clinton Pilots held on July 29, 1967. The 1967 Cedar Rapids Cardinals featured five players who played in Major League baseball after their time in Cedar Rapids (Bob Chlupsa, Jerry Reuss, Bob Schaefer, Ted Simmons and Jack Whillock). The 1967 Cedar Rapids Cardinals posted a 53-67 record to finish 8th in the Midwest league under manager Jack Krol.

This Date in Cedar Rapids Professional Baseball – July 18, 1961 – Barry Morgan hero again with final hit

Three members of the 1961 Cedar Rapids Braves team will be returning to Perfect Game Field tonight for our Hall of Fame / Alumni night at the stadium. Ron Hunt (National League All-Star – 1964, 1966), Barry Morgan and Paul Snyder will all be in attendance to take part in the pre-game festivities and sign autographs on the concourse. Today just happens to line up with another Cedar Rapids Braves win back in 1961. The Braves topped the Fox Cities Foxes 5-4 behind Barry Morgan’s league leading 16th HR of the season and a walk off single in the bottom of the ninth which extended his hitting streak to 18 games. Paul Snyder added a pair of hits and had hit safely in 21 of 22 games at that point of the season. Ron Hunt was 1-5 at the plate and scored the winning run in the Braves victory.

This following article was written by Gus Schrader and was published in the July 19, 1961 edition of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. It contained coverage of a Three-I League contest against the Fox Cities Foxes held on July 18, 1961. The 1961 Cedar Rapids Braves featured four players who played in Major League baseball after their time in Cedar Rapids (John Braun, Bruce Brubaker, Ron Hunt and Dick Kelley). Cedar Rapids professional baseball Hall of Fame member Paul Snyder and Barry Morgan, who will join Ron Hunt among others tonight at Hall of Fame / Alumni Night at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Jack Cookman (Cedar Rapids Rockets – 1949) and Bruce Kimm (Cedar Rapids Reds MGR – 1983) are also expected to be in attendance for the festivities. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and first pitch is scheduled for 6:35.

This Date in Cedar Rapids Professional Baseball – July 17, 1961 – Cedar Rapids Braves Keep Winning

Three members of the 1961 Cedar Rapids Braves team will be returning to Perfect Game Field tomorrow night for our Hall of Fame / Alumni night at the stadium. Ron Hunt, Barry Morgan and Paul Snyder will all be in attendance to take part in the pre-game festivities and sign autographs on the concourse. Today just happens to line up with a Cedar Rapids Braves win back in 1961. The Braves topped the Fox Cities Foxes 6-5 behind Barry Morgan’s league leading 15th HR of the season which extended his hitting streak to 17 games. Paul Snyder added a pair of singles and Ron Hunt was 1-3 at the plate and scored a run in the Braves victory.

On a side note, the paper’s sports section was headlined by the news that Ty Cobb had passed away this date back in 1961. In other Cedar Rapids alumni notes of this date in baseball, Lou Boudreau (Cedar Rapids Raiders – 1938), the American League MVP in 1948, was born on this date in 1917.

This following article was written by Gus Schrader and was published in the July 18, 1961 edition of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. It contained coverage of a Three-I League contest against the Fox Cities Foxes held on July 17, 1961. The 1961 Cedar Rapids Braves featured four players who played in Major League baseball after their time in Cedar Rapids (John Braun, Bruce Brubaker, Ron Hunt and Dick Kelley). Cedar Rapids professional baseball Hall of Fame member Paul Snyder and Barry Morgan, who will join Ron Hunt among others tomorrow night at Hall of Fame / Alumni Night at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

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.

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.