Results tagged ‘ Packy Rogers (1949) ’

MLB All-Star Ron Hunt (1960-61) returns to Perfect Game Field tomorrow night

Major League All-Star Ron Hunt (1960-61) is returning to Perfect Game Field tomorrow night along with his fellow Cedar Rapids Braves teammates Barry Morgan (1961) and Paul Snyder (1959, 1961).  They will be on hand as part of our Hall of Fame / Alumni night at the ballpark season here at Veterans Memorial Stadium. The 1961 Cedar Rapids Braves team finished 2nd with a 73-57 record under manager Jimmy Brown. Jack Cookman, a pitcher for the 1949 Cedar Rapids Rockets and former MLB player and manager Bruce Kimm will be returning as well. Kimm managed the 1983 Cedar Rapids Reds squad to a 3rd place finish with a 76-64 record. The most recent Cedar Rapids professional baseball Hall of Fame class featuring John Campbell, Reggie Jefferson (1987-88) and Jack Roeder (CR G.M. 1991-2010) will be featured as part of the evening’s festivities. Kernels manager Jamie Burke (1994) and hitting coach Mike Eylward (2002) will be honored pregame as well. The Cedar Rapids professional baseball alumni will be involved in pregame festivities and will be signing autographs on the concourse during the game if they are not busy working (Burke/Eylward). Jefferson will not be in attendance. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. for our game against the San Diego Padres Midwest league affiliate, the Fort Wayne TinCaps. First pitch is set for 6:35.

Ron Hunt played here in Cedar Rapids in 1960 and 1961. Hunt hit .191 with 3 HR and 33 RBI in 1960 as the Braves finished 71-69 under manager Jimmy Brown. He returned in 1961 and had a great season batting .295 with 16 HR and 25 doubles in 121 games.

Ron Hunt went on to a 12 year MLB career playing for the Mets, Dodgers, Giants, Expos and Cardinals. He finished 2nd to Pete Rose in the National League Rookie of the Year voting after hitting .272 with 10 HR 42 RBI for the Mets in 1963. He led the Mets in hits (145), Batting average, doubles (28), and runs scored (48) playing for Casey Stengal.

Hunt hit the first extra base hit and score the first Mets run at Shea Stadium when it opened. He was the first Mets player to be selected to the All-Star game when he hit .303 with 6 HR and 42 RBI in 1964. The honor was even more special as the game was the only All-Star game to be played in front of the home town Mets fans at Shea Stadium. He was also selected to the 1966 National League All-Star squad.

Ron Hunt was well known for being hit by pitches. He held numerous records for the stat when he retired after the 1974 season. Hunt was also known for being very difficult to strike out. He only struck out 382 times in 6158 plate appearances. Hunt walked 555 times and was hit by a pitch 243 times for comparison. He led the league seven straight years in HBP from 1968-1974.

Paul Snyder (1959, 1961) spent 50 years working in the Braves system on and off the field. He hit .362 with 1 HR and 2 doubles in 15 games in 1959. He returned to hit .310 with 14 HR and 19 doubles in 126 games for the Cedar Rapids Braves in 1961. Snyder posted a .318 batting average, 60 HR and 102 doubles during his 7 year minor league career.

Snyder managed the Greenville Braves in 1963, the Sarasota Braves in 1964 and 1966, the Binghamton Triplets in 1965, the Magic Valley Cowboys in 1970 and the Greenwood Braves in 1972. In 1973, Snyder joined the Braves front office as the assistant minor league administrator prior to taking the reins of the Braves player development system in 1977.

Snyder’s efforts as the Braves’ scouting director (1981-90, 1999-2000), assistant to the General Manager (1991-95, 2001-06), and director of player development (1977-1980, 1996-98) played an integral role as the Braves dominated the National League in the early 1990′s and won the World Series in 1995. He retired following the 2007 season. Baseball America named him one of the top 25 people in baseball in the publications 25th Anniversary issue in 2006.

Barry Morgan (1961) hit .289 with 23 HR and 20 doubles in 130 games for the 1961 Cedar Rapids Braves. Morgan hit .267 with 165 HR during his 12 season minor league playing career reaching as high as AAA playing for the Toledo Mud Hens in 1969 and 1970.

Jack Cookman (1949) 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.

Jack Cookman brought us this photo of a few of the 1949 Cedar Rapids Rockets pitchers posing in front of their bus. Cookman is the one on the lower right corner.

Bruce Kimm, a Norway, Ia. native, played MLB baseball for the Tigers, Cubs and White Sox between 1976-80. Kimm then continued working in baseball as a minor league manager in the Tigers, Reds and Cubs organizations between 1982-2002. Kimm managed the 1983 Cedar Rapids Reds squad featuring future MLB players Chris Sabo and Kal Daniels among others to a 3rd place finish with a 76-64 record. Kimm managed the Chicago Cubs for 78 (33-45 record) games during the 2002 season.

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 – 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.

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