At Galvez Field, Bob Stevens (L) of the Babies eyes the short fences and predicts to manager Bob Dorrill: “This will be my first 4-homer day!”
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The day started with the Beach Revue Bathing Beauty Contest!
By the sea! By the sea! By the beautiful sea!
Yesterday, the Houston Babies tangled with their growing friendly arch rival, the Katy Combine, on new, but old and familiar grounds. As part of the Hotel Galvez Beach Central here-comes-summer weekend show, the Babies were only outshone by those other babes who showed up as contestants in the beach girl swim suit beauty contest. Even muscle beach Babies personnel like Bill Hale, Larry Hajduk, and yours truly, Bill McCurdy, couldn’t make the difference this time.
The girls were just too flat-out gorgeous! – Well, the swim suit girls weren’t exactly flat-out, but, I’m just saying – as competition on that level, the Houston Babies weren’t even close to winning any attention-competition with the always alluring and uplifting presence of beautiful ladies.
(Can I say that much without getting into further trouble at home? My gosh, as a veteran of the Spanish-American War, a little slack here would be appreciated.)
As for the game, the Babies and Combine had to make do with a field so small that it brought new sweetness to the old baseball phrase for a park of easy homers. Galvez Field was the juiciest of juice boxes, so much so that Babies Manager Bob Dorrill and Combine Manager Dave Flores agreed prior to the game to an important ground rule: Every ball hit over, past, or through the close-in fence signs would be tagged as a ground rule single. As a result, almost all hits in the game, including those hit on top of the parking garage, were simply singles. A few swinging bunt singles, ground ball worm-burners to the outfield, and copiously repetitious fielding errors also allowed for all the other basemen.
Galvez Field from home plate, looking in to the Hotel Galvez: That sign is one of several that marked the short fence line. It’s what Bob Stevens saw when he called his shot that wasn’t to be due to ground rules.
A pretty young lady named Lynn won the swim suit contest and also threw out the first pitch of the game. That’s the old Pecan Park Eagle himself calling her perfect shot pitch.for our many listeners.
The game was memorable from several standpoints: (1) It was the first the Houston Babies have played in Galveston since 1888; (2) It was a successful demonstration of vintage baseball on The Island, one that we all hope will inspire the resurrection of the Galveston Sand Crabs as the newest of our local area old rules teams; and (3) It gave us all a day at the beach among the beautiful people of Galveston. All participants in the game especially want to thank Adrienne Culpepper and Will Wright of the Beach Central program for the invitation – and also thanks to the Hotel Galvez for their wonderful hospitality.
Beauty Queen Lynn
Murdoch’s to our SW was the destiny for any supernaturally magiccal foul balls that went straight back from the batter’s box. Fortunately, there were none.
As for the game, it was a barn-burner. Katy jumped out to quick big lead – and they even held a 14-6 edge through the 5th inning of our 7-inning game. With Larry Hajduk replacing starter Bob Blair in the bottom of the 5th, the Babies tallied 5 runs in the top of the 6th to narrow their deficit to 11-14. Buffalo Hajduk then helped his own cause with a sterling bit of defensive play in the bottom of the 6th to keep the score at 14-11, Katy, with one inning to go. The Babies then scored another 3 in their last time up to tie things at 14-14. – Hajduk the Elder then shut down Katy in the bottom of the 7th as regulation play ended and darkness drew near. The two clubs mutually agreed to finish their demo game right there with a well-deserved 14-14 tie as the final score.
To our SE was the target area for foul balls down the right field line. With the kind of lob pitching our all BR hittters see, fouls to the right side also were a non-factor.
Larry “Buffalo” Hajduk was named Player of the Game for his late inning relief pitching, his excellent fielding, and his better than average hitting on the day. Way to go, Buffalo!
Babies players batted in this order on the day: Phil Holland, Kyle Burns, Alex Hajduk, Larry Hajduk, Bill Hale, Bob Blair, Robby Martin, Robby Pina, Bob Stevens, and Jo Hale.
Combine players (to the extent that I have them identified) batted in this order: Brandon “Money” Flores, Jimmy “Hay-hauler” Turner, Dave “Triple Play” Flores, Fernando the Panamanian Slugger, Vince “The Viper” Columbo, Jeff “Slim” Roberts, George “Cypress” Tilton, Jess the Roller-by Girl, Chris “Omega/Red” Flores, and Malcolm (Who?).
The Houston Babies celebrate a golden day with one of the Beach Revue girls joining them as very much in the picture. That’s Kyle Burns up front with his dog, “Flicka”, who served as our Babies Mascot of the Day.
It was a great fun day. The beauty contest winner, a gorgeous blonde, threw out the first pitch – and earlier, she and another contestant, a beautiful brunette, took numerous photos with each team.
“May 18, 2013? Ah yes! I remember it well!”
~ Babies Mgr., Bob Dorrill.
The next time you have a chance to watch a vintage baseball game, check it out. As Buddy Holly of the Crickets used to say, “You don’t know what you been a missin’, Oh Boy!”
Footnote: Thanks to SABR member and long time Babies crank Mark Rejmaniak for the bathing beauty photos. Mark, your camera eye has made this column what it needed to be and totally made my day. The Pecan Park Eagle thanks you for the fine work and lasting contribution. – Bill McCurdy