Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 2, Number 1, January, 1992 Page: 10
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
in the ninth inning of a game with El Campo the preceding night, ran his team from the
bench, albeit in street clothes.
Four days later the Truckers played another significant game. Neighboring
Columbus had decided to get into the night time, semiprofessional, baseball act. They
built a lighted diamond, rounded up a few free agents to augment their regular South
Central Texas League team, and invited the Truckers to play them in their first night
game, July 23.
The Truckers sent Ehrler to the mound to oppose Ernie Bartlett, the most
prominent of the new Columbus players. Ehrler limited the Columbus team, which still
called itself the Cardinals, to two runs, while his teammates rang up four off Bartlett.
Ehrler struck out twelve and Bartlett ten, but the most notable aspect of the game was
an extended argument in the sixth inning. Ehrler was called out on strikes and flung his
bat down in disgust. Immediately, the umpire ejected him from the game. Outraged,
Miksch stormed onto the field to protest. Finally, after involving Columbus manager
Jodick Perry in the discussions, the teams and umpires agreed to let Ehrler stay in the
game. It was the beginning of what was to become a heated rivalry between the two
teams. The 14th Annual Texas State Semipro Baseball Tournament began in late July
with a pair of shutouts tossed by Billy Bethel of the Sinton Plymouth Oilers and one-
legged former Chicago White Sox hurler Monty Stratton of the Seguin White Sox. But
Ehrler and Hand bettered those performances in the Truckers' first game, on July 31.
The pair combined to no-hit the overmatched Kingsville Mopacs. Because of a run rule,
the game was stopped after five innings, when the Truckers had a 15-0 lead.
Jiggs Kana took the mound in the team's second game and hurled a shutout
of his own, beating the Catulla Cubs, 8-0. Another win made the Truckers 3-0 and sent
them into a match up with the only other undefeated team in the tournament, the Conroe
Wildcats. With Brock getting two hits, three RBI, and making three fine catches in center
field, Wall pitched the Truckers to a 7-2 victory to put them in the tournament driver's
seat. But two nights later, the Center Lions upset the favored Truckers, 4-2, behind the
pitchirr of Harvey Krause. With another loss meaning elimination, the Truckers came
alive at the plate. They pounded out 27 hits and beat Sinton, 22-4, on August 12.
Sinton's normally reliable starter, Dick Mulligan, allowed 17 hits and 12 runs in less than
seven innings of work. Winters was six for seven and Brock four for five with seven RBI.
The win put the Weimar team into the tournament finals, where they again
met their old nemesis, Conroe, on August 15. The Wildcats jumped out to a lead with
a run in the second, but the Truckers tied it in the top of the third, put up four more in
the top of the fourth, and were never headed. With Kana and Wall holding the Conroe
team to just two runs, and Brock getting four hits and three RBI, the Truckers won,
10-2, to become state semipro champions and take the $2500 first prize.
Winters, who had 14 hits in 28 at bats for a tournament average of .500,
was named most valuable player. Brock, whose 14 for 27 was good for a .518 aver-
age, was the tournament's best hitter. Winters, Brock, Wall, Kneuper, Ehrler, and Hunt
were each named to the sixteen player All State team for best professional prospects.
The state championship entitled the Truckers to a berth in the National
Tournament in Wichita, Kansas.1'o Since the tournament offered a first prize of $10,000,
10 The National Baseball Congress of America (NBC) began staging its Annual National Tournament
in 1935. It might be surprising to some to know that the tournament was racially integrated when it began.
Negro League star and future major leaguer Satchel Paige pitched in five games, going 4-0 with 60 strikeouts,
for the 1935 national champion team from Bismarck, North Dakota. He was one of four blacks on the Bis-
marck team. The next year, Hilton Smith, the great black pitcher from Giddings, Texas, won four games for
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 2, Number 1, January, 1992, periodical, January 1992; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151384/m1/10/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.