Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 2, Number 1, January, 1992 Page: 12
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
$1828.63. They were named the number one town team in the nation.12 Kneuper won
an individual sportsmanship trophy, and Winters, Gorin, Lindloff, and Womack were
named to the Best Prospects for Organized Ball Team.
And there was still the Post Tournament to finish. On September 5, they
won their fourth straight tournament game, beating the only other undefeated team in
the tournament, the Baytown Oilers, 2-0. It was Ehrler's third shutout in a row. The next
evening, Wall turned in a three-hit shutout and the Truckers routed the Center Lions,
12-0. That win put them into the tournament finals, and on September 8, they took the
championship by beating the Victoria Rosebuds, 7-1. Kana started and got the win
though he had to leave the game after being hit by a line drive in the eighth inning.
The tournament title netted the team another $4040 and entitled them to a
game with the Houston Buffs, a minor league team in the St. Louis Cardinals' chain. The
Truckers surprised everybody by beating the Buffs, 4-3, to round out their great season.
Ehrler started and pitched into the seventh. Gorin took over for him and got the win when
the Truckers scored the winning run on a trick play in the top of the eighth. With Shamblin
on third, Brock broke from first base on an apparent attempt to steal second. He pulled
up short and got into a hot box while Shamblin sprinted home. Kana pitched the final
inning and a third to get the save.
1950-1952: The Excitement Wanes
By the time the 1950 season rolled around, many of the 1949 Truckers had
taken up baseball as a profession. Allen Winters was in Vero Beach training with the
Brooklyn Dodgers, Ed Kneuper was playing for the Los Angeles Seals, Al Joe Hunt and
Cotton Lindloff were with Gainsville in the Big State League, and Bob Brock had gotten
several offers, the best of which had come from the Houston Buffs. Jim Shamblin had
gone into coaching, accepting an assistant's position at the University of Houston.
Murray Wall was entertaining several professional offers, and in June, would sign with
the National League Boston Braves. He was to make his major league debut later that
Still, Charlie Herder coaxed seven of the previous year's players, pitchers Jim
Ehrler, Frank "Pancho" Womack, Jimmy Hand, and Jiggs Kana, third baseman Frank
Kana, infielder Ben Tompkins, and Brock, who had decided not to go pro, into returning
for 1950. Ehrler, Womack, Frank Kana, Tompkins, and Brock were all standouts on a
Texas Longhorn team that was to win its second consecutive national championship that
season, and Herder added three more players from that squad, sensational sophomore
second baseman Kal Segrist, infielder Eddie Burrows, and freshman outfielder Chili
Bigham. Hard hitting catcher Al Ogletree and outfielder Hollis Baker, both of Texas
A & M, and Southern Methodist University first baseman Joe Whitley rounded out the
Herder was by no means losing his enthusiasm. In the off-season, he had
had a "mechanical broom" installed at Veterans Park. It blew a puff of air which cleaned
off home plate when the umpire stepped on a hidden trigger. He took out a full page
ad in The Weimar Mercury announcing opening night, June 2, against the Sinton
12 This designation might be confusing since the Truckers did not win the national championship
and were, therefore, clearly not the best semipro team in the nation. But, there were at least four recognized
classes of semipro teams: town, industrial, military, and fraternal-civic club. Both the team from Golden and
that from Fort Wayne were industrial teams, with the former being sponsored by Coors Brewery and the lat-
ter by General Electric. Though no sponsor is evident, the third place team, Elk City, was apparently also an
industrial team or a fraternal-civic club team, leaving the Truckers as the top town team.
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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/m1/12/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed May 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.