Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 2, Number 1, January, 1992 Page: 18
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
to beat the Livingston Cardinals, 12-0, in the first round of the Houston Post Tournament,
the Redbirds, with heavy hitting outfielders Wally Moon and Walter "Swede" Peterson,
beat Ehrler, 4-2. The Truckers rebounded to smother Philco of Houston, 13-2, and
eliminate the Houston Shell Oilers, 11-0, as Verdine and a newly acquired hurler, Jules
Hutson, each pitched fine games. But the Jaybirds eliminated the Truckers, 1-0, on a
shutout by Bobby Hollmann. Another new pitcher, Glenn Mickens, pitched for Weimar.
The loss meant that, for the first time in their history, the Truckers failed to advance to
the finals of the Post Tournament.14
The Truckers entered their final season, 1952, with Miksch back as manager
and a handful of their veteran players, Frank and Jiggs Kana, Winters, Kneuper, Tanner,
Whitley, Eckert, Scarborough, and Burrows, back on the roster. Among the new players
were pitchers Dave Bechtel, Midge Isenberg, Bob Tankersley, Bruce Faulk, Clarence
Shimfessel, Bobby Hollmann, and Cotton Davidson. Hard hitting infielder Ty Newton
also joined the team, and Jim Shamblin returned for his first action with the Truckers
since 1949. Only three of the 1952 players, Eckert, Scarborough, and Tanner, earned
letters for the Texas Longhorns that year.
The team was still successful on the field - they won 37 and lost 17 and had
a 15 game winning streak in August - but fan support was diminishing. Not even the
once certain matchup with the Columbus Redbirds could revive the gate. The two teams
met so often that the fans were losing interest. The Truckers were to win ten of their
thirteen meetings with the Redbirds that season. Two of the games were interrupted
by arguments. On July 15, when the Truckers beat the Redbirds, 8-7, with a run in the
bottom of the ninth, there was a ten minute rhubarb when Columbus unsuccessfully tried
to have a base runner declared out because, they said, Miksch had not called time out
when inserting a pinch runner. On July 22, there was another argument, this one when
Columbus manager Guy Wallace was ejected in the eighth inning for throwing his glove,
allegedly at an umpire.
In an attempt to increase revenues, the Truckers played a series of Saturday
night games in Brenham. In mid June, they went to Sinton for a tournament where they
faced their toughest mound opponent ever. In the tournament opener, Tankersley
pitched them to a 3-2 win over Randolph Air Base. Scarborough then beat the Redbirds
by the same score. On June 28, it was Isenberg's turn to post a one run victory, beating
Sinton, 2-1. Then the Truckers met the powerful team from Brooke Army Medical
Center, and were beaten twice in one day, 9-1 and 10-0.' The second defeat was the
most humiliating in the team's history. Brooke's pitcher, Bob Turley, pitched a no-hitter
and struck out twenty!'
In August, the Truckers entered the All Texas Semipro Tournament. The
tournament was now a double round robin involving four teams. The Truckers were
matched with Columbus, the Fort Sam Houston Rangers, and the Victoria Rosebuds. On
August 16 in Columbus, Scarborough shut out the Rosebuds and the Truckers jumped
14 The Truckers did not enter the state tournament in 1951. The Sinton Plymouth Oilers won the
tournament and went on to win seven straight games and the national title in Wichita. Blyzka was Sinton's
star pitcher in the national tournament. He pitched three games, winning them all and striking out 21 batters.
In one game, he hurled a no-hitter.
15 The Brooke Army Medical Center Comets were to win the 1952 Texas state title and go on to
finish fourth in the national tournament. The Sinton Plymouth Oilers, who finished tied for seventh in the nation
that year, were one of only two non-military teams to crack the top ten in 1952.
16 In 1948, Turley, in his first year of professional baseball at age 17, had been Blyzka's teammate
at Belleville in the Illinois State League. Blyzka, who was 19 that season and in his second year as a pro, had
led the league in strikeouts.
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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/m1/18/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed May 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.