Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 2, Number 1, January, 1992 Page: 6
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
game, the high school Future Farmers of America built a wire fence around the southern
perimeter of the park, the outfield fence was completed, the sewer line to the locker
rooms was laid, the seats were put in place, and a protective screen was erected in front
of the grandstand. Boxes, installed around the base of the protective screen, went on
sale on May 14. Each box contained four seats and cost $60 for a full season.
The opening night festivities started at eight o'clock on May 19. The
Truckers, who had worn the old Wildcat uniforms for their first two games, took the field
for the first time in their new uniforms. A rain shower the previous night had raised some
worries, but the weather was perfect and the field was in excellent shape. The Houston
Post sports editor Morris Frank was on hand to do the play by play announcing.
Reportedly 2500 fans turned out.
The park was named Veterans Park and dedicated to the citizens of Weimar
who had been killed in World Wars I and II. The local VFW commander, Ed Rabel, and
the Legion commander, Davis Gindler, placed a floral wreath on the pitcher's mound,
Baptist minister, W. E. Brown, gave an invocation, and a group of riflemen fired a volley.
Anthony and J. D. Kallina followed with "Taps." Finally, after Festus Carroll gave a short
speech, Mayor Teddy Brasher strode to the mound and threw out the ceremonial first
Jiggs Kana, who had been a fixture on Weimar baseball teams since he
played with the inaugural edition of the Wildcats in 1940, drew the first start in the new
ball park. Opposing him was the Victoria Rosebuds' ace right hander, John "Ox" Miller.
Miller had spent parts of four seasons in the major leagues, having made his last
appearance with the Chicago Cubs only a year earlier.
The game was a tight pitcher's duel until the Truckers erupted for five runs
on five hits and an error in the bottom of the fifth. But the Rosebuds immediately
responded with five of their own in the top of the sixth to knock out Kana and take an
8-7 lead. So the score remained, until the bottom of the ninth. Miller was still pitching,
and had gotten two outs, but Wall, who had relieved Kana, was on third. With Hunt at
the plate, Wall took a big lead and, as Miller wound up, broke for home. The pitch came
in high and outside, the ball popped out of the catcher's glove, and Wall scored the tying
run on a steal of home.
The fired up Wall easily retired the Rosebuds in the top of the tenth and the
anxious fans, indulging in a common semipro practice, began collecting cash to award
to the first Weimar player who got a hit, and to the player who scored the winning run,
and to the player who drove it in. It was not long before they paid off. With one out,
Hilbert Boeer and Trlicek each walked to bring Mazoch to the plate. With the fans, in
Morris Frank's words, offering him "everything but the city hall for a run,"7 Mazoch
delivered. He punched a single down the right field line and Boeer raced around with
the winning run.
Buoyed by the exhilarating victory in the long anticipated first night game,
the Truckers proceeded to win their next eight games. The best game of the streak was
the first one, three days after the opener, on May 21. That night the Gonzales Apaches
came to Weimar for the second night game in the new park. The Truckers sent Wildcat
veteran AI Kasparek to the mound, and Kasparek responded with a complete game
victory, though just barely. He allowed one run in the ninth and got the final out with
the bases loaded to escape with an 8-7 win.
7 The Houston Post, May 21, 1948.
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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/m1/6/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed May 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.