Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 2, Number 1, January, 1992 Page: 7
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Home Games Tuesday and Friday Nights: Five Years of the Herder Truckers
In yet another thrilling contest on June 7 in Weimar, the Truckers overcame
a 5-2 deficit with three in the seventh and two in the eighth to beat the Hallettsville
Lavacans, 7-5. Boeer led off the winning rally with a triple and scored on a base hit by
Hunt to account for the winning run. Grateful Weimar fans Herder, Brasher, Mannie
Lauterstein, and Davis Gindler provided $15 for Boeer and $10 for Hunt as bonuses for
their parts in the victory.
Finally, on June 15, the Truckers lost for the first time in their history,
dropping a 4-1 decision to the Yoakum Tanners in Weimar. Ironically, it was one of the
Truckers' own hurlers, Kasparek, who pitched the Tanners to the win. Yoakum's pitcher
had not shown up, and rather than cancel the game (and refund the fans' money), Miksch
asked for a volunteer to take the mound. Kasparek, a native of Yoakum, agreed to pitch
and outdueled Wall.
But the Truckers quickly got back on the winning track, swamping the
powerful Conroe Wildcats, 14-1, that Friday, behind the Kana boys. Jiggs was the
winning pitcher and Frank went four for five. The Truckers' third baseman continued
his hot hitting, getting eight hits in the next two games, a 22-7 victory over La Grange
and a 15-2 rout of the Randolph Field Ramblers.
Then, on June 23, the Truckers played in Conroe for the first time. The
Wildcats, who had won the Texas semipro championship the preceding year, were
obviously one of the very best semipro teams in the state.8 They had a colorful coach
who shared the name of perhaps the greatest ball player in history, Ty Cobb. More
importantly they had provided a summer home for the best University of Texas players
in the preceding years. They were determined to prove that they were a better team than
the team that was now invading their recruiting turf, the upstart Truckers. And this time,
they did. The Wildcats got a home run from big first baseman Ed Kneuper and a complete
game shutout from diminutive left hander Charlie Gorin to win 3-0. Both Kneuper and
Gorin had made names for themselves at UT in 1948.
The Truckers won their next two games by lopsided scores, then lost two
in a row at home, the second to the Sweeny Oilers and a hard throwing right hander
named Jim Ehrler. On July 13, they beat Kasparek, who was now pitching for the
Sheridan Shell Cyclers, 8-7. Two days later they slipped by the powerful Victoria
Rosebuds, 5-4, with two runs in the ninth to improve their record to 18-4.
They got their nineteenth victory the following night, posting a satisfying,
4-3 win over the Conroe Wildcats in Weimar. Longhorn teammates Wall and Gorin went
at each other, with Gorin absorbing the loss, his first of the year. But two days later the
Truckers made their home fans swallow a bitter pill, dropping a 6-3 decision to the
Columbus Cardinals, a Sunday afternoon team from the nearby Colorado County seat.
The next week, they won twice at home, but lost in Conroe, 11-0, as Gorin
bested Wall with a one-hit shutout. That Sunday, July 25, they could muster only eight
players for a game in Brenham. Miksch played right field and George Muzny suited up
and sat on the bench in case of an injury. The undermanned Truckers lost behind Wall,
8 The state semipro championship had been decided by a tournament since 1936. The first
champions were the Mount Pleasant Cubs. Teams from Waco dominated the early tournaments. The Waco
Dons took the title in 1937, 1941, and 1946. Waco Army Air Field won in 1943, 1944, and 1945. Mount
Pleasant, the Houston Grand Prize Brewers, which won in 1939 and 1940, the Alvin Texaco Indians, cham-
pions in 1938, and Camp Barkley, in 1942, were the only teams to break the Waco stranglehold until Conroe
won in 1947. The Wildcats were to win their second straight title in 1948. For a list of Texas state champions
through 1972, see 1973 Official Baseball Annual (Wichita, Kansas: National Baseball Congress of America,
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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/m1/7/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.