Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Baseball Returns; Buck O'Neill Passes

Back again … hopefully on a regular basis … if anyone was waiting I apologize.

October 6, 2006, Harrisburg, PA

The Hilldale Daises pounded the Harrisburg Giants at West End Grounds by a score of 10-0. The game, mercifully shortened by mutual acceptance of the ten run rule, became irrelevant after the following announcement made as the teams changed positions in the middle of the fourth inning:

It is my duty to inform you that Buck O’Neil, star first baseman and manager in the Negro leagues, a pioneering scout and coach in the major leagues who devoted the final decade of his life to chronicling the lost world of black baseball, died this afternoon in Kansas City. He was 94.

Subsequently it was announced that tomorrow’s game in Harrisburg would be part of a doubleheader with the second game being an all-star game featuring many legendary Negro League stars many of whom played with or against Buck during his storied career. A record West End Grounds crowd is expected.

Giants southpaw Willie Gisentaner took the pounding while Hilldale’s Phil Cockrell hurled the events shortened shut out. Line score follows:

1925 Hilldale Daisies 003 17 – 11 9 0 WP- Cockrell
Harrisburg Giants 000 00 – 0 5 0 LP – Gisentaner 6-7 6.51 E.R.A.

1,982 fans attended seeing the Giants fall to 55-54 thus far in 2006-II.

October 14, 2006, Harrisburg, PA - A record crowd of 4,013 fans attended today’s doubleheader honoring the late great Buck O’Neill. They were rewarded with two great games.

In the opener, the Hilldale Daisies nipped the Harrisburg Giants 8-6 with two runs in the top of the 10th inning of loser Sam Cooper. Nip Winters, pitching on two days rest in order to honor Buck O’Neil, went the route with less than his best stuff. John Beckwith slammed his 21st homerun of the season for the Giants.

Hilldale 100 030 020 2 – 8 11 1 WP - Winters
Harrisburg 003 010 002 0 - 6 9 0 LP – S. Cooper 5-6 4.61 E.R.A.
HR – Beckwith (21)

In the second game, scheduled as a tribute to Buck O’Neil, darkness fell with Solomon-like justice after 10 innings of a tie game between an Eastern Negro League All-Star team and a Buck O’Neill managed team from the West. Buck received standing ovations when he brought out the lineup card, switched pitchers, pinch ran, took the field, grounded out, and when he took a post-game bow.

The West jumped to a 3-0 lead in the 3rd on Hilton Smith’s double and Willard Brown’s two run single. Josh Gibson’s mammoth homer tied it in the 6th only to see the West, on Mule Suttles triple and Minnie Minoso’s single, jump back in front 5-3 in the bottom half of the 6th. Sol White’s 7th inning single and Harrisburg’s Fats Jenkins’ 9th inning sac fly produced the tie.

East 000 003 101 0 – 5 7 0
West 003 002 000 0 – 5 10 1
HR - Gibson