Piece Of History

Instead of looking to the future, let’s take a step back into the past.

I was at a Tacoma Athletic Commission meeting yesterday (Scott Hatteberg was the speaker; he was terrific), and a member named Rich Berndt brought something really cool: an autographed 1961 Tacoma Giants team baseball.

The ’61 Giants are still the greatest team in Tacoma history, and one of the greatest minor league teams of the 20th century. They went 97-57 and were PCL champions.

Rich let me take some pictures of his baseball.

The ball is in great condition – the ink is very bold. Rich told me he stores it away from sunlight, which seems like a good idea for any signed baseball. I have a Harry Caray “Holy Cow” ball that I wish I hadn’t let sit near sunlight.

Manager Red Davis

Red was the first Tacoma manager, piloting the 1960-1962 Giants. He passed away in 2002.

Here’s a nice panel:

 

What, no vaseline smudge next to Gaylord's name?

 

That’s Dusty Rhodes, Frank Reveira, Gaylord Perry, and Tom Haller. Three of the four had very long MLB careers.

And another side:

There were about 20 signatures on it.

Rafael Alomar, Tacoma Hall of Famer Gil Garrido, Ray Daviault, Verle Tiefenthaler, Bill Hain.

There were more signatures on it, but at this point Rich caught me trying to sneak the baseball into my coat pocket, and I was booted out of the TAC meeting by Stan Naccarato, Bob Robertson, and Bill Baarsma. C’mon, guys, I just wanted to display it in my booth!

Seriously, though, it’s an awesome piece of Tacoma baseball history.

Speaking of decorating the booth, big-time shout-out to blog reader Big Mike, who located the below photo of Daren Brown getting ejected for me. Two down, two to go: I have Brown and Rohn getting tossed; I need Dave Brundage and Dave Myers. I have a lead on a Brundage, but Myers is going to be tough – he rarely got ejected.

The hat has been tossed.

Links:

  • It’s time for spring training: Larry LaRue of The News Tribune flew to Arizona today.
  • John McGrath wrote a column on Mariners general manager Jack Z, and McGrath states that it is time to see some “signs of tangible progress.”
  • Keith Law posted his Top 100 Prospects list, with write-ups, on ESPN – if you’re an “Insider” you can access the list here. Not an Insider or only care about the Mariners? Larry Stone has the Mariners info for you.
  • As an aside to that previous link, ESPN displays #11 prospect Dylan Bundy’s high school stats, since that’s all he has: 11-0, 0.20 ERA, 158 strikeouts and five walks. How would you like to be a high school kid facing that guy?
  • The New York Times did a feature on Dirk Hayhurst, the former PCL pitcher who is about to release his sure-to-be-entertaining second book.
  • The humidor is coming to Colorado Springs. Let the celebration begin!
  • Minor League Baseball is going back to Canada, with Ottawa attracting an Eastern League franchise rumored to be the Binghampton Mets. It sure would be nice if the PCL brought back a nice, thriving coastal Canadian city.
  • College baseball starts shortly. Here is the Pac-12 Preview from Baseball America.

Check back Monday – we should have our first real, live spring training reports!

One Response to Piece Of History

  1. René Fabre says:

    Those were the days! Great memories. Thanks for the post. The Tacoma Giants were a great team.

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