The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on April 21, 1954 · Page 9
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 9

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, April 21, 1954
Page 9
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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21, 1954 BLYTHEVILLE (ARK.) COURIER NEWS PAGE NINE Here's Baseball Shortstop Is Key Position (This is the third of seven ar»f tides in which former major league baseball stars tell how to play the fame.) By FRANK ECK AP Newsfeatures Sports Editor CARNEGIE, Pa.—A good short•top must have a strong throwing arm because he mqkes the longest throws of any infielder, says Honus Wagner. Honus, now 80. .advises r.aking throws from a bending pos'aon in practice because a shortstop must often make throwi with a minimum of wasted motion. "I would always try to throw the ball from the position in which I fielded it," says the immortal Wagner who compiled a .329 batting average in 18 years with the Pittsburgh Pirates and three with Louisville. "You've got to do that to be a good shortstop. You must get the ball away quickly when possible. "The toughest play for a shortstop comes when he goes into the hole between his position and third base. How many players do you s« make that play today? Phil Rixxuto and Pee Wee Reese used to be real rood at it, but I guess by now they're slowing down like all of us." Wagner feels that the shortstop going into the hole to field a ground ball should plant his right foot solidly on the ground as the ball is fielded. "This will give him the necessary footing to make the 'long throw to first base," says Wagner. "The shortstop," he says, "must foam to the outfield on all fly balls hit t9 short left field and short center 'field. He should know the strength of his outfielders' arms because he will be called upon to take a number of relay throws during the course of a game. "When he knows how well his left fielder can throw, the shortstop wni know how deep he should roam for the relay following a long hit ball. The same applies on long hit ball to center." Wagner insists that since the shortstop plays the deepest part of the infield he must move in on most ground balls hit his way. "A slow hit ball is the hardest 'for a shortstop to field," says the Hall of Famer. "I used to try to come in sideways on a slow hit ball. Sometime! Rizzuto plays them that way. It's one way to see the little bad hops a slow roller takes. "The ihortitop must be the mo*t alert infielder beeaiue he is expected to move in any direction. He must have sure hands. He it the key to a good infield because he makes more plays than any other player with the possible exception of the first baseman, most of whose plays involre catching thrown balls." Wagner believes a shortstop must "sway around and not remain stationary." Notice how the infielders play with runners on base and less than two out; They play in to cut off the front runner. "In the old days," says Honus, "we'd play in ana try to make the tag on the runner. One run was big in John McGraw's day. He always played for one run at home but on the road he'd play for more because sometimes one run doesn't hold up in the last of the ninth." Some shortstops play in or close to second base with a runner on first. Wagner opposes this type of play. "I stayed at shortstop until the ball was hit or pitched out,' says the famous Flying Dutchman. "I learned that from Hughie Jennings back in 1897 when I was playing right field for the Louisville Colonels in the National League. Hughie hit .397 for Baltimore in 18% and when I came up as a 23-year-old rookie I thought I'd see how Jennings did it. Jennings was a shortstop but how he could corer second base! He could take the throw while on the run." Wagner has been asked thousands of times how to play the bag with a runner coming into second base. Here's his version of the play: "If the runner comes down inside, give him half the bag. When new men would come into the league they would try to get me or the second baseman. I used to tell them 'Now look. You're new in the league. Give us half the bag or you won't get any part of it. The bag has four corners. All I want is one.' I always tried to be nice to them. "Don't stand in front of the bag. Eliminate the possibility of injury. Always try to get you man and get out of the way." Honus, who led the National League eight times in hitting and hit .300 or better for his first 17 years in the circuit, had a number of pet plays. "One of them involved Tommy Leach with whom I played 15 years," says Honus. "He played third base next to me for five years. There was one play we used to get away with every so often. "With the sacrifice bunt in order and men on first and second with not too fast a man on second, Leach would run In before the pitcher threw the ball to the batter. I'd cover third. If Leach couid possibly field the bunt he'd get it, wheel and throw to me for the force play. Sometimes we'd call * pitchout on that play and we'd suck the runner into heading for third. We'd invariably get him because old Honus would be there to take the catcher's throw." JFRONT RUNNER —Lee Williams became one of the first to score with this three-pound iland-locked salmon, taken from jSebago Lake, as the season opened in Maine. He is Colby's basketball coach. CNEA) those years and 1810. were between 1903 Honus' Record Jehn Peter (Honus) Wagner a member of baseball's Hall of Fame, compiled a .329 batting average for his 21 years in the Nation! League. His first three years with Louisville nto last 18 with Pittsburgh. Below Is his record: OF 61 .344 1B-3B 148 .305 3B-OF 144 .359 OF 134 .380 SS-3B-OF 141 .352 P-1B-2B 137 .329 SS-OF SS Honus Wo* Steady Bonus Wagner played «**ry position but catcher In his XI years In the major leafue*. For his first six years he moved be- twcen th» Infield and outfield. However, his hfttbif rttlly perked up iwrtnf the 0lfht-ye*r period fron 1M1 through ifM. til* ateraf* for that time WM .346. He led the National l>a(r«e elf nt tim« in hlttlnff and §U of 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 SS SS SS SS SS SS SS 1B-SS SS SS SS-3B SS 1B-SS Mgr-lB-3B TOTAL 129 132 147 140 142 151 137 150 130 145 114 150 156 123 74 10,247 .355 .349 .363 .339 .350 .354 .339 .320 .334 .324 .300 .252 .274 .287 .265 .329 Fights Last Night By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS LOS ANGELES—Kenny Davis, 125, Clarendon, Tex., outpointed Al Cruz, 124, Los Angeles, 12. MIAMI BEACH, Fla.—Brian Kelly, 140, Niagara Falls, N. Y., stopped Libby Manzo, 134%, New mf^f^^ You can g*t thousands of txtra milts from your car without overhaul txp«ns«! Install o Motor Rythm Lubricator on your «ngin* for mor* pow«r and pick-up and Itss •r,gin« w*ar. Motor Rythm "top engine." lubrkation works from th« top down- gets oil on the hard to reach upper engine parts, including valves, pistons and rings. Top engine lubrication pays for itself many times over. Whether it's new or old, the cor you're driving now can be the best bargain you ever drove—if you make it last with o Motor Rythm Lubricator. ONLY '8.75 Mctvdmf qt. Motor Rythm (regular 110.10 value) T%Jrt frMCnf vNftf Available at your car dealer's, favorite Garage or Service Station. DISTRIBUTED BT JOHK MILES MILLER Co. Blythevillt When Honus Fooled MeGraw AP Newsfeatures Honus Wagner says he had a lot of fun signaling his second baseman or catcher during his playing days. "I recall when Bill McKechnie, that grand old Scot, was playing second base for the Pirates around 40 years ago." reminisces Honus. "I don't know how much German he knew but there were four words we used quite a bit. "When I was to take the catcher's throw to get a man stealing second I would holler 'Ich habe' to Bill. That would mean I'd take the throw. When Bill was, to take it I'd holler 'du hast.' He never made a mistake. "One day we pulled a signal on MeGraw when the Giants had a man on second. The score was tight. I gave my pitcher the sign that I would duck behind the runner after the next pitch and would try to pick him off second. The catcher didn't throw. We couldn't get him because the runner lit out for third.' I found out later that MeGraw got my signal. "One month later in Pittsburgh there was one out and the bases full of Giants. I gave the same signal. MeGraw saw it. He grabbed some dirt and clasped his hands. I said 'this time the runner will be a dead bird.' I called for a pitch-out and we got the runner going home. "In other words, I had given two signals. I egged MeGraw on with the first and double crossed him with the second. He had called for the suicide squeeze play. That's the play where the runner on third runs home and the batter must hit the ball. "Some managers try to combat this play by throwing close to the batter to get him out of the way. I always liked to see the ball thrown away from the batter in this situation. A ball thrown close could result in a hit batsman and a forced run when the bases are loaded." Card Pitching Not All There CINCINNATI W) — St. Louis Cardinal Manager Eddie Stanky has reason to be worried about his pitching staff. In the six games they've played so far this season, Cardinal hurlers have given up 63 runs—an av- •rage of better than 10 a game. Stanky used five pitchers last night in a vain effort to stem a Cincinnati onslaught as the Red- legs pounded out a 13-6 victory. York, 4. ST. LOUIS—Davey Moore, 129, Springfield, Ohio, outpointed Charley Riley, 130, St. Louis, 10. Hog Golfers Tie Steers FAYETTEVTLLE Iff) — The University of Arkansas golf team fought Southwest Conference leader Texas to a 3-3 tie here yesterday as Arkansas' Miller Barber fired a 2-over-par 72 to become medalist. The results: Barber defeated Lee Pinkston, 1 up. Ray Barnes, Arkansas, defeated Ted White, 2 up. Ray Legett, Texas, defeated Phil Rogers, 3 and 1. Davis Love, Texas, defeated Joe Boone, 3 and 1. Barber and" Barnes defeated Pinkston and White, 2 up. Love and Legett defeated Boone and Rogers, 2 and 1. Doctors Give Htr Clean Bill of Health BEAUMONT Tex., (A - Bab« Zahanas has passed another crucial u'st in her fight against cancer and will return to golf when she feels she can win again. Right now the indomitable Babe. most famous of women athletes, Is taking a rest. "I don't like to lose." she explained. Mrs. Znharias was pronounced quite 0. K. yesterday after blood and x-ray tests were studied by her physicians in a physical checkup one year after her operation for cancer. Physicians who made the te«t expressed amazement that she had been able to resume her golf in less than four months after the operation and had played the entire winter tour of the ladies PGA. winning two tournaments and finishing high in others. But in the last tournaments of the tour she had found the final rounds too exacting and had faltered i n the stretch. She said she grew tired in the third and fourth rounds. Therefore, she said she needed a rest in order to build herself back up physically and also to sharpen her game. She is about 10 pounds under her normal weight. She will remain here a few days, then go to the home of her brother, Louis, at Newton, Tex. She plans to rest at least six weeks. Williams Is Thumping Again BOSTON {# — Ted Williams, ahead of schedule as his broken collarbone continues its rapid healing, starts regular batting practice tomorrow after finding he can belt the ball out of the park. The Boston Bed Sox slugger started hitting; the ball a little yesterday as apart of a 90 minute workout in the sun at Fenway Park and before he was through he had deposited a pitch some 385 feet into the rightfield bullpen. The cost of maintaining a race -horse is from $10 to $12 a day. For this sum the trainer feeds the horse and arranges for his handling and conditioning. Hones, Wayland In Cage Finals HUTCHINSOK, Kan., (f) —The Wayland College Flying Queens and Hnnes Hosiery, two old foes, meet tonight in the finals of the national championship girls basketball playoffs. Wayland. of Plainview, Tex., earned its berth in the finals by whipping the Kansas City Dons, 50-4<J. last night. Hanes Hosiery of Winston-Salem, N .C., beat Dowell's Dolls of Amarillo. Tex., 63-49. The primary purpose of the four- team tournament is to select an all-star squad of about 15 girls to represent the United States in the French invitational meet at Marseilles in June. Wayland. winner of the women's national AAU basketball tournament at St. Joseph. Mo., last month, and Hanes long have been leading teams in AAU basketball. Hanes also has held the national title. The Kansas City Dons and Dowell's Dolls will play for third place preceding tonight's championship game. The teams are using rules. First baseman Rocky Nelson ot the Indians formerly played with the Cardinals, Pirates, White Sox and Dodgers. don't just ask for bourbon... **«**« Someone says it on the telephone... it'i repeated m a suppei club... and passed on to a neighbor... "Don't juit ask for bourbon, ask for Bourbon de Luxe I fully Agtl KENTUCKY STRAIGHT BOURBON WHISKEY . i —"*^^^^^ TKi« Whiskey Is 4 Years Old. $6 Proof. The Bourbon de Luxe Compiny, Louisville, Kentucky mtd ptteni juit a few detton above «mWor iKxfcfc of tftt "Jow-pow AtMl I AkE THE WHEEL-just JtflOfcK T TNLESS you've tried it yourself, you're LJ going to find it hard to believe. But when you press the pedal of a 1954 Buick with Twin-Turbine Dynaflow,* joy reigns—and so do you. You feel the'joyous thrill of commanding instant response, the solid "take hold," the firm authority of your acceleration. Y>u feel a joyous exhilaration at the utter smoothness of the forward carry —a completely infinite smoothness that is there every inch of the way. And you feel a deep and abiding joy at the simplicity of it all, the ease with which you drive, the blessed restfulness of travel with a truly automatic transmis- $ion working its wonders. As we said, you'll find this hard to believe—until you try it yourself. Until you try TT Dynaflow with the stepped-up V8 horsepowers of the 1954 Buicks. Until you try it with the new buoyancy and the new handling sureness of the improved Million Dollar Ride. Until you try it with the new visibility, the new luxury, the brand-new "look of tomorrow" styling that are part and parcel of every 1954 Buick. So, we want you to be our guest at t 3 wheel of a 1954 Buick with Twin-Turbine Dynaflow this week. During April, 1,500,000 people will guest- drive the 1954 Buicks, and join the Thrill Of The Month Club by doing so. 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