The Baytown Sun from Baytown, Texas on June 28, 1984 · Page 15
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The Baytown Sun from Baytown, Texas · Page 15

Baytown, Texas
Issue Date:
Thursday, June 28, 1984
Page 15
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THE BAYTOWN SUN Thursday, June 28, 1984 -THURSDAY LC's Bannister makes his return to playing field By DAVID BERKOWITZ When Jeff Bannister woke that late October morning, he felt good — about himself and his future. He rose from bed early, stepped out for a healthy breakfast and contemplated the events of the day. That afternoon's baseball game between Lee College and Northwood institute was to be of special significance. Not only was his entire family to be on hand to see him play in an LC uniform for the first time, but coach Rod Soesbe also informed him that .several scouts would be closely scrutinizing his skills as a catcher and hitter. Little did Bannister realize at the time that he would have been better off in bed. Or. at least, if he had got out on the oilier side. • •• ••I'm not really sure whal inning it was." Bannister said. "But there were runners on second and third, with one out. "A fly ball was hit to iTonu Thompson. The first baseman cut the ball off. The throw was up the third-base line about four feet. 1 knew I was going to have to block the ball and the runner. "Then I ducked, which is something I should never have done. He • the runner) hurdled over the top of me and his knee j ribbed my head and neck straight down. "The first thought that ran through my mind was about my neck. At first. I couldn't teel anything from my shoulders on down." Bannister lay on the ground al the Alvin Community College field for more than one- half hour, before an ambulance transported him to a hospital. After tests were made, it was determined that he had suffered a broken neck. • • • II's June 10. and Baytown's Thoroughbred baseball "team is Palominos' lack of hits means loss By MICHAEL KEARNS The chances presented themselves a few times, but the hits just were not there. Wednesday night, the Robert K Lee Palominos continued to victimize themselves by not get- tiny the crucial hits when urgency dictated, and dropped n 2-1 decision to Texas City. Rr.l, is now 5-5 and slowly inching itself away from fo'urth place in the District I standings, thus threatening to let the final post-season playoff berth slip by. Texas City, now 5-4. is settled in third Bayiown rapped just two hits in the game — a third-inning RBI single by Bear Estrada and an infield single by Lee Sutton in the fourth. Texas City managed to scalier five hits, four off starting pitcher Bration Woodall and one off reliever Dwight Fruge. "They just lost their confidence in hitting. That's all," said Baytown assistant coach Larry Fruge. "They need to get two or three bits to get out of it. "They're going to the plate knowing they're not going to get ahit." Baytown manager Bobby Sutton echoed Fruge's assessment saying. "We ain't getting the hits, and when we move the bail it's not ready a hit." This team hitting slump could, not come at a worse time since the .squad will play district- leading Clear Lake Friday in a twilight double-header beginn- (See PALOMINOS, Page 2-C) beginning its summer league season against an outfit from Galveston. A tall and muscular figure takes his place in the batter's box, eyes the pitcher, and proceeds to take a voracious cut. The ball is sent on a line into the outfield, and the runner ends up on second base. It is to be his first of three doubles on the day. Jeff Bannister is back. The fact that the La Marque resident is walking and talking normally again is wonder enough. The fact that he is playing baseball again would have some doctors shaking their heads in amazement. It was less than six months ago that Bannister shed a body cast and neck brace. Such items are standard fare for someone who has sustained damaged vertebrae. Reconstructive surgery was performed several days" after the mishap. Bannister is now one of the few persons who can lay claim to having bone from his hip in his neck. Two operations were needed to complete the job, and a 4' L week stay in a hospital bed was required. "I was in traction the whole time." Bannister said. -'My bed looked like a Ferris wheel, with all of these wires and cables." Passing the time wasn't easy, although his parents were there for support. Naturally, it was difficult to clear one's mind of all negative thoughts. "At first, you start thinking about those dreams of yours " Bannister said. "I " never wanted to think about not getting to play baseball again. I told myself I wouldn't think about that. That's giving up I wouldn't destroy my dreams like that. "The only thing I tried to think about was getting out of the hospital as quickly as I could and getting ready"for the JEFF BANNISTER spring season. What I didn't realize was that it takes time to recover." Bannister began a walking regimen his first day home. Initially, it was tough*to make it around the block. But in short order, he was covering a couple of miles each day. Besides becoming mobile again. Bannister had other concerns. Like putting some beef on his 6-foot-2 frame. His post-hospital weight stood at 140 pounds. A combination of a healthy appetite and plenty of weight! if ting helped him reach the 195 plateau. Bannister worked out as if he intended to play for the Rebels in their inaugural spring season. But when the moment of truth arrived, he and Soesbe decided it would be best to forget the 1984 campaign and point toward 1985. "He said he wanted me to help him coach, and I said that was fine," Bannister said. "That helped me out a lot. It really kept me busy during the games. "But it was pretty tough for me to accept at first. All of a sudden you're 19 years old and can't play the game you've played all these years". You have to sit there and watch." Bannister believes he's a bet(See BANNISTER, Page 3-C) Tradition Bay town Hawks still hitting those softballs By RICHARD NELSON Tradition. That is what is behind the Baytown Hawks. And along with tradition is unity. The Hawks are a fast-pitch Softball team, organized nearly 20 years ago by Daniel "BeBe" Garcia. "I started the team because after high school there was nothing and we had so much talent and nowhere to go with it," Garcia said. After founding the Hawks, Garcia soon discovered he had no problem in finding where to take the talent. In L%6 the Hawks made it to the finals of the Latin American State Tournament, before being defeated by San Antonio. "When that game was over, I told my team that their era was over and ours had begun," Garcia said. He was right. In 1967 the Hawks came back to beat San Antonio in the finals to win the state tournament. In the following 10 years, the Hawks won state six times and made the finals the other four. "Back then I could whistle and they'd come out of their houses and play," Garcia said of the days when most of the team lived within a couple of blocks of each other in old Baytown. "It wasn't just a 'see you next summer' team," Garcia said. "We were close. We had a unity." : 'At this time no team wanted to open up the state tournament playing us, 1 ' Garcia remembered. "We had been winning and winning. "We needed a goal, though. At first we wanted to win, now we needed something else." At the team's Christmas party in 1976, Garcia announced the Hawks' new goal. "I told them that we need another challenge and I told them I had the world tournament in mind," Garcia said. "The seed had already been planted in December and had until August to grow." The Hawks came out and won MA v f—i^ J >. r>. WAREHOUSE BEVERAGE Woodcreek Center 422-6080 Specials good j We Reserve the Right to limit Quantities June 28, 29, 30 BOURBON 80° 1.7511 SEAGRAMS 7-CROWN 10.99 JIM BEAM 10.79 80° J.75U SCOTCH CUTTY SARK 16.99 86° 1.7Slt. VODKA POPOV ,, 1.75LI. 6.99 WINE CARLO ROSSI 3.39 RIUNITE »OMI 1,99 GIN GORDON 10.99 CANADIAN CANADIAN MIST 11.19 80° 1.75Lt. RUM CRUZAN„. 11.89 BEER 12 Oz. Case , BUDWEISER Hot Only 9.6$ their first five tournaments. They earned their trip to the World Series in Phoenix, Ariz. The Hawks won their first game 4-1 against Chicago before losing to Southern California and Wisconsin. "We had gone where we had wanted to go," Garcia said. "Just being there, playing in Giant Stadium, was the treat." Any successful team has its fans and the Hawks were riot without theirs. The Hawks made two trips to Monterey, Mexico in 1%6 and 1967, and later visited Mexico City twice. "Tony Campos moved the ball for us on the Mexico City trip," Garcia explained. "We were without funds, but ended up managing to take 72 people to Mexico City on a chartered plane." The Monterey trips were equally supported with two busloads of fans making the long road trip. In the words of Garcia, "The Hawks made Baytown known in fast patch Softball in Latin American circles throughout the state." Also, Baytown found itself host to players from Mexico City twice. "We had Mexico City here for a series. They were representing their government," Garcia said. "Tito Florencia had been pitching for us, but he pitched for his Mexico City team and we still beat them." "Charles Terry was our sponsor for many years and he was super with us." Garcia said, while showing pictures of uniforms and equipment. "Fred RJos of Graphic Assurance is our sponsor now. He's great, too." Over the years, the Hawks have played on several different fields. "We had to give up our first field and former mayor Seaborn Cravey saw we were winning and needed a place to play, so he got us one. Not only did he get us the land, but he built us a field." Garcia said. Their current field was (See BAYTOWN, Page 2-C) Juiy 4th Summer Blowout iNTIRE STOCK Buy One Get One 1 st Quality ALLIGATOR CROCODILE ANTEATOR OSTRICH HORNBACK From: Justin, Nacona, Tony Lama, Don Post, Adams, Lucchesse HATS FELT & STRAW ENTIRE STOCK LEATHER & BULLHIDE BOOTS BUY ONE GET ONE FREE ENTIRE STOCK Ladies Leather Boots Buy One Get One FREE 1st Quality LIZARD & SNAKE Buy One Get One Special Group PRICES GOOD UNTIL JULY 4th WORK BOOTS AND ROPERS NOT INCLUDED KEG BEER AT LOW, LOW PRICES COUNTRY Bov Boors srs. 1507 NORTH PRUETT-BAYTOWN HI 23 120 TATAR 12853 WESTHEIMER 1-10 FAST 120 TATAR PASADENA HOUSTON OPEN 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM 2206 N. MAIN LIBERTY

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