Friday, October 31, 2008

2009 Recruit: Kale Gaden

Kale Gaden, C/OF; Stillwater, OK (Stillwater HS); L/R; 6'1", 180 lb

I learned today from a reliable source that Kale Gaden has made a verbal commitment to Mizzou and will be signing a letter of intent in November.

2008 Offense: .375 BA, 6 HR, 10 SB, 33 RBI, 9 2B

Gaden is a DB on the Stillwater HS Football team

According to the Stillwater Press, Gaden competed in the Area Code Games this past summer:

In addition, Gaden has been competing for the Midwest Nationals, a summer-league baseball team out of Springfield, Mo., which has visited several college campuses including the University of Louisville, Cincinnati, Arkansas, Missouri State and Kansas State.

“It’s probably one of the busiest summers I’ve ever had,” Gaden said. “It’s been great. I really didn’t think I was good enough to make (the Area Code Games). When I was younger, I never thought it could happen.

“To have pro scouts talking to you and inviting you to things like this, it’s a completely different world for me. It’s like a dream come true, and I don’t want to wake up.”

Perfect Game reports that Gaden made his Perfect Game debut based on the recommendation of Oklahoma State Head Coach Frank Anderson, whose son was Gaden's battery mate at Stillwater high.

Gaden’s arm strength wasn’t as strong as Rowan’s, but few display that kind of cannon. Gaden did show a nice, quick stroke from the left side of the plate, and definitely made an impression on those in attendance. He’s another name to look forward to in 2009.

The Stillwater News Press had a great profile of Gaden back in April, 2008: Pleased . . . not surprised

“It’s very rare to see a catcher that runs like he does,” Gardner said. “He’s a kid that I think at the next level will have a chance to play in the outfield if not catching. It just so happens that he’s our best catcher. We felt like because of our depth and things we needed him behind the plate.”

Gaden is batting .419 with .733 slugging percentage, a .519 on-base percentage, nine doubles, three triples, a team-high six home runs, 33 RBIs and a team-best 45 runs scored in 105 at-bats. He also leads his team in stolen bases (10) and has only been caught stealing twice.

The junior with only three passed balls for the year admits he has exceeded his own expectations.

. . .

“He is an exceptional athlete,” Gardner said. “He has great foot speed. He has had a good junior year and probably will have an even better senior year as he gets bigger and stronger. He has a chance to be a very good baseball player.”

News & Quotes: October 2008

Mike Alden announced a no-brainer decision on October 14th, extending Tim Jamieson's contract through 2013.

Jamieson will enter his 15th season as the Tigers' head coach next spring with a record of 480-329-2. He needs just two victories to move into second place on the all-time wins list at Mizzou, passing former coach John "Hi" Simmons.

"We continue to be very pleased with Coach Jamieson's leadership of our baseball program," Alden said. "He truly focuses our team on our core values of academic excellence, social responsibility and competitive excellence."
Kendall Rogers at says Missouri is still moving:

. . . it's a little interesting that people assume Missouri will decline without right-handed pitcher Aaron Crow in its weekend rotation. Sure, Crow had an exceptional career with the Tigers. Missouri, however, has plenty of viable options waiting in the wings.

Kendall Rogers also reports that the NCAA baseball committee is considering more policy changes:
  • Eliminating distant travel for Regionals
  • Reducing regular-season games from 56 to 52
  • Tinkering with the transfer rule
The CollegeBaseballBlog reports that the NCAA is making even more changes to metal bat performance standards. I'd summarize it here, but I never did well at physics and math.

And the Kansas City Star ran an odd story about what Aaron Crow is up to, basically portraying him as a bonus bum:

So you dial his phone number. You hear him pick up on the third ring. You ask if he’s still coming — a question Nationals fans can relate to.

“Oh dude, I am so sorry,” he says. “I totally forgot. I am so sorry. I’ll be right there.”

Thirty minutes later he walks through Booches’ front door. He’s wearing a gray Mizzou sweatshirt, is tall and thin and smiles shyly as he sits down and orders a Bud Light and two cheeseburgers.

“I’m so sorry.”

Crow quickly explains — you see, he’s not in college anymore, not playing baseball, not signed to a major-league team. Life is made up of staying up late, hanging out with friends, swinging by Missouri’s practices to feel like part of a team again, sleeping in and, yes, at times zoning out in front of the television and forgetting where he’s supposed to be.

“I’m not used to not having to be anywhere,” he says.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

2008½ Recruit: Garrison McLagan

Columbia, MO homeboy Garrison McLagan can be seen hanging around Simmons field these days and hanging out with Mizzou ballplayers as well. He is not officially on the Fall Roster, since he is still a senior at Christian Fellowship School, but will graduate at the semester and join the team officially in January.

But there's more to this out-of-the-ordinary recruit than just being a mid-year high school graduate.

Back in May, the Missourian reported on McLagan and his unusual route to college baseball:

Improvement can be seen in the fact that for the first time in his life, Garrison McLagan has a catcher he can work with every day of the week if he wishes. A year ago, Raymond McLagan couldn’t catch his brother’s fastball and his sharp breaking curve ball. Now, when Garrison McLagan has his pitching sessions twice a week, the brothers work as team. Garrison McLagan flips his glove or the ball a certain way to indicate which pitch is coming to Raymond.

“I really wish he was on my team during the summer,” Garrison McLagan said.

As Garrison McLagan’s last spring without playing baseball games comes to an end, he looks forward to playing for Mizzou next season and the end of only practice in spring. He’s proud of his decision to skip high school baseball. His faith in God is present when he steps into the batter’s box. Garrison has Phil: 4:13 written in black sharpie on the inside of his batting glove.

“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength,” the Bible verse says.
KOMU echoed that report on the unfamiliar recruit in June:

"I really can't wait, me and my dad talk about it every once in a while, and it's a little bit surreal still, just the fact that I hardly ever thought of playing college ball until a couple years ago, and now I'm already going to Mizzou, so I'm excited," said McLagan.

McLagan will play more games here next season at Taylor Stadium, when he suits up for the Tigers. He'll take a spot on the team after never playing a single high school baseball game. He attends Christian Fellowship School in Columbia, a school that doesn't have a baseball program. Once he got to ninth grade, he had to make the choice to transfer to a school that offers his sport, or stay where he has been since he was a child.

"It was really tough, because I've gone to this school since I was in pre-school, I've gone my whole life. My younger brother goes, my sister goes, all my friends are there. I just really felt I should have stayed at CFS and I think it's one of the best decisions I've made," said McLagan.
But it was the Columbia Tribune, back in October of 2007, that first reported on the CSF baseball standout's verbal commitment to MU:

"I can’t sign until November of my senior year, but I’m ready to sign now," said McLagan, who will graduate from high school a semester early and be eligible to play for the Tigers in the spring of ’09. "I’m excited. I can’t wait."

Although Christian Fellowship does not have a baseball program, the left-handed pitcher and outfielder has honed his impressive skills the past few years playing for the Rawlings Prospects - a traveling baseball program based out of St. Louis.

McLagan has been on the national baseball map since 2003 when he was named a 12-year-old All-American by Baseball America. In attending baseball camps at MU over the years, he forged a strong working relationship with MU assistant Coach Tony Vitello.

"I knew him pretty well," McLagan said. "We always had a good friendship. When I was thinking of colleges, Mizzou was always on the top of the list.
And even earlier, in July of 2007, the Tribune reported on Columbia's best-kept baseball secret:

It might be a stretch to say that Garrison McLagan is the best high school baseball player this area has ever seen.

He still has two more years of high school to go.

A safer comment would be to say that McLagan is the best high school baseball player this area has never seen.

You see, even though the left-handed 16-year-old with the fluid swing and powerful throwing arm is a lifelong Columbia resident, he rarely plays a baseball game on his home turf.
For now, McLagan works out with individual Tiger players and coaches and has a weekly date with former Tiger Aaron Crow, playing a game of vigorous catch to keep them both in shape. has moved !!!!

MSN Groups is shutting down their service in February 2009, which means that will have to move.

Sometime today, October 31st, the people behind the intricate workings of the Internet will realign things so that htt[:// will direct people HERE rather than THERE.

3 things:

1) Be sure to reset your Bookmarks, your Favorites to the new site.

2) The old site will remain up until MSN deletes it in February, just so people won't get lost. You have from now until then to copy and save any photos you want to keep, or any of the brilliant things I've posted over the years.

3) Let other people know about the change. Word of mouth is what keeps this thing going.

Let me know what you think of the new site.

E-mail me at

Seen and Heard at the MU Fall World Series

Game 1: Black wins, 6-5.
Stars of the Game:
· Sophomore Rex Meyer (aka, "Doggy" or "oo"), 3-for-4 with 2 RBI and 2 runs
· Sophomore Jonah Schmidt, scored from 3rd in the 8th on a delayed double-steal; sacrifice RBI in 9th
· Junior Kyle Gibson, 1 run, 4 hits, 5 strikeouts in 6 innings
· Sophomore Kelly Fick, 0 runs, 4 hits, 1 strikeout, 6 innings

Game 2: Gold wins, 13-12
On a cold and windy day, the batters were getting hit, the pitchers were getting hit, and the crowd was getting cold as the game crawled at a snail's pace.

Stars of the Game:
· Junior Greg Folgia, 4-for-4, 2 RBI, 3 runs
· Jonah Schmidt, 3 RBI on a 6th inning triple

Overheard at the games:

· Shortstop Michael Liberto, a JuCo transfer, has impressed in Fall practice and looked great this weekend. On Sunday, he tracked down a wind-blown fly ball that appeared head for the shortstop position and finally landed in Liberto's glove several feet in back of and to the 1st base side of 2nd base. Word is he may hae the starting shortstop job nailed down.

· 2nd Base may be the only starting job still open for competition, with Freshman Conner Mach a likely candidate to earn the job - if not at the season's beginning, then likely by the time the Big XII season arrives.

· Likely starters:
Outfield: Senne, Lollis, Folgia
1st: Gray
2nd: C Mach?
SS: Liberto
3rd: K Mach
C: Coleman

· Kelly Fick appears to have impressed greatly in Fall practice among the pitchers, and will almost certainly begin the season in a starting role. Kyle Gibson and Ian Berger will likely begin the season as weekend starters, with Fick, Tepesch, Allen, Hicks and others jostling for position in the rotation. With the crowded schedule in the first weeks of the season, all pitching candidates swill get opportunities to earn their keep.

· David Rollins, the MIA Recruit, who declined to sign with the Dodgers, who drafted him, but also is not on the MU roster or even on the MU student rolls, reportedly opted to go the Junior College route. I haven't been able to locate exactly where he chose to go, but that is apparently why he is Missing In Action in Columbia.

Seen at the games:

Both "Bonus Bum" Aaron Crow and his former rotation-mate Rick Zagone were at the game Sunday. I heard at the ballpark that Crow is on a workout schedule, including tossing the ball around with turn-of-the-semester local Mizzou recruit Garrison McLagan each week, an arrangement that benefits both of these "sitting-and-waiting" players.

MU Pitchers hope for pro career

Daniel Pauling of the Missourian talks to Brad Buehler and Kyle Gibson, who have a peculiar interest in the 2008 MLB World Series:

"The Tampa Bay Rays selected Buehler in the 43rd round of the 2007 draft, and the Philadelphia Phillies chose Gibson in the 36th round of the 2006 draft."

Also, some interesting quotes from Tony Vitello about those two MU pitchers, including this: "It's cutthroat (in the minor leagues). We're going to invest innings and time to develop these two. Scouts always find players, so they'll discard you (if a player doesn't perform well)."

Sounds like a well-rehearsed recruiting line - and a true statement.

2009 Recruit: Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson, RHP/INF; Mountain Vista HS, CO; Home: Highlands Ranch, CO; 6'5", 196 lb, R/R

2008 Colorado Class 5A All-State Honorable Mention Infielder

Tigerboarder Ando posts: New Pitcher . . . Nice Get !

Eric Anderson of Mountain Vista in south Denver comitted to the MU coaches this weekend. He is an "all conference or better" athelete in 3 sports in Colorado's biggest school classification. He QBs his football team, runs the point on his hoops squad and pitches and plays everywhere in baseball. Eric is a 6'5" righty and will be towing the rubber next fall for the baseball tigers.

This kid had many options (in different sports) and chose the Tigers! Another great find by what is quickly becoming "Pitcher University"

Great get by Coach J and staff. This kid is the real deal.

[Note from Trripleplay: Eric Anderson and his family were in Columbia on Saturday Oct 11 for an official visit and attended the Black & Gold Baseball Scrimmage -- along with a number of other recruits]

The Colorado Springs Gazette talks about QB Eric Anderson's poise:
Mountain Vista team not lacking for confidence

After Mountain Vista's lightning-quick strike to open the game, Doherty drove 79 yards but Terry was stopped at the 1-inch line on second down and sophomore Reggie Sampson was stymied twice more.

"I definitely thought I scored," Terry said. "I saw the ball cross and go in but I guess the refs didn't see it."

"That was huge for momentum," said Mountain Vista quarterback Eric Anderson, who completed 11 of 15 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns. "It took the wind out of their sails, especially when we went 99 yards."

"We got our heads down a little bit after that," Doherty coach Matt Wibbels said.

Wibbels said Barr - who is expected back next week - was missed but praised junior Zach Donohoe.

But he couldn't match the poise of Anderson, a 6-foot-4 senior who has been offered baseball scholarships to Nebraska and Missouri.

Interestingly, everything online about Anderson talks about him as a Quarterbak, a college football prospect. ShowMeSportsOnline explains Anderson's connection with Mizzou:

Eric`s father, Tom Anderson, is a former Missouri Tiger player himself and familiar with the town and program. So Eric grew up a Tiger fan and even dressed up on Halloween in his dad`s only Tiger gear to go trick or treating.

"Yeah, I use to wear my dad`s stuff for Halloween and always wanted to be a Tiger football player. I remember that."

On the chance that he could play at the same school that his father did?

"It would be a great honor. I have always been a Tiger fan so it would mean a lot. We`ll see what happens." also has another quick scouting report

And has some video of Anderson's Football Highlights

2009 Recruit: Eric Garcia

Eric Garcia, SS; Pflugerville, TX (Hendrickson HS); 5'11", 167 lb, S/R

2008: .474 (45 for 95); 14 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 4 K, 13 SB
60 Time: 6.89

Led Hendrickson HS in Hits and Avg 2006, 2007, 2008; led in RBI's 2007 & 2008

2008 Texas All-State 4A 2nd team
2008 All Central Texas
2006, 2007, 2008 All District Team

Summer 2008: Austin Slam Baseball; Premiere Nationals in Joplin: 15 for 20, 4 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR

Verbally Committed to Mizzou after also receiving interest from Texas Tech, Baylor, Arkansas, LSU, Texas State, Sam Houston State, and others. reports: "Exciting player with unlimited potential. One of the best we’ve seen. Although he didn’t list himself as a pitcher. He hit 88 MPH with a fastball that had great movement. Sharp curve ball and great change up. Ran a 6.92 60 yd and is a smart base runner. Silky smooth at SS/2B with a gun for an arm. Great bat showing polished mechanics and quick hands. Makes solid contact with good power. Big RBI producer. Already being heavily recruited by big time programs. Unlimited future!"

2009 Recruit: Blake Brown

Blake Brown, OF/P; Bloomington, IL (Normal West HS); R/R, 6'1", 190 lb

2008: .440 Avg, 51 RBI, 11 HR, 16 2B, 42 R, 11 SB, 6 K

Scouting Report from Impact

An ’09 outfielder with good speed (7.06 60yd) he covered a lot of ground. Showed a good strong throwing arm from the deep outfield. On the mound he peaked at 84 MPH. We feel he will reach the high 80’s as he matures physically. Has good solid fundamentals and good command of the strike zone. An excellent student (4.13 GPA). Blake will be a good prospect to follow.

Normal West senior OF Blake Brown orally commits to Mizzou

Normal West High School baseball coach Chris Hawkins says Blake Brown “hasn’t always been considered the best player in his class.”

Yet Brown’s work both in the weight room and on the baseball diamond has led to the Wildcats’ senior outfielder accepting a scholarship offer from Missouri. He will sign a national letter of intent in November.

“The coaching staff was great and the campus is amazing,” Brown said. “The facilities are outstanding and the players I met there are really friendly. I felt at home.”

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Brown set a school record and led The Pantagraph area with 11 home runs as a junior. He also batted .440 with 51 RBIs, the second-highest total in the area.

“He threw 89 mph from the outfield last spring,” Hawkins said. “He’s got extraordinary power and he’s as fast as anybody we have. He’s a five-tool player, but he’s still working on his fifth tool, defense.”

Brown said he also strongly considered Illinois State and received interest from Iowa, Michigan and Alabama-Birmingham.

Missouri had a 39-21 record last season and made its sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance.

PrepBaseballReport confirms Brown's oral commitment and provides a short scouting report

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Science and Strategies of Winning Baseball

by John "Hi" Simmons:

The following manuscript was written by former Missouri Baseball coach John "Hi" Simmons.

I found the manuscript among several other items of MU Baseball memorabilia at a local antique mall, and quickly paid the small price being asked.

The manuscript itself does not bear Simmons' name, and it does not carry a date. It is hand-typed on an old manual typewriter, using a cloth ribbon. A label was on the outside of the protective plastic sheath containing the papers. It said simply, Article by John "Hi" Simmons.

As to the date of this manuscript, a few clues are available from the text.

Simmons refers to two books on baseball coaching in his summary. Baseball Play and Strategy, by Ethan Allen, was first published in 1959. It is still in print, in its third edition. The other book mentioned, Jack Coomb's Baseball, was initially published in 1938, but Simmons refers to the Prentice-Hall edition, revised and edited by Danny Litwhiler, which was published in 1966. This book is not still in print, but out-of-print copies are available.

Based upon a brief reference to "controversies in the professional game between management and players", and the "reserve clause", it might be logical to conclude the date of writing was sometime in the late '60's or in the '70's. This time-frame would tend to be backed up by the publishing dates of the books previously mentioned.

The manuscript appears to be Simmons' review of a book written by some other person. I have so far found no record of any publication by this title, but many minor publications about baeball and baseball coaching have come and gone over the years.

What makes this manuscript of interest, however, is not the specifics of the book being reviewed, but John Simmons' personal comments about the ideas put forth in the book. Simmons agrees and disagrees with a number of details, expressing definite opinions about various details involving the game of baseball and coaching players in the various skills of baseball.

I have copied the mauscript in full, as follows:

A Review of Manuscript Entitled

My qualifications as a reviewer of this work is limited to the technical accuracy of playing the game of baseball. This being true I will not attempt to review the physical or psychological material in this manuscript even though I have had some experience with both. I propose to take the contents chapter by chapter and give you my impression.

The introduction chapter giving the history of the game of baseball is very good. However, I believe the authors should not become involved in the controversies in the professional game between management and players. My sympathy is with the player and against the "reserve clause" in the professional baseball contract. This place in the introduction would cause definite dissatisfaction with the powerful professional people.

Chapter 1

Throwing and Catching Baseballs

The principles of throwing and catching a baseball are sound and proper in this chapter. I take exception to principles 6 and 9. Principle 6 states: "The ball should be thrown with a cross-seam grip at all times except pitching."

The cross-seam grip is desirable, but I feel it is unrealistic. To complete the defensive play does not allow time for the fielder to sort the seams.

Principle 9 states: "The difference among the side-arm, three quarters, and overhand throw is in body lean and not in arm position."

I do not take issue with this statement, but feel the authors should tell the dangers that follow the making of certain throws. The contents of this book places great emphasis on the accurate throw, therefore, it should state the dangers of making the improper throw in certain situations that might cause inaccuracy. The side-arm throw that travels farther than sixty feet will sink making it very difficult to handle.

Chapter 2

Fielding the Ground Ball and Fly Ball

This chapter could be placed in Chapter 6 "Coaching the Infielders". There seems to be considerable overlap of these two chapters.

Principle 7 states: "The ground ball should be fielded on the short hop or the long hop, but should never be fielded in between those two points."

This principle is quite true in statement, but in actual play there are many occasions when you will need to field the ball after the short hop and before the long hop. This occurs when the infielder charges the ball hopefully to play the proper hop. This chapter assumes the player will not charge the ball, but does not mention this fact which is essential to good infiled play.

In both chapter 2 and chapter 6 failed to clarify fly ball priority. To em this is a must for good play. Fly ball priority for the nine men on the team with a breakdown for the infielders on short fly balls.

Chapter 3


It is my feeling that chapter 3, chapter 4 "Bunting", and chapter 9 "Coaching the Hitters" should be combined in one chapter. Since all the chapters pertain to the exceptional skill required in hitting the baseball why make it necessary to refer to another chapter.

My first reading of these chapters did not impress me, but a second reading changed my thinking. This discussion on hitting in these three chapters is very well done. Some techniques advanced in this writing I do not agree with but every coach has definite ideas about the proper methods to employ in helping a hitter improve. I was somewhat disappointed that the authors did not explain the position of the feet. Certain comfortable stances taken by a hitter can be detrimental to hitting. To give you an illustration: if the toe of the back foot is pointed toward the catcher, he cannot pull the ball because he has locked his hips.

The stroke itself is not explained to my satisfaction. You have wrist hitters and sweep hitters. I advocate wrist hitting. This simply means throwing the fat end of the bat at the top of the ball with enough bat control to stop the descent of the bat as you reach the height of the ball. The follow through will be level and through the ball. If the hands are tightened as the bat reaches the ball it will cause the ball to fly with good velocity.

Chapter 5

Base Running and Sliding

This chapter covers the subject material very well.

Chapter 6

Coaching the Infielders

This chapter should be broken down into five chapters. First Base Play, Second Base Play, Shortstop Play, Third Base Play, and The Double Play.

The play of the infielders as described is excellent and fundamentally sound. I felt hat the use of pictures or diagrams of the pivot at second base on the double play would be helpful.

In chapter 2, I suggested that "Fielding the Ground Ball and Fly Ball" and chapter 6 "Coaching the Infielders" be combined into one chapter.

Chapter 7

Coaching the Outfielders

This chapter seems to be sound in most respects. There a few items that I feel are extremely important that have been omitted from this discussion.

The ball hit to dead center field (fly ball or line drive) does not slice or hook toward the foul lines.

All throws made by outfielders must be made with the over-hand throw for accuracy. Any deviation from the over-hand throw will cause a break, its size depending on how long the throw.

If the outfielder needs to make a throw following the catch he should keep the ball in front of him taking one or two steps in to make the catch and then he has established his body momentum toward the base he intends to throw.

To cut down on the time element which is so important in making the close play in baseball, the outfielder should catch the ball with two hands in front of the shoulder of his throwing arm to load the throw.

Chapter 8

Coaching the Catchers

This is good coverage on catching. In this discussion of catching, much emphasis was placed on blocking the pitch in the dirt. I heartedly agree this is a must in good catching. The technique is not quite clear. On the pitch in the dirt inside or outside the plate is the difficult one. On the pitch outside, the catcher should step lightly toward the pitch with his right foot dropping to his knees with the trunk of his body tilted forward from the hips up to cup the ball and prevent it from bouncing off his breast-protector and over his shoulder. The inside pitch operates the same way with the exception that he steps with the left foot.

Chapter 9

Coaching the Hitters

I previous stated this chapter should be a part of chapter 3.

Chapter 10

Coaching the Pitchers

This chapter should be included with chapter 14 "Pitching Strategy". In chapter 10, all techniques described are good but not clear on the variouis grips on the ball to get the fast ball, curve, slider and change. Most baseball books have pictures or diagrams explaining these grips. To the young and inexperienced coach this is very important.

A very interesting addition to this chapter is the general material by the fine pitching coach Johny Sain.

Chapter 11

Preparing for the Game

This material should be very helpful for the young or beginning coach at the high school or college level.

Chapter 12

Offensive Strategy

I agree with the contents in this chapter with one exception. This exception is:

A base runner at third base and less than two down tagging up with the intention of attempting to score following the outfield catch. The author utilizes the third base coach as the starter. To me this delays the start. I prefer the baserunner place his left foot on the base and observe the catch in the outfield then break for the plate. It is my feeling that this is a much quicker method.

Chapter 13

Defensive Strategy

This chapter appears to be sound except there is no method of run-down procedure. Many times during the season your team will pick men off the bases. It becomes necessary to have a set procedure between first and second, second and third, and between third and home.

Chapter 15

How to Teach Baseball Skills

No two men teach baseball the same way, however there are many fine ideas discussed in this chapter.

Chapter 16

Conducting Indoor Practices

This chapter could be very beneficial to cold weather teams, particularly those schools north of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Chapter 17

Conducting Outdoor Practices

Chapter 18

Training for Baseball

Chapter 19

Purchase and Care of Equipment

These last three chapters would be very helpful to the young or beginning coach.


In making a summary of the manuscript, it is my feeling that it possibly could be of more interest to the high school coach or the beginning coach.

This book places great emphasis on the scientific approach to playing baseball. It is possible this book might be used at the college level for the under-graduate who is majoring in physical education. It would be taught in a major sports class of upper-classmen. Many of these students have not had previous baseball experience. From my chapter-by-chapter report, you have noticed that many techniques have not been spelled out to my satisfaction. Therefore, this book could be used as a supplementary text in a course. It is my feeling that the text for this type course in major sports would need to be more technical in its approach.

Should this book be used as a text in a baseball course it would be competing with such fine technical books as "Baseball Play and Strategy" by Ethan Allen and publish by Ronald Press Company, and Jack Coomb's "Baseball" revised 4th edition by Danny Litwiler and printed by Prentice-Hall. These two books are very technical and excellent textbooks.

In most instances the writers have been accurate in their coverage of baseball. It is my feeling that the material would be improved with pictures or diagrams showing the proper methods of making the play.

1902 Missouri Baseball

The Fight is On
To-day we cuss the umpire;
To-day we cheer the team
Who, in our eyes are all the go,
And all but perfect seem.
To-day upon the pitcher
We put our little tag,
And tout him on to bring us home
That bonnie little rag;
And for a half a twelve month
We'll cheer him every day,
For now the season has begin,
Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!
(Columbia Daily Tribune, April 1902)

On The Campus
(From the Columbia Daily Tribune, March 14, 1902)

Active Base ball practice has begun and candidates for the team are on the field every day.

On The Campus
(From the Columbia Daily Tribune, March 28, 1902)

The First and Second base ball teams have been playing exhibition games every other day on Rollins field. Some fine games have been played and it is productive of much good in their training.

Coming Events
Base ball M.S.U. versus Central college Rollins Field Monday April 7

First Game of the Season is Base-Ball Won from Central College on Rollins Field this Afternoon
(From the Columbia Daily Tribune, April 7, 1902)

The base ball season was formally opened this afternoon on Rollins Field. Central College and M.S.U. tried for honors with the result of 15 to 1 in favor of M.S.U.

The lineup was as follows: M.S.U.--McCaslin, l.f.; Lieb, 2nd b; Broadhead, 3rd b.; Rothwell, c.f.; Birney, 1st b.; Gore, s. stop; McElmore, c; Keefer, r.f.; Hamilton, P. Central.-- Collier, 1st b.; Brumbine, 2nd b.; Bradley, c.f., Wagoner, P.; Ivie, r.f.; Capelle, l.f.; Bowles, s. stop. Captains: M.S.U. -- McCaslin; Central--Capelle. Umpire, Hawkins; Score keeper, Cunningham.

Lieb and Broadhead did the best sticking for Missouri and Wagoner for Central. The game was a pitcher's game all the way through, Hamilton striking out eight of the Central men, and Wagoner striking out 3 of Missouri's.

Westminster's Nine Goes Down Before the Tigers with a Score of 24 to 4
(From the Columbia Daily Tribune, April 14, 1902)

Missouri again proved her supremacy this afternoon in base ball. No great crowd was present to see the Varsity defeat the opposing nine, but the four or five hundred enthusiasts witnessed a one-sided game with the advantage decidedly in Missouri's favor.

The Game Yesterday
Much Improvement in Every Respect Over Last Year's Work
Chances Good for Further Success
(Columbia Daily Tribune, April 15, 1902)

The showing made by the University base ball team in the games played with Central and Westminster colleges, were very gratifying and encouraging to all of its friends and to the "fans" as well.

In the first game Missouri's feeling was good but they failed to "connect with the ball" as often as they should have done and especially was this so when the bases were filled and a "single" or a "double" was needed to bring in one or more men, but the batters at these critical times were not equal to the occasion. However this weakness was most conspicuous in the Westminster game and on the contrary almost every man on the Missouri team had a "good eye" and "wielded the ash" with results such as to enthuse the rooters and greatly depress the opposing pitchers.

Judging from the exhibition given in the games already mentioned, Missouri has a team which will develop as the season advances, into one of the best that has ever represented the University on the diamond. The men play with a dash and spirit that is refreshing to all while the team is to be congratulated on its success thus far and its prospects for the future and they should bear in mind that overconfidence often loses games and victories are the things most desired.

"Play ball," hard, fast and snappy ball, and when the season is over a record will have been made which will reflect honor and credit on the University and on each member of the team.

Big Game Tomorrow
(Columbia Daily Tribune, April 18, 1902)

Washburn College will cross bats with M.S.U. to-morrow. This will be the first big game and will no doubt be a spledid game throughout. Everybody should turn out and encourage the home team , for it can hardly be expected that victory will be as easy over Washburn as in other games played.

(Columbia Daily Tribune, April 19, 1902)

The final score was 10 to 6 in favor of M.S.U.
The Washburn base ball team of Topeka, Kansas, arrived on the 12 o'clock M.K.&T. train from Warrensburg, where they defeated the Normals by a score of 6 to 3. This afternoon they met the University in a match game on Rollins field which was bitterly ocntested throughout.

From the manner the Washburn boys handled themselves in preliminary practice, the large crowd present realized tha tMissouri was "up against the real thing;" but knowing the stamina of McCaslin' braves they felt sure that they would finish strong and add another to their unbroken list of victories.

Victorious Again
William Jewell Team meets Defeat by tthe Tigers -- Score 22 to 5.
(Columbia Daily Tribune, April 25, 1902)

Those who witnessed the base ball game between William Jewell and the University to-day felt repaid for going. There have been more exciting and harder struggles than this one but it was interesting nevertheless.

Missouri, flushed with three straight victories, played hard to make this one the fourth.

William Jewell recently played the Kansas City, "Blues" and were defeated by a score of 14 to 4, not a bad showing against professionals to be sure. They are a younger and lighter set of men than Missouri's team but they are no novices at the game by any means. It was a good game of ball and the best team won.

Kansas meets Missouri on Diamond at Rollins Field this Afternoon Before a Large Crowd
(From the Columbia Daily Tribune, April 26, 1902)

This afternoon Missouri met Kansas on the baseball diamond and unlike yesterdays game was close and exciting from start to finish. The weather was cold and the wind made the fly balls hard to judge. This was supposed to be the big game of the season and it was. That "never give up" spirit which characterises Kansas in all contests was manifested in this afternoon's game. Missouri had played four games, won four and lost none, Kansas had played eight games, won six and lost two. There was no earned run in the game.

19th Century Missouri State University Base Ball

Photo at right: 1891 Missouri State tigers

"Intercollegiate athletics [at Mizzou] dated back to 1873, when a university team played baseball with Westminster College. The game created wide interest, and each spring thereafter the varsity baseball team challenged teams from nearby towns."
(James and Vera Solson, The University of Missouri: An Illustrated History)

"The baseball game with Westminster was an annual affair; on one occasion the Columbia nine arrived in such hilarious mood that they were held under arrest until they identified themselves. They lost the game.....But the story really begins with the organization of the Missouri university Athletic Association in September, 1886, and the appointments of committees to organize two baseball nines and two football elevens. Any real development belongs to the nineties. It is interesting to note that in 1886 the faculty at studetn request named officially the colors of the University. After really serious consideration the faculty settled on crimson and gold."
(Jonas Viles, The University of Missouri: A Centennial History, 1839-1939)

Finding detailed and accurate information on Missouri Baseball prior to 1900 is difficult. The Columbia Daily Tribune, the primary newspaper in Columbia during the 20th centruy, was not in existence until 1902.
Other newspapers came and went during the prior century, and records for those journals are incomplete and sometimes inaccesible.

I have managed, with the aid of the State Historical Society of Missouri, to piece together some records prior to 1900, and will reproduce them here on these pages as time allows.

These newspaper accounts are quite informative and also interesting.

The "lingo" of the time comes through strongly in the newspaper articles. The game is called base ball, not baseball.

And the University itself is referred to as Missouri State University, or M.S.U.

Also, the names of the University leaders of the time read like a list of building names on a current map of MU

Missouri State Baseball: 1899

The complete Won-Loss record for the 1899 Missouri Tigers "base ball" team is unknown. The official MU Baseball Press Guide lists it as "Unknown", and the newspaper records are incomplete.

It is apparent, however, that the 1899 squad was quite successful, winning the "championship" among the colleges of the Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska area.

Following are excerpts from the Columbia Missouri Herald, March through May, 1899, as found on microfilm at the State Historical Society of Missouri. All appeared in a regular column under the title "The School News: Missouri State University".

March 17, 1899

There was a meeting of the athletic board March 11 to discuss baseball prospects.

March 24, 1899

Interest in base ball this year is greater than ever before. Nearly every class has a team and every afternoon on the quadrangle is filled with boys practicing. The class teams show there is much splendid base ball material. So for the University team there will be two or three or even more good men to select from for the different positions.

Pres. Jesse has posted a bulletin endorsing the interest shown in base ball and basket ball. He also urges that a larger interest be taken in the field day exercises and terms and promises that the grounds will be put in good order under the directions of Mr. Rollins and Rothwell.

April 7, 1899

The following schedule for the University base ball team has been arranged:

Kemper vs. M.S.U. at Columbia, April 11
Nebraska vs. M.S.U. at Lincoln, April 27
Kansas vs. M.S.U. at Lawrence, April 29
Nebraska vs. M.S.U. at Columbia, May 15

Other games will soon be arranged for with Westminster, Lexington, Smith Academy, Washington University and other schools. The recent bad weather has materially interfered with practice and caused the postponement of the game scheduled for April 5, with Westminster.

April 14, 1899

The first of the regular University games of base ball was played Tuesday afternoon with the Kemper Family School, of Boonville. Our boys showed up very well indeed, the batting being especially fine. While some errors were made they were few and the score was fairly earned. For Kemper the captain who played at first, pitch and catch was the best man. On the University side Atchison, Hawkins and Broderick played especially well. Hawkins is an entire success as pitcher. Kemper made 3 talies in the seven innings which was her total score. The final score was 29 to 3 in favor of M.S.U.

Broderick 1B
Cartright 2B
Feltz 3B
McCaslin RF
Jewett CF
Atchison LF
Mosman Short stop
Sooper Catcher
Hawkins Pitcher

Season tickets are being sold for the ball games.

May 5, 1899

The base ball team is retrieving Missouri's athletic reputation. In their first game, the one with Nebraska, they beat by a score of 8 to 5. They lost to St. Marys 16 to 11. In the third game they defeated Kansas by a score of 9 to 8. Their last game, the return game with Kemper at Boonville, they won 24 to 6. Curtwright, the new pitcher, is an unusually strong man in the box. He showed up well at all times and but few hits were made off his balls. Hawkins showed that he was a master hand at batting and knocked a home run with the first ball the crack Kansas pitcher threw him. Saturday night when the news of the victory over Kansas was received the boys made merry with a parade (robe de nuit). They went to the two colleges and cake walked and danced just to celebrate and for the benefit of anyone who might wish to see them.

May 19, 1899

The Missouri-Nebraska base ball game took place Monday afternoon with a fairly good crowd in attendance. Missouri showed up in good style and did some fine batting, sending the crack Texas league pitcher's curves to every quarter of the diamond. Nebraska also played well, but Missouri won 12 to 6.

May 26, 1899

The Missouri-Kansas base ball game Monday evening was one of the best base ball games ever seen here. A good crowd was out and the men of both sides in fine condition. The play was rapid and excellent, Missouri making only 4 errors, Kansas 7. This game gives Missouri the intercollegiate championship between the colleges of Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska. The M.S.U. boys have lost only two games this season and have reason to be proud of themselves. Curtright did some notably good pitching. The names and positions were as follows.

Missouri Kansas
McCaslin rf Parent
Atchison lf Griggs
Feltz cf Barnett
Jones 3d. b. Lucas
Hawkins 2d. b. Housh
Cooper 1st.b. Carrol
Mosman s.s. Parsman
Curtright p Hall
Garvin c. Moore

References for further study about 19th century MU Baeball

State Historical Society of Missouri

University of Missouri History Web Page The 1954 Championship Season

Missouri Tiger Baseball in 1954 was quite different from the modern version, in many ways.

Most notably, there was no Simmons Field, not to mention Taylor Stadium. Simmons was the name of the Head Coach - John "Hi" Simmons - and his team played their home games at Rollins Field, in the heart of the campus. The field was located (logically) on Rollins Road, near the still-standing Brewer Field House. As is apparent from the photos on this page (taken during the 1954 season), Rollins Field lacked some of the amenities now available at modern Taylor Stadium.

In 2003, Coach Tim Jamieson struggled with bad weather in the first months of the season, eventually failing to get in the 56 games allowed by the NCAA. Fortunately, his team played well enough to not only earn a 4th-place seed in the Big XII Tournament, but an invitation to the 64-team NCAA Regionals.

The weather was no better or worse fifty years ago. Coach Simmons, though, was not trying to fill out a 56-game schedule. His Tigers played a 20-game regular-season schedule, including 12 games against Big Seven Conference rivals (Iowa State, Kansas State, Colorado, Oklahoma, Nebraska -- MU & KU did not meet on the diamond that year, due to a rain-out). They then advanced directly to the College World Series, where they played just six games against five opponents on their way to the national championship.

University of Missouri Freshmen did not play on the varsity baseball team in those days. The entire roster listing for the '54 Tigers includes only 20 players, compared to 33 ballplayers in '03.

There is one thing, though, that has not changed from 1954 to 2004.

Baseball is still the same. Nine innings, three outs per inning, three strikes, four balls, fast balls, curves, stolen bases, home runs - the Game is the same.

And the best place to watch the National Pastime is still at good old Mizzou. Just don't expect to find the current Tigers at Rollins Field.

During the 2004 anniversary celebration of the Missouri Tigers' Championship Season, I posted day-by-day re-creations of the 1954 season.

My goal was to reproduce on these pages the local newspaper accounts the Columbia Daily Tribune and the Columbia Missourian) - and other information - of the season and the games. As closely as possible, these were posted on the exact anniversary of the days in 1954 on which they were first printed, beginning with a a few scattered articles through the fall semester, and increasing in frequency as the baseball season approached.

As I begin the process of moving some archived information from the old hosted by MSN Groups, I am beginning with these historic re-creations. I'd hate to see this record lost in the Twilight Zone of the dead internet.

3 Lettermen Lost to Tiger Baseball Team

(Columbia Daily Tribune, August 29, 1953)

College baseball is eight months away, but Missouri's Coach John Simmons already is mourning the loss of two good pitchers and an outfielder. John Willingham, one of the pitchers, has signed with the St. Louis Cardinals organization and has been assigned to St. Joseph, while the other, John Jenkins, has notified Simmons that he has gotten married and gone into business at Lexington and does not expect to return to the university this Fall.

Bob Bishop is the departed outfielder. He has signed with the Brooklyn organization and, like Willingham, has been assigned to a minor league club for seasoning.

"In 1952, the Tigers had been runner-up in their first trip to the College World Series, an event founded in 1947 and held then as now in Omaha, Neb. This was a different team in '54, with only three seniors who'd been there before."

(Columbia Daily Tribune, May 14, 1994)

Upset Win Over Purdue Brightens Tigers' Big Seven Prospects

(Columbia Daily Tribune, Sept. 28, 1953)

(1954 MU Baseball players in BOLD)

The University of Missouri football team whipped up the best offense a Tiger team has displayed in years - some old-timers said five, seven or 10 years - to whip Purdue, 14 to 7, before a sun-blistered crowd of 19,000 in Memorial stadium Saturday afternoon.

The victory, a surprise to most Missouri followers and an altogether heartening one even for all of them, set the stage for M.U.'s Big Seven debut against Colorado at Boulder next Saturday and cast a decidedly brighter hue over the Tigers' prospects in the conference campaign.

The Tigers had about everything against the co-champions of the Big Ten, despite the fact that they were outweighed substantially by their Western conference opponents.

They reeled off first downs in amazing succession, first with Vic Eaton in the driver's seat and then with Tony Scardino calling signals. They intercepted passes. They blocked a Purdue kick at the goal line and quickly turned the play into the winning touchdown, and they showed fine blocking and powerhouse running which Purdue couldn't stop.

Bob Bauman, Skimp Merrifield and Bob Schoonmaker reeled off the yardage, with Eaton, starting his first game, calling the signals. Midway of the opening drive Bauman threw a spectacular block to clear the way for a 19-yard sprint by Schoonmaker around the left end that carried the Tigers to the Purdue 29.

The Tigers bogged momentarily, but Eaton's pass to Pete Corpeny was good for the first down on the Purdue 13, and Bauman and Merrifield went on the Boilermakers' six. Then, on fourth down Eaton passed to Corpeny in the end zone for what looked like a touchdown - but Alvin Portney, sophomore tackle, was downfield and the penalty for that was 15 yards and loss of the down.

And that gave Purdue the ball on the Boilermakers' 21.

The Tiger defense was stern and Purdue had to punt without making a first down, an and the Bengals started from their 41.

On the first play, Merrifield caught Schoonmaker's pass just across the midfield and went down to the Purdue 40 for the first down.

The Tigers took to the air...

"It was Simmons’ desire for excellence that made him a valued member of (Don) Faurot’s coaching staffs. {John "Hi")Simmons was known for his detailed scouting reports. They were concise and broke down every possible aspect of MU’s opponents.

"He was a heck of a football scout," (Ken) Kurtz said. "He knew everything about the other team. His reports were very humorous, but they got everyone’s attention and got the point across."
(Columbia Daily Tribune, October 4, 1999)

Tall in those days at 6-foot-3, Simmons lettered in three sports under Don Faurot.

Faurot hired Simmons to the MU football staff in 1935 and put him in charge of scouting.

``He always gave the report on Sunday afternoons,'' said his wife of 56 years, Jan. ``And from what I heard the boys say, he made it colorful.''
(Columbia Daily Tribune, January 14, 1995)

Norm Stewart on joining the MU Baseball team

My getting into baseball at the college level was a bit of a fluke in the first place. It all really boiled down to a one-dollar bet.

One afternoon I headed toward the athletics department to pick up some basketball gear from the equipment manager.
Just then a brash young guy out of the St. Louis area, Emil Kammer, walked up to me and said, “What the hell are you doing?”

I knew of Kammer because he was an outstanding player out of Normandy High School. He was to become a leading pitcher on the Missouri staff, and a good third baseman as well.

I thought I would pull his leg a little, so I said, “I’m going out for baseball.”

Kammer went crazy. ”Why?”

“I’m a hell of a baseball player.”

“If you make the team, we won’t win a game,” Emil said.

Here’s this small-town kid being confronted by a wise-cracker from St. Louis. I had to come back with some sort of response. I took his remark as a challenge.

“I will bet you a dollar I’ll make the team.”

Emil said, “I’ll take that bet.”

(Norm Stewart, in Stormin' Back; p. 37)

Tiger Cage Drills Begin On Monday
(Columbia Daily Tribune, October 31, 1953)

Coach Wilbur Stalcup will launch preparations Monday for the University of Missouri's 1953-54 basketball campaign with a nucleus of nine lettermen and a likely lot of reserves and tall sophomores that make M.U. prospects at least above average.

The Tigers will have a good deal more height than usual as Jerald Mundell, 6 feet 9 inches, of Brookfield; Norman Stewart, 6-5 of Shelbyville, and Charles Denny, 6-4 of Fayette, all sophomores, join the veteran Bob Reiter, 6-8 of Brentwood, on the varsity squad.

Along with Reiter, the lettermen reporting Monday include Wynne Casteel, Jr., of Fort Lauderdale, Fla; Lloyd Elmore of Farmington, Gary Filbert of St. Joseph, Lee Fowler of Boonville, Ronald Hughes of Carthage, Bill Holst of Sedalia, and Medford Park of Lexington. Bob Schoonmaker of Lebanon, who is a regular starter on Coach Don Faurot's football team, will join the cage squad in late November.

Sophomore candidates listed by Stalcup, in addition to Mundell, Denny and Stewart include Kent Henson of Oran, Dick Jensen of Kansas City Southeast, Harold (Bud) Johnson of Columbia, Duncan Matteson of Kansas City Southwest, Eldon Morgan, Jr., of Kansas City East, Redford Reichert of Calhoun, Tom Saunders of Lebanon and Todd Sickel of Kansas City Central.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Musgrave Returns

(Columbia Missourian, May 5, 1993)

Bob Musgrave said today's players are similar to those on the 1954 championship team.

As he walked into Simmons Field on April 25, Bob Musgrave looked up at the flagpole and said ``There it is, there's our flag.''

He wasn't a veteran paying homage to Old Glory. Rather, he was a member of the 1954 Missouri baseball team looking at the commemorative flag. That team was the only M.U. one to ever win a national championship.

``We had a great team that year, as a team I think we hit .311. I hit .418 and about five other guys hit over .300,'' Musgrave said. ``But more impressively, we had a team ERA of about 2.30.''

That combination helped Missouri to a 22-4 record, 11-1 in the Big Seven Conference. After losing the first conference game, the Tigers rattled off 11 straight.

Winning the national championship did not come as a total shock to Musgrave and his teammates.

"We came in second place in the state in American Legion baseball and won 17 straight football games at Hickman,'' Musgrave said.``So it was almost like you expected to win. I got to Missouri and I expected us to do well and we did.

"We had some great athletes on that team. Jerry Schoonmaker still holds several records, I'm still fifth in on-base percentage for a season (.526), and our captain Dick Dickenson, Buddy Cox and our two pitchers, Emil Kammer and Ed Cook were all great ballplayers.''

Schoonmaker was named All-American in 1954 and is the only member of that team to see any major league service. He played with the Washington Nationals (who became the Senators in 1957) for parts of 1955 and 1957, compiling a .130 batting average in 50 games and 69 at bats.

Musgrave was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles, but never made it to the major leagues.

Although he didn't play in the majors, Musgrave has seen many games in New York where he works in corporate public relations.

Living in New York, Musgrave has found it difficult to keep up with Missouri baseball, usually just getting the score in the paper. But recently, he had a chance to get together with old high school and college teammates, a chance he welcomed.

"I came back last year for my 40th high school reunion,'' Musgrave said. ``My buddy Dick Hazle and I played on the undefeated state champs in 1951. They held a Black and Gold golf tournament, and Dick and I finished something like 6th. But it was a lot of fun, seeing a lot of jocks that I hadn't seen in - my God - 40 years.''

The first game he saw all year proved to be a success, as Jason Meyhoff pitched the Tigers to a 7-6 victory. But while watching, he couldn't help comparing the 1954 team to the current Tigers.

"I know we would throw the ball 90 mph, and not much else has changed in baseball. The players are all the same size we were,'' Musgrave, a right fielder, said. ``I see these guys in the outfield, and I have to think that I could throw that hard, but I still ask myself if I did. I guess at 59 years old, the old arm feels a little different, and you're not all that sure.''

The game may not have changed, and it may not have improved from Missouri's view. No Tiger team has come close to winning a national chammpionship in baseball, a fact that took a while to sink in for Musgrave.

"When you're playing in high school and college, you don't realize what you did,'' he said. ``We had an awful good team, certainly, and now it's been 39 years and suddenly no one has even come close, you say, `whoa, that's an awesome accomplishment,' and obviously history has proven that."

"We were having fun and nobody ever got serious," outfielder Bob Musgrave recalled. "I would occasionally sing Lefty Friesell songs out in right field, and more than once I probably gave 'Hi' an ulcer or two. I was a little bit of a rebel or an iconoclast, but only because I was having fun and life at that time was kind of an experiment where you make the best of it."
(Columbia Missourian, December 31, 1999)

''I'm sure we drove Hi nuts,'' Kammer said. ''Bob, he was always doing something, just goofing off. He was the wild guy of the bunch. He didn't like a bat we had so he went to a dimestore and bought a 98-cent bat. Biggest damn thing you ever saw, but he could hit with anything.''
(Columbia Missourian, March 13, 1994)


Outside the batter's box, Musgrave was an original.

"Bob was the real character of the whole ballclub,'' shortstop and team captain Dick Dickinson said.

Missouri basketball coach Norm Stewart, a sophomore pitcher in 1954, said the team had an air of Gashouse Gang about it.

"There's no comparison in talent, but the attitude's the thing,'' Stewart said. ``It was a loose group.''

He recalls Musgrave singing country songs and walking on his hands in the outfield. One time at Colorado, Stewart said, Musgrave did both - hand- walking while singing Hank Snow's ``It Don't Hurt Anymore.'' Then there was the ``imaginary focusing of the eyes.'' He remembers Musgrave swinging and
missing, then leaning out of the box and looking toward the bench while making a turning motion with his hand next to his eye. Then he hit the next pitch way out of the park.

"When you're 19 or however old I was, you just have that sort of carefree insouciance as the French say,'' said Musgrave, now retired from a public relations career in White Plains, N.Y.

``I was pretty serious, but at the same time I enjoyed having a good time,'' Musgrave said. ``You have a little bit of ham in you when you're young.

``I had a pretty good audience.''

Simmons was the one critic whose opinion mattered.

``Occasionally I would see him roll his eyes as if, `Oh, my God, what's he
doing now?' '' Musgrave said. ``I kind of knew how far I could go, because Hi
was a pretty tough cookie.''

Simmons gives them thumbs up for attitude. ``They had a lot of fun, but when the game started they were all business.''

(Columbia Daily Tribune May 14, 1994)

Former M.U. Letterman Dies

Former M.U. Letterman Dies
(Columbia Daily Tribune, December 6, 1996)

Bob Schoonmaker was the last Tiger to play three sports.

Former M.U. athletic legend Bob Schoonmaker, 64, died Thursday morning.

Bob Schoonmaker was one of the three-sport lettermen that we've had at the University of Missouri in the history of our sports," said M.U. basketball coach Norm Stewart.

Schoonmaker was the last three-sport athlete at M.U. He earned eight letters in football (1951-53), baseball (1952-54) and basketball (1953-54).

Schoonmaker, from Lebanon, Mo., was an all-Big Seven infielder when M.U. won the College World Series in 1954. That was the school's first national championship in any sport.

Schoonmaker was the last player to captain the football team for a two-year period before Dick Chapura completed the feat in 1985-86.

"It was different then," said Stewart, who also was a member of the M.U. team which won the College World Series. "You could play two sports if you had the talent and the ability. Very few people have that. He had the ability to play three. He was very unique."

Schoonmaker was inducted into the Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame in 1991. Despite his enormous success, Schoonmaker never basked in his own glory.

"In my years, he was the person who had the most integrity in the way he played and the way he conducted his life," Stewart said. "He never was pretentious. Even until the end, I don't think he ever told his family about some of the outstanding things that he did."

"After going 17-3 in the regular season, the team headed to Omaha, Neb., itching for a do-over of 1952. MU, you see, had made it to the NCAA title game against Holy Cross, a game the Tigers expected to win. An 8-4 shellshocking later, the team was headed back to Columbia. Lovable losers.

Two years later, with that scar still visible, MU returned for Part Deux.

"When we went back in 1954, I know (team member) Bob Schoonmaker and I talked and said, 'Boy, it would sure be nice to win this game and say we're No. 1 in the country,'" team captain Dick Dickinson said. "We went in figuring we have as good a chance as anyone."
(Columbia Daily Tribune, December 31, 1999)

Holy Cross Again Beats Tigers for NCAA Championship
Schoonmaker Blasts Homer and Triple
(Columbia Daily Tribune, June 18, 1952)

Eleven rugged men from Holy Cross today ruled as champions of college baseball.

The Crusaders last night defeated Missouri, 8-4, for the NCAA title.

Holy Cross was off to a 3-0 lead at the end of the second inning last night and held it until the fifth when Bob Schoonmaker belted a 375-foot homer for Missouri's first score. The Tigers got a second run the same inning.

In the sixth, Bob Schoonmaker was good for a tremendous smash, this time a 400-foot triple that scored one run. Schoonmaker himself scored shortly afterward.

But the Crusaders, whose eight hits were all singles, got to Missouri starter Dick Atkinson for three more runs in the seventh, and to reliefer (sic) Bert Beckman for two in the ninth.

John "Hi" Simmons, August 16, 1905 - January 12, 1995

(Columbia Daily Tribune, January 14, 1995)

They called him ``Hi'' because of his height. Anybody who came within a foul ball of the Missouri baseball program during John Simmons' days couldn't avoid being touched by his seemingly endless shadow, friends and family recalled last night, a day after Simmons died at his home. He was 89.

Simmons lost his larynx and his voice to surgery in 1979, the result of cancer. That condition and ``maybe old age more than anything else just caught up with him,'' his youngest son, Robert, said.

A moment of silence will be observed before tipoff of Missouri's basketball game against Kansas State tonight, athletic director Joe Castiglione said. In that moment, the university family will mark the passing of the legend who brought MU baseball to prominence.
Simmons framed a 481-294-3 career record with enough honors to fill a small encyclopedia during his 35 seasons. He is best remembered for fashioning a
group of mostly Missouri-born players into the 1954 national championship team, one of only two national titles in MU athletic history. His teams made six appearances in the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., finishing second four times.

``I think he was paying taxes in Nebraska,'' said Norm Stewart, who like many was able to smile when he talked about The Master. Stewart, now coach of the
Tiger men's basketball program, pitched on Simmons' 1954-56 teams.

Stewart said Simmons' lessons often reached beyond the baselines.

``I think people like John `Hi' Simmons influenced people,'' Stewart said. ``People that were around him, he was an excellent teacher.

``The thing he had, a great gift, was his humor. He did in it a distinct manner. It was all the time. He had it going all the time. It wasn't any attempt'' to be funny on purpose; ``it was just him, the way he talked and the
way he saw things.''

A master of the game, who had an eye for untapped talent, Simmons possessed a stubborn streak that demanded near perfection of his players and stressed the timeless march of fundamentals. If your performance didn't agree with Simmons, ``he had his own unique way of letting you know,'' said Gene McArtor, whom Simmons recommended to succeed him after 1973. ``He would let you know right

Like the time during McArtor's first season as head coach, when Simmons called after MU was roughed up in a doubleheader.

``He said, `Well, I'd like to indicate a little problem to you,' '' McArtor said. ``Boy, I was all ears because I was going to hear something from The Master. And he said, `You haven't got any damn pitching.' ''

That was always Simmons' way.

``He was just a hard hombre,'' Gary Woods, who played in '63 and '64, once told the Tribune. ``He couldn't say two words without a word-and-a-half being a curse word. In a loving way, he'd call you an S.O.B.''

Said Dennis Musgraves, a member of the '64 four-man rotation that still holds the NCAA record for team ERA at 0.65: ``He was stern with his ballplayers, but
I don't think anyone that I played with was afraid of him.''

In a 1991 interview, Simmons told the Tribune: ``I enjoyed my players. I treated them all alike. I always felt that if you wanted to get the best out of the players, you had to let them know that it's fun to play, and it's fun to be alive.''

Though he had not visited the MU field that bears his name in about 10 years and had been in particularly poor health the last few months, ex-players still dropped by the Simmons home in Columbia, phoned and sent cards often, Robert Simmons said. Most members of the '54 team went to his home last May during their 40th reunion weekend.

The '54 team was lionized, but Robert Simmons said his father believed he had more talented teams and relished the runner-up seasons.

Perhaps what he enjoyed most was ``the development of his players,'' Robert Simmons said. ``The University of Missouri baseball team certainly had a great reputation over the years, but frankly it didn't always have a lot of money and school support. The real success I think my dad had was to take a player and develop them to their highest ability.''

Born Aug. 16, 1905, in Lancaster near the Iowa border, Simmons graduated from Kirksville State College, now Northeast Missouri State. Tall in those days at 6-foot-3, Simmons lettered in three sports under Don Faurot.

Faurot hired Simmons to the MU football staff in 1935 and put him in charge of scouting.

``He always gave the report on Sunday afternoons,'' said his wife of 56 years, Jan. ``And from what I heard the boys say, he made it colorful.''

The Simmons baseball era began in 1937.

``Not just part of an era,'' Castiglione said. ``He was an era.''

John "Hi" Simmons

John "Hi'' Simmons, 89, of Columbia died Thursday, Jan. 12, 1995, at his home.

Services are 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, at First Presbyterian Church with the Rev. H. Wilkes O'Brien officiating. Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery.
Visitation will immediately follow services at the church.

Mr. Simmons was born Aug. 16, 1905, in Lancaster to Oliver H. and Etta Leedom Simmons.

On Jan. 22, 1939, he married Francis Janet Vlcek, and she survives.

Mr. Simmons was head baseball coach at the University of Missouri-Columbia from 1937 to 1973, and also worked as an assistant to former MU football coach Don Faurot.

His baseball teams won 11 conference championships and in 1954 won the first NCAA title in school history. He led MU to six appearances in the NCAA College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

He was former president of the American Baseball Coaches Association and in 1977 was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. He also is a member of the ABCA Hall of Fame.

Other survivors include three sons, John Simmons Jr. of Tinley Park, Ill., Don Simmons of Virginia Beach, Va., and Robert Simmons of Chesterfield; a sister, Christine Melvin of Los Bandos, Calif.; and five grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister.

Memorials can be made to the John ``Hi'' Simmons Athletic Scholarship Fund in
care of the MU Athletic Department, PO Box 677, Columbia, Mo., 65205.

Simmons had been coaching at Missouri when the players of '54 were pre-schoolers, and he would stay on the job until they were crowding 40.

``He could rip you up one side and down the other without saying very many words,'' Dickinson said.

There were object lessons as well.

Kammer recounted one intrasquad game. ``I
remember one guy, he just sent him up there without a bat because he wouldn't pay any attention to take a ball.''

Jerry Schoonmaker remembers Simmons as ``very unexplosive, which I appreciate. I don't like the yellers and the screamers, never have.''
(Columbia Daily Tribune, May 14, 1994)

33 Candidates Out for Tiger Baseball Squad

(Columbia Daily Tribune, February 11, 1954)

Thirty-three candidates for the University of Missouri baseball squad heard Coach John Simmons outline training rules and plans for the coming season yesterday at a meeting in Rothwell gymnasium.

The Tigers lost eight lettermen from last year's team, which finished third in the Big Seven conference. Hardest hit were the pitching and catching departments, with Bert Beckman, a right-handed hurler, the only batteryman returning.

Herb Gellman, who divided the catching duties with Moe Mohesky, was lost through graduation and Mohesky is in military service. George Gleason, a numeral winner from last year's freshman squad, is a top candidate for the catching job, along with Lloyd Elmore, now a member of the basketball team.

Gone from the pitching staff are Don Boenker, John Jenkins, and John Willingham, who were Simmons' three starters in 1953.

Besides Beckmann, the eight returning lettermen include infielders Bob Schoonmaker, Dick Dickinson and Buddy Cox, and outfielders Jerry Schoonmaker, Leroy Wynn, Jim Doerr and Vic Swenholt.

Yesterday's turnout included eight pitchers, three catchers, 11 infielders and 11 outfielders. The squad will begin practice Monday evening in Brewer Field house.

``We had a lot of different personalities on the team, but we all seemed to get along well together,'' [George] Gleason said.

Gleason had come to MU from a seminary in Kansas City. He carried 20 credit hours a semester to graduate a year ahead of schedule. ``I can always recall showing up with $28.35 for 18 hours of tuition,'' Gleason said.
(Columbia Daily Tribune, May 15, 1994)

College Baseball Ready for Fight Against "Raids"

HAMILTON, N.Y., Feb. 18 (UP) - College baseball's long fight against raiding by the major leagues has another round coming in July.

Rebuffed again last month when they tried to effect a "no raiding" agreement, the college officials say they're ready for an all out fight if the major leagues turn them down again at the major league meetings in July.

Due to the excitement over players' pensions at the Jan. 30 meeting of the American and National leagues, the major leaguers' actions on the collegians' latest proposal escaped notice.

The National League voted 5-3 against the resolution, which called for professional baseball to refrain from signing or negotiating with college players once they had commenced their sophomore year. The American League tabled it until July.

1954 Missouri Tiger Baseball team inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame

(Missouri Sports Hall of Fame)
Under the tutelage of legendary baseball coach John “Hi” Simmons, the 1954 University of Missouri baseball team won the NCAA National Championship and will celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2004. Missouri Sports Hall of Famer Norm Stewart, perhaps most notably known for his contributions as a basketball player and coach for the Tigers, was an outstanding pitcher for Simmons’ team.

The team was inducted into the Hall of Fame in ceremonies on Sunday, February 8th at the University Plaza Convention Center. The Killian Group of Companies is the presenting sponsor of the annual event, which will featured special emphasis being placed on the Hall of Fame’s 10th Anniversary.

Belleville East High School selects members for its Hall of Fame
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 30, 2003)

When it comes time for Belleville East High School to select charter members for its Hall of Fame, here's a vote for retired athletic director Lloyd Elmore of Belleville.

A teacher, coach and/or athletic director at East from the time the school opened in the fall of 1966 until he retired in 1993, Elmore, 70, already is a veteran of Hall of Fame honor and on Feb. 8 will add induction into the Missouri State Hall.

Previously inducted into the University of Missouri Hall of Fame for having been a member of the Tigers' 1954 NCAA national championship baseball team, Elmore will join surviving members of that team in Springfield, Mo., and 13 other individuals who have distinguished themselves in sports.

"We had a team that really pulled together," said Elmore, a reserve catcher during his junior year when Missouri advanced with a Big Eight [actually Big Seven] Conference title and a 17-3 record into the finals in Omaha, Neb.

Whether togetherness resulted from riding to the tournament in a refurbished 1927 rental bus or from having to rally from the losers' bracket, Missouri's baseball team pulled together so well it remains the only team in the university's Hall of Fame.

"We had a crafty lefthander from East Alton named Ed Cook, who won the title game (4-1 over Rollins, Fla.)," said Elmore.

Prior to the title game, Elmore confirmed that Coach John "Hi" Simmons had told the team "if you get second place, you'll get no meal money, and you'll walk home before you get on that bus."

"He threw a heavy ball," Elmore said of [Norm] Stewart. "It was like catching a shot put."

Ironically, had Elmore been healthy for his senior baseball season, he would have gained a starting role after catcher George Gleason, who had started for the '54 championship team, had five teeth knocked out in a game.

"He jumped out on a bunt play, but the batter swung and hit George in the jaw," Elmore said of the freak play.

"If I hadn't been injured, I would have replaced him," said Elmore.

A .260 hitter when he did play at Missouri, Elmore considered himself a good receiver with a good throwing arm but added, "if I could have seen better, I could have hit the fastball."

Sikeston man and his Mizzou teammates score a spot in Missouri Sports Hall of Fame
(Standard Democrat, February 8, 2004)

SIKESTON — Today Buddy Cox will reunite with some of his former teammates from his baseball days in college as they are inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in Springfield.

“I was shocked,” said Cox about finding out the team was going to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. “It’s quite an honor. I’ll never forget it (winning the championship).”

“At that time it was the Big Seven. There wasn’t a Big Eight, and now it’s the Big 12,” explained Cox, who played second base. “We were not even supposed to win. Michigan State was supposed to win, but we beat them in the semifinals.”

Cox said: “Coach called us up to the room and said, ‘Now, I wanna tell you boys something: I didn’t come up here to win second. If you don’t win today, there will be no meal money tonight.’

"Well that made me so mad I couldn’t see straight,” Cox said. “So we went out there and won. I honestly believe we wouldn’t have done as well if we went out there and hadn’t played under pressure. We didn’t make any errors. We just played our game.”

Missouri won 4-1 with Cox hitting a home run and hitting .412 in the series. Cox was also selected as MVP by the Associated Press and the Omaha World-Herald.

“I led the World Series in hitting which was quite an honor. It’s one of most memorable things that has happened to me,” Cox said.

“It’s always good to see them,” Cox said about his teammates. “We’ve got one coming from New York, one from Chicago and the rest are in the state of Missouri. It will be a lot of fun.” Fifty years have almost passed, and Cox’s old glove, now a little stiff, and the bat he played with remain on a book case full of awards, photos and plaques in his home.

5 M.U. Cage Players Report for Baseball

(Columbia Daily Tribune, March 11, 1954)

With the basketball season over, five University of Missouri cagers joined Coach John Simmons' baseball squad yesterday afternoon, and a sixth is expected to report next week.

The five new additions yesterday included outfielders Gene Sally and Kent Henson, infielders Dick Jensen and Herb Morgan, and catcher Lloyd Elmore. The first four won freshmen numerals last season, while Elmore was a member of the the varsity squad.

Bob Schoonmaker, a two-year letterman first baseman, also was a member of the basketball squad and plans to join the baseballers next week.

Simmons had his men outdoors for the second straight day yesterday and managed to get in a four-inning practice game before the weather interfered.

Braves Bank on Negro Rookie To Fill Bobby Thompson's Shoes
(Columbia Daily Tribune, March 1954)

Bobby Thomson's injury has catapulted into the spotlight with the Milwaukee Braves a 20-year-old Negro youth who never has played higher than Class A ball. He is Henry Aaron who, until last Saturday when Thomson fractured his right ankle, was ticketed for Toledo of the American association.

The only reason he was in the Milwaukee camp was so the Braves could get a good look at the lad who led the Sally league with a .362 batting average last year.

1954 schedule
(Home Games Bold)

4/3 Fort Leonard Wood
4/6 Fort Leonard Wood
4/9 Arkansas
4/10 Arkansas
4/16 Oklahoma A&M
4/17 Oklahoma A&M
4/19 Tulsa
4/20 Tulsa
4/26 Iowa State
4/27 Iowa State
4/30 Kansas
5/1 Kansas
5/7 Kansas State
5/8 Kansas State
5/10 Colorado
5/11 Colorado
5/14 Oklahoma
5/15 Oklahoma
5/17 Nebraska
5/18 Nebraska
5/21 Iowa State
5/22 Iowa State

Tiger Third Baseman in Hospital With Virus

(Columbia Daily Tribune, March 20, 1954)

Todd Sickel, leading third base candidate on the University of Missouri baseball team, entered the university infirmary with a virus ailment yesterday and Coach John Simmons shifted outfielder Jim Doerr to the hot corner as insurance in case Sickel should be out of action for any length of time.

Sickel's ailment was not believed to be serious, however, and he is expected to leave the hospital within a few days. Sickel became the squad's only third baseman when Ray Uriarte, who held down the position last season, withdrew from school last week.

Meanwhile Norman Stewart, another member of the basketball team, reported to Coach Simmons and began working out as a pitcher. Simmons was impressed by Stewart's control and has hopes that the slender right-hander may help fill the gaps left by the loss of three of last year's moundsmen.

I'm sure John "Hi" must have said some very quotable things about the weather, but I went there to be a baseball coach, not a journalist. In three short seasons I had moved from the over-32 degrees rule, to the "You'll Work Outside When I Tell You to Rule" to John Hi's over-40 degrees rule.

I never new 40 degrees could feel so warm.

On cold game days the facilities staff actually brought kerosene heaters into the dugout. Unlike football, where gathering around the sideline heaters immediately categorized you as a wimp, baseball players showed no shame in pushing and shoving to get to the closest space.

At Missouri we also had a secret weapon--wool uniforms. For those of you who have not had the pleasure (or the itch) of wearing wool, let me tell you this. It's hard to play baseball when you're using both hands to scratch yourself.

We also wore long underwear underneath the uniforms. But I think that served more to protect us from the wool than the cold.

(from Diary of An Aging Baseball Player, by Max Utsler)

Texas Wins Baseball Opener From Sooners
(Columbia Daily Tribune, March 20, 1954)

AUSTIN, Tex., March 20 (INS) - A badly-needed homer in the bottom of the seventh inning by Steeler McKinney brought the Tecas Longhorn nine from behind to a 9-8 victory over the Oklahoma Sooners at Austin yesterday.

The Longhorns' ace pitcher, Boyd Linker, won the game despite giving away 13 hits while his teammates were committing five errors.

Losing pitcher was Oklahoma's Larry Foley, who gave up 10 hits as worked through the entire session.

Looking at Sports, by JP Hamel
(Columbia Daily Tribune, March 17, 1954)

"They were much sharper than we were all the way."

"They were sharp as a razor's edge, freshly honed, and we were as dull as a worn out old sword with a nicked blade - neither ready nor aggressive."

"It was the greatest game Missouri has played us in 20 years."

"Bob Reiter and Norm Stewart were tremendous in every department - not just in scoring. Their rebounding murdered us.

The words are those of Dr. Forrest C. Allen, veteran coach of the University of Kansas basketball team, delivered in an interview with a Lawrence Journal-World correspondent after his title-defending Jayhawkers became title-tieing Jayhawkers as they lost to Missouri in the grand finale of the Big Seven conference basketball season last Tuesday.

Final statistics on the M.U. team for the season show that Bob Reiter collected 165 field goals and 81 freethrows for 411 points which produced a new individual scoring record for a Missouri player. Reiter averaged 19.6 points a game, hit 165 of his 430 field goal attempts for an average of 38.4 per cent, and made good 81 of his 116 freethrow attempts. Norm Stewart, who scored 256 points, or an average of 12.2 per game, to take second place, had a field goal average of 35.7 per cent.

Lloyd Elmore had the best free throwing record among the regulars, hitting 39 of his 53 shots for 73.5 per cent.

Tiger Pitching Staff Still A Question Mark With Opener At Ft. Wood Nine Days Away

(Columbia Daily Tribune, March 25, 1954)

There's at least one man around who isn't too sympathetic with the farmers about the drouth situation, and that's John Simmons, coach of the university baseball team, who would be quite happy over a long dry spell.

The Tigers' opener at Ft. Leonard Wood on April 3 is just a little more than a week away and Simmons hasn't been able to give his squad enough outdoor work to find replacements for a depleted pitching staff.

Bert Beckman, a junior righthander, is the only veteran back from last year's mound corps, and he was used mostly in relief. Simmons lost his top three hurlers - Don Boenker via graduation, John Jenkins, who dropped out of school, and John Willingham, who signed a contract with the St. Louis Cardinals organization.

Otherwise the Tigers are pretty well set. They lost two veteran catchers in Herb Gellman and Bob Mohesky, but Sophomore George Gleason and Lloyd Elmore are expected to fill the bill behind the plate.

The infield is three-fourths veterans, with Bob Schoonmaker on first base, Buddy Cox on second, and Dick Dickinson at short. Ray Uriarte, the 1953 third baseman, has withdrawn from school and Todd Sickel, a shortstop on the freshman team last year, is getting first crack at the job.

Jerry Schoonmaker, a regular last season, and Sophomore Bob Musgrave appear to have two outfield berths clinched, with three veterans, Lee Wynn, Vic Swenholt, and Jim Doerr battling for the third spot. Swenholt lettered as a freshman in 1952 when he hit .303, but was out of action last year after a knee operation.

In the pitching department, Simmons rates Beckman, Bob Bauman, Emil Kammer, and Ed Cook as his top candidates. Two others working out with the staff are ex-basketballers Med Park and Norman Stewart.

Missouri finished third in the Big Seven conference last season, behind Oklahoma and Nebraska, with a 9-5 mark.

Coach John ``Hi'' Simmons knew he had hitters, but there was a pitching staff to be constructed. Right-hander Bert Beckman was the only returning starter. Sophomore left-hander Ed Cook and Emil Kammer, a converted third baseman joined Beckman in the regular rotation.

Kammer had not pitched in high school, but he had one prerequisite. ``I could always throw the ball hard,'' Kammer said. ``We just needed pitching. We had
third basemen.'' He also hit well enough to play the outfield when not on the mound.
(Columbia Daily Tribune, May 14, 1994)

Tiger Baseball Squad Has New Batting Cage
(Columbia Daily Tribune, March 27, 1954)

The University of Missouri baseball team has a new portable batting cage for use in practice sessions and pre-game hitting on Rollins Field, Coach John Simmons announced today. The cage, mounted on wheels, was used for the first time today.

Simmons also said that a wire screen, 15 feet high, will be constructed on top of the grandstand sometime before the Tigers open their home season.

FBI Warns Police to Watch Out for Midget A-Bombs

WASHINGTON, March 23 (INB) - The White House today confirmed reports that the FBI has warned police throughout the nation to be on the alert for midget atomic bombs, which might be smuggled into the country by saboteurs.

In a covering letter to police officials, which supplemented the circular describing small atomic devices, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover cautioned that "no attempt be made on the part of an individual law enforcement officer to dismantle an apparent atomic device."

Columbia police said today that they have received no request from the F.B.I. to be on the lookout for midget A-bombs.