KOM League Class D Baseball

Current stories about the men who played minor league baseball in the Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri league from 1946-52. Many went on to very long baseball careers while others were successes in other fields. This blog keeps up with them through what is called "The KOM League Flash Report."

Monday, October 16, 2006

Mickey Mantle's birth week--Going to Spavinaw

The KOM League
Flash Report
October 16, 2006

Slow news cycle this time around. This Flash Report will serve to let you know I'm still around. If you respond them I'll know you're still around. This could be entitled "The Around" report

Similar paths in life

John while reading your report about living in Davenport, Okla. 45 years ago, I was wondering if you knew our Aunt and Uncle who lived there for several years. Their names were William (Bill) McCall and Bessie. They had 2 kids Patsy Jo and Keith. Keith was a midget (little person). It was such a small town I figured you might have known them, Tom from the Richardson Clan

Ed reply:

I have talked about that before with your brother, Jimmy, and I remember seeing Keith on the streets. Like the majority of the folks in Davenport they didn't attend the church I pastored.

Ed note:

Tom, from the Richardson clan, was one of Mickey Mantle's cousins from the maternal side. The town of Davenport, where I pastored back in 1960, also had a pastor at the Christian Church by the name of Rex Heavin. Heavin and Mantle were members of the 1948 Baxter Springs Whiz Kids. Just proving once again, it is a small world.

Those churches were so small that you didn't dare use the term "dearly beloved" for fear some lady might take that as a proposal of marriage.

Who ate at Mick's?

John: My daughter had lunch at Mickey Mantle's on Thursday Oct. 12. The waitress said a teammate of Mickey's, from the 49 Independence Yankees, had lunch on Wednesday Oct. 11. She didn't remember his name.

Bob Mallon
-Pitcher 1949 Independence Yankees

Ed reply:

Which Mantle restaurant? They are in NY and Oklahoma City. Who would have been in either town from that club? If it was NY I'd guess it was Kraly, wouldn't you?

Ed note:

Not much transpires in the lives of former KOM Leaguers without someone reporting it. So, watch your step, you never know who is watching.

Deaths in Cincinnati

John, We had a former Red pass away at 88 years last week. It was Clyde Vollmer, a local, who was with the Reds for several years, and a couple other teams. I believe he was a big leaguer for about six years. Then just a couple days later Dick Wagner, a president of the Reds for a few years, passed away. He was 78. Talking about big leagues.

I have Cat scans scheduled for next Wed. to see if I'm completely clear. It's my chemo doctor's opinion after a very thorough examination, that I'm OK. We'll see. Bob Curley

Ed reply:

Bob, Thanks for the input. I remember Clyde Vollmer quite well. He was around the big leagues off and on from 1942 through 1954. He was with the Reds then the Washington Senators, Boston Red Sox and back to Washington. Back then he seemed like a big guy who hit a lot of homers. He was neither that big or hit that many homers but that was the way he seemed to me as a kid. Anybody six foot or more was big. John

Our prayers are with you in regard to the results of the Cat scan. Hope the doctors opinion is correct. That would be a great early Christmas present for you and all of us who call you our friend.

Conversation with Bob Passarella

Bob Passarella, Carthage Cub shortstop for part of the 1949 season called from Scranton, Pennsylvania to chat this past Sunday. It is difficult to believe he is nearing his 80th year on this earth. This guy still loves the game and remembers everyone he ever played with
or against, or so it seems.

Our conversations these days don't necessarily involve baseball. Passarella was nearly killed at the age of 64 when he was hit in the head with a batted ball while pitching batting practice at a local high school. He was mentioning the size of baseball players then and now and how
much bigger the current generation is. As a kid I thought he was a very tall shortstop. He was 6 feet tall and a slender young man. He came from a family of 16, counting his parents, and recalls he never really had all he could eat and it was even worse if a meal was served and the
main entree was something he didn't like.

This kind of ties in with the Clyde Vollmer item in the previous article, regarding size. Passarella told me in our conversation that as time has passed his former six foot frame is now down to 5' 8". I guess advancing age cuts all down to size.

Pleased to fill a request

John: Please send contact info on Frank Winkler. Thanks. Bob Zuccarini-1951 Pittsburg Brown from Bevier, Missouri. Now resides in Savannah, Georgia.

Wolves would not dance with this guy

'morning John, pens arrived (thanks), Czech sent.

Also sending a picture of Walt Babcock that I took at the reunion. I can understand why "even the wolves won't dance with him," if you get what I mean.

Joe Stanka

Ed note:

Stanka was referring to the 60th Anniversary KOM League pens that were a hit at the reunion. Like most things offered by KOM League Enterprises they look good and work well. Okay, so they're cheap. But where else are you going to find official KOM League memorabilia?

Christmas is near

Here it is, a couple of weeks before Halloween and Christmas displays were stocked at the grocery store this morning as I went to mail a few items even a Mickey Mantle Before the Glory book.

That gave me an idea. A few weeks ago I got some books shipped back from book wholesalers. They ship them back when customers mistreat them and the corners of the covers aren't sharp points any longer. That is the ONLY defect I can find on the returned books. I'm not about to have them thrown away. Thus, I pay the freight to have them sent back to me.

When I get those back I let the readership know about what I have on hand. If anyone would like to have one of those books at half-price, let me know. That means the books is $15. The postage rate is $3.50. So, if anyone wants a bargain send me a check for $18.50 to:

John Hall
1709 Rainwood Place
Columbia, MO 65203

Dual celebration

It has been a couple of weeks of discussion and negotiation. However, it now appears that my wife will spend her 46th wedding anniversary, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the birth of Mickey Charles Mantle, in Spavinaw, Oklahoma.

There will be a dedication of a life-size painting of Mickey at Main and Lakeside Streets at 1:00 P. M. on October 20. Without much trouble we could make the trek back to just north of Noel, Missouri and see the spot where we spent our honeymoon. That would be all you could do....see the spot. The once nice resort of Ginger Blue is another relic of the past. It has gone the way of five-cent Cokes and my care-free youth. The last time I saw Ginger Blue is was a rundown bunch of shacks surrounded by even more rundown trailers.


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