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."

Thursday, November 09, 2006

KOM League Post-Election edition

The KOM League
Flash Report
What's transpiring?

The telephone "business" has been brisk lately. Anna Lombardi, the wife of Carl of the same last name ordered a copy of the Mantle book to give to the surgeon who will be performing triple bypass surgery this
coming week on one of the former second basemen for the '50 Joplin Miners. The Lombardi's, I suppose, want to cover all bases and ensure they make the doctor happy.

Also heard from Jim Belotti--Bello, when he played in the KOM league for the '49 Independence, Kansas Yankees. He has been purchasing some of the books written about the KOM League so that he can pass them along to his great-nephews. Each time I pull out one of those nearly four-pound copies of Majoring in The Minors I realize how close I am to being out of that title. Its a promise that when the remaining 20 copies are gone there will not be a reprint of that book.

On a related subject there is a plan to make a major donation of the Mickey Mantle book (Mickey Mantle Before the Glory) to public libraries in three states. That plan is in the final stages of being accomplished. This will ensure that anyone who wants to read that book will be able to find it at their local library. The major slowdown in making that happen was the freight cost of shipping those books to either a central site or to individual libraries. One generous person has volunteered to foot the price of the postage.

Also on the telephone in the past couple days was Matthew Leroy Robert Saban and Alex Murihead. Saban missed the KOM League reunion this past September due to major surgery. He was quite surprised to read the last KOM League Remembered newsletter and learn that Whitey Herzog attended. He was disappointed that he missed visiting with Herzog.

Alex Muirhead, the fellow who told us at the last reunion of his personal encounters with Ronald Reagan and Elvis Presley, called to inquire if he could purchase about a dozen of the KOM League writing pens that were available at the 2006 reunion. He claims he's having a difficult time convincing some of the Sacramento baseball community that there was such a league as the KOM. He said one guy he is attempting to convince of that fact is Cuno Barragan. Of course, Barragan receives these Flash Reports and is quite aware of the existence of the league that Joe Stanka made famous.
In case you missed it earlier this week

Obituary: Johnny Sain, a three-time All-Star who teamed with Warren Spahn to make up one of baseball's most fabled pitching tandems, died in Downers Grove, Ill. He was 89. Sain's best year was 1948, when he and Spahn led the Boston Braves to the World Series, where they lost to Cleveland. It was during that season when the famous saying was born: "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain." Sain was 139-116 with a 3.49 ERA in 11 seasons in the 1940s and 1950s, mostly with the Braves and New York Yankees.

Notes from umpire's nephew and daughter


Dear Jami, I believe you have received kind condolences from John Hall before this message. John was a bat boy for the Kansas Oklahoma Missouri league where Uncle Cleb umpired about 1947-1948. John is a great fellow who loves baseball and loves the KOM league and has applied his very great leadership talents to organization of the many league reunions and his very great writing skills to publication of a newsletter about KOM. THe message I forward below includes information about the passing of Uncle Cleb.

To John: Thank you so much for passing the word to the league members. Ed Wilson's kind note that Cleb was the best umpire he ever saw was deeply appreciated by Cleb.

Best, Lamont Phemister


Dear John,

Thank you for your kindness. My dad spoke of your league and how much he enjoyed going to the reunions. I'm glad you have one of his clocks. He sure loved making them and giving them to others.

Thanks again,

Jami Cox


Another reader agrees

John, We have received you loud and clear, keep these messages coming.!!!

Read the note from Stan Musial's daughter. We think her father was one of the greatest ball players of all time. We think more importantly he is a fine gentleman, and it certainly shows what a great father he was thru his daughter. He did not take drugs to get there and stay there. Most players in that day and age would talk to you and would never think about taking money for an autograph. I think all you hear about giving back to the community is a bunch of baloney . It is money, money, money, no scruples whatsoever. I'll get off the soap box now.

Say "hello" to Noel, and thanks John. GO VOTE I think they need it . Dick Getter


A wonderful gloomy day!

Hi John, a gloomy fall morning, had a wonderful rain last night which we sorely needed in this area. Please keep me on your "list" as I enjoy the tidbits and information you put into each issue. And yes, I remember Stan Musial. Too bad they aren't making 'em like him anymore. And I'm sure they did not pay him near the atrocious obscene salaries that the not-as-talented ballplayers receive today~! Are todays' athletes REALLY worth the millions they are being paid????? Just my opinion.........

Betty M Marty-Neosho, MO


The world continues to change!!


I did hear something about the Dodgers moving their spring training to Arizona-------but haven't heard anything else about it. I can understand why they would do that though. Lots less expense for their players and their officials as far as travel, etc.
Sorry about the 2 deaths you reported. So much sadness.
Take care and Hi to Noel. Shirley Virdon


Definitely keep 'em coming. And, yes, the Dodgers are unfortunately leaving Vero Beach. The Devil Rays are going in there, and will have a Class A team there this next season. In 2009 the D-Rays will be in Port Charlotte for Spring Training.... who also lost a team (the Rangers) to Arizona. Unknown if the Class A team will stay in Vero or move to PC.


I just received the Flash Report ~~~

Is it really true the Dodgers will NOT be in Vero Beach next February ? I can't believe it. They have been training there since about 1949, or so. Dodgertown has always been one of the best spring training camps to visit, if not the very best. What a shame if they are moving to Arizona ! To my mind they are leaving the Garden of Eden of baseball camps and heading out into a lesser spring training world. It even reminds me of when the Dodgers left Brooklyn and moved out to L.A. The end of something.

The world will never be the same again ! Say it isn't so......--Baseball Bill


John, Regarding Jim Smith's query about the Dodgers leaving Vero Beach please see the article on page 18 in Nov. 5 issue of Baseball America. In a nutshell, J.J. Cooper writes that the L.A. Dodgers are moving their "Fast-A" minor league club from Vero Beach in the Florida State League to Inland Empire (Riverside, CA) in the California League. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays will move their "High Class-A" club to Vero Beach replacing the Dodgers in the FSL.

At this juncture, the Los Ángeles Dodgers will be returning to Vero Beach for spring training in 2007. Beyond that, anything else is speculation.

Ed Hoke--Troy, Ohio

This guys may be as lonely as the Maytag repairman

Hi John, Keep me on your e-mail address. With out you I might not have any E-Mail.

Always interesting reading in your FLASH'S.

Jim Cobb--Washougal ,Wa


The Flash Report...the newspaper for ALL America.

I do not take the local paper and only learned of the passing of Mr. Hegwood from your email.

My prayers go out to the family.

Is their anything you would like for me to do for you since I live in Moultrie?

Mr. Hegwood was a very nice man.

I know Heaven just added another player to their roster.

Can you imagine what a heck of a game is going on in Heaven!

Clint Chafin--Moultrie, Ga.


Official obituary from November 5--Topeka Capital Journal

Robert Franklin Hegwood Robert Franklin Hegwood, 82, passed away, Wednesday, November 1, 2006 in Moultrie, GA. He was born January 15, 1924 in Moultrie, GA, the son of Luther and Lula Hegwood. Robert married Loretta Steinbach on October 7, 1948 at St. Josephs Catholic Church in Topeka. She preceded him death in 1989. Robert played semi-pro baseball for the Topeka Owls, was employed by Sears for 21 years and American Econoclad Service. He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and Knights of Columbus. Survivors include his daughter, Annette May and her husband Harlan, Olathe, KS; grandson, Scott May, Topeka. Visitation will be from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Wednesday where a rosary will be 6:00 p.m. at Kevin Brennan Family Funeral Home, 2801 SW Urish Rd. Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:00 a.m. Thursday at St. Joseph Catholic Church. Burial will follow at Mount Calvary Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Joseph Church sent in care of the funeral home. Online condolences may be sent to www.kevinbrennanfamily.com.
Published in the Topeka Capital-Journal on 11/5/2006. Guest Book • Funeral home info • Flowers • Charities


No joy in Mudville

This note is more for those who receive, or used to receive, the photos of rural scenes on regular basis. With my Internet Provider--Socket--unable or unwilling to support Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail, I've been going downhill like every political incumbent who lost on Tuesday.

I attempted to send photos through Outlook Express and the new G-mail by Google and its like trying to push Jello uphill. To say that I'm about ready to forget computers would be putting it mildly. I'm no longer in the idle threat mode. I'm now looking for a quick and easy way to say goodbye computers and go back to writing and publishing the newsletter without the benefit of Internet input.

Of course, I've run amok in writing the newsletter since the printing company will no longeraccept the material in the mode it has been sent to them for a dozen years. I have a friend looking to see if we can salvage that by some technology only he understands and I can't even spell.

The one thing I've found with G-mail is that so far I haven't been limited to sending these Flash Reports to just 25 recipients at a time.

Before the fall, this publication was reaching around 700 people. This transmission is going out to around 250 recipients. If you hear from anyone who claims they've lost touch with the Flash Reports advise them to send along their e-mail address.


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