Monday, June 14, 2010

More Montgomery baseball

(Please see previous post dated June 11 for context)
We’re going back to Montgomery to visit family in July and we plan to go see the Montgomery baseball team play. Once known as the Rebels, they are now called the Biscuits, for reasons I hope to find out. And they play in a new park called Riverwalk Stadium. We’re really looking forward to the game.

But no hill, no train smoke, and a team called the Biscuits – will it really be Montgomery baseball? We’ll find out!

I have fond memories of the old Montgomery Rebels, and I can name almost the whole lineup from those teams of the 40s:
  • Pitchers: Stan Coulling, Marty Arrante, Chester “The Great” Covington, among others
  • Catcher: “Mop” Brown, who whistled three quick times every few minutes. I don’t remember Mop’s real first name, but it may have been Charles.
  • 1b: Al Brightman or Mac MacWhorter (Mac was a utility player who once played every position in the field in one game – one per inning – and was the winning pitcher!)
  • 2b: Roy Carlin
  • SS: Billy Spears
  • 3b: Ray Wilson (A hometown boy. Ray’s dad, who always sat behind the Montgomery dugout on the third base side, was his biggest fan and would cheer him on with a loud “GoRay, GoRay, GoRay” whenever he came to bat)
  • LF: Johnny Creel, who stuck his bubble gum on the button of his cap when he came to bat (there were no batting helmets in those days).
  • CF: Billy Martin, a speedster who was the stolen base leader (and center field mountain climber).
  • RF: Art Rebel, clearly the most appropriately named player on the team.
  • Manager: Frank Skaff, and later Charlie Metro

The radio broadcasts were done by an announcer named Dave Manners. Like all broadcasters back in the day, for out-of-town games he would sit in the station studio in Montgomery and re-create the action from ticker tape messages. The message that would actually come across was something like, “Spears grounds out to short.” Dave would describe a whole imaginary at bat, pitch by pitch, sometimes running the count to 3 and 2, and add made-up color as if he were at the game. When Dave would pause, you could hear the tickertape clattering away in the background.

They don’t make ‘em (up) like that anymore.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember a slugger for the Montgomery Rebels named Dick Greco. He played some time in the 1950s.
Old Fan