Indians Loyalty Sparse in Bob Feller Hometown

By Greg Echlin

Kevin Ernst of Van Meter, Iowa, admits it.  He grew up a Chicago Cubs fan.

But after marrying into a family loyal to the Cleveland Indians because of the town’s most famous native son, Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller, he leans toward rooting for the Indians. Continue reading Indians Loyalty Sparse in Bob Feller Hometown

A Goat Doesn’t Throw or Hit in the World Series

By Ian Echlin  and Greg Echlin

If only Andy Pafko were around today…

One of the most popular figures in Cubs history not named Ernie Banks would have seen what he always believed:  Good baseball overrules any curse.  It didn’t matter if it were a billy goat or Bartman.  Continue reading A Goat Doesn’t Throw or Hit in the World Series

Indians Snub First Baseman From 1948 World Series Champion

By Greg Echlin

Eddie Robinson prefers to take the high road.

As the only surviving starter of the 1948 Cleveland Indians World Series championship team, he has every reason to feel bitter for not being invited back to the city where he experienced the most enjoyable season of his 13-year playing career.

Continue reading Indians Snub First Baseman From 1948 World Series Champion

Baseball Hall of Famer With Northwest Missouri Roots

By Ian Echlin

A Northwest Missouri man leaves a legacy pressed in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The small town guy lived thankful for his career playing professional baseball. From the small town in Missouri to the small town of Cooperstown, N.Y. baseball fans find the story of a historic baseball career.

A family portrait of the Wheat family. Photo provided by Alan Wheat
A family portrait of the Wheat family. Photo provided by Alan Wheat

“This is one of the great moments of my life. I’m here on my first visit and I saw a lot of things at the Hall of Fame which brought back memories. It is a beautiful setting for this sort of thing. I’d like to take this occasion to thank everyone for everything,” Zack Wheat said during his induction ceremony in 1959.

He grew up in the country, near Polo, Mo. (Population: 575), and he always wanted to play professional baseball. The stretch of Missouri Highway 13 crossing through Caldwell County and Polo is dedicated as the Zack Wheat Memorial Highway, and at a young age he rode that highway out of town to play semi-pro baseball in Kansas, Louisiana, and Alabama.

In 1909 Wheat signed a Major League contract at age 21 with the Brooklyn franchise, the Suberbas. Charlie Ebbets was the president of the franchise destined to be called the Dodgers, and as the financier he built Ebbets Field in 1912. Wheat spent most of his 18 year career playing at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, N.Y. He played with some of the greats – Honus Wagner, Jimmie Foxx, and Cy Young. Many legends were made in this era, Wheat included.

“He always loved the Dodgers. Baseball was a lifelong dream he got to fulfill,” Zachary Alan Wheat, the great grandson of Zack Wheat, said. Continue reading Baseball Hall of Famer With Northwest Missouri Roots