All posts by ianechlin@gmail.com

Memorial Service Held For Ballplayer Who Lived to 100

By Greg Echlin

While America went to the polls for Election Day, a memorial service attended by around 150 friends and family was held in small-town Ringling, Okla., for former major leaguer and Navy veteran Eddie Carnett who died shortly after he turned 100. Continue reading Memorial Service Held For Ballplayer Who Lived to 100

Fall Diversions From Pathetic Football at KU and MU

By Ian Echlin and Greg Echlin

Kansas Jayhawk fans know basketball’s regular season starts Nov. 11 because they lost focus on KU football a long time ago. Missouri Tiger fans also saw an early downward slide.

As both football programs have plummeted, here are some fall alternatives in both states that won’t lack in sports entertainment:

Northwest Missouri State Football – The defending NCAA Division II national champions have kept rolling since their title game at Children’s Mercy Park last December in Kansas City, Kansas. The Bearcats, 10-0, set a program record for 25 wins in a row, the longest current winning streak in college football. NMSU is outscoring opponents by an average margin of 33 points.  The homecoming rout over Pittsburg State, 69-10, attracted national attention with “The Northwest Lateral” featured on ESPN highlights. The Bearcats wrap up their regular season against Missouri Western, then on to the playoffs. Continue reading Fall Diversions From Pathetic Football at KU and MU

World Series Title Follows Joe Tinker Celebration In Kansas Hometown

By Greg Echlin

A part of history for the 1908 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs started in the small town Muscotah, Kansas, the hometown of Hall of Fame shortstop Joe Tinker. “Joe Tinker Day,” an event organized by the Kansas Sampler Foundation, featured descendants of the Cubs shortstop, a vintage baseball game and a billy goat.

With the billy goat in attendance, the Tinker relatives made their attempt to reverse the curse on the Cubs.   As the Cubs’ World Series drought ends in 2016, the Tinker descendants can finally be relieved.

Check out the full 2013 story here

Tinker with goat
Chris Tinker makes peace with a goat to end the curse on the Cubs. Tinker has a Joe Tinker baseball card inked into his arm.

Eddie Robinson Attends World Series Game 6

By Greg Echlin

The gesture spoke louder than words.

For whatever unstated reason, the Cleveland Indians did the right thing to invite Eddie Robinson, the lone living member of the 1948 World Series championship team, to attend Game 6 of the World Series. Continue reading Eddie Robinson Attends World Series Game 6

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