Baseball

Spring 2017

Goldsboro News-Argus - Baseball Tab

Issue link: http://www.epageflip.net/i/797688

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 1 of 11

2 — Goldsboro News-Argus Friday, March 10, 2017 July 10 th -August 2 nd Includes Golf, Hamburger, Chips and Drink 18-hole golf course golf lessons • golf range pro shop • banquet facilities full-service restaurant style grill 4DCT0417L© 2317 SALEM CHURCH ROAD www.lanetree.com or email headpro@lanetree.com L KING FOR SUMMER FUN FOR THE KIDS? OUR KIDS GOLF CAMP IS THE ANSWER! Mondays & Wednesdays 9:00am-12:00pm Ages 5 & up OPEN TO THE PUBLIC D etroit was under siege. The heat arrived with lit- tle advisory, oppressive and unrelenting, loiter- ing in the city's industri- al maze and spit-roasting an immigrant population in pursuit of two things — fair wages and a life beyond Lady Liberty's table scraps. From Highland Park to Southwest, from Mid- town to Jefferson Corri- dor, its brooding sear was exacerbating and prominent. On Monday, June 8, 1914 — the day Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics sauntered into Navin Park for a series with the city's beloved Tigers — two died, vic- tims of daytime tempera- tures that peaked in excess of 100 degrees. But as was chronicled ahead of the tilt by Detroit Free Press scribe E.A. Batchelor, nothing — not even the hint of death — would give the Tigers pause to consider anything other than spilling the defending World's Champions. In fact, one of the Jun- galeers particularly rel- ished the opportunity. "It is unlikely that Cobb will be able to play Friday but he is going to make a strenuous effort to get in the first game against the Athletics on Saturday," Batchelor wrote on June 5. "The Mackmen grabbed a cou- ple of victories that they weren't entitled to because the Peach was not in the line-up down in Philadelphia last month… Ty is always at his best against the champions, and his return to the game at this time should be means of enabling Detroit to take the series from them." Alas, the Peach played — and as he was often wont to do, shined, hit- ting .313 against Mack's fireball staff and record- ing nine putouts to boot. But in game three of the series — one that featured eight Hall-of- Fame players and one all-century manager — Cobb and his exploits were properly outdone, trumped in spades by an orphan from Goldsboro, North Carolina. • He arrived here in 1906, courtesy of a lan- guid Southern Railway, with an eight-year old brother in tow and a mother back home, awaiting God's grace. Goldsboro, four genera- tions removed from Sher- man's torch-lit wrath, had quickly become a vibrant city, whistling in perfect time with the latest, most opulent trimmings of high-end fashion. Along Centre Street, Babcock buggies labored past retail facades, where a thriving merchant asso- ciation shined everything from Brahma pullets to swanky Willow rockers. At Bizzell Bros., a pair of Duttenhefer shoes — in addition to the lat- est lines of Romeos and Juliets — were being shopped as "fast friend-makers." Interest at Goldsboro Savings and Loan was being anted at four cents per annum, and if so inclined, one could tap a phone cable at his resi- dence, as not to miss any gossip amongst a growing bourgeoisie rank-and-file. None of this likely mattered, however, to James Alfred Thompson and his younger brother, Bryant. Their rightful prove- nance — or what remained of it, rather — was over 100 miles northwest, folded away in the tiny mill haven of Haw River. It was there they were born, and until their father's passing on New Year's Eve 1903, where they enjoyed a com- fortable upbringing. The pace of life was slow, still at times except for the churn- ing of the mill, and guided spiritually by the light of tradition- al Quaker hymnals. It was also where the family's middle child, a sister named Bertha, remained as their moth- er's health rapidly declined — a struggle that finally ended in late February. By the time of her arrival in March, the boys had become accli- mated to their new sur- roundings — a sprawling, 20-acre farm on the cor- ner of Herman and Ash streets that exuded any and all manner of won- derment for its guests. In addition to a base- ball diamond, the Odd Fellows Home for orphaned children fea- tured a cow lot, a swim- ming hole, a tennis court, two orchards and a chick- en yard — all of which qualified as proper ele- ments of diversity for the mind of a growing child. For the Thompson brood, it was home sweet home. • The boo-birds caroled Thompson early, as tem- peratures neared the cen- tury mark and while the Mackmen rambled through pre-game warm- ups. Their barbs explored the gamut, but poked pri- marily at his stature, which — at five-foot seven and 165 pounds — was neither remarkable nor likely to shiver the spine of Detroit starter Pug Cavet. So, they promptly jeered, asking him repeatedly which kinder- garten class he'd left to attend matters that afternoon in center field. Even Batchelor, who covered all aspects of the Detroit franchise with balance and grace, seem- ingly couldn't resist a dig on the diminutive replacement. "Thompson comes from the University of North Carolina," he wrote. "And before joining the Macks was serving a sentence in one of those little class G leagues where the players wear their uni- forms all day and the extra pitcher doubles in the outfield." But after Detroit retired the A's in order to start the affair, the chub- by fill-in for rotation reg- ular Amos Strunk turned a few heads — and creat- Join Our Winning Team The University offers locations in Mount Olive, Seymour Johnson AFB, Jacksonville, New Bern, Research Triangle Park, Smithfield at JCC, Washington, and Wilmington. Online programs are also available including the new Master of Business Administration degree. GCNFFCLKICFNKJ © D{z As Eastern North Carolina's leader in private higher education, the University of Mount Olive has transformed the lives of thousands of students since the University's founding in 1951. A wide variety of programming options are available to fit the needs of many different types of students including recent high school graduates, college transfers, and adult students. Carter Capps Class of 2012 2011 National Player of the Year, Academic All-American, and Major League Baseball Player Photo: Marlins, Denis Bancroft 9DSP0317J© AUTHENTIC MEXICAN CUISINE 112 N. John Street Goldsboro, NC 27530 919.731.7070 www.torerosmexicanrestaurants.com $1 Taco Tuesday Margarita Monday Ask about Kids Eat FREE Ask about Karaoke Thursday $ 6 00 Off $30.00 or more purchase. May not be combined with any other offer. Must present coupon at time of order. Private Room and Caterings Available Join Us After The Game! Join Us After The Game! Cover story • SHAG THOMPSON WRITTEN BY JUSTIN HAYES • ORIGINAL ARTWORK BY MEGAN DAVIS Orphan, Odd Fellow shines Thompson makes splash in pro baseball BORN April 29, 1893 Haw River, NC DIED Jan. 7, 1990 Black Mountain, NC An orphan with two younger siblings, James Alfred "Shag" Thompson lived at the Odd Fellows Home in Goldsboro from 1906-1911. He eventually went to the University of North Carolina. Major League profes- sional career included a three-year stint with the Phiadelphia A's. Thomp- son made his debut on June 8, 1914 and his last MLB appearance was May 17, 1916 with the A's. Thompson batted a modest .203 with four RBI, two stolen bases and 12 runs scored. THOMPSON BIO SHAG'S CAREER TIMELINE 1913 Durham Bulls NCSL 1914 Philadelphia A's AL 1915 Richmond Climbers IL Philadelphia A's AL 1916 Omaha Rourkes WL Philadelphia A's AL 1917-18 Omaha Rourkes WL 1919-20 Bloomington Bloomers I-I-IL 1920-21 Columbus Senators AA 1921-23 Moline Plowboys I-I-IL 1923 Evansville Evas I-I-IL 1924 Evansville Little Evas I-I-IL 1925 Greensboro Patriots PL * League names: N.C. State League (NCSL); Inter- national League (IL); West- ern League (WL); American League (AL); Illinois-Indi- ana-Iowa League (I-I-IL); American Association (AA); Piedmont League (PL). See SHAG, Page 9 Photo/LIBRARY OF CONGRESS Philadelphia A's manager Connie Mack (left) and James Alfred "Shag" Thompson (middle) and an unidentified teammate talk during a regular- season game. ■ The 5-foot-7, 165-pounder helped start a tradition in Wayne County.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Baseball - Spring 2017