Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Posnanski: The Home Run Summer of ‘54

He would always say a doctor called him in 1952. Bauman would not even remember the guy’s name, but he said this doctor then showed up at his filling station and offered him a contract to play for a team called the Artesia Drillers in New Mexico. Bauman had never heard of them or Artesia or, really, New Mexico. But the doctor offered steady money — $600 a month — and he said people in the stands would give him some more. Bauman agreed on the condition that for $250 he could buy back his contract. The good doctor agreed.

It’s fair to say that they never saw anything quite like Joe Bauman in New Mexico. Artesia was named as such because in 1903 an artesian well was discovered there. That simple. People took pride in the baseball team. And Joe Bauman was the biggest thing in Artesia. He was 30 years old when he showed up, and he had honed his uppercut home run stroke, and those 19 and 20 and 21-year-old pitchers in the Longhorn didn’t stand a chance. That first year, Bauman hit .375 with a league-record 50 homers in 139 games. The second year, Bauman hit .371 with an even better league-record 53 home runs in 132 games. He led the all of organized baseball in homers both years. He earned enough money from what players called “fence money” to buy a car.

After the 1953 season was over, Bauman decided to buy out his contract and move 40 miles due north to Roswell. In Roswell, there was the lingering buzz of an alien landing, a Texaco station available at a good price and a right-field wooden fence, painted white, just 324 feet from home plate.

Good cripple hitter Posted: April 03, 2014 at 04:44 PM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, joe posnanski, minor league baseball

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Steve Treder Posted: April 03, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4678782)
those 19 and 20 and 21-year-old pitchers in the Longhorn didn’t stand a chance.

This may be a quibble, but it isn't true that all the pitchers in the Longhorn league were that young. Many were, but there were plenty older than that, and more than a few older than Bauman. The low minors in those days weren't strictly developmental the way they are now.
   2. valuearbitrageur Posted: April 04, 2014 at 02:06 AM (#4679006)
Man, Posnanski is such a good writer.
   3. boteman Posted: April 05, 2014 at 12:10 AM (#4679772)
He led the all of organized baseball in homers both years.

Yeppers. No other professional writer could come up with that!

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
HowardMegdal
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP Politics November 2014: Mets Deny Bias in Ticket Official’s Firing
(4189 - 3:54pm, Nov 23)
Last: Mefisto

NewsblogPablo Sandoval leaning toward Red Sox, to decide next week — Padres have highest offer, all offers on table (including SF Giants’) - John Shea
(18 - 3:48pm, Nov 23)
Last: Dock Ellis on Acid

NewsblogOT - November 2014 College Football thread
(566 - 3:43pm, Nov 23)
Last: AuntBea

NewsblogDeadspin: Curt Schilling’s Son Accidentally Brings Fake Grenade To Logan Airport
(21 - 3:35pm, Nov 23)
Last: Dr. Chaleeko

NewsblogOT:  Soccer (the Round, True Football), November 2014
(443 - 3:31pm, Nov 23)
Last: Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - November 2014
(971 - 3:26pm, Nov 23)
Last: rr

NewsblogAstros interested in Robertson: source | New York Post
(12 - 3:02pm, Nov 23)
Last: Dock Ellis on Acid

NewsblogESPN Suspends Keith Law From Twitter For Defending Evolution
(105 - 2:47pm, Nov 23)
Last: JE (Jason)

NewsblogBraves shopping Justin Upton at a steep price | New York Post
(32 - 2:25pm, Nov 23)
Last: CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck

NewsblogKemp drawing interest, raising chance he's the Dodgers OF dealt - CBSSports.com
(18 - 1:54pm, Nov 23)
Last: Dan The Mediocre

NewsblogPirates DFA Ike Davis, clear path for Pedro Alvarez - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
(7 - 1:53pm, Nov 23)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogSunday Notes: Arroyo’s Rehab, Clark & the MLBPA, Doc Gooden, AFL Arms, ChiSox, more
(2 - 1:50pm, Nov 23)
Last: bobm

NewsblogFemale Sportswriter Asks: 'Why Are All My Twitter Followers Men?' | ThinkProgress
(147 - 1:19pm, Nov 23)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogMike Schmidt: Marlins' Stanton too rich too early? | www.palmbeachpost.com
(28 - 12:37pm, Nov 23)
Last: BDC

NewsblogCashman in wait-and-see mode on retooling Yanks | yankees.com
(21 - 12:32pm, Nov 23)
Last: You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR)

Page rendered in 0.1922 seconds
52 querie(s) executed