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.

Gch exhales the vast drunken folly of Epicurus 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 asks Where's My Ring? 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
The Piehole of David Wells
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - May 2015
(2089 - 7:13pm, May 24)
Last: i wish i could eat your STEAGLES

NewsblogHolding Separate Elections For Player and Non-Player Candidates Would Greatly Improve the Hall of Fame's Era Ballot Vote Process
(33 - 7:03pm, May 24)
Last: Rennie's Tenet

NewsblogShaikin: Rally monkey, chew on this: Dodgers try the rally banana
(3 - 6:50pm, May 24)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogOTP - May 2015: Jeb Bush would like to watch baseball with Teddy Roosevelt and Pitbull
(3767 - 6:49pm, May 24)
Last: greenback wants the dh

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 5-24-2015
(66 - 6:37pm, May 24)
Last: Walks Clog Up the Bases

NewsblogBrian Matusz of Baltimore Orioles ejected for foreign substance
(8 - 6:35pm, May 24)
Last: Bhaakon

NewsblogOT: Soccer March 2015
(1066 - 5:21pm, May 24)
Last: ursus arctos

NewsblogMURRAY CHASS: FIVE PERCENT IS NO SOLUTION
(17 - 4:38pm, May 24)
Last: JE (Jason)

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(1679 - 3:34pm, May 24)
Last: Langer Monk

NewsblogMeasuring MLB's best game-callers
(11 - 3:33pm, May 24)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

NewsblogMoney is MLB's biggest obstacle to a 154-game season
(37 - 2:32pm, May 24)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogMariners notebook: Cano looks back to 2008 struggles in effort to keep even keel as current slump deepens | Mariners Insider - The News Tribune
(4 - 2:20pm, May 24)
Last: bobm

NewsblogOT: 2015 NHL Playoff thread
(461 - 11:47am, May 24)
Last: you mess with the meat you get the wada

NewsblogYankees will pay Alex Rodriguez's home run bonus if .... | NJ.com
(17 - 11:29am, May 24)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogMike Trout teaches expert lesson in the art of sliding | MLB.com
(39 - 11:09am, May 24)
Last: Ziggy

Page rendered in 0.1696 seconds
48 querie(s) executed