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. Bote Man 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

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP 18 September 2017: Ex-Baseball Star Darryl Strawberry Criticizes Jemele Hill, Praises POTUS: Trump is ‘A Great Man’
(508 - 12:33pm, Sep 20)
Last: DCA

NewsblogJosh Donaldson Wants You To Know: This Wasn’t A Catch
(25 - 12:32pm, Sep 20)
Last: PepTech

Newsblog‘Friends,’ the Sitcom That’s Still a Hit in Major League Baseball
(228 - 12:32pm, Sep 20)
Last: Rennie's Tenet

NewsblogMust C: Five straight for Olson | MLB.com (video)
(7 - 12:24pm, Sep 20)
Last: simpleton & childlike gef the talking mongoose

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-20-2017
(12 - 12:24pm, Sep 20)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogOT: New Season August 2017 Soccer Thread
(717 - 12:18pm, Sep 20)
Last: Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB)

Gonfalon Cubs15 To Go
(49 - 12:13pm, Sep 20)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

NewsblogWithout Rays' leap, Joe Maddon's way might not have made it to Chicago - Chicago Cubs Blog- ESPN
(1 - 12:10pm, Sep 20)
Last: Steve Parris, Je t'aime

NewsblogA’s preferred stadium site criticized for causing gentrification, killing waterfowl | Field of Schemes
(37 - 12:02pm, Sep 20)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogOMNICHATTER ain't got no time for yo jibba jabba! for September 19, 2017
(67 - 11:38am, Sep 20)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

Sox TherapyThe 2011 Mirror
(20 - 11:03am, Sep 20)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogSafest Bet in Sports: Men Complaining About a Female Announcer’s Voice
(57 - 9:15am, Sep 20)
Last: Lassus

NewsblogOT-NBA off season thread
(2396 - 8:46am, Sep 20)
Last: TFTIO, for one, is sick and tired of winning

NewsblogIf you’re the Red Sox, do you want to play the Indians or Astros in the divisional round of the playoffs?
(62 - 6:23am, Sep 20)
Last: Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle

Hall of Merit2018 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(221 - 11:53pm, Sep 19)
Last: Bleed the Freak

Page rendered in 0.1328 seconds
47 querie(s) executed