Feb. 27, 2002
This is another The "B"Line. . . column, a periodic collection of news items of interest to members of the Baylor "B" Association. Contribute news about you or your teammates via e-mail to Dutch Schroeder (Dutch_Schroeder@baylor.edu), Reba Cooper (Reba_Cooper@baylor.edu) or Jack Loftis (Jack.Loftis@chron.com). The mailing address is Baylor "B" Association, P. O. Box 8120, Waco, TX 76714.
A HOUSTON THING? - After suffering three one-run losses in the Feb. 7-10 Astros College Classic at Enron Field in Houston, the Baylor baseball team traveled to California and won three in a row over the sixth-ranked USC Trojans. And then it was back to Houston and another loss, this time to the University of Houston. Considering that Baylor lost its final two games in 2001 against Rice in the NCAA Regional Tournament in Houston, that makes six in a row. One might speculate that the Bears and the Bayou City just don't mix well. And that would be wrong. Coach Steve Smith is having extraordinary success in recruiting many of Houston's best high-school players . . . Following its Feb. 9 game against TCU, the Baylor team was the guest of the Baylor "B" Association at a Houston Center Club luncheon. The event was coordinated in large part by "B" members James "Chip" Hubbard (baseball) and Art Whitmer (track) . . . Baylor outfielder Tim Hartshorn received a lot of back-pats at the luncheon in recognition of his getting 10 hits in 15 at-bats during the Classic, including going five for seven in the opening game against Rice. "I've never had five hits in one game before," he admitted to one "B" member. The three-game performance later earned Hartshorn Big 12 Baseball Player of the Week honors . . .
KEEPING SCORE - Chalk up an error for BU President Robert Sloan for his muffing an easy chance to catch a foul ball at the TCU game. Making the obligatory check for possible injuries, an Enron Field usher was heard asking: "Was that really the Baylor president?" She was assured it was - and also furnished with information that he was a former baseball player . . . Warmest Bear at the chilly weekend event was "B" member Bill Rogers (tennis) who was wearing a heavy-duty parka that could have come from a Dillard's store in either Anchorage or Fairbanks . . . Former baseball All-American and BU baseball coach Mickey Sullivan had to miss the Classic. Being the good grandfather he is, Mickey remained in Waco to baby-sit . . . Waco native and "B" member Gerald Johnson (baseball) came in for the Classic from DeRidder, La., where he is the town's mayor . . . Baseball letter-winner Bobby Benge had everyone laughing at his stories about the late Larry Isbell, a Baylor standout in baseball and football during the '50s. Benge explained that Isbell was such a gifted athlete that his baseball coach, Chuck Devereaux, didn't get the least bit angry when he once caught Isbell hiding in a barn near Dutton Field while the rest of the team ran laps . . . "B" member and Baylor regent Joe Coleman (baseball) met former TCU pitcher Don Duke of Hillsboro at the Classic. After some quick math, the two figured they probably had competed against one another in the early '50s . . .
THAT '63 GAME - Football great Don Trull, who was in attendance at the "B" luncheon, once said that he seldom gets around a Baylor crowd without someone mentioning the Bears' 1963 game with Texas (Baylor lost 7-0 after a miraculous, last-minute interception of a Trull-to-Lawrence Elkins pass near the Longhorns goal). "If everybody who told me they were present for that game had really been there, Memorial Stadium couldn't have handled the crowd," Trull said . . . And whatever happened to Elkins? According to "B" Association President Knox Pittard, who played with the All-American receiver, Elkins lives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where he operates a desalinization plant near the Red Sea . Elkins Christmas card to the Association office was a camel sitting on a Persian rug under a date tree. We are always glad to hear from Lawrence.. . "B" member Mike Hamm (football) and wife Madeliene McDermott Hamm, the Houston Chronicle Home Design Editor, had good seats for the Classic. But that is nothing new, considering that Madeliene is Astros owner Drayton McLane's first cousin . . . If those in charge of planning next year's Astros Classic would like to make it an all-Lone Star State event (the eight teams this year included Texas Tech, TCU, Baylor, Texas A&M, Texas. Rice, UH - and Louisiana Lafayette) they might consider inviting Southwest Texas State. The San Marcos school has a strong baseball program and the Bobcats are coached by Ty Harrington, the son of "B" Association Vice-President Lee Harrington . . .
February 26, 2002