12 Oct

dream denied

The image is one that diehard fans of a certain age remember well, one that lives on in World Series highlight reels. Bob Gibson rocks and fires, the batter swings and misses, and the St. Louis Cardinals rush the infield to celebrate the 1967 World Series championship. The game was played on Oct. 12, 1967. The Game 7 defeat at Fenway Park crushed the Boston Red Sox’s “Impossible Dream” season during which they won a thrilling race to the American League pennant. The batter who made the final out was Greenville native George Scott. The ’67 Series was Scott’s only postseason appearance over a 14-year career. In Game 7, he had one of the three hits – a triple – and scored one of the two runs the magnificent Gibson yielded in a 7-2 win, Gibson’s third W of the Series. Scott was 6-for-26 without an RBI in the Series after batting .303 with 19 homers and 82 RBIs during the season, his second in the majors. Despite that grand disappointment – immortalized in the clip of Gibson’s final punchout — “Boomer” produced a lot of highlights in his big league career. He blasted 271 home runs, drove in over 1,000 runs, won eight Gold Gloves and made three All-Star teams. It’s a shame he never got another moment in the Fall Classic.

03 Apr

happy anniversary

Fifty years ago this month, on April 12 to be exact, George Scott made his debut for the Boston Red Sox. The Greenville native, nicknamed Boomer, did not go deep against Baltimore that day, but he did get the first of his 1,992 hits in a career that rates among the best among Mississippians who’ve played major league baseball. Scott, who died in 2013, hit 271 home runs over his 14 MLB seasons, batted .268 and played in three All-Star Games. More than just a slugger, the big first baseman, who also played some third, won eight Gold Gloves. Other anniversaries of note: Eighty years ago, two players from the Coast broke into the big leagues, both in Philadelphia. Biloxi native Red Bullock played 12 games for the A’s in 1936, and Leo Norris, the pride of Bay St. Louis, started a two-year stint with the Phillies. Norris hit 20 homers in his brief time in the majors. In 1946, Jackie Price of Winborn debuted with Cleveland. Flash forward to 1976 for the debut of Hattiesburg native Bobby Myrick, one of the original Jackson Mets of 1975 who pitched parts of three seasons for the New York club. In 1986, Ricky Jones, a Tupelo native, got into 16 games with Baltimore. Vicksburg’s Dmitri Young made the big leagues with St. Louis in 1996 and went on to belt 171 home runs in a 13-year career. And 10 years ago, another Vicksburg product, left-hander Taylor Tankersley, debuted with the Florida Marlins.