Culley Rikard is among that passel of Mississippians whose big league career was brief and relatively obscure. The Oxford native and Olive Branch High alum played in 153 games over parts of three seasons, breaking in with Pittsburgh in 1941, a year noteworthy for DiMaggio’s 56 and Williams’ .406 but not so much for Rikard. He had just 20 at-bats. He got a few more ABs in 1942, spent three years in military service and returned to the majors with the Pirates in 1947, a year noteworthy for the debuts of Robinson and Doby but not really for Rikard. He batted .287 and scored 57 runs as the occasional leadoff batter for a really bad Pirates club. That was his final fling in the big leagues. But the tale of Culley Rikard would not be complete without recounting the incident of June 5, 1947, which mostly involves another player and takes up a significant portion of Rikard’s Wikipedia entry. Rikard hit a fly ball that was caught by Pete Reiser in center field at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. Reiser, famous for crashing into walls, did so on this occasion, knocking himself unconscious and actually receiving last rites before recovering in a hospital. P.S. Kudos to Brandon Woodruff, the ex-Mississippi State standout who received a $10.8 million contract from Milwaukee as the sides avoided arbitration. Woodruff, who has become one of the National League’s best pitchers, went 13-4 with 3.05 ERA in 2022 and is 41-25 career for the Brewers.