I do not know how many of you played baseball in HS or how good your teams were. This is an FYI about a new book available on Amazon which details the author’s opinion of the 100 best Texas HS baseball teams in history. The author and his wife/researcher spent three years researching information and records and interviewing players and coaches.
The 1970 Brenham Cubs team I coached made the Top 100 list. Maybe your team did also?
My junior year we were pretty good, ranked in the top few in the state for much of the year. All hell broke loose in the last two weeks and we lost like our last five games and didn’t even win district. My senior year we were ok, but it was the first year of “no pass, no play”, and midway in the season it was discovered that one of our players had been forging his weekly grade reports and should have been ineligible. We had to forfeit every game up to that point, so our official record ended up like 3-25, though we won like 15 games on the field. Our arch rivals, one of the teams we’d beaten and had to forfeit to, ended up losing in the state final game. They would not have even been there without the forfeit against us. C’est la vie.
He wasn’t even a starter. But he played, and that was enough. I’m not sure how they verify academic eligibility now, but it was new at the time. They gave us these grade cards, and every Friday we had to get our teachers to mark “pass/fail” and sign them. It was up to us to give them to the teachers and the coach to make sure we got them all signed. I guess he was flunking a class and just didn’t give it to that teacher, signing it himself. The teacher found out he’d been playing and said “wait a minute, he’s failing my class”. An investigation revealed his deceit and that was that. I don’t think he got really much punishment for it, but obviously the other players were pissed at him.
In the 70s, it was pass 3 of 5. We were about to leave on a road trip, and my starting RF showed me his grade reports.
He failed one too many. I told him he could not go, and he said “Wait a minute.”
He went back into the building and returned with the F changed to a D and the teacher’s signature. I said “What did you do?” He said “I cried.” I asked “You pretended to cry, and she changed it?” He said “I was not pretending.”
We had to get the grade cards signed year round, even in the fall when it wasn’t baseball season. One week I failed to turn in an English class essay, just got confused thinking it was due next Monday, but it was due that Thursday or something. She marked failing and I had to turn it in to the coach. She also caught him in the teacher’s lounge and announced that one of hits ball players didn’t do his assignment. That day he lit into me. I honestly thought that was it, I was off the team. I told the teacher the next day “you really got me in trouble with coach”. She said laughed and said “good, maybe next time you’ll remember the due date”. I said “you don’t understand, he’s really mad. Like gonna kick me off the team mad”. She said “oh…”. She went to him and smoothed things over for me saying I was really a good student in her class, she just wanted to send a message.
Thanks! Pretty incredible to think about my being a part of that baseball history. When the author’s researcher interviewed me, she did not know if we would be one of the 100. Apparently, they started with 200 and cut the list down. I was lucky to be where I was in 1970, and I will never forget what Coach Gustafson did for me.
Thank you. I am still a bit incredulous a team I coached made the Top 100 list and ranked so high. We were a very inexperienced team (new starters at every position but 3B and 2B, and only one P back) when the season began, and I had no clue how we would do. The new guys were excellent players, and nearly all of the starters had “career years” hitting. That and a pitcher who was 15-1, 0.25 ERA, almost 2K/IP make up a recipe for success at any level.