Morning Sun
  • SISNEY COLUMN: Deacon Jones, baseball and Punxsutawney

  • I’ve wanted to write a column for the last couple weeks and just never found the inspiration until Wednesday afternoon. Like most columns I write, there’s not an overriding theme or argument, just some random threads stitched together into almost 1,000 words.

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  • I’ve wanted to write a column for the last couple weeks and just never found the inspiration until Wednesday afternoon. Like most columns I write, there’s not an overriding theme or argument, just some random threads stitched together into almost 1,000 words.
    • On July 3, JayCee Ballpark will host a benefit game between the Joplin Outlaws and Nevada Griffons, all proceeds from the gate benefit the Tyler Jeck Memorial Foundation. The Outlaws and the Griffons feature players from college baseball programs all over the United States: for example, the Griffons have players from hometowns like Punxsutawney, Pa., and Round Rock, Texas.
    However, the two players to watch on both rosters are Joplin Outlaws pitcher Aaron Snow and Nevada Griffons middle infielder Stuart Jeck, Tyler Jeck's older brother. Both players are former teammates of Tyler Jeck at St. Mary's Colgan High School and Pittsburg Post 64. The nine-inning contest starts at 7 p.m. with $5 admission for adults and $3 for children.
    • Here’s a couple of fairly recent news items that desperately need to get in: Pittsburg native and Tabor senior third baseman Adam McCormick received NAIA first-team All-America honors for a 2012 season in which he produced a .441 batting average with 82 hits, 16 doubles, one triple, eight home runs, 63 RBI and 51 runs scored. His .441 batting average ranked McCormick fifth overall in the NAIA.
    Colgan senior and KU football recruit Austin Barone placed in the top 10 all four years he played in the Kansas state golf tournament: fifth as a freshman at Bishop Seabury (80), eighth as a sophomore at Colgan (82), tied for seventh as a junior (84) and seventh as a senior (82).
    Colgan golf coach Luke Wachter said that he called Barone "Mr. Consistent." According to Wachter, Barone is the only Colgan golfer to place in the top 10 all four years of high school.
    • I know it was stated that Matt Murray's baseball philosophies helped earn him the Pittsburg State head coach position but the fact that he was the only one of the three finalists who introduced himself one-on-one and shook people's hands before his interview should not be underestimated. That gesture stuck with you and made you want to listen even more intently to what the guy had to say. Murray and I later had a chance to briefly discuss the 1985 Kansas City Royals.
    • Speaking of the 1985 Royals, I had a chance to briefly interview Willie Wilson in January and I told him that my first Royals game was in 1985 against the Detroit Tigers. I wish I remembered more from that experience.
    I seem to remember it being a school night and the only night from the 1985 season to seem to fit that description would be Monday, August 19. In that game, Kansas City beat Detroit 2-1 in 10 innings, as two of the best starting pitchers in baseball — Detroit ace Jack Morris and Kansas City ace Bret Saberhagen — pitched their hearts out.
    Page 2 of 2 - Then again, I just might be playing revisionist historian.
    Baseball-Reference.com lists 207 MLB players-managers born in Kansas and one player came from my old hometown of Arcadia, Deacon Jones. Jones (born on Dec. 20, 1892 in Arcadia) pitched three years for the Detroit Tigers during the 1910s, posting a 7-6 record with a 2.98 career ERA, allowing 50 runs on 136 hits over 151.0 career innings.
    Jones died Dec. 28, 1952, in Pittsburg and was buried in Leroy Cemetery, Oskaloosa, Mo., a site not far from Arcadia. No doubt I walked past Jones' tombstone several times during my life, having no idea that he was once a professional baseball player let alone a teammate of Ty Cobb.
    • Back in 2005, I did an internship at the National Archives in Kansas City. I loved it, all three weeks, all 120 hours. At that point in my life, I wanted nothing more than to find a great museum job. Alas, that never happened.
    Anyway, for one day at the Archives, I was allowed to dig into my family history. I knew my great-grandfather's name, started there and ultimately developed something resembling a family tree.
    During my research, I found a Sisney Cemetery located in Ozark County, Missouri. Later, I found a note originally published by the Ozark County Genealogical and Historical Society in 1989, "Unfenced and uncared for, the (Sisney) cemetery will soon be obliterated." However, I came across photos of the gravesites dated Oct. 14, 2006.
    The Sisney Cemetery made it into the manuscripts of Silas Claiborne Turnbo (1844-1925), a collection of nearly 800 short tales, stories and vignettes detailing life in northwest Arkansas and southwest Missouri during the late 19th Century. The Turnbo Manuscripts can be found at http://thelibrary.org/lochist/turnbo/toc.html.
    I always remember fondly those occasions college majors would come up for conservation and I would tell people history. I wish I had a dollar for every time somebody would say “History’s boring.” The key letters in history are the last five and we all have our very own stories that make up one big story.
    • Since I became a sports writer, I started collecting baseball and basketball cards and after a good solid decade away from that world, I remembered there’s almost nothing which can beat the anticipation opening a new pack. It’s like opening a present, especially if you get a rookie card or an extremely rare insert card.

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