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April 26, 2017     Hays Free Press
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+ Page 2C COMMUNITY Hays Free Press ,, April 26, 2017 + A~ayrOOkie from the Lone ar State pitched his into the major- league record book on April 30, 1922 by retiring 27 batter~ in a row. The rarest achievement in baseball is a perfect game. To accomplish this incredible feat, a pitcher cannot allow a single bat- ter to reach first base. Only 21 have done it since 1900, and one of those was a nobody from North Texas. Charles Culbertson Robertson was born in 1897 at Dexter in the northeastern tip of Cooke County four miles from the Red River. The gifted athlete attended Austin College, where he played baseball, basketball and football while studying for the ministry. Robertson left college in 1918 to go to spring training with the Chicago White Sex. Failing to earn a spot on the regular-season roster, he enlisted in the ArmyAir Corps and won his wings just before the First World War ended that November. The White Sex gave the right-hander another try- out in 1919, and he hung around long enough to pitch two innings for the infamous club that threw the World Series. Recalled by Chicago in 1922 after three seasons in the minor leagues, Robertson started three games in April and recorded his first big- league victory. On the last day of the month, the rawboned rookie took the mound against the Detroit Tigers in front of an overflow crowd at Na~n Field. Since there were not enough seats for the 25,000 ticketholders, hundreds ringed the playing field. The Tigers were led by player-manager Ty Cobb, who at age 35 would hit .401. Detroit had a team batting average of .305, Robertson called time, walked over to shortstop Eddie Mulligan and said, "That little fat fellow stands between me and a no- hit game." Without saying a word, Mulligan turned the rookie around and shoved him back toward the pitcher's mound. Texas History by Bartee Halle the highest of any team in history ever held hitless. That was one reason a baseball historian called Robertson's masterpiece "perhaps the most perfect game ever pitched." In the opening inning, Robertson disposed of the first three batters, includ- ing the immortal Cobb, without breaking a sweat. In the top of the second, his teammates scored two rims, all he would need on that perfect aftemoon. The lead-offbatter for Detroit in the bottom of the second drove a fast ball deep into left field. The spectators politely parted for center fielder Johnny Mostil, who caught the fly ball "just inside the ropes separating the crowd from the players." The next two Tigers also knocked the horsehide into the outfield, but both were long outs. It was smooth sailing for Robertson until the fifth, when for the first and only time he fell behind on a batter. "I had a 3-2 count on him, and I threw a fast ball that didn't come close. But Bobby (Veach) bit on it and popped it up. The rest was like batting practice." Fiery Cobb, who could not believe some no- name rookie was making fools of his mighty Tigers, blew his stack. Convinced Robertson was putting a foreign substance on the ball, he demanded that the home-plate umpire frisk him. When the ump announced the hurler was clean, the Georgia Peach insisted he inspect the White Sex first baseman, tOO. By the eighth inning, the hostile throng had switched sides "and were openly rooting for the rookie to give them a memory for a lifetime." They roared in approval as Robertson sent the 22nd, 23rd and 24th Tigers in a row back to the dugout. In the bottom of the ninth, the first Tiger was called out on strikes, and the second popped up to second base. Johnny Bassler, a .323 hitter who had taken the day off, came up to bat for the pitcher. Robertson called time, walked over to shortstop Eddie Mulligan and said, "That little fat fellow stands between me and a no -hit game." Without saying a word, Mulligan turned the rookie around and shoved him back to- ward the pitcher's mound. The pinch-hitter sent a high fly bail into foul terri- tory that Mosfil caught for the 27th out. The Detroit fans rushed onto the field and carried Robertson off on their shoulders. The Texan won 12 more games in 1922 for a total of 14, second highest on the White Sex pitching staff. However, that was one less than his number of losses, which may explain the pitiful hundred-dollar raise he received from stingy owner Charles Comiskey. Robertson was the workhorse for the 1923 White Sex with 34 starts and 255 innings but again lost (18) more than he won (13). Plagued by arm trouble, he was 12-22 his last two seasons in Chi- cago before being traded to the St. Louis Browns and the next year to the Boston Braves. He retired after the 1928 season with a career record of 49 wins and 80 losses. After Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series, every sportswriter in the country wanted to interview the last pitcher to throw one. Those that went to the trouble found Charlie Rob- ertson hard at work in his North Texas pecan grove. "Baseball didn't give me a particularly bad break," he said. "But I went through it and found out too late that it is ridicu- lous for anyyoung man with the qualifications to make good in another profession to waste time in professional athletics." That was not what any- one expected to hear from a member of baseball's most exclusive fraternity. Read all about Spindle top, Mexia, Roarin' Ranger and Bloody Burger in "Texas Boom towns: A History of Blood and Oil." Order autographed copies from the author for $28.80 at barteehaile.com or P.O. Box 152, Friendswood, TX 77549. Continued from pg. 1C canes pliable enough to be grouped with other vines. This little beauty can be twisted around poles and trellises, trained in ways other roses cannot bend. Tough As Nails lastly, these vines are some of our most com- monly grown here and for ~ood reason. Once estab- shed they can survive al- most anything our climate can throw at us, and are adaptable to almost any soil conditions. 7. Star / Confederate Jasmine - Fragrant white flowers in spring, ever- green most years. Vigorous once established. 8. Honeysuckle - A vig- orous vine with trumpet- shaped flowers in white, cream or coral. The coral honeysuckle is the least aggressive of the group. Evergreen. 9. Crossvine-A non- invasive substitution for trumpet vine. Large salmon-colored blooms cover the vine mid-spring. Dormant in winter. 10. Carolina Jessamine - Profusions of yellow flow- ers in early spring, ever- green, and deer-resistant Happyvine gardening everyone! If you have a question for Chris or Amanda, send it via email to iathyme@ yahoo.com. Or mail a postcard to It's About Thyme: 11726 Manchaca Road, Austin, TX 78748 www.itsaboutthyme.com Homes For Heroes Continued from pg. 1C guided the BHFH staffto him, Baker said. But the process for Lathers' home took ap- proximately two years, he said. Lathers and his fam- ily live in Schertz, located north of San Antonio, but he expressed interest in rrmving into the Kyle area. BHFH notified Lath- ers he would be gifted a home in February. Lath- ers worked with BHFH to make sure the home was in the right place and could suit his needs. For Lathers, the chance to walk through his new home left him in a dreamlike state. "It's hard to believe. It was like a dream. It feels like a dream," Lathers said. "It's pretty exciting and overwhelming, but for the better." Once the home is gifted, Baker said BHFH continues to check on the families, offering finan- cial assistance and stew- ardship opportunities. Families can also network with other veterans who have been gifted homes as well. The home also gives veterans a chance to fo- cus on the road to recov- ery. Primarily, a chance to start the healing process and focus on life and a career after the military. Lathers, who suffers from Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, said at- tempting to assimilate to civilian life after a wartime experience is "one of the hardest things there is." "It's because you're so used to everyday life in the military and then it changes," Lathers said. "The biggest thing is the camaraderie. You lose all of the people you're around every day." But Lathers also ap- preciated seeing support from the community, many of whom he's never met. "We're excited because there was so much com- munity involvement," Lathers said. "That's how I want to raise my kids, in an involved community." 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See Solution on 3C 'II i'1! !/" iji!i i: ii' 12 iii6 3 ACROSS 1 "l'Xism: *~ow " (burlap bag) 5 TXism:" sheared like a spring lamb" 6 "Leagues" captain 7 large TX family 8 spy fiction writer Deighton 9 TXism:" off more than I can chew" 12 TXism: "never sign anything by the glow of _ __ light" 17 TX George W.'s 2000 victory was _ ___ as it gets 19 building complexes 21 TXism: '1 zigged when have zagged" 22 Galveston's USS Stewart is a destroyer __ 23 UH mascot 28 TXism:" bien" (good) 29 TXism: "he couldn't drown a plastic __" (bad fisherman) 30 TXism:" __ the cards on the table" 31 TX poet Nye 35 "Home, home on the " 36 TX Trini Lopez tune: If n 42 in 2000, a tornado hit Fort Worth 44 TXism: "hombres" 46 a Great Lake 47 ___rock, TX 49 young porker 50 " in Peace" 51 TXism:" spell" 52 TXism: "worth his weight _ __ leases" 53 TXism: "that __ won't drilI" (disagree with) 54 TXism: "hen fruit" 55 TXism: "chews his own cud" 57 "no" vote in TX legislature 58 TXism:" 4~j-_~__ some gravel" (fell) gO" .... 59 Sam Houston i the TX Army ......... / at San Jacinto DOWN I UT has original manuscript of his "Main Street" 2 eternal 3 location of "Old Cora" courthouse 4 Cameron AM 9 TXism: "it's near = 10 Padre __ Seashore 11 this TX Cassidy was "Lurch" on the "Addams Family" 12 good poker card 13 posted sign at Lake Crockett (2 wds.) 21 l i 47 51 14 the name before Exxon 15 boot aroma t6 Dallas sportscaster Hitzges t58 18 ~_ Fresnos, TX 20 Dublin, TX hosts big __ Patrick's Day 23 TX singer Pride (init) 24 Austin's words in 32 Franklin h.s~ class 1835: "War is .---- 33 TX Buddy Holly hit: only resource .... Boy" 25 Arlington univ.34 first femaIe gow 26 TXism: '~Nhat's good ",,_" Ferguson for the goose is 36 TXism: "lapped good for the ____"__ up" (believed) 27 loser to TX George 37 TX Dan Blocker's W. in 2000 "Bonanza" rote by Charley & Guy Orbison Copyrigl~t 2017 by O, bison Bros. 38 l'Xtsm: "spinning tike a weather vane in = __wind" 39 Biblical city by the Black Sea 40 Waxahachie is seat of this county 41 rod and 43 take home pay 45 -- JO, TX 48 "Jock" Ewing on "Dallas": oil 49 TX-based One Imports 56 TXism: "bright______ and bushy tailed" See Solution on 3C II i I il i ii i i i lii