Dan Warren - Rockford downed Bergen and Connecticut (who had beaten wildcard Norfolk) for the American League crown, only to lose to Bravard’s Boulder Bobcats. Bill Buckner’s .369 for Long Island topped the league, besting Jeff Burroughs’ .340. Larry Hisle out-homered George Foster, 44-42, while Burroughs’ 135 RBI was best. Rockford and Long Island’s 21-inning game equaled the league mark.
The big winners among pitchers were Jim Palmer (25), Guidry (24), Phil Niekro (23), Dennis Eckersley (23), Randy Jones (21), and Bob Knepper (21). Ed Halicki, Bergen’s Dave Rozema, and Jerry Koosman each tossed no-hitters. Rozema’s no-hitter was preceded by Ron Guidry’s one-hitter against Meadowlands - only 1 hit in 17 innings for Jim Lafargue’s Spartans. Jim got even in the remaining 5 games of the series, however. His pitchers shut out Bergen 4 times - including two by Milt Wilcox. JR Richard of Winnebago hurled his second career no-hitter, at Meadowlands. He struck out 14 batters in his masterpiece. He was unhittable through 8 innings, narrowly escaping disaster in the 5th inning when he walked the bases full.
Bradenton also set a new American League record, bidding $190,000 for Bob Horner. Rolling Meadow paid $102,000 for Dennis Lamp, Harbor Beach $127,000 for Carney Lansford, and Northeast $113,000 for D. Robinson. Allan Trammell went to Rolling Meadow for $55,000.
Photos of Larry Smith and Jim Lafargue in the yearbook featured identical mustaches.
Bob Braun - For the second year in a row, death visited our organization. Bergen’s captain, Thurman Munson, was killed when a plane he was piloting crashed in Ohio.
Frank Lentine (8/21/79) - ...I received the sad news that for the second consecutive year one of my players had died. it has always seemed to me that professional athletes, during their playing days, possess a larger than life aura. The loss of Lyman Bostock was tragic, but the death of Thurman Munson is doubly depressing. Without doubt Thurman was my all-time favorite player. As a lifelong Yankee fan, I had the privilege of watching this class performer almost daily. I’m just at a loss for words. APBA and baseball as a whole lost a little appeal with the passing of Bostock. My interest has dropped to an all-time low. Thurman may you rest in peace. I will truly miss you.
Notes from TCBA Reports -
Pete Vuckovich hurled two shut outs in one series for Bradenton.
The Bergen at Long Island series featured five shutouts, two by the Islanders’ Dick Ruthven.
Harbor Beach swept Hyde Park at Hyde Park, giving the Combers a little daylight in the hotly contested Central race.
Dan Warren’s Norfolk Pilots scored only 8 runs at Harbor Beach for an entire series - yet won 3 games???
1979 Rules proposal #12 - Change pre-draft trading deadline from December 26 to 27, so Christmas would not be the last day of trading. (Jim McEneaney). (ed. note: like Mac has said to himself after many a trade, “Merry Christmas, Jim.”)
Jim Pertierra’s first resignation from TCBA is announced on May 19, 1979.
Bob Braun - George Scott came to Hyde Park in 1975. He was the third player picked by the Vita-Men in the initial TCBA Draft (the 39th player overall), coming just after Al Oliver, who went to Toronto, and just before Bake McBride, who ended up in Mt. Greenwood. The man they call "Boomer," all 6'2" and 200 lbs of him quickly became a fan favorite, and a legend in his own time.
In what would eventually be his 10th TCBA season, Scott led the 1976 Hyde Park VitaMen to what would be their first TCBA Today championship, belting 33 homers, driving in 106 runs, while scoring 119. Four seasons earlier, Boomer had played a key role in bringing Hyde Park what most folks seem to say was their first ever TCBA Yesterday crown. In that season, Scott's 30 homers and 93 rbi were critical components of the VitaMen success story.
Although the two championship years are what most folks in Hyde Park talk about, Boomer had two other remarkable seasons, both years in which Hyde Park failed to finish first. In 1968, Scott batted .341 to lead the surprising VitaMen to a strong, but eventually unsuccessful, run at the Hackbart crown, losing out to the ultimate TCBA champion Long Islanders. Perhaps most surprising of all was 1978. In his 12th TCBA season, George Scott set personal records with 197 hits, 45 homers, and a 157 rbi, all this on a team that finished in third place with just 85 wins. In that remarkable season, Scott played in all 162 games.
The grueling 1978 season took a lot out of George and the Hyde Park franchise. In the following season, legs worn out from playing in over 1600 games, bat slowed by the girth of his by then ample belly, Boomer managed to play in only 37 games and quietly announced his retirement at the conclusion of the season.
In parts of 13 seasons with Hyde Park, George Scott amassed 1570 hits, placing behind only Ken Singleton's 1632 in the Hyde Park-Beacon Hall of Fame.
Scott's career totals with Hyde Park and the franchise's ranking all-time include: 5786 AB's (2nd), 841 runs (3rd), 242 doubles (3rd), 53 triples (3rd), 239 homers (5th), 858 rbi (3rd), 501 walks (5th), and 1052 strike outs (3rd). Boomer finished with a franchise career batting average of .271.
After having the pleasure of putting Scott's name in the line-up for 1618 games over 12-plus seasons, watching him perform defensive magic at firstbase season after season, and bravely handling thirdbase duties when needed, it is a day of mixed emotions to see George go. We didn't honor him when he retired after the 1979 season, so let us now acknowledge the debt we owe to him. Let us now allow George Charles "Boomer" Scott to have one more chance to win before he proceeds into our future. With gold chains and glistening teeth dangling around his neck, let us recognize the unique individual that was George Scott. He, perhaps more than any other player in franchise history, represents what being part of the VitaMen is all about. A big, fat, powerful bon vivant with a joy of life that just made him want to go out and play every damn day like it was his last one. Ask Jose Canseco. Ask Tony Gwynn. Ask David Cone. They'll all tell you the same thing.
Boomer was The Man.