Dan Warren - The obscuring dust lies most densely on 1983 and 1984. While Long Island, Harbor Beach, Winnebago, Mimosa, Horseshoe Bay, and Evanston all reached the playoffs, the 1983 league championship remains an unclaimed void to this day.
Bergen’s Keith Hernandez led all hitters with .357. Alan Bannister pitched a no-hitter for the Islanders, while Mike Krukow (23), Phil Niekro (23), Dan Petry (21), Juaquin Andujar (20), and Fergy Jenkins (20) had good years. Vida Blue tossed a no-hitter for Morgantown against Chicago Ridge.
Don Sutton of Bradenton had the finest pitching performance in TCBA history over Western Springs when he hurled back-to-back shutouts- a two-hitter and a no-hitter!!! He retired the first 26 in a row in the second outing before walking a pinch-hitter.
Fiehl Facts - Not much to say this year. Newsletters were short and totally dominated with National League highlights and write-ups. Dave Brown was constantly on our backs, and rightly so, to get the series in on time.
Al Keefer makes the playoffs for the first time in 9 years! League still waiting for his first trade!
Marty Fiehl - Dave McKay? While Lamaar was winning 19 and 24, Dave was still in baseball, but I think it was as a thirdbase coach. Just dumb, stupid luck on Boston’s part to acquire Hoyt when they did, but nary a gathering of Metro managers can take place without the Braunmiester bringing this one up. Well, at least not for the last dozen years or so!
Bob Braun - Dave McKay hits .176 for Hyde Park.
Larry Smith - “Mirth Makers” was stolen from a favorite television show in the Mimosa household -- “Fernwood Tonight.” The Mirth Makers were host Barth Gamble’s band, led by Happy Kyle.
December 30, 1983 - The last of David Brown’s TCBA REPORT was published, ending an era of quality reporting that followed our growth for the first nine years. It wasn’t until the appearance of Larry Smith’s TCBA Today in the early 1990’s that we ever came close to David’s professionalism.
Bob Braun - As the Dragon of Winnebago continued to ravish the land of TCBA, the Vita-Men struggled to complete their season. Long time hero Ken Singleton appeared in only 25 games, and then was unceremoniously sold to the Bradenton franchise for a paltry $40,000. The franchise leader in nearly every offensive category, a classy man who appeared in over 1200 games during 10+ seasons with Hyde Park, a player who led the team to the American League crown in 1976, who finished his Hyde Park career with close to a .300 batting average, was shipped out like so much excess baggage. The Vita-Men had hit rock bottom.
In addition to Dan Petry’s 21 wins, another bright spot for Hyde Park in 1983 was young catcher John Stearns, who batted .335 in 123 games. It was to be his last hurrah, however. Felled by injuries to his shoulder in the early spring of 1984, Stearns would never play another TCBA game. For six years he filled the catcher’s spot for Hyde Park. In that time he averaged 55 rbi, 67 runs, 32 doubles, 47 walks, 10 home runs, and 8 steals a year. Then suddenly, at the age of 32, it was gone.
John Stearns more than anybody reflected the state of the Hyde Park franchise as it entered the 1984 season.
Larry Smith 1992