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Stories

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FYBA First Night Game

          The first night game at FYBA was played on October 2, 1970. The way I remember it, the lights were supposed to go up sometime during the season, but one delay lead to another, and then the season was over. So somebody came up with the idea to have an All-Star game once the lights were finally up. The lights were finally completed on Field #1 in late September 1970. So the very first night game played at FYBA was on October 2, 1970. At that time Little League was divided into a "National" League and "American" League just like the pros. The National League defeated the American League by a score of 6 - 4 in the first night game at FYBA. Joe Nuxhall was there and presented all of the players with a signed baseball.

Terry Senger



1964-1965 Babe Ruth All Star Team

Dear Sir,
          This picture was provided to me by Judge Ron Craft of our 1964-5 Fairfield Babe Ruth All Star team. We won our first game against Pisgah at Xenia Ohio in which I threw a no hitter but had some control issues early on, walked in a run in the first inning. Pinky stuck with me, I struck out 16 in 7 innings and we won 6-1. Not an uncommon occurrence for my control to be a bit shaky in my brief baseball career. I want you to know that there were some much more remarkable folks and later accomplishments by the players and coaches in this picture. Don Briede and Pinky Tekulve were the coach and manager respectively on the right end, back row. Two more dedicated and talented coaches in youth baseball never lived on this planet. Steve Hannah (his father is the coach on the left end) played 4 years at Wittenberg and later coached the football program at that University. He is 4th from left end. Doug McKinney played basketball for Memphis State and played in the 1973 NCAA Championship game. Doug is back row, I played 3 years at BGSU, later 3 years with the Philadelphia Phillies Farm System. That's me in center of back row. Of course the most accomplished player/coach to come out of Fairfield youth baseball to date, Kent Tekulve, forms his own back row on the left end. I am sure some of the others, inc Como Tekulve, Donnie Briede, Ron Craft (on my left, next to me in back row) accomplished great things outside and possibly inside sports as well. We just lost track of each other. Enjoy and please correct your photo of Mr Briede on your historical page. He meant a lot to me and the rest of us as a man and a coach. It is best not to have him mis represented by a picture on your website.

Jim Meerpohl



1970 VFW Post 1069, became the regions first undefeated squad

          A 45 year anniversary was passed over without remembrance. The undefeated Fairfield Little League and tournament champions, 1970 VFW Post 1069, became the regions first undefeated squad in history, closing with a win in the 51 team City-County tourney and ending 27-0.

It certainly wasn't that easy getting out of baseball country undefeated. We couldn't hide from the Steve Monnin Express or duck Flame thrower Tim Kellum. We no longer had the luxury of being carried by our cat quick shortstop George Marischen who was long gone to the Babe Ruth leagues, and fortunately so was Chicago hard hitting 1st baseman and former LA and Rockies manager Jim Tracy. We were also blessed that Kim Nuxhall, the unhittable son of MLB great Joe Nuxhall, had also long graduated out as well. We made no claim to be the greatest LL team ever, which would apparently be hotly disputed at Symmes Tavern, and that three peat Landmark team led by Rhett and Dane Whisman and Mark Smith did surpass too many records to count, including carrying away every HR record with them; but again, they were still in the minors practicing in the dark in 1970!.

And our simple textbook strategy of the veterans of the FF Parks system was handing the ball to the big train Gary "the freezer.so named for batters frozen in the box" Bennett, who would toss 10 shutouts and multiple no-nos as often as we were allowed to pitch him.

Still, 45 summers ago VFW rolled out 27 straight wins, 22 by complete knockout, 3 relatively close including Tim K opening us with 3 perfect innings and Steve shutting us out through 4, and two last inning comebacks including the final against a Norm Grevey, father of University of Kentucky all-time leading scorer and NBA all-star Kevin Grevey, coached West Side of Hamilton squad.

We did trail in the final, 1-0, until 2 out in the 5th, when an obvious grand slam high and deep down the left field line (that hit a green 64 Ford truck clearly fair to everyone in attendance except apparently the home plate umpire) was called foul to a shocked group of Fairfield supporters. After Asst. coach Cloud unsuccessfully tried articulating the merits of our case as only he so eloquently could have stated, the incident was short lived. While we do have in our possession, a 45 year old B & W home movie of the whole foulballgate affair, it has a poor quality and a worse angle on the foul line; beside, it was completely forgotten moments later when the boys of that summer nearly a half century ago rallied with EIGHT 2 out runs and would never need to bat in Little League again. Slick FF lefthander David Smith painted strikes on the low outside corner to close the West Side champs out quickly.

Statistically, the VFW squad allowed 9 earned runs in 27 games for a microscopic .033 ERA and scored 303 runs in the 27 games with a .444 team batting average that included 2 over .600 and a .700 hitter.

Team members included 5 twelve year olds; SS Frank Cloud, P-1B- CF Gary Bennett, OF Jim Capella, OF Dan Reddan, and yours truly in CF-P and 11 yr olds C Doug Cloud (RIP to our tough as nails catcher of record in all 27 games), hard-hitting 3B Danny Mills and OF Glen Miller, Tom Glavin style pitcher Dave Smith, and 2B Steve Hensley, and managed by Bob Bennett, Asst. coach Doug Cloud Sr.(RIP coach), and Gay Godby(RIP).and previously managed a year earlier by Bob Reeb (RIP) Debbie Reeb- Brewer).

Ronnie Dane Hodges

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