Thursday, April 1, 2010

First Game

After five days of training with the Monarchs in Houston, Jackie made the 200 mile jump to San Antonio for his first game action on Easter Sunday, April 1. The Monarchs split into two squads with most first stringers remaining in Houston and a second team heading to San Antonio to meet an all-white club called Engle's Minor League All Stars. Charlie Engle was the team's organizer and namesake. Engle had a long minor league career stretching back to 1927 and had been in a few MLB games as well. He patched together a team with some other minor leaguers and some players from the nearby Aviation Cadet Center (now Lackman Air Force Base). The teams met at Tech Field, which is no longer standing, but there are a couple of ball fields on the site today.

Tech Field
Jackie managed one hit in seven at-bats, two stolen bases, and, according to the April 7th Chicago Defender, "showed up well at shortstop, accepting nine chances with but one error and figuring in three fast double plays." The game was a 14-inning affair that ended at a 4-4 deadlock.


(The Defender write-up refers to the Monarchs squad as "yannigans," which apparently is an out-of-use term meaning rookies and second-stringers, though some first-stringers, such as Lefty LaMarque and Hilton Smith, were part of the game.)

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