Monday, May 3, 2010

Victory In Dallas As Spring Training Winds Down

May 4 Dallas Morning News

By May 3rd, the Monarchs were approaching the end of their exhibition tour with the Clowns, and opening day of the regular season was just three days away. As you can see in the blink-and-you'll-miss-it game summary above, the Monarchs "trounced" the Clowns this day in Dallas, with Booker McDaniels and Jim "Lefty" Lemarque on the hill for KC. Does that say the Clowns committed twelve errors?!

The Monarchs and Clowns were to close out their series the next day in Oklahoma City, but I haven't located a report on that game. So for our purposes, this wraps up spring training. Click the chart below to see what I've managed to piece together from the 1945 preseason. Unfortunately just two box scores have been found from games Jackie played in, boxes that show him going a combined 4-for-7.

Jackie had been with the team for about five weeks at the end of spring training (though he missed quite a bit of time on the trip to Boston). He garnered rave reviews throughout, apparently showing no rust in spite of having not played much ball for years. Thanks to the Wendell Smith orchestrated tryout with the Boston Red Sox, his name was already in the mix of prospects for the Major Leagues.

One important aspect of the time-line for '45 that I haven't been able to come up with is when Branch Rickey and the Dodgers began being interested in Jackie or at which exact games they had scouts. Whether or not they would have scouted him in the preseason, I just don't know.

Here's what the spring training road trip looks like mapped out. The team bounced over 4442 miles in just 34 days.

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