Saturday, July 24, 2010

Jackie Goes Deep, But Monarchs Remain Winless Against Buckeyes

The Monarchs made their lone 1945 appearance in Cleveland on July 24. Their opponent was the formidable Cleveland Buckeyes, first half American League champions. The Monarchs had gone 0-5 against Cleveland in the first half. This game on the 24th is the only time the two teams faced each other in the second half that I'm aware of. Satchel, having pitched a complete game just two days prior, took the hill for KC for the first five innings. He yielded three runs to the powerful Buckeyes lineup.

Eugene Bremer

Eugene Bremer went the distance for Cleveland, and had a shutout through eight innings. In the ninth, trailing 3-0, Jackie launched a pitch beyond the left field wall but a few inches foul. Later in the at-bat, he sent another wallop to left, this time a few inches to the fair side. It was a solo drive, but started a rally that resulted in another run. But Bremer and Cleveland snuck out of the inning to take a 3-2 win and improve to 6-0 against the Monarchs for the '45 season.

Jackie's homer left an impression on Cleveland catcher/manager Quincy Trouppe, who had this to say in his memoir 20 Years Too Soon:
Later that season I played against (Jackie) in Cleveland, and he overpowered my pitcher's curve with a line drive into the left-field stands. I knew then he had the makings of a top pro. When a young player breaks into pro ball hitting the curve with authority, you can expect to see him develop into an excellent hitter.
Although he had the makings of a real good player, I think it came as a surprise when word got out that the Brooklyn Dodgers had signed him to a contract. It was hard to imagine any black player cracking the major leagues, and with Jackie's temper being the way it was, it didn't seem likely that a major-league team would be willing to take a chance with him. The golden dream, the impossible golden dream of sepia players roaming the ball fields of the major leagues, was now crystallizing into reality at last.

July 28 Cleveland Call and Post

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