Monday, May 18, 2015

Contenders/Pretenders, Our Favorite Biscuit, Sulphur Dell


When a team makes a habit of losing series, its tough to prop up pennant hopes.

Glum Headlines lately
Such is the case in Montgomery, where the arrival of Jimmy Paterson and Bryce Stowell likely comes just a little too late to help the Biscuits win the first half.

Don't get me wrong, we love Patterson and Stowell, the bullpen will surely be better with them. Also its good to see the parent club send reinforcements.

However, as we have seen too often in the past, the cavalry doesn't always arrive in time to save the settlers. The Biscuits are seven games out of first and would need to vault the Smokies and Barons before challenging the division leading Lookouts.

Barring a twenty game win streak we can probably stick a fork in our Biscuits.

Where would we be if there hadn't been a division change? Right where we are in the current standings. The team that loses more than it wins doesn't move up, no matter what the teams around it are.

A tough month of May for the Biscuits so far, losing games no matter what the score. In the games the Biscuits scored four runs or more this month, they are 5 wins and 6 losses.

When you score four runs or more, you expect to win those. You have to win those. For the Biscuits, its been the difference between contending and pretending.

For the first half of the season, we may be done, but things looks good for the second half. If the recent changes keep the bullpen from leaking so many runs there is much room for optimism. It's always better to finish well than to peak in May.

I noticed the team website had a poll for readers. My favorite all-time Biscuit? Of course this list has some great names, but the list is kind of short. Many folks that come to Biscuits games now have no idea that these guys ever played here, there aren't many recent appearances.

Other than a rehab stint by Longoria in 2011, we haven't seen any of these guys in the past five years. Evan did play in 131 games from August 2006 to July 2007.

Alabama native Desmond Jennings in 2009 was second on this poll list in time served, appearing in exactly 100 games for Montgomery. His 37 steals is still a Biscuits franchise mark.

Outgoing David Price is often listed among Skitz greats, his dominant month of service consisted of nine games in 2008. His infectious smile is long remembered by loyal fans from eight seasons ago, which is one more year than wins David had as a Biscuit (7).

Matty Moore, who I have hopes of seeing in Montgomery for a couple rehab starts in June, is also listed. A great guy with a boyish face and smoking fastball, he was a Skit in 2011 through mid-July. He logged 18 starts, including the first Biscuit no-hitter, winning 8 games.


But where are the REALLY great Biscuits for this list?
Where is franchise stalwart Gabby Martinez? Where is Championship Series MVP Chris Nowak?

Where are the great catchers, John Jaso & Stephen Vogt? Where is Win-A-Date stud Henry Wrigley? Powerhitting 1b Matt Fields?

Where are the pitchers we loved - guys like postseason hero Mitch Talbot? Popular lefty Mike Prochaska? Quick pitching, hair dyeing Chris Mason?

What about pitchers James Shields, Wade Davis, Chris Archer? 

And what of our MLB success stories - Outfielder Kevin Kiermaier, reliever Gene Machi, catcher Jose Lobaton and pitcher Jeremy Hellickson?

So many candidates left off this list, feel free to let me know if your favorite Biscuit isn't listed on the "official" poll.

I will have to think about this one, we have had so many great players!

The Joe will see the sun set soon, having given up its team to Biloxi.

The fans there could have gone to see the homeless Shuckers, but they simply stayed away in droves.

With attendance totals like 302 and 148 during the "homestand", Huntsville showed its disappointment in the ownership's lackluster promotions and losing records over the past seasons.

Attendance 148? And we thought the Biscuits over-estimated the crowd!


May 18, 1979 
Southern League: Frank L. MacCormack of the Montgomery Rebels had 4 wild pitches in the second inning v the Memphis Chicks.
 No word on how the chicks felt about his tuxedo, but I am told they really go crazy for a sharp dressed man.

MAY 18 1920 
Grays star Sam Streeter
"Montgomery Negro Team Tops League - Grey Sox Meet New Orleans Again Today; Jacksonville is Runner Up

The Montgomery Gray Sox, now hold first place in the Negro Southern League with Jacksonville, a close second. The Gray Sox, however, have a hard schedule before them for the next ten days, which schedule includes a series of games with Jacksonville and Nashville. The Greys are confident that their ascendency will be maintained, and are counting upon adding even further to their winning average during the present week.

This afternoon, the Grays will meet the New Orleans aggregation at South Side park, leaving this evening for Jacksonville for a series of three games returning here Sunday for a game with Nashville Monday. The Sox will go to Atlanta for another series of three games.

Sunday's game will be called promptly at 3 p.m. The seating capacity is being greatly enlarged to accommodate white persons, it is announced."

site of South Side Park, home of the Gray Sox

I came across a few pics of Nashville's great old ballpark, and while I don't have a story to go with it, I couldn't help but share a few of the fantastic images of this lost gem.
View of the front of the park shows exhibition game Vols vs Dodgers

Awesome view from centerfield shows grandstand
262 down the line and lots of hill in the outfield!

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