Rival Grid Coaches Have Baseball in Common

Russ Huesman (UTC) and Kirby Cannon (Austin Peay)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

What better place to grow up for young baseball fans in the 1960s and 70s than the Midwest.

St. Louis, Cincinnati and Detroit as well as Pittsburgh all won World Series titles in a 13 year span (1964-1976) with Minnesota capturing an American League pennant.

Televised games are great, but they pale in comparison to summer nights with your dad listening on the family radio as your home team announcers paint a picture of your diamond heroes achievements.

Two such boys – Russ Huesman, a Big Red Machine Fan, and Kirby Cannon, an avid follower of the St. Louis Cardinals, - are now men and faced each other tonight in a college football game at Finley Stadium as Huesman’s team (UTC) defeated Cannon’s squad (Austin Peay), 42-10.

On a clear night and the wind blowing just right, it was baseball heaven as legendary announcers in their prime were Rembrandt and Picasso behind the microphone to Huesman in Cincinnati and Cannon in Alexandria, Mo., painting a verbal portrait for the team’s long distant faithful who might never see a home game, but fans nonetheless.

KMOX in St. Louis gave you Harry Caray and Jack Buck broadcasting from old Sportsman’s Park and later Busch Stadium, while Joe “Nuxie” Nuxhall and Marty Brenneman broadcast Redlegs games over WLW from Crosley Field and then Riverfront Stadium. In Detroit, the great Ernie Harwell called the games from Tiger Stadium over WJR.

In Pittsburgh it was Bob Prince on KDKA from Forbes Field, the Chicago White Sox had Bob Elson and Don Wells (followed by ralph Kiner, then Milo Hamilton) on WCFL when the Go-Go Sox won the A.L. Pennant in 1959, while on the North Side Jack Brickhouse brought you the action of the Chicago Cubs from the friendly confines of Wrigley Field.

A quick comparison of the two coaches

Both born in the Midwest in Jan. (just before pitchers and catchers report for spring training) … Cannon in 1958 and Huesman two years later.

Both played football and baseball in college – Huesman, a centerfielder and defensive back, at UTC (1978-81) and Cannon, a pitcher and quarterback, at Missouri State (1977-80) ….

College Titles: Huesman helped the Mocs win Southern conference football titles in 1978-79 … Cannon pitched in the NCAA D-II World Series in the spring of  ’78 and was a member of the football team that fall who won the MIAA.

Cannon ranks third in career wins (27-5) in 1978 and is in the Missouri State (formerly Southwest Missouri) Sports Hall of Fame.

Cards and the Reds … both coaches feel their diamond heroes are the best .

Huesman’s lineup of the mid-1970s shows hall of famers in Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Tony Perez, plus Pete Rose, Ken Griffey and Davey Concepcion

Cannon’s Cards won W.S. titles in 1964, ’67 and runner-up in ’68 led hall of famers Bob Gibson and Lou Brock, plus Curt Flood, Bill White, Ken Boyer, Dick Groat and Tim McCarver.

Fast forward to 2013 and these two coaches still have a keen interest in the N.L. pennant race as  the Cards, Reds and Pirates are all in the hunt for the N.L.Central division crown.


contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net

Covenant Cross-Country Teams Win Maryville Invitational

 Running through rain and tough course conditions, the Covenant cross country teams excelled at the Maryville College Invitational on Saturday morning. Both teams finished first in the event and senior Ruthie Cargill was the individual champion on the women's side. Cargill finished first among collegiate racers, second overall, with her 6k time of 25:08.58 on the damp ... (click for more)

UTC Closes Out Steve Baras Fall Classic Saturday

As rain continues to take its toll on events throughout the Southeast, the UTC Steve Baras Fall Classic was fortunate enough to have access to indoor facilities on Saturday.  Although the tournament was cut short following the semifinals, each individual was able to get in one singles match at the Racquet Club of Chattanooga.  On the men's side the Mocs scored wins ... (click for more)

Toddler Killed In Car Accident On Boy Scout Road Friday Morning

A toddler was killed in an auto accident Friday morning.  Hamilton County Sheriff’s deputies responded to an accident with injuries at the 1000 block of Boy Scout Road at approximately 11 a.m. on Friday. Upon arrival, deputies found a single car accident involving four passengers. Three of the four passengers were transported to a local hospital and the ... (click for more)

Triple Murder Suspect, Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitive, Captured In New Orleans

Less than a day after being placed on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Top 10 Most Wanted list, Daniel Lee Henry was captured Saturday night in New Orleans, La.  Shortly after 8:30 CST, Henry, 38, was taken into custody without incident at a hotel by authorities from the United States Marshals Service Task Force, which includes law enforcement officers from the New ... (click for more)

We Can Do Something About Mass Shootings - And Response (2)

A friend posted his observation this morning that there was paranoia about reasonable gun laws. I know his heart is saying we have to do something about these mass shootings. Then while scanning the morning news shows I watched a pile o’ pundits from Al Sharpton to Donald Trump pontificate on doing “something” about the problem. Personally, I think there are plenty of gun control ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: How We Learned To Play

A couple of years ago I was reading a fascinating story that asserted the “Little Rascals” taught generations of children how to play with each other. When the comedy show about children in a poor neighborhood originated in 1922, there were just silent movies but in 1929, when the “talkies” were introduced, children and adults alike were mesmerized by the wonderful humor that producer ... (click for more)