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


UTC's Chamblin Second In 800 Meter at Emory Classic

- University of Tennessee at Chattanooga junior Hannah Chamblin (Memphis, Tenn.) took second in the 800 meter run Saturday at the Emory Classic in Atlanta, Ga.   “Hannah had great positioning throughout the race,” Chattanooga head coach Andy Meyer said. “She passed about four [runners] in the last 150 meters.   “Abby’s race was good for her as a freshman. She was ... (click for more)

UTC Women Win 5-2 Over Western Carolina

  The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's tennis team scored a 5-2 win at Western Carolina today. The Mocs improve to 12-4 overall and 2-1 in Southern Conference action with today's win.  UTC won the doubles point, and the first three singles matches, to quickly clinch the team win.  WCU dropped to 11-7 overall and 0-3 in SoCon action. Senior ... (click for more)

2 Shot On Rawlings Street Friday Night; 1 In Critical Condition

Two people were shot, Friday night, and one is in critical condition. At approximately  9:56 p.m.  Chattanooga Police officers responded to the 2000 block of Rawlings Street on a report of a person shot. Officers arrived on scene and located one victim lying next to a vehicle suffering from a gunshot wound. A second victim arrived at a local hospital suffering from ... (click for more)

Car Crashes Into Motel 6 In Dalton; Driver, 17, Admits To Texting While Driving

The Dalton Police Department and Dalton Fire Department responded Saturday morning to a crash at the Motel 6 at Highway 41 and Tibbs Road. The driver of the 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix involved left the roadway and crashed into the Motel 6 building causing severe damage to one of the rooms. There were no major injuries. Investigators believe texting while driving was a contributing ... (click for more)

Slaxxon Regret - And Response

Back in the seventies my three oldest brothers had a buddy named Steve Slack. “Slack” was a star soccer player at Baylor and he grew up on Lookout Mountain, which is where I grew up. He and Jimmy, Henry and Bill went to the University of Virginia where they were roommates in an old, beat up house that was painted pink. Naturally, the place became known as the “Pink Palace” but lest ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Ballooniac’ Fined $25K

The Calgary Stampede is one of the biggest events in Canada and every year it draws well over 1.5 million people to one of the most beautiful places in the world. It started in 1912 as a big rodeo event and today it lasts 10 straight days. A highlight is the chuck-wagon races, where $4 million of advertisements are sold on the wagon’s canvas covers and there are pancake breakfasts ... (click for more)