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


Dade Middle School Girls Win NGAC Championship

The Dade Middle School Lady Wolverines beat Ringgold Middle School 37-34 last Saturday to earn the 2016 NGAC girls basketball championship.  Tori Williams led the team with 12 points and was named MVP.  Meghan Schauer had nine points and Jayda Woods had five.   The team is coached by Regina Logan.   (click for more)

Lee University Hosts Events During Thursday's Doubleheader

A couple of major events are scheduled for Walker Arena on Thursday evening when the Lee University basketball teams host the University of West Alabama in a Gulf South Conference doubleheader beginning at 6 p.m.   The world famous Gym Masters from Southern Adventist University will be making their annual appearance at halftime of the men’s game. It is a great time to see ... (click for more)

WWTA, Grimes, Clem Lambasted At Boyd Public Forum

Over 50 people turned out Tuesday night on a meeting called by County Commissioner Tim Boyd over issues with the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA), and many took turns lambasting the agency, director Cleveland Grimes and attorney Chris Clem. Commissioner Boyd said at the end of the hour and a half session at the East Ridge Community Center, "If less ... (click for more)

City Facing Millions In Catchup Costs For Fire And Police Pension Fund

City Council members were told Tuesday they are facing millions of dollars in catchup costs for the fire and police pension fund. Pension fund officials said the city will need to invest some $1.6 million per year more with the fund to keep up with the latest state requirement. Frank Hamilton said the fund has been at a level of about 60 percent of obligations, but that needs ... (click for more)

Rick Smith Should Not Be Paid To Leave

Taxpayers of Hamilton County should take note that a majority of the members of the school board are getting ready to give Rick Smith the buyout that he wants.  Do you agree that someone should be paid for taking the coward's way out?  Rick Smith should be fired for cause. Not paid to leave.   If you don't want the board members to pay him off, call or ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Grab The Reaching Hand

Three of Tennessee’s largest four cities are now searching for school superintendents. Jesse Register retired last June and, after botching the first attempt, Nashville city leaders are intensely helping the Board of Education in a search for the best candidate. In Knoxville and Chattanooga the superintendents have resigned, both under a cloud, and now the leaders of the ‘2.0’ initiative ... (click for more)