Last year, our big profile of the Rosedale neighborhood lit up some athletic memories.
“I knew and went to school with many from the Rosedale area in the ’40s and ’50s,” writes John Watson of Johnson City. “The relatively newly arrived Little League had the North Austin Lions team make it to the Little World Series in 1951. Many on the roster lived in Rosedale including my friends Greg Martin and Jay Arnette, both of whom later played baseball at University of Texas. Jay also was on the basketball team and on the U.S. Olympic team.”
To check out the Little League angle, we consulted this newspaper’s archives from 1951 and, indeed, much was made of the North Austin team who reached the final game against the Stamford, Conn. team played at Williamsport, Pa. They lost 3-0.
We also found references to a homecoming reception at the railroad station and a parade down Congress Avenue. The Little League movement had only just arrived in Austin in 1950.
Also on that finalist team were Lester Kitchen, Billy Cartwright, Tomy Miller, Delbert Moberg, Charles Le Noir, Alton Greeven, Bill Hammer, Wilbur Urban, Bobby Nunis, Don Renner and Harvey Mabry. All but Nunis were 12 at the time — he was 11 — so they would be would be in their late 70s now.
Well, it didn’t take long to find out that the Austin History Center saluted the 1951 all-star team on July 16, 2017. Present were Kitchen, Bowman, Mabry, Greeven and and Cartwright.
“The teammates still remember the games they won to qualify for the tournament,” the center’s digital report reads. “(Also) certain kids from opposing teams, the thrill of meeting baseball legends Stan Musial and Cy Young, and, of course, the World Series itself.”
“You cry when you lose like that, but the next day we were over it,” Arnette told the American-Statesman in 1993. “It was one of the biggest thrills I had as a child. It all happened so fast.”