Where to Watch Week 1 – College Football


It’s time to get the your recliner in the correct spot, a table for snacks nearby and the remote sitting next to you as College Football begins this week. Instead of fumbling around looking for games, here is a handy guide for Week #1.






Thursday, September 1

Charlotte at No. 19 Louisville, 7 p.m., ESPN3

Appalachian State at No. 9 Tennessee, 7:30 p.m., SEC Network


Friday, September 2

Furman at No. 12 MIchigan State, 7 p.m., BTN

Northwestern State at No. 23 Baylor, 7:30 p.m., TBD

Kansas State at No. 8 Stanford, 9 p.m., FS1


Saturday, September 3

No. 3 Oklahoma vs. No. 15 Houston, 12 p.m., ABC

Bowling Green at No. 6 Ohio State, 12 p.m., BTN

Hawaii at No. 7 Michigan, 12 p.m., ESPN

Rutgers at No. 14 Washington, 2 p.m., PAC12

No. 16 UCLA at Texas A&M, 3:30 p.m., CBS

No. 5 LSU vs. Wisconsin, 3:30 p.m., ABC

Miami (Ohio) at No. 17 Iowa, 3:30 p.m., ESPNU

Southeastern Louisiana at No. 21 Oklahoma State, 3:30 p.m., TBD

UC Davis at No. 24 Oregon, 5 p.m., PAC12

No. 18 Georgia vs. No. 22 North Carolina, 5:30 p.m., ESPN

UMass at No. 25 Florida, 7:30 p.m., SEC Network

No. 20 USC vs. No. 1 Alabama, 8 p.m., ABC

South Dakota State at No. 13 TCU, 8 p.m., TBD

No. 2 Clemson at Auburn, 9 p.m., ESPN


Sunday, September 4

No. 10 Notre Dame at Texas, 7:30 p.m., ABC


Monday, September 5

No. 11 Ole Miss vs. No. 4 Florida State, 8 p.m., ESPN

College Football Season Begins


College Football season is getting underway tomorrow woth Cal and Hawaii traveling to Australia to begin the 2016 season. It’s time to unveil my picks every Thursday for the week ahead.

Mostly, I won’t give descriptions of each just how I would wager (if I was a wagering person).

One note I want to get out of the way for those that bet games. Don’t get fooled by neutral site games. Many times it is just down the road from one of the teams.



Hawaii +20.5 over CAL

Louisville -39.5 over Charlotte

Tennessee -20.5 defeating App State

Stanford -16 playing Kansas State

Ohio State -27.5 vs BGSU

Hawaii +41 with Michigan

Rutgers +26 over Washington

Iowa -27.5 with Miami-Ohio

UCLA +2 at Texas A&M

Georgia -2.5 against UNC

Florida -36 handles UMass

Alabama -10.5 at home vs USC


Here are SIX games I struggled with in making a decision:

Florida State -4 over Mississippi

Wisconsin +9.5 with LSU

Clemson -7 at Auburn

Notre Dame -4.5 with Texas

Houston +10 playing Oklahoma

Oregon State +13 vs Minnesota



Harry Staley

StaleyHarry   Henry Eli Staley was born on November 3, 1866 in Jacksonville, Illinois and went on to lay baseball from 1888-1895 for four different teams. As a pitcher he was 136-119 with a 3.80 ERA along with 746 strikeouts. On June 1, 1893, Staley had nine runs batted in off his bat, a record for most RBIs in a game by a pitcher that stood for over 70 years until equalled by Atlanta Braves pitcher Tony Cloninger in 1966.

He died on January 12, 1910 in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Jim Hackett




James Joseph Hackett was born in Jacksonville, Illinois on October 1, 1877 and had the nickname “Sunny Jim”, He made his major league debut on September 14, 1902 with the St. Louis Cardinals. In 1902, he was primarily a pitcher, appearing in 4 games with an 0–3 record at that position. In 1903, he was primarily a first baseman, batting .228, while still appearing in seven games on the mound and going 1–3. His last game came on September 27, 1903. He died on March 28, 1961 in Douglas, Michigan.




TurleyBob   Robert Lee Turley (September 19, 1930 – March 30, 2013), known as “Bullet Bob”, played in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a pitcher from 1951 through 1963.  He was raised in East St. Louis, Illinois. He attended East St. Louis Senior High School in East St. Louis, and played for the school’s baseball squad for three years. He was used as both a starter and reliever, becoming the staff’s ace pitcher by the end of his senior season, in 1948. Turley won the team’s sportsmanship award that year.

Turley made his MLB debut with the St. Louis Browns in 1951, and stayed with the team through their first season in Baltimore, when he appeared in his first MLB All-Star Game. After the 1954 season, he was traded to the New York Yankees. With the Yankees, Turley appeared in two more All-Star Games. He led the American League in wins in 1958, and won the Cy Young Award, World Series Most Valuable Player Award, and Hickok Belt that year. He finished his playing career with the Los Angeles Angels and Boston Red Sox in 1963, and then coached the Red Sox in 1964.

Bill DeWitt, the general manager of the St. Louis Browns, brought Turley to Sportsman’s Park for a tryout. Turley also attended a workout camp for the New York Yankees, held in Maryville, Illinois. The day after he graduated from high school in 1948, Turley signed with the Browns as an amateur free agent. He received a $600 signing bonus ($5,909 in current dollar terms).


He played his first game in the major leagues on September 29, 1951. He lost to the Chicago White Sox. He did not pitch again in 1951, and after the season ended, he enlisted with the United States Army for two years. H returned to the Browns in August 1953, and caught attention for his high strikeout rate. He remaeined with the team after they moved to Baltimore, Maryland, to become the Baltimore Orioles in 1954. He earned $9,000 ($79,305 in current dollar terms) for the 1954 season. He pitched the first game at Memorial Stadium, striking out nine in a complete game. A power pitcher, Turley recorded many strikeouts, but did not have great control.For the 1954 season, he led the American League in strikeouts with 185, but also led the league with 181 walks. That year, he earned comparisons to fellow fireballer Bob Feller,and finished in third place in balloting for the Hickok Belt, given to the professional athlete of the year.

While playing for the Orioles, Turley obtained the nickname “Bullet Bob”. The magazine Look wrote a story about Turley, and wanted to measure the velocity of his fastball. They used a bullet timer from the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, which recorded a speed of 98 miles per hour (158 km/h) by the time it reached home plate.

Turley made an appearance on It’s News to Me, a current events-based game show hosted by Walter Cronkite.He was mentioned in a song called “St. Louis Browns” by Skip Battin, who was the bass guitarist of The Byrds and the New Riders of the Purple Sage. In the lyrics, Battin describes Turley as a “no-hit pitcher” who “got too surly” and who was “traded…too early”.



Earl Hamilton


HamiltonEarl    Earl Andrew Hamilton was born on July 19, 1891 in Gibson City, Illinois

He was a left-handed pitcher for the St. Louis Browns (1911–16, later in 1916–17), Detroit Tigers (1916), Pittsburgh Pirates (1918–23), and the Philadelphia Phillies (1924).

He played his first major league game on April 14, 1911. Through the early to mid-teens, Hamilton was considered a quality pitcher and was one of the better pitchers on some terrible Browns teams. In 1914, He pitched a no-hitter against Detroit on August 30, 1912, becoming the first player to pitch a no-hitter without recording a strikeout. The Tigers did get a run on a Ty Cobb walk and an error, making the final score 5-1 Browns. Hamilton also batted left-handed and ended his career with an average pitcher’s batting average of .153 in 733 at bats.ton had a very quality season, going 17-18 with a 2.50 ERA in 302 and 1/3 innings pitched.

After being purchased by Detroit in 1916, he was waived back to the Browns less than a month later. Then, in 1918, he finally left St. Louis for good after an 0-9 season, being purchased by Pittsburgh before the season began. That season, in 6 starts, he had one of the most amazing seasons ever recorded. Hamilton was 6-0 with a 0.83 ERA in 54 innings that year. He finished with 1 shutout in his 6 complete games. Hamilton had only given up 7 runs (5 earned) in 6 games. Hamilton pitched 16 shutout innings on July 16, 1920 with the Pirates, before losing 7-0 against the New York Giants, clearly having run out of gas in the 17th. Rube Benton was the Giants’ pitcher, also going 16 shutout innings.

Oddly, he picked that season to enlist in the Navy. Hamilton returned for more fair seasons with the Pirates. Along with Wilbur Cooper, Whitey Glazner, and Babe Adams, he helped make up a good rotation for Pittsburgh, culminating with a second-place finish in 1921 (behind only the New York Giants, 4 games). However, they never made the World Series with Hamilton.

Before he retired in 1924, Hamilton was selected off waivers by the Phillies, and he went 0-1 with them, with a 10.50 ERA. Hamilton made sparse appearances on leaderboards throughout his career, such as a 9th-place finish in the ERA leaderboard (3.36, 1921) and a 7th-place finish in wins in 1914, when he had 17. He also made the top 10 in losses three times (1914, 15, 21), and ended up finishing only two years of his career with a winning record; his 6-0 season of 1918 and 1922 (11-7).

Career Totals

In 14 years, he was 116-147 with a solid 3.16 ERA in 410 games (261 starts). He pitched 140 complete games, 16 of them shutouts. Hamilton recorded 790 career strikeouts and allowed 1075 runs (822 earned) in 2342 and 2/3 innings pitched.

He died on November 17, 1968 in Anaheim, California, at the age of 77.


Where is Gibson City, Illinois? 

Gibson City is a city in Ford County, Illinois, United States. The population was 3,407 at the 2010 census.

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 3,373 people, 1,469 households, and 928 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,604.0 people per square mile (620.2/km²). There were 1,565 housing units at an average density of 744.2 per square mile (287.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.13% White, 0.59% African American, 0.53% Asian, 0.03% from other races, and 0.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.65% of the population.

Illinois State Highways 9, 47, and 54 intersect on the edge of Gibson City.


eddiecarnett   Born as Edwin Elliott Carnett on October 21, 1916 in Springfield Missouri, he went on the be a major league pitcher/outfielder for three different teams.

He made his major league debut on April 19, 1941 as a pitcher in the second game of a doubleheader. He pitched 1.1 innings and allowed four hits and three earned runs in that game. He played one more game before he enlisted in the US Navy during World War II. When he returned it was with the White Sox as a leftfielder. The following season he was a member of the Cleveland Indians and played his last game on July 7, 1945 in which he had a pinch hit single in the 8th inning batting for pitcher. He posted a 3.40 ERA with four strikeouts, three walks, and 5 ⅓ innings in six pitching appearances in his three year career and added one home run.


He became the oldest living former player on April 4, 2016 with the death of Mike Sandlock.





Continuing my series on Illinois Born Players-

“Boys of Summer” Series


RogellBilly   William George “Billy” Rogell was born in Springfield, Illinois on November 24, 1904.  He played in the Southwestern League for 2 years and ws discovered and signed by the Boston Red Sox in 1925. They liked his bat and convinced him to not be a switch hitter but concentrate on the right side to take advantage of the “Green Monster” at Fenway Park. Rogell was quoted later with “They just screwed me up for a couple of years.”

That season, he played in 58 games in which Boston was mired in last place. His average was low as he had 169 at bats with a .195 batting average. He was shipped back to the minor leagues and they recalled him in 1927. That season was better with a .266 average in 82 games. His team lost 100 games for the 3rd year in a row. In 1928, he didn’t do much and was released after the season.

Rogell played 1929 for the St. Paul Saints of the American Association, batting .336 and driving in 90 runs. Following the season, amid offers from a handful of teams, He  signed with the Detroit Tigers, where he would spend the next ten seasons.

Here are some previous articles

He struggled out of the gate and the club acquired shortstop Mark Koenig from the Yankees mid-season and plugged him into the lineup. Koenig, the same age as Rogell but already a household name, had been an integral part of the Yankees’ famed Murderers’ Row lineup in 1927 and was still considered by many as one of the premier shortstops in the American League. Rogell finished the year with a .167 average in 54 games, splitting his time between short and third.

Though his start in Detroit was unimpressive, by the time the 1931 season had ended it was clear to the Tigers that they had found their shortstop of the future. Rogell unseated Koenig late in the year and finished the year hitting .303 in 48 games, all at shortstop. Koenig was released after the season ended.

He was the Tigers’ Opening Day shortstop for the 1932 season, a position he would hold for the next eight years. A sure-handed fielder, he and Hall of Fame double-play partner Charlie Gehringer would give the Tigers one of the best keystone-combinations in baseball history. Marv Owen, who would man the left side of the Detroit infield with Rogell for five years, said of Rogell’s fielding prowess, “He’s the only player I ever knew who could catch a bad hop… I don’t know how he did it.”

Rogell’s offense continued to show the promise it had with the St. Paul club. He hit .271 with 29 doubles and 88 runs scored during the ’32 campaign, and improved the following year to .295, 44 doubles, 11 triples, and drew 79 walks to post a .381 on-base percentage while playing in every game. The 1933 season also marked the first time Rogell, Gehringer, Owen, and first baseman Hank Greenberg appeared in the same lineup.
The Tigers, perennial second division finishers, acquired catcher/manager Mickey Cochrane from the Philadelphia A’s during the winter. With him in place, the Tigers entered the 1934 season poised to take the American League by storm. Rogell, leading off in front of four future Hall of Famers (Cochrane, Gehringer, Greenberg, as well as Goose Goslin), had the best season of his career, hitting .296, driving in 100 runs and scoring 114. The infield combined for a major league record 462 runs batted in. The Tigers won the league by seven games and were set to square off against the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.

Rogell, unbeknownst to the Cardinals or the media, played the series on a broken ankle. Despite the injury he was able to collect eight hits and drive in four runs over the seven game series. He also found his way into one of the most popular plays in World Series history.
After driving in a run with a single to right in the fourth inning of game four, Spud Davis was replaced by Hall of Famer Dizzy Dean as a pinch runner at first base. Pepper Martin then stepped in and hit a ground ball to Gehringer at second. Gehringer turned and threw to Rogell who forced out Dean at second, and then fired the ball squarely into Dean’s forehead on the relay throw to first. The ball ricocheted off Dean’s head and landed over a hundred feet away in the outfield. Dean, always known for his quick wit and humorous nature, remarked after a visit to the hospital, “The doctors X-rayed my head and found nothing.” Rogell would say of the play later, “If I’d have known his head was there, I would have thrown the ball harder.”

World Series Champion[edit]
After losing in seven games to the Cardinals, the Tigers returned to the series the following season. Again led by their stellar infield, the Tigers won the pennant by three games over the Yankees and earned a trip to face the Chicago Cubs for the world championship. Rogell finished with another solid year at the bat, hitting .275 with 88 runs scored while drawing 80 walks. Although he had shown speed in the minors, Rogell rarely had a chance to move on the bases with Detroit. “They didn’t want me to steal,” he would say after retiring. “I had Gehringer and Cochrane and Greenberg hitting behind me.”

Even with American League MVP Greenberg out for much of the series, the Tigers finished off the Cubs in six games. Rogell had another good showing in the fall classic hitting .292 during the series.

Rogell spent the bulk of his “retirement” as a member of the Detroit City Council. After a brief stint in the minors as a player and coach, he returned to Detroit and began his civil service career in 1942. He would serve on the council, with a two-year break in the late forties, until 1980, playing a key role on the city’s planning commissions. “I think I did a lot for that city,” he would say after leaving his post. “I was chairman of the committee that built the big airport there. Also the roads and bridges committee.” The road entering Detroit’s Metropolitan Airport from the north, Merriman Road, changes its name to William G. Rogell Drive as it enters the airport.


Rogell, after leaving the council, spent the rest of his retirement in Detroit. At age 94 he threw out the first pitch at the final game at Tiger Stadium on September 27, 1999, nearly 70 years after he had debuted for the Tigers in the same park.

Billy Rogell died of pneumonia at the age of 98 in the Detroit suburb of Sterling Heights.




Cloyd Victor Boyer Jr. was born on  September 1, 1927 in Alba, Missouri. He played for the Cardinals from 1949-1952 and then the Kansas City Athletics in 1955.  He has a career record of 20-23 with a 4.73 ERA and has fanned 198 batters in just over 395 innings. He completed 13 gmes with three shutouts and two saves in his career.



After his playing career, Boyer became a scout, minor league pitching instructor and major league pitching coach—spending much of his time in the New York Yankees organization. He was the pitching coach during Bobby Cox’s first term as manager of the Atlanta Braves. Boyer is credited with helping Fritz Peterson become a star pitcher.

emilverban   Emil Matthew Verban was born in Lincoln, Illinois on August 27, 1915 and became a second baseman who played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1944–1946), Philadelphia Phillies (1946–1948), Chicago Cubs (1948–1950) and Boston Braves (1950). Verban batted and threw right-handed.

Verban was a second baseman noted primarily for his fielding with four National League teams from 1944 through 1950. Verban did not reach the major leagues until the age of 28, when he joined the St. Louis Cardinals. He distinguished himself in the 1944 World Series against the St. Louis Browns, batting .412 (7-for-17) and driving in the deciding run in Game Six as the Cardinals won, 4 games to 2. Browns owner Don Barnes had earned the ire of Verban after refusing his request for a better seat for his pregnant wife. After the final game of the series, Verban was quoted as saying, “Now you can sit behind the post, meathead”, in reference to Barnes.

His most productive season came in 1945, when he hit .278 and posted career-highs in runs (59), hits (166), doubles (22), triples (8) and runs batted in (72), and led the National League in games played (155) and fielding percentage (.978).

He made three consecutive appearances in the All-Star Game (1945–47) and in 1947, he became the first Phillies second baseman to start an All-Star game. A good contact hitter, from 1947-48 he led the league in at-bats per strikeouts (67.5 and 34.8).

In a seven-season career, Verban posted a .272 average with one home run and 241 RBI in 853 games.

Verban’s fateful moment came in a game on September 6th, 1948 between Verban’s Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds. Going into the top of the 7th inning of the first game of a doubleheader, Verban had recorded 2,592 career at-bats without hitting a home run. With the Cubs trailing 1-0 to the Cincinnati Reds, ironically the team that had originally signed him, Verban hit a game-tying solo home run on an 0-1 pitch with two outs.

What makes this unique is that no player in the history of the game had ever gone as many at-bats as Verban had without hitting a home run, and no player has done so since.

What makes Verban’s lone home run all the more remarkable is who he hit it against. It was a twist of fate that Verban’s home run would come against the team that originally signed him in 1936, but never gave him a chance to play. But more unusual was the pitcher who gave up the blast. It was none other than Johnny Vander Meer, the only pitcher in Major League Baseball history to throw no-hitters in consecutive starts.

In 1975, a group of Chicago Cubs fans based in Washington, D.C. formed the Emil Verban Society to honor him. Verban was picked as the epitome of a Cubs player, competent but obscure and typifying the work ethic. The Society became an immediate hit, its membership swelling to 700 with plenty of dignitaries

Verban initially believed he was being ridiculed, but his ill feeling disappeared several years later when he was flown to Washington to meet President Ronald Reagan, also a society member, at the White House.


Verban died on June 8, 1989, at the age of 73. He is burid at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Lincoln, Illinois.


Previous Boys of Summer Articles