McCurdy: Dedication of the Dickey Kerr statue at the Astrodome

From SABR member Bill McCurdy at the Pecan Park Eagle on October 24, 2014:

Thanks to Mike Acosta, Authentication Manager of the Houston Astros, The Pecan Park Eagle is now in possession of a photo and story from August 20, 1966 that makes this primary source column possible about how the Dickie Kerr statue  came to be – and how it reached dedication on August 20, 1966 at the Astrodome. The event was supported by a brief All Star Game between the MLB “Stars of the Forties versus the “Houston Old Timers.”

Regardless of their team assignments, the list of participants in the Old Timers’ Game included Stan Musial, Dizzy Dean, Carl Hubbell. Bob Feller, Allie Reynolds, Johnny Mize, Ernie Lombardi, Eddie Joost, Terry Moore, Howie Pollet, Enos Slaughter, Red Munger, Joff Cross, Gus Mancuso, Frank Mancuso, Johnny Keane, Harry Gumbert, Red Murff, Johnny Keane, Hal Epps, Nellie Fox, Mike Higgins, Monty Stratton,  Stan Hack, John Berly, Johnny Rizzo, Dingle Croucher, Pidge Browne, Larry Miggins, Jerry Witte, Grady Hatton, Johnny Temple, and Hal Smith. Frankie Frisch and Joe Medwick may also have been there, but the article is written in a way that allows some doubt about the attendance and participation of a few names – and it presents an equally unclear picture (to The Eagle, at least) in some cases about which players played for which team in the Old Timers’ Game. In the end of things, it didn’t matter. All these stars came to Houston that day to honor Dickie Kerr and to celebrate the history of the game of baseball.That mattered.

Wow! What a lineup any manager could form from a roster of these guys in their hay-days! And what a big Saturday Dome Date that must have been! 40,765 fans showed up to watch the dedication of the Kerr statue, the Old Timers’ Game, and the losing 1966 Astros as they defeated the Cincinnati Reds, 5-2, behind the complete game pitching of lefty Mike Cuellar. Unfortunately, I didn’t know much  about this big day beyond some vague hearsay memory until now because it occurred shortly before my return to Houston from graduate studies elsewhere – and at a time in my life in which my head was pretty much buried in an academic haze of other commitments by my attention span.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: October 24, 2014. Last Updated: October 24, 2014.