Nebraska Minor League Baseball
American Association

American Association
Standings 1959
President:Edward S. Doherty
East Standings Wins--- Losses- GB Attendance Manager
Lousiville 97 65 -- 222,854 Ben Geraghty
Minneapolis 95 67 2 160,167 Gene Mauch
Indianapolis 86 76 11 249,384 Walker Cooper
St. Paul 81 16 116,574 Max Macon
Charleston 77 84 19.5 102,774 Bill Adair

West Standings
Omaha Cardinals 83 78 -- 116,088 Joe Schultz
Ft. Worth 81 81 2.5 97,315 Lou Klein
Denver 76 86 7.5 161,127 Stan Hack
Dallas 75 87 8.5 130,334 Fred Martin/Jim Fanning
Houston 58 104 25.5 120,474 Rube Walker/Del Wilber

BA: Luis Marquez, Dallas, .345
Runs: Bob Will, Ft.Worth, 101
Hits: Bob Will, Ft.Worth, 103
RBIs: Ron Jackson, Indianapolis, 99
HRs: Ron Jackson, Indianapolis, 30
Wins: George Maranda, Lousiville, 18/Don Nottebart, Louisville, 18
SOs: Bob Bruce, Cherleston, 177
ERA: Marion Fricano, Dallas, 2.02

Manager Joe Schultz guided the Omaha Cardinals to a West Division championship in 1959. Even though the Cardinals did not have a single league leader in 1959 they were able to put together the right combination of pitching, defense and hitting to pull by Ft. worth to win the division by 2 ½ games.

Two Omaha natives were on the pitching staff for most of the 1959 season. Future Hall of Fame member Bob Gibson and former Kansas City major league pitcher Jack Urban dazzled the home fans with their performances in 1959.

First base for 1959 was held down by southpaw Walter Matthews . He was obtained from Rochester during the hot stove season. He played in the Eastern League at York PA. in 1958. The 24 year old was an Arkansas graduate and played in the 1955 Cotton Bowl against Georgia Tech. The lefty played in 150 games and averaged .251 for the season.

Robert "Bo" Sadowski was a 22 year old prospect who was signed as an amateur free agent in 1955 by the Cardinals. He played in the class "A" Eastern League (York) in 1958 after playing for Billings in 1957. He was moved from third base to middle infield for the 1959 season. He played second, third and short stop during the year and averaged .290 for the year. The bats left, throws right infielder made it to the parent cardinals in late 1960 and he appeared in one game that year. He had a cup of coffee with Philadelphia in 1961 and played with the White Sox in 62 and the Angels in 1963.

Ron Plaza returned to Omaha for the 1959 season. His batting slump continued as he averaged .246 for Omaha during the season. There was great hope that he could return to the form that had him averaging .297 at Rochester in 1956 but that did not occur.

Third base was held down by George Risley . The Fairfield Connecticut native graduated from Fairfield Prep in 1950 and went on to play at Holy Cross College. He signed as a rookie free agent in 1955 with Detroit and he led the Souther Association in fielding that year. In 1956 he played in the Pacific Coast Leage and continued his excellent fielding. In 1959 he averaged .272 while playing in 141 games.

Fred Koenig played 16 games for Omaha in 1959 and averaged .204.

Short stop for the 1959 season was held down by Tony Alomar The Puerto Rico born infielder returned to Omaha for the full 1959 season after coming to river city in the middle of the 58 year. He averaged .265 for the year.

Chris Cannizzaro returned to put on the mask behind the plate for Omaha in 1959. He continued his strong defensive play and averaged .231 in 99 games.

Jimmy Schaffer was another young prospect in the Cardinals system in 1959. He averaged .412 as a senior in high school at Coopersburg High School which led to him signing a contract with the Cardinals. He spent the 1958 season at Winnepeg in the Northern League. The 23 year old from Limeport Pennsylvania caught 27 games for Omaha in 1959 and averaged .233.

Ben Mateosky returned to Omaha for the 1959 season. The former paratrooper averaged .277.

Ellis "Bones" Burton was first signed by the Pirates in 1955 after graduating from Jordan High School in Los Angeles. In 1955 he led the Arizona-Mexico league in runs scored. He was a Pioneer League All Star in 1956 and in 1957 he led the Northwest League in home runs. In 1958 he led the Texas league in doubles and played in eight games with the St. Louis Cardinals in September. In 1959 he averaged .292 for the Omaha Cardinals and he returned to the parent club for 29 games in 1960. He played a total of 5 seasons in the majors.

Charles King played in 99 games for Omaha in 1959 and averaged .275.

Bob Thurman was a 36 year old southpaw from Wichita who was acquired from Cincinnati. He had played for the Reds from 55-58. In 1958 he was used primarily as a pinch hitter. He was listed as being 36 years old in the Omaha Cardinals Booster Club Yearbook but Baseball-Reference lists his age as 42 in 1959.

Bruce "Squeaky" Barmes played in 114 games in 1959 and averaged .314 for the year. The thirty year old lived in Harmony, North Carolina and was born in Vincennes Indiana. He had played in five games with the Washington Senators in 1953 which was the extent of his major league experience. He spent the 1958 season with Atlanta in the Southern Association where he hit .300.

Two Omaha natives were pitchers for the Omaha Cardinals in 1959.

Hall of Fame
Bob Gibson , Hall of Fame, Omaha native, best pitcher in baseball, appeared in 24 games for Omaha in 1959. He had a 9-9 record. He was signed in 1957 as an amateur free agent by the Cardinals in 1957. He also made his major league debut in 1959, starting on his way to the Hall of Fame.

Topps 1960

Another Omaha native, Jack Urban pitched for the Cardinals in 1959. A Tech High graduate, the 30 year old had pitched for Kansas City in 1958 and was acquired by the Cardinals in the off season. He pitched a no hitter in a seven inning game in 1954. He was pitching for Birmingham of the Southern Association and beat New Orleans. The game was called after seven innings due to a power failure. He played for Denver in 1955, 1956 and part of 1957; Kansas City in 1957 and 1958. He had a 3-7 record for Omaha in 1959 appearing in 19 games. He also spent time in St. Louis in 1959 appearing in 8 games.

Frank Barnes returned to Omaha for the 1959 season. He appeared in 29 games and had a 15-12 record.

Robert Blaylock returned to Omaha for part of the 1959 season. The Chatanooga Oklahoma native lost two fingers on his left hand in a farm accident as a child. In Omaha he managed a 2-5 record in 17 appearances. He also played some games in St. Louis in 1959.

Ray Sadecki was a 19 year old from Kansas City who was described as a "high priced bonus baby" by the Omaha papers. He started his professional career in Winnipeg when he was 17 years old. He pitched in 19 games with that Northern League club and had a 9-7 record. In 1959 he appeared in 31 games for Omaha and the southpaw had a 13-9 record. In 1960 he played in Rochester for 6 games. He made his major league debut that same year at 19 years old. He was third in the league in wins and a 20 game winner in 1964 with the Cardinals. He also regularly was in the top ten in wild pitches. He was traded to San Francisco during the 1966 season. He played in the majors until 1977.
Topps 1969

James Donohue appeared in 28 games in 1959 and had an 8-7 record. The 21 year old was signed in June of 1956 and played in Gainesville for the remainder of that season. In 1957 he had a 7-7 record with class "C" Winnipeg and in 1958 he had a 7-0 record in the Eastern League with York. Manager Joe Shultz brought him to Omaha with him when he moved from managing the York club to Omaha for the 1959 season.

Bob Duliba had an 8-5 record in 37 appearances in 1959. Bob graduated from Newport Township high school in 1953. He was in the Marine Corp for three years from 1956-1958. His last professional experience before coming to Omaha was in 1955 where he had a 5-4 record with Peoria in the Three Eye League. He moved up to St. Louis in August where he appeared in 11 games for the parent Cardinals. He had a seven year major league career.
Topps 1963

Tom Cheney played in Omaha and St. Louis in 1959. He had a 5-6 record in 14 games with Omaha and a 0-1 record in 11 games in St. Louis. The Morgan Georgia native had an eight year major league career.

Mel Nelson from San Diego was a southpaw pitcher who appeared in 25 games and ahd a 2-0 record. He made his major league debut in 1960.

Dean Stone was a southpaw who appeared in 24 games in 1959. The Illinois native was originally signed by the Cubs in 1949 and was assigned to their Clinton Iowa team. After pitching in one game he was released. In the fall of 1949 he was signed by the Senators. In 1952 he had a 17-10 record with Charlotte in the TriState League with two no hitters. In 1953 he made his major league debut with the Senators and in 1954 he was named an All Star with Washington. He was with the Senators through 1957. In 1958 he pitched for Minneapolis and had a 13-10 record. After pitching for Omaha in 1959 and managing a 9-6 record, he was promoted to St. Louis where he played in 18 games. He reappeared in the majors in 1962 with Houston and also played for the White Sox and Baltimore. He made his last major league appearance in 1963.

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