The Kearney Yankees for 1959 faced an uphill battle. Randy Gumpert was replaced by new manager Jimmy Gleeson. Gee Gee was from Kansas City, and played his college ball at Rockhurst. He was in the majors in 1937 with Cleveland and from 1939-1942 with the Chicago Cubs and the Reds.
The team managed a 27-25 record and wound up in fourth place in a six team league. They were fifth in team batting, fourth in fielding and third in pitching.
Games were played at Memorial Field .
The first base position for the team of rookies was split between two players. Jose Calero played the postion for 27 games. He was second in the league at the position in fielding and averaged .295 in 29 total games. He played for the El Paso Sun Kings in 1963. He was the RBI leader in the Eastern League playing for Springfield in 1964. He was in the Twins system in 1966 and was traded to Boston in that year. James Kuinius played in 48 games total and averaged .245.
Second base was also a split affair for the Yankees in 1959. Julian Vicente was at second for 35 games. He played in a total of 37 games and averaged .299. Left handed hitter Arthur Morgan played in a total of 54 games with 34 games at second. He averaged an even .300 for the season.
Ike Futch was a fixture at short stop in 1959. The port side swinger averaged a league leading .319 for the season. Ike played for Fargo Moorhead in the class "C" Northern League in 1960.
The hot corner for 1959 was split between David Tucker who did not get above the Mendoza line in 46 games with a .177 average and Daryl Richardson who averaged .191 in 47 games.
Putting on the tools of ignorance in 1959 was H. Boyd Coffie for 52 games. He played in 56 total games and averaged .286. Boyd was in the Yankees organization for five years. He went on to coach for 19 years at his alma mater, Rollins College and holds the record for the most wins in Rollins College history. He has also been the Field Coordinator for the Colorado Rockies and Cleveland Indians organization. James Kuinius also played the position for 11 games.
The outfield garden for 1959 was tended by a lot of players during 1959. Three infield regulars also played at least 10 games in the outfield and they only had one player who was in the outfield for more than 40 games.
Matt Encinas was the only regular in the outfield for Kearney in 1959. The all american at Arizona tended the garden for 60 games and averaged .255.
Oscar Pickering played in 45 games, 28 in the outfield and averaged .154.
John DePalo averaged .282 while swinging from the port side of the plate. He played in 34 games total and 23 in the outfield.
Michael Entz averaged .256 in 22 games.
Wallace Panel was a switch hitting outfielder who averaged .190 in 22 games.
David Tucker played 17 games in the garden, Arthur Morgan played 10 games in the outfield and , Daryl Richardson handled an outfield position 12 games.
George Haney was 6-1 in 9 games.
Robert Lasko was 2-2 in 12 games. He managed 102 k's and had an excellent 2.61 ERA. In 1961 he was a part of one of the strongest minor league pitching staffs in history. He and Jim Bouton were both on the staff of the Amarillo Gold Sox in 1961.
Jim "Bulldog" Bouton was signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1959 and assigned to the Auburn Yankees of the Class "A" NY Penn league. He was hit by a line drive that broke the thumb of his pitching hand. The Yankees then assigned him to Kearney. He was 2-4 in 15 games.
The next year he pitched for Greensboro in the class "B" Carolina League and was named to the all star team. He made his major league debut in 1962 with the Yankees. In 1963 he won 21 games and made the All Star team. In 1964 he beat the Cardinals twice in the world series.
He was born in New Jersey and attended Western Michigan University before being signed by the Yanks. Of couse he is also the author of Ball Four. It is a great book and one every baseball fan should read. He is also a television personality and made a comeback after being out of baseball for 8 years. He is credited for developing the Big League Chew bubble gum. Most people seem to either hate him or love him as he is friendly and controversial.
Recently he wrote "Foul Ball" a book about the attempt to save Wahconah Park in Pittsfield Mass. You can acquire Ball Four and Foul ball here or from Amazon. Two great books for the hot stove season.
Karl Drops was 3-4 in 22 games
Jacobsen pitched in 7 games and was 0-4.
Polanco was 2-1 in 6 games from the port side of the plate.
Ralph Scorca graduated from Nutley High School in New Jersey in 1958. He was signed by the Yankees and assigned to Kearney for the 1959 season where he was 0-3 in 9 appearances. He played for the Greensboro Yankees in the class "B" Carolina League. After baseball he worked for ATT and was a facilities manager. He was in the World Trade Center on 9/11. As part of his legacy the Ralph Scorca scholarship is given each year to a college student(s) from the International Facilities Management Association.
Ronald Speiser was 4-4 in 13 games.
Julio Anglada had a loss in 8 appearances.
Jack DePalo was winless in 5 games and a 0-3 record.
Kim Elliot was 0-1 in 4 games. The next year he was 4-21 for Wenatchee in the class "B" Western International League.
Evans pitched in 1 game with no decision.
Lefty Joseph Messina was in 12 games and had a 4-1 record.
Nebraska State League Standings 1959
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