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The
NEVADA DUSTERS
The Story of a Major League Baseball Franchise
Dusters @ Pirates
April 25-27, 1962
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Interview with Conn Hudson
Al Childress, Las Vegas Sun

Q. You're nearly a month into the first season. How do you assess the Nevada Dusters so far?
A.  We thought we had some pretty good young hitters going into the season, but it's fair to say the run production so far has surprised us all. With respect to our starting rotation, Joe Horlen and Dave McNally have been everything we expected and then some. I'm sure Tony Cloninger will be fine, and I expect Steve Barber to turn things around as the season progresses. Bob Shaw is struggling right now, but I think he'll be fine.
Q.  According to many, the Duster bullpen is a weak link. Do you agree?
A.  Not entirely. It's true that Frenchy -- Claude Raymond -- has an ERA over 12.00, but he also has four saves and a record of two wins and no losses. That high ERA is the result of a couple of bad outings. Overall, I think he's doing okay. Jim Brewer and Bobby Locke have been outstanding in clutch situations. We're hoping for better from Bob Duliba and Bill Dailey, and time will tell with them.
Q. You have Pete Richert at Bakersfield. Could he be brought up to bolster the bullpen?
A.  That's a possibility, but ideally we'd like for Pete to get more work at that level before he comes to this one.
Q.  You spent a lot of money to bring Vic Power here to be your starting first baseman. And yet Gordy Coleman has been playing quite often in recent weeks because of his hitting. Any chance of trading Power, maybe for some relief pitching?
A.  No. Right now Vic is our first baseman.  And we have every intention of keeping him long term.  Gordy will start at first against lefties for now.
Q.  A lot of people thought Hector Lopez was on the downside of his career. He's 32 years old, and he hit .222 last year for the Yankees. And yet this year he leads the league in homers and is batting over .300. What happened with Hector?
A.  A new lease on life, maybe? Or maybe it's because he's not playing in the shadows of the M&M boys. I don't know, but Hector has become a vital part of our club, no question.
Q. You have Tom Tresh, a shortstop, playing center field. Jerry Adair, a second baseman, is playing shortstop. Are these permanent changes?
A.  We're still trying to find the right combination. We tried to bring players here who are skilled at multiple positions, and that's certainly true of Jerry and Tom. Look at Johnny Schaive, who is superb at every infield position. That's what we look for. Now it's just a matter of putting the pieces together.
Q.  Mack Jones and Hawk Taylor, both left fielders, and not getting much playing time. What will happen to them?
A.  Mack can play center, and Hawk is our third catcher if we ever need one, so they play important roles.
Q.  You've caught a lot of flack for trading away Hank Aaron and Joe Torre and Lew Burdette. Eddie Mathews, too. Any second thoughts?
A.  None. All fine players. But we got a lot of fine young players for them. And Hank didn't want to come to Nevada, and I respected that. No, no regrets -- except when one of them beats us on the field. (Laughs)
Q.  The attendance at Horizon Field has to be a disappointment to you. Do you think Las Vegas will come around and start supporting this club?
A.  Yes, I do. It will take time, and we have to provide them with a quality product. I expect it will be tough sledding for a couple of years, but that's often true when you start a business.
Q.  Much has been made of your dislike for the gambling element in Las Vegas. Any problems, so far, where your players are concerned?
A.  Not that I'm aware of. I realize there are temptations here, especially if you're young, unattached, and have money. But that's true of any city, I think. And I try to do my part by underpaying my players, so they don't have money to spend on the Strip. (Laughs)
Q.  There are rumors afoot about you and Ann-Margret. Would you care to speak to that?
A.  I believe she was the first to buy a luxury box here at the field. And my eldest daughter is older than Ann-Margret.
Q.  Is that it?
A.  I thought you wrote for the Sports section, Al. I haven't even met her, so that's about all I know.
Q. One last question. How do you predict the Dusters will finish this year?
A.  I predict they'll do better than most people expect.

A famous Nevada Dusters fan

Nevada Dusters @ Pittsburgh Pirates
April 25-27, 1962
Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, PA

DL: none

TRADES
--NEV trades Arnold Umbach (P-Montana Wolves) to NYY for Roger Repoz (CF). Repoz is assigned to the Montana Wolves (R).
--NEV trades John Braun (P-Tucson Stingers) and Howie Bedell (LF-Salt Lake City Saints) to SFG for Jesus Alou (RF). Alou is assigned to the the Tucson Stingers (A).

Pittsburgh Pirates Game 1 starting lineup
Bob Skinner (LF), Bill Virdon (CF), Roberto Clemente (RF), Dick Stuart (1B), Joe Torre (C), Dick Groat (SS), Don Hoak (3B), Bill Mazeroski (2B), Bob Friend (SP)

[April 25, Game 1]
Steve Barber (1-3) and the Dusters took on Bob Friend (14-19, 3.85 in 1961) and the NL-leading Pittsburgh Pirates (15-6) at Forbes Field -- and were outplayed in every way. Barber lasted just three innings, but it wasn't Roberto Clemente or Joe Torre or Don Hoak -- all hitting over .300 -- who did him in, but rather Bill Mazeroski. The Gold Glove All-Star and hero of the 1960 World Series was hitting just .200 in April, but his two-run homer in the 3rd gave the Pirates a 4-0 lead. Nevada tried to battle back, loading the bases in the 4th for Johnny Blanchard, who scalded a two-run single down the right field line. But Pittsburgh expanded their lead by a run in the 4th and Maz hit another long ball in the 6th, while the Dusters managed just two more hits off Friend, who worked through the 8th inning. In the 9th, down 7-2, Nevada scored a run at reliever Tom Sturdivant's expense, but they could do no more. Billy Williams, Johnny Blanchard and Tom Tresh each went 2-for-4, but the other Nevada hitters could contribute just two more hits between them, and Barber suffered his fourth loss of the season.
Lineup: Coleman, Lopez, Williams, Tresh, Adair, Boyer, Schaive, Blanchard, Barber
Record: 14-11
Pirates 7, Dusters 3
[April 26, Game 2]
It seemed to be more of the same in Game 2, as Nevada hitters struggled early on against Joe Gibbon (13-10, 3.32 in '61), who gave up just three hits in the first five frames. In the Pirates 3rd, Bill Mazeroski singled and scored on a Bob Skinner triple, and then Skinner went home on a Bill Virdon single that scooted into left field. In the 6th, though, Nevada's fortunes changed, as Gibbon walked a pair, hit another with a pitch, and a rare throwing error by Mazeroski allowed Clete Boyer to reach first. With those gifts all the Dusters needed was a hit to score a pair and tie the game. But with the bases loaded Ben Naylor chose to pinch hit for starter Bob Shaw; Jim Constable took the mound in the 6th and was hammered for five hits, including as Bill Virdon triple that put the Bucs on top again, 5-2. The Dusters roared back in the 8th, a tremendous rally that included doubles by Jerry Adair and Hector Lopez and a two-run homer by Vic Power, giving Nevada five runs and the lead. "I thought we had them," admitted Johnny Blanchard after the game. He was wrong. Don Hoak's two-run double in the 8th tied the game. Howie Goss opened the Pittsburgh 9th with a single, moved to third on a Roberto Clemente hit, and scored the winning run when Joe Torre hit a slow roller. "Now, after this kind of loss," said Conn Hudson, "we'll find out what our guys are really made of."
Lineup: Power, Lopez, Williams, Tresh, Adair, Boyer, Schaive, Blanchard, Shaw
Record: 14-12
Pirates 8, Dusters 7
[April 27, Game 3]
Joe Horlen faced veteran hurler Vern Law, in his fourteenth season, for Game 3, and Lee Maye started in right field in place of Hector Lopez. Horlen pitched a strong seven innings, but it was Maye, Gordy Coleman and Billy Williams who really came through for Nevada. Maye opened the scoring with a solo homer in 1st. Bill Virdon answered with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the inning. A throwing error by Clete Boyer led to another Pirates run in the 2nd, but the Dusters tied the game in the top of the 3rd. Virdon doubled and scored on a Roberto Clemente single in Pittsburgh's half of the 3rd to put the Bucs back on top, 3-2. Maye singled, stole second, and scored on a Tom Tresh single in the 5th and once again the score was knotted. In the 6th Gordy Coleman clubbed a three-run homer over the left field fence, and in the 8th Williams hit his own three-run shot -- this one to straightaway center -- to deliver the killing blow, putting the Dusters on top 10-3. The Pirates scored a run in the 8th and another in the 9th and had the bases loaded when a deftly-turned 1-6-3 double play ended the game. Horlen allowed three runs on six hits through seven and improved his record to 4-1, while Maye and Williams went 4-for-5. In the jubilant visitors' clubhouse at Forbes Field after the game, Ben Naylor told reporters, "This was a pretty big win."
Lineup: Coleman, Maye, Williams, Tresh, Adair, Boyer, Schaive, Blanchard, Horlen
Record: 15-12
Dusters 10, Pirates 5

Billy Williams (NEV)


Nevada Dusters financial update:
Revenue: $6.4M ..... Profit: $1.5M ..... Cash: $6.2M ..... Team Payroll: $20.8M

Series stats:
2Bs: Blanchard (2), Tresh, Lopez, Adair, Williams
3Bs: none
HRs: Power, Maye, Williams, Coleman
SBs: none
Runs: Williams (3), Tresh (2), Schaive (2), Power, Lopez, Adair, Boyer, Hubbs, Blanchard, Coleman (2), Maye (4), Horlen
RBIs: Blanchard (4), Power (3), Adair, Hubbs, Dailey, Coleman (3), Maye, Williams (3), Tresh (2), Schaive

Around the leagues:
HOU--Al Spangler (LF), sprained back, two weeks.
HOU--Dean Stone (P), chipped knee cap, two weeks.
PIT--Smoky Burgess (C), hairline wrist break, two weeks.


FEATURED GAME
Nevada Dusters at Pittsburgh Pirates
April 26, 1962

TOP OF THE FIRST
Joe Gibbon takes the mound for the Pirates.
Vic Power grounded to third. <--->
Hector Lopez walked. <--1>
Billy Williams singled to left. <-21>
Tom Tresh flied out to left. <-21>
Jerry Adair singled up the middle. <321>
Clete Boyer grounded to first. <321>
0 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, and 3 left on base.
In the middle of the first, the game is tied at 0.

BOTTOM OF THE FIRST
Bob Shaw takes the mound for the Dusters.
Bob Skinner walked. <--1>
Bill Virdon flied out to right. <--1>
Roberto Clemente singled through the right side, advancing the runner to third. <3-1>
Dick Stuart grounded to third for a double play (5-4-3). <3-->
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, and 1 left on base.
At the end of the first, the game is tied at 0.

TOP OF THE SECOND
Johnny Schaive grounded to the third baseman. <--->
Johnny Blanchard singled to left. <--1>
Bob Shaw laid down a sacrifice bunt to third. <-2->
Vic Power grounded to short. <-2->
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, and 1 left on base.
In the middle of the second, the game is tied at 0.

BOTTOM OF THE SECOND
Smoky Burgess grounded to second. <--->
Dick Groat flied out to center field. <--->
Don Hoak flied out to left. <--->
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
At the end of the second, the game is tied at 0.

TOP OF THE THIRD
Hector Lopez popped up to second. <--->
Billy Williams struck out. <--->
Tom Tresh grounded to third. <--->
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
In the middle of the third, the game is tied at 0.

BOTTOM OF THE THIRD
Bill Mazeroski singled back through the middle. <--1>
Joe Gibbon grounded to third, forcing the runner at second. <--1>
Bob Skinner tripled down the right field line, scoring a run. <3-->
Bill Virdon singled to left field, scoring a run. <--1>
Roberto Clemente grounded to short. <-2->
Dick Stuart flied out to right. <-2->
2 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, and 1 left on base.
At the end of the third, Pittsburgh leads 2 to 0.

TOP OF THE FOURTH
Jerry Adair grounded to third. <--->
Clete Boyer popped up to second. <--->
Johnny Schaive struck out. <--->
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
In the middle of the fourth, Nevada trails 2 to 0.

BOTTOM OF THE FOURTH
Smoky Burgess grounded to short. <--->
Dick Groat grounded to third. <--->
Don Hoak struck out. <--->
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
At the end of the fourth, Pittsburgh leads 2 to 0.

TOP OF THE FIFTH
Johnny Blanchard popped up to second. <--->
Bob Shaw struck out. <--->
Vic Power popped up behind home plate. <--->
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
In the middle of the fifth, Nevada trails 2 to 0.

BOTTOM OF THE FIFTH
Bill Mazeroski popped up to the catcher in foul ground. <--->
Joe Gibbon struck out. <--->
Bob Skinner flied out to center. <--->
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
At the end of the fifth, Pittsburgh leads 2 to 0.

TOP OF THE SIXTH
Hector Lopez walked. <--1>
Billy Williams popped up foul down the first base line. <--1>
Tom Tresh walked. <-21>
Jerry Adair singled through the hole, scoring a run. <-21>
Clete Boyer reached first on a throwing error by the second baseman. <321>
Gordy Coleman pinch hit for Johnny Schaive. <321>
Gordy Coleman popped up to short. <321>
Johnny Blanchard was hit by a pitch, scoring a run. <321>
Lee Maye pinch hit for Bob Shaw. <321>
Lee Maye grounded to short. <321>
2 runs, 1 hit, 1 error, and 3 left on base.
In the middle of the sixth, the game is tied at 2.

BOTTOM OF THE SIXTH
Jim Constable came in to pitch for the Dusters. <--->
Ken Hubbs came in to play Second Base. <--->
Bill Virdon tripled down the left field line. <3-->
Bill Virdon went for an extra base and reached home, scoring a run. <--->
Roberto Clemente singled through the right side. <--1>
Dick Stuart struck out. <--1>
Smoky Burgess singled to left, advancing the runner to third. <3-1>
Dick Groat grounded to short, scoring a run. <--1>
Don Hoak singled down the left field line, advancing the runner to third. <3-1>
Bill Mazeroski singled through the left side, scoring a run. <-21>
Willie Stargell pinch hit for Joe Gibbon. <-21>
Bill Dailey came in to pitch for the Dusters. <-21>
Willie Stargell flied out to left. <-21>
3 runs, 5 hits, 0 errors, and 2 left on base.
At the end of the sixth, Pittsburgh leads 5 to 2.

TOP OF THE SEVENTH
Bob Priddy came in to pitch for the Pirates. <--->
Joe Torre came in to play First Base. <--->
Vic Power grounded to short. <--->
Hector Lopez singled to center. <--1>
Billy Williams singled to right. <-21>
Tom Tresh grounded to first for a double play (3-6-3). <-2->
0 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, and 1 left on base.
In the middle of the seventh, Nevada trails 5 to 2.

BOTTOM OF THE SEVENTH
Bob Skinner grounded to first. <--->
Bill Virdon struck out. <--->
Roberto Clemente grounded to second. <--->
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
At the end of the seventh, Pittsburgh leads 5 to 2.

TOP OF THE EIGHTH
Howie Goss came in to play Left Field. <--->
Jerry Adair doubled into the left field corner. <-2->
Clete Boyer singled to right field. <3-1>
Ken Hubbs singled down the third base line, scoring a run. <-21>
Johnny Blanchard singled to right-center, scoring a run. <3-1>
Bill Dailey laid down a sacrifice bunt back to the pitcher - a run scored. <-2->
Vic Power homered over the left field fence for two RBIs. <--->
Roy Face came in to pitch for the Pirates. <--->
Hector Lopez doubled to right. <-2->
Billy Williams struck out. <-2->
Tom Tresh lined out to right. <-2->
5 runs, 6 hits, 0 errors, and 1 left on base.
In the middle of the eighth, Nevada leads 7 to 5.

BOTTOM OF THE EIGHTH
Hawk Taylor came in to play Left Field. <--->
Joe Torre popped up foul down the third base line. <--->
Smoky Burgess singled down the first base line. <--1>
Dick Groat singled over the third baseman, advancing the runner to third. <3-1>
Jim Brewer came in to pitch for the Dusters. <3-1>
Don Hoak doubled down the left field line for two RBIs. <-2->
Bill Mazeroski grounded to short. <-2->
Johnny Logan pinch hit for Roy Face. <-2->
Johnny Logan lined out to second. <-2->
2 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, and 1 left on base.
At the end of the eighth, the game is tied at 7.

TOP OF THE NINTH
Tom Sturdivant came in to pitch for the Pirates. <--->
Jerry Adair grounded to short. <--->
Clete Boyer flied out to right field. <--->
Ken Hubbs flied out to left. <--->
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
In the middle of the ninth, the game is tied at 7.

BOTTOM OF THE NINTH
Howie Goss singled in the right field gap. <--1>
Bill Virdon struck out. <--1>
Roberto Clemente singled to right, advancing the runner to third. <3-1>
Joe Torre grounded to the pitcher, scoring a run. <--1>

PIRATES WIN: 8-7
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 +  R  H  E
       Dusters (NEV) 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 5 0    7 12  0
       Pirates (PIT) 0 0 2 0 0 3 0 2 1    8 14  1

NEVADA               ab  h bb  r hr bi  k sb     avg
V. Power (1B)         5  1  0  1  1  2  0  0    .315
H. Lopez (RF)         3  2  2  1  0  0  0  0    .333
B. Williams (LF)      5  2  0  0  0  0  2  0    .358
 H. Taylor (LF)       0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .200
T. Tresh (CF)         4  0  1  1  0  0  0  0    .269
J. Adair (SS)         5  3  0  1  0  1  0  0    .302
C. Boyer (3B)         5  1  0  1  0  0  0  0    .383
J. Schaive (2B)       2  0  0  0  0  0  1  0    .337
 G. Coleman (PH)      1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .421
 K. Hubbs (2B)        2  1  0  1  0  1  0  0    .200
J. Blanchard (C)      3  2  0  1  0  2  0  0    .299
B. Shaw (P)           1  0  0  0  0  0  1  0    .000
 L. Maye (PH)         1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .186
 J. Constable (P)     0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
 B. Dailey (P)        0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0    .000
 J. Brewer (P)        0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
TOTALS               37 12  3  7  1  7  4  0

   2B:  H. Lopez (5), J. Adair (4)
   HR:  V. Power (1)

          NEVADA   ip  h bb hr  r er  k pit    ERA
         B. Shaw  5.0  4  1  0  2  2  2  54   5.40
    J. Constable  0.2  5  0  1  3  3  1  24   4.91
       B. Dailey  1.2  2  0  0  2  2  1  27   6.75
       J. Brewer  1.1  3  0  0  1  1  1  18   2.70
          TOTALS  8.2 14  1  1  8  8  5 123

PITTSBURGH           ab  h bb  r hr bi  k sb     avg
B. Skinner (LF)       3  1  1  1  0  1  0  0    .272
 H. Goss (LF)         1  1  0  1  0  0  0  0    .143
B. Virdon (CF)        5  2  0  1  1  1  2  0    .337
R. Clemente (RF)      5  3  0  1  0  0  0  0    .387
D. Stuart (1B)        3  0  0  0  0  0  1  0    .197
 J. Torre (1B)        2  0  0  0  0  1  0  0    .429
S. Burgess (C)        4  2  0  1  0  0  0  0    .433
D. Groat (SS)         4  1  0  2  0  1  0  0    .306
D. Hoak (3B)          4  2  0  0  0  2  1  0    .391
B. Mazeroski (2B)     4  2  0  0  0  1  0  0    .220
J. Gibbon (P)         2  0  0  1  0  0  1  0    .067
 W. Stargell (PH)     1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .227
 B. Priddy (P)        0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
 R. Face (P)          0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
 J. Logan (PH)        1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .250
 T. Sturdivant (P)    0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
TOTALS               39 14  1  8  1  7  5  0

   2B:  D. Hoak (8)
   3B:  B. Skinner (4)
   HR:  B. Virdon (2)

      PITTSBURGH   ip  h bb hr  r er  k pit    ERA
       J. Gibbon  6.0  4  3  0  2  1  3  88   1.29
       B. Priddy  1.1  7  0  1  5  5  0  34   7.11
         R. Face  0.2  1  0  0  0  0  1  10   2.08
   T. Sturdivant  1.0  0  0  0  0  0  0  10   1.50
          TOTALS  9.0 12  3  1  7  6  4 142

     WP: T. Sturdivant (2-0)
     LP: J. Brewer (1-2)

     Attendance: 30,719
     Time: 2:32