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The
NEVADA DUSTERS
The Story of a Major League Baseball Franchise
Dodgers @ Dusters
April 1-3, 1962
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Baseball in Sin City

Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick (pictured,right) had two concerns when Conn Hudson started the Nevada Dusters franchise. Was Las Vegas capable of sustaining a major league franchise? And would a city notorious for its strippers, gamblers and mobsters be an environment fraught with peril for the Dusters roster, not to mention Major League Baseball's reputation? The first month's attendance totals, which revealed that an average of less than 15,000 fans showed up for the home games, cast doubt on Hudson's conviction that there was a lot more to fast-growing Las Vegas besides a strip lined with casinos and nightclubs. "There are hundreds of thousands of everyday folks living here who are ready, willing and able to support a major league ballclub," Hudson had said. The problem seemed to be that the residents of Las Vegas were slow to adopt the new franchise. As for Frick's other concern, Hudson and manager Ben Naylor decided it would be unwise to try to control the lives of their players outside the ballpark. Hudson merely mentioned Frick's worries to the team, and expressed his confidence in the players' common sense.

Los Angeles Dodgers @ Nevada Dusters
April 1-3, 1962
Horizon Field, Las Vegas, NV

Los Angeles Dodgers Game 1starting lineup
Maury Wills (SS), Jim Gilliam (3B), Wally Moon (LF), Duke Snider (RF), Willie Davis (CF), Lee Walls (1B), Johnny Roseboro (C), Larry Burright (2B), Don Drysdale (SP)

[April 1, Opening Day, Game 1]
A crowd of 18,000 turned out at Horizon Field for the first game of the Nevada Dusters franchise, which faced a stern test against Don Drysdale and the Los Angeles Dodgers (89-65 in 1961). Taking the mound for the Dusters was 21-year-old Tony Cloninger (7-2, 5.25 in '61). Drysdale got off to a rough start, hitting the first batter he faced, Vic Power, with a pitch. Power scored on a Lee Maye double and Jerry Adair cranked a two-run homer just inside the left field foul pole for a 3-0 Duster lead. Second baseman Ken Hubbs doubled and scored in the 2nd to extend the lead. In the Los Angeles 3rd a pair of singles and an error on the part of Nevada third sacker Clete Boyer gave the Dodgers two runs, but the Dusters got them right back in the bottom of the inning, sending Drysdale to the showers in the process. Adair hit his second home run of the day in the 7th, this one a solo shot to right, and the Dusters enjoyed a 7-2 advantage -- but not for long. In the Dodger 8th a walk, a single and another fielding error loaded the bases for catcher Johnny Roseboro, who hit a grand slam. Clinging to a one-run lead, Ben Naylor brought in closer Claude Raymond and the "hands" team of Johnny Schaive, Hector Lopez and Tom Tresh. Dodger lead-off man Maury Wills singled, stole second, and scored on a Duke Snider hit to tie the game. Lopez was first up in the Duster 9th, facing Dodger reliever Larry Sherry -- and knocked the first pitch over the wall in dead center, a walk-off home run. "I can't think of a better way to get started than beating the Dodgers on Opening Day at home," said Conn Hudson. The bad news was that Clete Boyer suffered a sprained finger and would be out for 15 days.
Lineup: Power, Maye, Williams, Blanchard, Adair, Boyer, Jones, Hubbs, Cloninger
Record: 1-0
Dusters 8, Dodgers 7

[April 2, Game 2]
The second game of the series featured the pitching matchup of two lefties, Dodger Sandy Koufax (18-13, 3.52 in '61) and Steve Barber (18-12, 3.33 in '61). The game was scoreless until the 6th, when two singles and a walk filled the bases with Dodgers. Tommy Davis knocked in a run and Johnny Roseboro drove in two more. Hector Lopez, yesterday's hero, hit an inside-the-park home run in the bottom of the 3rd to make it 3-1 Los Angeles. It was 4-2 in the top of the 9th when Maury Wills stretched a single into a double and scored on a Tommy Davis hit. In the bottom of the 9th the Dusters rallied for a pair of runs and had the bases loaded with two outs against Dodger reliever Ron Perranoski, but pinch hitter Lee Maye flied out to end the game. Tom Tresh, starting in center field, went 2-for-4, as did Billy Williams, while lead-off man Vic Power was 2-for-5 on the day. Johnny Schaive, starting at third in place of the injured Clete Boyer, committed two costly errors, putting him in Ben Naylor's doghouse. Koufax got the win, Barber the loss.
Lineup: Power, Lopez, Williams, Adair, Blanchard, Hubbs, Tresh, Schaive, Barber
Record: 1-1
Dodgers 5, Dusters 4

[April 3, Game 3]
After two innings of play the Dusters had a 6-0 lead at the expense of Dodger starter Johnny Podres. A 1st-inning Billy Williams double produced the first run. In the 2nd, three singles and two-baggers by Ken Hubbs and Hector Lopez added five more. But, given the events of the past two days, Ben Naylor wasn't overconfident. "I figured they'd make a fight of it," said the Nevada skipper. And he was right. The Dodgers scored two in the 4th. Jerry Adair's RBI single in the Nevada half of the inning made it 7-2 and, with bases loaded, might have gotten more. But Johnny Blanchard hit into a frame-ending twin killing. Duster starter Bob Shaw (9-10, 4.31 in '61) seemed in control until the 7th, when he gave up four hits, including doubles by Frank "Hondo" Howard and Jim Gilliam that garnered three runs for the Dodgers. Naylor pulled Shaw and charged the bullpen with protecting the 7-5 lead. Bill Dailey held the Dodgers scoreless in the 8th but Los Angeles loaded the bases against Claude Raymond in the 9th. Duke Snider's two-out single scored one run before Willie Davis flied out to end the game. Williams was 2-for-4 with three RBIs, while center fielder Tom Tresh also went 2-for-4, and Raymond collected his first save of the season. "I'd say we've had a fairly exciting series," said Conn Hudson. That was an understatement about a three-game set in which the teams combined for 37 runs on 59 hits and each contest was decided by one run. Catcher Johnny Blanchard joined Clete Boyer on the DL for six days with a strained elbow ligament.
Lineup: Power, Lopez, Williams, Adair, Blanchard, Hubbs, Tresh, Schaive, Shaw
Record: 2-1
Dusters 7, Dodgers 6
Hector Lopez (NEV)


Nevada Dusters financial update:
Revenue: $1.2M ..... Profit: $689K ..... Cash: $5.3M ..... Team Payroll: $20.8M

Series stats:
2Bs: Power, Maye, Hubbs (3), Tresh, Lopez, Williams
HRs: Lopez (2), Adair (2)
SBs: Tresh, Boyer
Runs: Power (4), Maye (2), Williams, Lopez (4), Adair (2), Hubbs (3), Tresh (2), Schaive
RBIs: Lopez (2), Adair (4), Boyer, Cloninger, Williams (4), Tresh (2), Power

News Wrap:
PHI signed free agent Bernie Smith (RF) for $18,000/1 yr.
KCA signed free agent Jim McGlothlin (P) for $1,100,000/1 yr.
KCA signed free agent Dick Wantz (P) for $68,000/1 yr.
STL signed free agent Jerry Robertson (P) for $186,000/1 yr.

CLE - Bubba Phillips (3B), hairline wrist break, two weeks
MIN-Jim Snyder (2B), strained knee, two weeks
LAA-Albie Pearson (CF), spiked Achilles tendon, two weeks
STL-Ray Washburn (P), finger stress fracture, two weeks
CLE-Floyd Weaver (P), severe elbow tendonitis, two weeks
MIN-Camilo Pascual (P), foot stress fracture, two weeks
NYM-Al Jackson (P), chipped knee cap, two weeks
SFG-Jose Pagan (SS), wrist stress fracture, five weeks

CLE released Bubba Phillips (3B)


FEATURED GAME
Los Angeles Dodgers at Nevada Dusters
April 1, 1962
OPENING DAY

TOP OF THE FIRST
Tony Cloninger takes the mound for the Dusters.
Maury Wills struck out. <--->
Jim Gilliam flied out to center. <--->
Wally Moon popped up to second. <--->
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
In the middle of the first, the game is tied at 0.

BOTTOM OF THE FIRST
Don Drysdale takes the mound for the Dodgers.
Vic Power was hit by a pitch. <--1>
Lee Maye doubled in the left field gap. <32->
Vic Power went for an extra base and reached home, scoring a run. <-2->
Billy Williams struck out. <-2->
Johnny Blanchard popped up to the catcher in foul ground. <-2->
Jerry Adair homered around the foul pole in left for two RBIs. <--->
Clete Boyer flied out to center. <--->
3 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
At the end of the first, Nevada leads 3 to 0.

TOP OF THE SECOND
Duke Snider flied out to right. <--->
Willie Davis lined out to right. <--->
Lee Walls tripled in the right field gap. <3-->
Johnny Roseboro grounded to the second baseman. <3-->
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, and 1 left on base.
In the middle of the second, Los Angeles trails 3 to 0.

BOTTOM OF THE SECOND
Mack Jones grounded to first. <--->
Ken Hubbs doubled into the right field corner. <-2->
Don Drysdale threw a wild pitch. <3-->
Tony Cloninger flied out to center field. <3-->
Ken Hubbs tagged up and reached home, scoring a run. <--->
Vic Power grounded to second. <--->
1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
At the end of the second, Nevada leads 4 to 0.

TOP OF THE THIRD
Larry Burright singled down the first base line. <--1>
Larry Burright went for an extra base and reached second. <-2->
Don Drysdale grounded to the pitcher. The runner was tagged out at third. <--1>
Maury Wills laid down a sacrifice bunt to the catcher. <-2->
Jim Gilliam singled to center, scoring a run. <--1>
Wally Moon reached second on a throwing error by the third baseman. <32->
Duke Snider singled up the middle, scoring a run. <3-1>
Willie Davis grounded to second. <3-1>
2 runs, 3 hits, 1 error, and 2 left on base.
In the middle of the third, Los Angeles trails 4 to 2.

BOTTOM OF THE THIRD
Lee Maye singled to left. <--1>
Billy Williams walked. <-21>
Johnny Blanchard singled through the left side. <321>
Lee Maye went for an extra base and reached home, scoring a run. <-21>
Jerry Adair popped up behind home plate. <-21>
Clete Boyer singled down the first base line, scoring a run. <3-1>
Willard Hunter came in to pitch for the Dodgers. <3-1>
Mack Jones flied out to center field. <3-1>
Ken Hubbs grounded to short. <3-1>
2 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, and 2 left on base.
At the end of the third, Nevada leads 6 to 2.

TOP OF THE FOURTH
Lee Walls walked. <--1>
Johnny Roseboro walked. <-21>
Larry Burright flied out to center. <-21>
Frank Howard pinch hit for Willard Hunter. <-21>
Tony Cloninger threw a wild pitch. <32->
Frank Howard grounded to the pitcher. <32->
Maury Wills grounded to the second baseman. <32->
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, and 2 left on base.
In the middle of the fourth, Los Angeles trails 6 to 2.

BOTTOM OF THE FOURTH
Jack Smith came in to pitch for the Dodgers. <--->
Tony Cloninger popped up to the third baseman. <--->
Vic Power hit an infield single to third. <--1>
Lee Maye grounded to third. <-2->
Billy Williams popped up to the catcher. <-2->
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, and 1 left on base.
At the end of the fourth, Nevada leads 6 to 2.

TOP OF THE FIFTH
Jim Gilliam popped up to short. <--->
Wally Moon grounded to short. <--->
Duke Snider grounded to the third baseman. <--->
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
In the middle of the fifth, Los Angeles trails 6 to 2.

BOTTOM OF THE FIFTH
Johnny Blanchard popped up foul down the third base line. <--->
Jerry Adair flied out to right. <--->
Clete Boyer walked. <--1>
Clete Boyer stole second. <-2->
Mack Jones flied out to right. <-2->
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, and 1 left on base.
At the end of the fifth, Nevada leads 6 to 2.

TOP OF THE SIXTH
Willie Davis grounded to the second baseman. <--->
Lee Walls grounded to short. <--->
Johnny Roseboro struck out. <--->
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
In the middle of the sixth, Los Angeles trails 6 to 2.

BOTTOM OF THE SIXTH
Ken Hubbs struck out. <--->
Tony Cloninger grounded to first. <--->
Vic Power doubled in the left field gap. <-2->
Ed Roebuck came in to pitch for the Dodgers. <-2->
Lee Maye struck out. <-2->
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, and 1 left on base.
At the end of the sixth, Nevada leads 6 to 2.

TOP OF THE SEVENTH
Larry Burright doubled to right-center. <-2->
Ed Roebuck laid down a sacrifice bunt to first. <3-->
Maury Wills lined out to center field. <3-->
Jim Gilliam grounded to third. <3-->
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, and 1 left on base.
In the middle of the seventh, Los Angeles trails 6 to 2.

BOTTOM OF THE SEVENTH
Billy Williams flied out to center. <--->
Johnny Blanchard grounded to short. <--->
Jerry Adair homered over the right field fence. <--->
Clete Boyer flied out to left. <--->
1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
At the end of the seventh, Nevada leads 7 to 2.

TOP OF THE EIGHTH
Wally Moon struck out. <--->
Duke Snider reached first on a fielding error by the first baseman. <--1>
Willie Davis singled to right, advancing the runner to third. <3-1>
Lee Walls walked. <321>
Johnny Roseboro homered over the right field fence for a grand slam. <--->
Jim Brewer came in to pitch for the Dusters. <--->
Larry Burright lined out to center field. <--->
Tommy Davis pinch hit for Ed Roebuck. <--->
Tommy Davis grounded to second. <--->
4 runs, 2 hits, 1 error, and 0 left on base.
In the middle of the eighth, Los Angeles trails 7 to 6.

BOTTOM OF THE EIGHTH
Larry Sherry came in to pitch for the Dodgers. <--->
Mack Jones grounded to the second baseman. <--->
Ken Hubbs flied out to center. <--->
Gordy Coleman pinch hit for Jim Brewer. <--->
Gordy Coleman singled to right. <--1>
Vic Power walked. <-21>
Lee Maye struck out. <-21>
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, and 2 left on base.
At the end of the eighth, Nevada leads 7 to 6.

TOP OF THE NINTH
Claude Raymond came in to pitch for the Dusters. <--->
Johnny Schaive came in to play Second Base. <--->
Hector Lopez came in to play Left Field. <--->
Tom Tresh came in to play Center Field. <--->
Maury Wills singled to center. <--1>
Maury Wills stole second. <-2->
Jim Gilliam laid down a sacrifice bunt to third. <3-->
Wally Moon struck out. <3-->
Duke Snider singled to right field, scoring a run. <--1>
Duke Snider stole second. <-2->
Willie Davis flied out to center field. <-2->
1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, and 1 left on base.
In the middle of the ninth, the game is tied at 7.

BOTTOM OF THE NINTH
Hector Lopez homered over the center field fence. <--->

DUSTERS WIN: 8-7
 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 +  R  H  E
       Dodgers (LAD) 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 4 1    7  9  0
       Dusters (NEV) 3 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 1    8 11  2

LOS ANGELES          ab  h bb  r hr bi  k sb     avg
M. Wills (SS)         4  1  0  1  0  0  1  1    .250
J. Gilliam (3B)       4  1  0  1  0  1  0  0    .250
W. Moon (LF)          5  0  0  0  0  0  2  0    .000
D. Snider (RF)        5  2  0  1  0  2  0  1    .400
W. Davis (CF)         5  1  0  1  0  0  0  0    .200
L. Walls (1B)         2  1  2  1  0  0  0  0    .500
J. Roseboro (C)       3  1  1  1  1  4  1  0    .333
L. Burright (2B)      4  2  0  0  0  0  0  0    .500
D. Drysdale (P)       1  0  0  1  0  0  0  0    .000
 W. Hunter (P)        0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
 F. Howard (PH)       1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
 J. Smith (P)         0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
 E. Roebuck (P)       0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
 T. Davis (PH)        1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
 L. Sherry (P)        0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
TOTALS               35  9  3  7  1  7  4  2

   2B:  L. Burright 2 (2)
   3B:  L. Walls (1)
   HR:  J. Roseboro (1)

     LOS ANGELES   ip  h bb hr  r er  k pit    ERA
     D. Drysdale  2.1  6  1  1  6  6  1  48  23.14
       W. Hunter  0.2  0  0  0  0  0  0   7   0.00
        J. Smith  2.2  2  1  0  0  0  1  31   0.00
      E. Roebuck  1.1  1  0  1  1  1  1  18   6.75
       L. Sherry  1.0  2  1  1  1  1  1  25   9.00
          TOTALS  8.0 11  3  3  8  8  4 129

NEVADA               ab  h bb  r hr bi  k sb     avg
V. Power (1B)         3  2  1  1  0  0  0  0    .667
L. Maye (RF)          5  2  0  2  0  0  2  0    .400
B. Williams (LF)      3  0  1  1  0  0  1  0    .000
 H. Lopez (LF)        1  1  0  1  1  1  0  0   1.000
J. Blanchard (C)      4  1  0  0  0  0  0  0    .250
J. Adair (SS)         4  2  0  2  2  3  0  0    .500
C. Boyer (3B)         3  1  1  0  0  1  0  1    .333
M. Jones (CF)         4  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
 T. Tresh (CF)        0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
K. Hubbs (2B)         4  1  0  1  0  0  1  0    .250
 J. Schaive (2B)      0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
T. Cloninger (P)      2  0  0  0  0  1  0  0    .000
 J. Brewer (P)        0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
 G. Coleman (PH)      1  1  0  0  0  0  0  0   1.000
 C. Raymond (P)       0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
TOTALS               34 11  3  8  3  6  4  1

   2B:  V. Power (1), L. Maye (1), K. Hubbs (1)
   HR:  H. Lopez (1), J. Adair 2 (2)

          NEVADA   ip  h bb hr  r er  k pit    ERA
    T. Cloninger  7.1  7  3  1  6  4  3 124   4.91
       J. Brewer  0.2  0  0  0  0  0  0   8   0.00
      C. Raymond  1.0  2  0  0  1  1  1  16   9.00
          TOTALS  9.0  9  3  1  7  5  4 148

     WP: C. Raymond (1-0)
     LP: L. Sherry (0-1)

     Attendance: 18,094
     Time: 2:36