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The
NEVADA DUSTERS
The Story of a Major League Baseball Franchise
Colt .45's @ Dusters
October 11-13, 1962
Dusters Win the NL!
Al Childress, Las Vegas Sun

How appropriate is it, that Johnny Blanchard hits the game-winner in extra innings in the rubber game of arguably the most exciting series of the season? With his team-leading 38 homers, Blanchard, a fan favorite, is perhaps the biggest surprise on a club full of surprises. The Dusters certainly fooled a lot of people this year. And Conn Hudson could not have scripted the finish any better.
The Dusters aren't the first team in major league history to win a league championship in their  freshman year. The Chicago White Stockings (Cubs) had gone 52-14 (.788) in their first season (1876), winning the # 1 spot in the National League. In 1901 the Chicago White Sox had a first-year record of 83-53 (.610), and held the # 1 spot in the American League. The Cincinnati Red Stockings (Reds) had gone 55-25 (.688) in their first year -- 1882 -- winning the American Association pennant. But no team in the modern era -- until now -- could lay claim to such an accomplishment.
Among the achievements of this remarkable season: Though they lost their share of series, especially in the early going, the Dusters were never swept. Their longest winning streak was eight games (September 7-15), while their longest losing streak was just four games. At the end of June the club had a 47-34 record and was in third place. At the end of July they were still in third place, with a record of 59-43. But then the club embarked on one of the strongest stretch runs in recent memory. The Dusters played eight series in August and won them all, including two sweeps, and at the end of the month were 77-49 and in second place. They continued that torrid pace in September, winning eight of nine series, sweeping three opponents, and ending the month in first place with a 99-56 mark. By the first week of October it was virtually over; the Dusters needed to win just one of seven games. They had the NL pennant sewn up on October 4.
That's what happened. There are several reasons why it happened. The offensive production, strong in the early going, remained so throughout the campaign. The Dusters lead the NL with 173 home runs and 772 runs scored. In the spring the pitching was suspect at times; at the end of May Nevada's starting rotation had a combined won-lost record of 21-16. By the end of regular season the starters' combined won-lost mark was 74-40. Bob Shaw has made a strong bid for the Cy Young with his 23-3 record and 2.32 ERA. Joe Horlen and Dave McNally also posted final ERAs under 3.00, and Tony Cloninger finished 14-8 with a respectable 3.57. The consistently superb performances put in by closer Bill Dailey and reliever Barney Schultz shored up an otherwise suspect bullpen, with Dailey going 6-5 with a 2.45 ERA while collecting 17 saves amd Schultz finishing 7-0 with a 1.57 ERA after joining the club.
And then there is the intangible. At some point after the All-Star break the players began to mesh as a team. Errors declined, double plays increased. If one player slumped, others stepped into the breach. They began to believe they could win no matter what -- hence, the half-dozen exciting come-from-behind wins in the late going. Conn Hudson has seen this, and has expressed a desire to keep the team together as much as possible considering a limited budget.
How will the Dusters fare against either the Yankees or the Twins in the World Series? Probably better against the latter instead of the former. Certainly Nevada will be the underdog. The pundits will continue to sell them short. It would be remarkable if they win it all, but then this has been a remarkable season, so why not? Even if they don't, they've come a very long way in a very short time.

Final Standings
(including team record, winning percentage, games back, batting average and ERA)
NATIONAL LEAGUE
NEV   104-58   .642   --   .266   3.31
SFG   96-66   .593   8.0   .261   3.14
PIT   95-67   .586   9.0   .267   3.32
LAD   84-78   .519   20.0   .253   3.89
CIN   81-81   .500   23.0   .248   3.53
CHC   79-83   .488   25.0   .252   3.88
STL   77-85   .475   27.0   .259   4.05
PHI   72-90   .444   32.0   .250   3.87
NYM   64-98   .395   40.0   .234   4.36
HOU   58-104   .358   46.0   .235   4.02

AMERICAN LEAGUE


Houston Colt .45's (52-107) @ Nevada Dusters (102-57)
October 11-13, 1962
Horizon Field, Las Vegas, NV

DL: Barney Schultz (RP), spiked foot,  three days. Roger Repoz (CF-R), broken ankle, 26 days.

SIGNINGS: Clete Boyer (3B) signed a five-year extension at $4,950,000 which includes a one-year player option (1967) for $4.95M.

Houston Colt .45's Game One starting lineup:
Al Heist (CF), Walt Williams (RF), Johnny Weekly (LF), Dick Gernert (1B), Bob Aspromonte (3B), Don Buddin (SS), Joey Amalfitano (2B), Merritt Ranew (C), Hal Woodeshick (SP)

[October 11, Game 1]
Table-setter Vic Power went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and starter Dave McNally (6.0ip, 3h, 2bb, 0r, 0er, 2k) improved his season mark to 11-8 as the Dusters opened their last series with the Colt .45's back home at Horizon Field. Clete Boyer roughed up Houston starter Hal Woodeshick (2-17) with a two-run roundtripper in the 2nd and an RBI single by Power in the 2nd made it 3-0 Nevada. Cam Carreon reached on an error to open the home 5th, got to third on a McNally hit, and scored when Power scorched a single to center. That was all the scoring the Dusters needed as McNally combined with relievers Claude Raymond and Bill Dailey to shut out the Colt .45's. It was Nevada's fifth victory in a row.
Lineup: Power, Lopez, Williams, Boyer, Adair, Hubbs, Tresh, Carreon, McNally
Record: 103-57
Dusters 4, Colt .45's 0
[October 12, Game 2]
Ben Naylor gave Bob Shaw (22-3) the Game Two start -- and an opportunity to become the NL leader in wins -- and Shaw dominated the Houston lineup, giving up just two hits in his six innings of work. He managed to work out of trouble on two occasions when infield errors put Colt .45 runners on base. An Al Heist double sent Don Buddin racing for home, but a strong throw by Lee Maye in right field allowed Johnny Blanchard to tag Buddin. The Dusters scored a run in the 1st against Shaw's mound opponent, Ken Johnson (8-20), and two more in the 6th as Clete Boyer singled, stole second, and scored on a Ken Hubbs one-bagger, and Hubbs scored on pinch-hitter Gordy Coleman's single down the third base line. Houston's Heist opened the 8th with a homer at the expense of reliever Ken Mackenzie, and Dick Gernert's follow-up single seemed to indicate a late rally, but Bob Duliba took over for Mackenzie and nipped the threat in the bud. Shaw got his 23rd win and a one-game lead over San Francisco's Juan Marichal in that category, while Duliba recorded his fifth save. In the AL, both New York and Minnesota won and remained tied for first place. As for the errors, Naylor said, "We better get 'em out of our system now, because we can't afford them in the next series."
Lineup: Power, Maye, Williams, Adair, Boyer, Blanchard, Hubbs, Tresh, Shaw
Record: 104-57
Dusters 3, Colt .45's 1
[October 13, Game 3]

Nevada Dusters financial update:
Average Attendance: 14,148 ..... Revenue: $44.5M ..... Profit: $15.2M ..... Cash: $18.8M ..... Team Payroll: $28.0M

Series stats:


Around the leagues:
LAA signed free agent Al Cicotte (P) for $440,000/1 yr.

NYM released Jim Marshall (1B).

FEATURED GAME
Houston Colt .45's at Nevada Dusters
October 12, 1962

TOP OF THE FIRST
Bob Shaw takes the mound for the Dusters.
George Williams grounded to third. <--->
Walt Williams lined out to right. <--->
Johnny Weekly grounded 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
Ken Johnson takes the mound for the Colt .45's.
Vic Power lined out to left. <--->
Lee Maye walked. <--1>
Billy Williams grounded to short. <-2->
Jerry Adair singled to center, scoring a run. <--1>
Clete Boyer struck out. <--1>
1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, and 1 left on base.
At the end of the first, Nevada leads 1 to 0.

TOP OF THE SECOND
Norm Larker flied out to right. <--->
Bob Aspromonte grounded to first. <--->
Don Buddin walked. <--1>
Al Heist doubled in the right field gap. <32->
Don Buddin went for an extra base and was thrown out at home. <-2->
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, and 1 left on base.
In the middle of the second, Houston trails 1 to 0.

BOTTOM OF THE SECOND
Johnny Blanchard grounded to the shortstop. <--->
Ken Hubbs popped up to second. <--->
Tom Tresh flied out to left. <--->
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
At the end of the second, Nevada leads 1 to 0.

TOP OF THE THIRD
Merritt Ranew flied out to center. <--->
Ken Johnson grounded to second. <--->
George Williams reached second on a throwing error by the second baseman. <-2->
George Williams stole third. <3-->
Walt Williams grounded to second. <3-->
0 runs, 0 hits, 1 error, and 1 left on base.
In the middle of the third, Houston trails 1 to 0.

BOTTOM OF THE THIRD
Bob Shaw reached first on a fielding error by the catcher. <--1>
Vic Power flied out to center. <--1>
Lee Maye singled through the right side. <-21>
Billy Williams grounded to short, forcing the runner at second. <3-1>
Jerry Adair lined out to left. <3-1>
0 runs, 1 hit, 1 error, and 2 left on base.
At the end of the third, Nevada leads 1 to 0.

TOP OF THE FOURTH
Johnny Weekly grounded to third. <--->
Norm Larker reached first on a throwing error by the third baseman. <--1>
Bob Aspromonte flied out to left. <--1>
Don Buddin struck out. <--1>
0 runs, 0 hits, 1 error, and 1 left on base.
In the middle of the fourth, Houston trails 1 to 0.

BOTTOM OF THE FOURTH
Clete Boyer struck out. <--->
Johnny Blanchard grounded to second. <--->
Ken Hubbs grounded to the third baseman. <--->
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
At the end of the fourth, Nevada leads 1 to 0.

TOP OF THE FIFTH
Al Heist flied out to left field. <--->
Merritt Ranew lined out to the third baseman. <--->
Ken Johnson lined out to center. <--->
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
In the middle of the fifth, Houston trails 1 to 0.

BOTTOM OF THE FIFTH
Tom Tresh singled to left. <--1>
Bob Shaw walked. <-21>
Vic Power grounded to the pitcher, forcing the runner at third. <-21>
Lee Maye grounded to second, forcing the runner at second. <3-1>
Lee Maye stole second. <32->
Billy Williams grounded to third. <32->
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, and 2 left on base.
At the end of the fifth, Nevada leads 1 to 0.

TOP OF THE SIXTH
George Williams struck out. <--->
Walt Williams grounded to first. <--->
Johnny Weekly singled up the middle. <--1>
Johnny Weekly went for an extra base and was thrown out at second. <--->
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
In the middle of the sixth, Houston trails 1 to 0.

BOTTOM OF THE SIXTH
Jerry Adair grounded to short. <--->
Clete Boyer singled through the right side. <--1>
Johnny Blanchard struck out. <--1>
Clete Boyer stole second. <-2->
Ken Hubbs singled down the third base line, scoring a run. <--1>
Tom Tresh walked. <-21>
Gordy Coleman pinch hit for Bob Shaw. <-21>
Gordy Coleman singled down the third base line, scoring a run. <-21>
Vic Power grounded to third. <-21>
2 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, and 2 left on base.
At the end of the sixth, Nevada leads 3 to 0.

TOP OF THE SEVENTH
Ken Mackenzie came in to pitch for the Dusters. <--->
Norm Larker grounded to third. <--->
Bob Aspromonte grounded to the pitcher. <--->
Don Buddin grounded to short. <--->
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
In the middle of the seventh, Houston trails 3 to 0.

BOTTOM OF THE SEVENTH
Lee Maye popped up to second. <--->
Billy Williams singled to center. <--1>
Jerry Adair grounded to the pitcher for a double play (1-4-3). <--->
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
At the end of the seventh, Nevada leads 3 to 0.

TOP OF THE EIGHTH
Al Heist homered over the center field fence. <--->
Merritt Ranew flied out to right. <--->
Dick Gernert pinch hit for Ken Johnson. <--->
Dick Gernert singled down the right field line. <--1>
Bob Duliba came in to pitch for the Dusters. <--1>
George Williams laid down a sacrifice bunt to the pitcher. <-2->
Walt Williams walked. <-21>
Johnny Weekly popped up to second. <-21>
1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, and 2 left on base.
In the middle of the eighth, Houston trails 3 to 1.

BOTTOM OF THE EIGHTH
Dave Giusti came in to pitch for the Colt .45's. <--->
Clete Boyer reached second on a fielding error by the center fielder. <-2->
Johnny Blanchard grounded to second. <-2->
Ken Hubbs grounded to short. <-2->
Tom Tresh flied out to right. <-2->
0 runs, 0 hits, 1 error, and 1 left on base.
At the end of the eighth, Nevada leads 3 to 1.

TOP OF THE NINTH
Johnny Schaive came in to play Second Base. <--->
Norm Larker grounded to first. <--->
Bob Aspromonte grounded to third. <--->
Don Buddin struck out. <--->

DUSTERS WIN: 3-1
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 +  R  H  E
    Colt .45's (HOU) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0    1  4  2
       Dusters (NEV) 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 x    3  7  2

HOUSTON              ab  h bb  r hr bi  k sb     avg
G. Williams (2B)      3  0  0  0  0  0  1  1    .157
W. Williams (RF)      3  0  1  0  0  0  0  0    .232
J. Weekly (LF)        4  1  0  0  0  0  0  0    .254
N. Larker (1B)        4  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .239
B. Aspromonte (3B)    4  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .231
D. Buddin (SS)        3  0  1  0  0  0  2  0    .233
A. Heist (CF)         3  2  0  1  1  1  0  0    .231
M. Ranew (C)          3  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .244
K. Johnson (P)        2  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .103
 D. Gernert (PH)      1  1  0  0  0  0  0  0    .222
 D. Giusti (P)        0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .571
TOTALS               30  4  2  1  1  1  3  1

   2B:  A. Heist (16)
   HR:  A. Heist (2)

         HOUSTON   ip  h bb hr  r er  k pit    ERA
      K. Johnson  7.0  7  3  0  3  3  3  96   3.52
       D. Giusti  1.0  0  0  0  0  0  0  12   3.06
          TOTALS  8.0  7  3  0  3  3  3 108

NEVADA               ab  h bb  r hr bi  k sb     avg
V. Power (1B)         4  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .295
L. Maye (RF)          3  1  1  1  0  0  0  1    .301
B. Williams (LF)      4  1  0  0  0  0  0  0    .315
J. Adair (SS)         4  1  0  0  0  1  0  0    .292
C. Boyer (3B)         4  1  0  1  0  0  2  1    .275
J. Blanchard (C)      4  0  0  0  0  0  1  0    .234
K. Hubbs (2B)         4  1  0  1  0  1  0  0    .232
 J. Schaive (2B)      0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .249
T. Tresh (CF)         3  1  1  0  0  0  0  0    .219
B. Shaw (P)           1  0  1  0  0  0  0  0    .066
 G. Coleman (PH)      1  1  0  0  0  1  0  0    .303
 K. Mackenzie (P)     0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
 B. Duliba (P)        0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .400
TOTALS               32  7  3  3  0  3  3  2


          NEVADA   ip  h bb hr  r er  k pit    ERA
         B. Shaw  6.0  2  1  0  0  0  2  65   2.32
    K. Mackenzie  1.1  2  0  1  1  1  0  10   5.74
       B. Duliba  1.2  0  1  0  0  0  1  18   4.91
          TOTALS  9.0  4  2  1  1  1  3  93

     WP: B. Shaw (23-3)
     LP: K. Johnson (8-21)
     SV: B. Duliba (5)

     Attendance: 14,694
     Time: 2:18