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The
NEVADA DUSTERS
The Story of a Major League Baseball Franchise
Cubs @ Dusters
June 30-July 2, 1962
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The Dusters: Halfway Home
Al Childress, Las Vegas Sun
Nevada Dusters owner and GM Conn Hudson is a relaxed and confident man these days. He has been smiling a lot more than he was in the first few weeks of the season. Back then, the Dusters were struggling to stay above .500. These days they're a dozen games over .500 and in third place in the NL. In April the Duster pitching was a big question mark, save perhaps for rookie Dave McNally, who started the year with a 6-0 mark. It was the hitting that won ballgames for the Nevada franchise -- games with scores like 8-7, 11-10 and 10-5. By early May the team batting average was .280, second best in the league behind the Pirates. But the team ERA was 3.96, and would climb over the 4.00 mark for a week.
So what happened? The numbers tell the story. The team ERA is down to 3.64. Closer Bill Dailey and setup man Pete Richert are getting most of the work out of the bullpen, and have ERAs of  2.68 and 2.14 respectively. After a rocky April, starter Bob Shaw is making a strong bid for All-Star consideration; he's 12-2 with a 2.82 ERA. Joe Horlen (9-5, 2.57) and Dave McNally (6-3, 2.47) have even better ERAs than Shaw. And Steve Barber, back from a stint at AAA Bakersfield, has started to turn things around. Time will tell if Tony Cloninger (3-6, 5.01) can do likewise, but pitching coach Ray Narleski says Cloninger is having much better outings of late.
Meanwhile the hitting, which has fallen off slightly to .269, is still second-best in the NL. The Dusters have collected 91 home runs at the halfway mark. Johnny Blanchard has 20, Hector Lopez 16, Billy Williams 15. The Dusters can hurt you up and down the order. And the Nevada bench is a decent one. Gordy Coleman is hitting .311 with six homers and would start every day with most clubs. Johnny Schaive (.260, 4 homers) is superb at any infield position. Outfielder Mack Jones and middle infielder Ken Hubbs are excellent defensively and are coming around at the plate. Bubba Morton, recently called up, is hitting .250.
Will the Nevada Dusters be in the thick of a pennant race come September? It's doubtful. As good as they are, they don't match up well against the teams Pittsburgh and San Francisco can field. The Giants' pitching staff is arguably the best in either league. The Dusters will have a fight on their hands just holding onto third place, with Cincinnati and Los Angeles hot on their heels. Nevada pitching is probably as good as it will be this season. And the club has been lucky in the injury department, but that could change.
Still, Conn Hudson has every right to be relaxed and confident. His Nevada Dusters have a good chance of finishing in the first division, well over .500. And that's an accomplishment for a brand new franchise.
Billy Williams hits one out of the park

Chicago Cubs (36-45) @ Nevada Dusters (47-34)
June 30-July 2, 1962
Horizon Field, Las Vegas, NV

DL: Clete Boyer (3B), sore tricep, four days. Tom Tresh (SS), bruised rib, two days.

TRADES
none

Chicago Cubs  Game 1 starting lineup:
Jim McKnight (2B), Moe Morhardt (1B), Ron Santo (3B), Hank Aaron (RF), Ernie Banks (SS), Sammy Taylor (C), Byron Browne (LF), Nelson Mathews (CF), Al Lary (RP)

[June 30, Game 1]
The Dusters had swept the Cubs in their last meeting, and got off on the right foot in this, the last series before the All-Star Break, even without Clete Boyer and Tom Tresh, both on the DL. Joe Horlen (9-5) and reliever Pete Richert combined for nine innings in which they allowed two runs on five hits. The Chicago combo of starter Al Lary (4-8) and Bill Henry did not quite match up -- three runs on nine hits through eight. The Cubs scored in the 1st as Jim McKnight walked, stole second, and went home on a Moe Morhardt single. The Dusters took the lead in the 4th with a pair of runs, but the Cubs tied it in the 6th when Morhardt doubled, went to third on a wild pitch by Horlen and scored on a Hank Aaron single. Henry relieved Lary in the Dusters 8th and promptly served up a solo homer to Gordy Coleman. In the Chicago 9th Aaron reached second on a fielding error committed by center fielder Lee Maye and went to third on a wild pitch by reliever Pete Richert. But Richert got the next three batters out -- two with K's -- and earned the win. Jerry Adair sizzled at the plate, going 3-for-4 with an RBI on the day. It was Nevada's sixth straight victory over Chicago.
Lineup: Coleman, Maye, Williams, Lopez, Adair, Schaive, Blanchard, Hubbs, Horlen
Record: 48-24
Dusters 3, Cubs 2
[July 1, Game 2]
The Dusters hoped to take advantage of the fact that the Cubs starting rotation was riddled by injury -- Dick Ellsworth (broken ankle), Don Cardwell (finger stress fracture), Bob Anderson (torn rotator cuff). They collected three runs on seven hits off 19-year-old rookie John Flavin, while their own 19-year-old rookie, Dave McNally, sought an elusive seventh win. Lee Maye's solo homer in the 3rd put the Dusters ahead but Hank Aaron answered with his own home run to open the 4th and tie the game. In the 6th Aaron and Ernie Banks hit back-to-back dingers to put the Cubs ahead 3-2. The Dusters tied the game in the bottom of the 6th. With Bob Duliba on the mound in the Chicago 8th, Aaron and Banks hit back-to-back homers again, and the Cubs took a 5-3 lead that they would hold. Aaron (4-for-4) was the first player to hit three home runs in a game  against Nevada. After the game Aaron insisted that payback for the fact that Conn Hudson had traded him to the Cubs before the season began did not enter into the equation. "I'm glad I'm in Chicago," said Hammerin' Hank. Former Cub Billy Williams managed only one hit in five at-bats, but Ken Hubbs, starting at shortstop in place of the injured Tom Tresh, went 2-for-2 with two walks. Duliba (4-3) took the loss.
Lineup: Power, Maye, Williams, Morton, Adair, Schaive, Blanchard, Hubbs, McNally
Record: 48-35
Cubs 5, Dusters 3
[July 2, Game 3]
Billy Williams hit a two-run double and Johnny Blanchard a two-run homer (his 20th) as the Dusters brought nine men to the plate and scored five runs in the 1st inning of Game 3. Bob Shaw (12-2) was not as overpowering as he had been in his last few starts, allowing three runs on seven hits through six innings -- but with a five run lead he didn't need to be. The Cubs played small ball to get three of them back in the 4th, but a solo blast by Williams (his 15th) in the 5th and an RBI double by Mack Jones in the 6th widened the Nevada lead to 7-3. Reliever Bob Duliba held the Cardinals scoreless in the 7th and 8th, but closer Bill Dailey got into trouble in the 9th as, with two outs, Bob Raudman drew a walk and Moe Morhardt doubled down the right field line. Raudman went for an extra base and was tagged out at home thanks to a tremendous throw by Hector Lopez. Williams finished up 2-for-4 with two runs, three ribbies, and a .332 average, second-best in the NL behind Willie Mays. Shaw's 13th win made him league leader in that category. The Dusters went into the All-Star break in third place in the National League, a half-game behind San Francisco and 2.5 games behind Pittsburgh.
Lineup: Power, Maye, Williams, Lopez, Adair, Schaive, Blanchard, Tresh, Shaw
Record: 49-35
Dusters 7, Cubs 3

Hank Aaron


Nevada Dusters financial update:
Average Attendance: 13,432 ..... Revenue: $20.7M ..... Profit: $5.5M ..... Cash: $10.2M ..... Team Payroll: $20.5M

Series stats:
2Bs: Maye, Williams (2), Jones
3Bs: none
HRs: Coleman, Maye, Blanchard, Williams
SBs: Lopez, Hubbs
Runs: Coleman, Maye (3), Williams (3), Schaive (2), Hubbs, Power, Blanchard (2)
RBIs: Coleman, Adair, Schaive, Maye, McNally, Jones (2), Williams (3), Blanchard (2)

Around the leagues:
DET traded Mike Rourke (C) to NYY for Bob Cerv (LF).

PHI--Roy Sievers (1B) collected his 1,000th RBI.

NYM signed free agent Bobby Del Greco (CF) for $3,100,000/1 yr.
NYM signed free agent Jim Archer (P) for $3,350,000/1 yr.

LAD--Tim Harkness (1B), broken elbow, three months.
WSA--Harry Bright (1B), broken collar bone, three weeks.
CHW--Steve Jones (P), broken hip, three months.
DET--Pat Dobson (P), inflamed rotator cuff, five weeks.
DET--Ron Kline (P), inflamed rotator cuff, four weeks.

FEATURED GAME
Chicago Cubs at Nevada Dusters
June 30, 1962

TOP OF THE FIRST
Joe Horlen takes the mound for the Dusters.
Jim McKnight walked. <--1>
Jim McKnight stole second. <-2->
Moe Morhardt singled up the middle, scoring a run. <--1>
Moe Morhardt was caught stealing second. <--->
Ron Santo lined out to short. <--->
Hank Aaron struck out. <--->
1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
In the middle of the first, Chicago leads 1 to 0.

BOTTOM OF THE FIRST
Al Lary takes the mound for the Cubs.
Gordy Coleman struck out. <--->
Lee Maye singled in the left field gap. <--1>
Lee Maye went for an extra base and reached second. <-2->
Billy Williams lined out to center. <-2->
Hector Lopez grounded to third. <-2->
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, and 1 left on base.
At the end of the first, Nevada trails 1 to 0.

TOP OF THE SECOND
Ernie Banks popped up to short. <--->
Sammy Taylor singled into right field. <--1>
Byron Browne flied out to left. <--1>
Nelson Mathews grounded to second. <--1>
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, and 1 left on base.
In the middle of the second, Chicago leads 1 to 0.

BOTTOM OF THE SECOND
Jerry Adair singled back through the middle. <--1>
Johnny Schaive grounded to the shortstop, forcing the runner at second. <--1>
Johnny Blanchard struck out. <--1>
Johnny Schaive was caught stealing second. <--->
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
At the end of the second, Nevada trails 1 to 0.

TOP OF THE THIRD
Al Lary hit an infield single to short. <--1>
Jim McKnight struck out. <--1>
Moe Morhardt grounded to short, forcing the runner at second. <--1>
Ron Santo struck out. <--1>
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, and 1 left on base.
In the middle of the third, Chicago leads 1 to 0.

BOTTOM OF THE THIRD
Ken Hubbs struck out. <--->
Joe Horlen popped up to second. <--->
Gordy Coleman grounded to the shortstop. <--->
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
At the end of the third, Nevada trails 1 to 0.

TOP OF THE FOURTH
Hank Aaron grounded to second. <--->
Ernie Banks struck out. <--->
Sammy Taylor grounded to the third baseman. <--->
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
In the middle of the fourth, Chicago leads 1 to 0.

BOTTOM OF THE FOURTH
Lee Maye walked. <--1>
Billy Williams hit an infield single to third. <-21>
Hector Lopez struck out. <-21>
Jerry Adair singled up the middle, scoring a run. <-21>
Johnny Schaive singled to right field, scoring a run. <-21>
Johnny Blanchard grounded to first base for a double play (3-6-1). <-2->
2 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, and 1 left on base.
At the end of the fourth, Nevada leads 2 to 1.

TOP OF THE FIFTH
Byron Browne grounded to second. <--->
Nelson Mathews struck out. <--->
Al Lary grounded to first. <--->
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
In the middle of the fifth, Chicago trails 2 to 1.

BOTTOM OF THE FIFTH
Ken Hubbs singled up the middle. <--1>
Joe Horlen laid down a sacrifice bunt to the pitcher. <-2->
Gordy Coleman grounded to first. <3-->
Lee Maye popped up to second. <3-->
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, and 1 left on base.
At the end of the fifth, Nevada leads 2 to 1.

TOP OF THE SIXTH
Jim McKnight grounded to short. <--->
Moe Morhardt doubled down the third base line. <-2->
Joe Horlen threw a wild pitch. <3-->
Ron Santo struck out. <3-->
Hank Aaron hit an infield single to short, scoring a run. <--1>
Ernie Banks grounded to third. <--1>
1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, and 1 left on base.
In the middle of the sixth, the game is tied at 2.

BOTTOM OF THE SIXTH
Billy Williams struck out. <--->
Hector Lopez popped up to first. <--->
Jerry Adair singled in the right field gap. <--1>
Johnny Schaive grounded to short. <--1>
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, and 1 left on base.
At the end of the sixth, the game is tied at 2.

TOP OF THE SEVENTH
Sammy Taylor grounded to first base. <--->
Byron Browne lined out to left. <--->
Nelson Mathews grounded to the third baseman. <--->
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
In the middle of the seventh, the game is tied at 2.

BOTTOM OF THE SEVENTH
Johnny Blanchard grounded to first. <--->
Ken Hubbs flied out to left. <--->
Mack Jones pinch hit for Joe Horlen. <--->
Mack Jones struck out. <--->
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, and 0 left on base.
At the end of the seventh, the game is tied at 2.

TOP OF THE EIGHTH
Pete Richert came in to pitch for the Dusters. <--->
George Altman pinch hit for Al Lary. <--->
George Altman struck out. <--->
Jim McKnight struck out. <--->
Moe Morhardt reached second on a throwing error by the third baseman. <-2->
Ron Santo flied out to right. <-2->
0 runs, 0 hits, 1 error, and 1 left on base.
In the middle of the eighth, the game is tied at 2.

BOTTOM OF THE EIGHTH
Bill Henry came in to pitch for the Cubs. <--->
Gordy Coleman homered over the right field fence. <--->
Lee Maye flied out to left. <--->
Billy Williams grounded to third. <--->
Hector Lopez singled to left. <--1>
Hector Lopez stole second. <-2->
Jerry Adair grounded to the shortstop. <-2->
1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, and 1 left on base.
At the end of the eighth, Nevada leads 3 to 2.

TOP OF THE NINTH
Vic Power came in to play First Base. <--->
Hank Aaron reached second on a fielding error by the center fielder. <-2->
Pete Richert threw a wild pitch. <3-->
Ernie Banks struck out. <3-->
Sammy Taylor popped up back to the pitcher. <3-->
Byron Browne struck out. <3-->

DUSTERS WIN: 3-2
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 +  R  H  E
          Cubs (CHC) 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0    2  5  0
       Dusters (NEV) 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 x    3  9  2

CHICAGO              ab  h bb  r hr bi  k sb     avg
J. McKnight (2B)      3  0  1  1  0  0  2  1    .208
M. Morhardt (1B)      4  2  0  1  0  1  0  0    .263
R. Santo (3B)         4  0  0  0  0  0  2  0    .303
H. Aaron (RF)         4  1  0  0  0  1  1  0    .317
E. Banks (SS)         4  0  0  0  0  0  2  0    .231
S. Taylor (C)         4  1  0  0  0  0  0  0    .259
B. Browne (LF)        4  0  0  0  0  0  1  0    .000
N. Mathews (CF)       3  0  0  0  0  0  1  0    .000
A. Lary (P)           2  1  0  0  0  0  0  0    .171
 G. Altman (PH)       1  0  0  0  0  0  1  0    .190
 B. Henry (P)         0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
TOTALS               33  5  1  2  0  2 10  1

   2B:  M. Morhardt (6)

         CHICAGO   ip  h bb hr  r er  k pit    ERA
         A. Lary  7.0  7  1  0  2  2  6 101   6.30
        B. Henry  1.0  2  0  1  1  1  0  15   3.68
          TOTALS  8.0  9  1  1  3  3  6 116

NEVADA               ab  h bb  r hr bi  k sb     avg
G. Coleman (1B)       4  1  0  1  1  1  1  0    .314
 V. Power (1B)        0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .313
L. Maye (CF)          3  1  1  1  0  0  0  0    .309
B. Williams (LF)      4  1  0  1  0  0  1  0    .332
H. Lopez (RF)         4  1  0  0  0  0  1  1    .320
J. Adair (2B)         4  3  0  0  0  1  0  0    .287
J. Schaive (3B)       3  1  0  0  0  1  0  0    .260
J. Blanchard (C)      3  0  0  0  0  0  1  0    .238
K. Hubbs (SS)         3  1  0  0  0  0  1  0    .196
J. Horlen (P)         1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .143
 M. Jones (PH)        1  0  0  0  0  0  1  0    .211
 P. Richert (P)       0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
TOTALS               30  9  1  3  1  3  6  1

   2B:  L. Maye (9)
   HR:  G. Coleman (6)

          NEVADA   ip  h bb hr  r er  k pit    ERA
       J. Horlen  7.0  5  1  0  2  2  6  93   2.57
      P. Richert  2.0  0  0  0  0  0  4  29   2.14
          TOTALS  9.0  5  1  0  2  2 10 122

     WP: P. Richert (3-3)
     LP: B. Henry (3-4)

     Attendance: 12,588
     Time: 2:19