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July 4


Royals Stadium




Steve Crawford

Lee Guetterman


Kevin Maas

Bob Geren

Kevin Seitzer

Bo Jackson

Frank White

George Brett

Steve Sax

Jesse Barfield

Dave Righetti

Highlights:  Royals starter Bret Saberhagen managed to hold the Yankees to two runs while giving up twelve hits and yielding two walks, before leaving the game after 5-1/3 innings for reliever Steve Crawford after Kevin Maas hit a home run in the top of the sixth off Sabes to bring the Yankees to within 4-2.  Crawford promptly gave up a three-run jack to Bob Geren in the top of the seventh to blow the win for Saberhagen, but the Royals came roaring back in the bottom of the frame with seven runs on a three-run jack by Bo Jackson and a two-run dinger by Frank White to give Crawford the win.  Jimmy Eisenreich had a triple for the Royals in the fourth with one out, but Pat Tabler flied out to shallow center and Gerald Perry flied to left to strand Twitch at third.  A small delegation of HSLers saw this game in Kansas City before flying to Dallas the following morning, and were favored with a spectacular July 4 fireworks display, which was a bit hard to see from the top row seats that Shamu secured for the group.  Skipper’s bride-to-be was lucky enough to sit in on her first HSL event. 



July 5


Arlington Stadium




Mike Jeffcoat

Bob Milacki

Kenny Rogers

Mike Devereaux

Rafael Palmeiro

Rafael Palmeiro

Cal Ripken

Julio Franco

Rubin Sierra

Pete Incaviglia

Highlights:  The spirited attendees of the first (and last) combination HSL Trip/Ernst Family Reunion were treated to an exciting 3-2 contest which featured home runs by a beloved former Senator, Mike Devereaux, and future Hall-of-Famer Rafael Palmeiro, just starting to reach his prime in Texas.  The fleet-footed Pete Incaviglia was picked off trying to steal second.  What was he thinking?  To the best of my memory, many frosty ales were delightfully consumed.



July 6


Arlington Stadium


Red Sox


Kevin Brown

Mark Gardner



Wade Boggs

Rafael Palmeiro

Mike Greenwell

Tom Brunanski

Dewey Evans

Highlights:  Kevin Brown pitched a seven-hit shutout to lead the hometown Rangers past the visiting BoSox.  Future Hall-of-Famer Wade Boggs had one of his trademark doubles, but also had an error.  Julio Franco started the scoring for the Rangers by doubling in Petrali in the third, while Rafael Palmeiro doubled on a full count in the fifth to score Jeff Huson and Franco.  Refreshments were served, as the Ernst Family Reunion continued with great merriment.



July 7


Arlington Stadium


Red Sox


Nolan Ryan

Mike Boddicker

Kenny Rogers

Rubin Sierra

Pete Incaviglia (2)

Carlos Quintana

Wade Boggs

Nolan Ryan

Rafael Palmeiro

Tony Pena

Jody Reed

Mike Boddicker

Highlights:  The Hot Stove Leaguers and Ernst Family Reunion attendees were treated to an intriguing match-up between native Iowan Mike Boddicker and the Ryan Express.  Although Nolan yielded a leadoff triple to Boggs to start the game, who then scored on a Greenwell single to give the BoSox a 1-0 lead, and then gave up a two-run jack to Quintana in the fourth to fall behind 3-1, the Rangers posted a three-spot in the bottom of the fourth via a solo shot by Sierra and a two-run dinger by Inky-Dinky-Doo.  Although Ryan gave up a leadoff double to Boggs in the top of the fifth, he shut the Red Sox down for the rest of his seven innings, giving up six hits, three earned runs, walking two, and fanning twelve to garner his seventh win of the season.  Kenny Rogers pitched the ninth to gain his seventh save.  A quiet and thirsty HSL/EFR contingency set glumly in the Family Section (read:  no alcohol) of Arlington Stadium.  Who bought those tickets, anyway?





The First Annual Ernst Family Reunion trip to Arlington, Texas, July 6-8, was a smashing success.  Present on the trip were Baby Trumpetfish and the entire Krause clan, McBlunder, McBlunder's loyal and long-time companion, Bob Lannin, Shamu, the old Skipper, and the executive secretary of the Omaha Senators, Cheryl.  The flights on Southwest and American Airlines were prompt and pleasant, the accommodations at the beautiful Rodeway Inn in Arlington were superb (see accompanying letter), and the baseball games which we attended were, simply put, what it is all about. 


To begin the trip, Shamu, Bob Lannin, Cheryl and I watched the Kansas City Royals defeat the New York Yankees on July 4 in Kansas City, after which we viewed a magnificent fireworks display in Royals Stadium.  McBlunder passed on the baseball game and spent the evening setting off snakes and spark­lers at the in-laws.  The following morning we left for Texas.  


We arrived in Dallas late in the afternoon on the 5th, after a series of touch-and-go landings by our pilots.  After checking into Motel Hell in Arling­ton, a franchise of the Rodeway Inn chain, we proceeded to Arlington Stadium to watch the Rangers best the Baltimore Orioles.  On Friday night, we saw the Rangers spank the Boston Red Sox.  Finally, on Saturday night, we watched my Nolan Ryan overpower the Red Sox and Mike Boddicker.  Sorry about that, Mc­Blunder. 


The baseball games were all very good, but we all experienced an interest­ing revelation after the three game stint in Arlington.  At the first ballgame, as is customary, we drank ourselves silly.  During the second gallbame, we all drank our share, but tempered our per-inning intake just a bit.  In the last game, we were virtually alcohol-free, although not by choice. Because of the large crowd, we were forced to sit in the centerfield bleachers, in close proximity to the dreaded family-no-alcohol section of the stands.  The beer vendors wanted no part of our area, and after an initial pre-game brew, we didn't see another vendor for the rest of the Saturday night game.  After nine innings without a whiff of alcohol, we all began to wonder if our wives and significant others might be right.  Maybe baseball is a boring game.  Our solution?  Don't get caught short next time. 


It was painfully obvious in Dallas that we are all getting older, wiser, and more apathetic.  Although there was plenty of talk about what we would do when we went to the Million Dollar Men's Club, the hottest stripper club in the country, we never even made it to the club.  And, other than McBlunder's ill­fated attempt to seduce the Guatemalan coffee queen at Thursday night's ball­game, there was nary an attempt to take advantage of the City of Beautiful Women.  The end is near. 


Let the record now reflect that only McBlunder, Shamu and the Skipper have attended every summer trip that each was a member of the Hot Stove League.  The rest of you namby-pamby fags have missed at least one year, either because of a feeble family excuse, such as Sandjigger's emergency baptism commitment, or because your wives just wouldn't let you go.  At least WhiteSot, Possum and Pipsqueak were up front with the rest of us, letting us know right away that their spouses run the show and that this year they said no.  Sandjigger, Magpie and Underbailout led us all along to believe that they would make the trip, and then came up with phony-baloney excuses at the last second to avoid having to drink and raise hell for four straight days. 


Poor Magpie had another family emergency, preventing his participation in this year's outing.  This poor guy.  It's just one crisis after another.  Next year he'll probably have to miss the trip because of the trial of his second cousin, the erstwhile skipper of the Exxon Valdez; or because an earthquake in Iraq destroyed the home of his sister-in-law; or because his aunt was crushed in the annual Road to Mecca.  Our thoughts are with you during these times of personal tragedy, Magpie. 


Sandjigger had no justifiable excuse for missing this year's trip.  His sister gets married on Wednesday and he is the godfather for his nephew's baptism on Sunday, and he thinks that this is more important than the trip.  Shape up and get your priorities in line, boy.  We all missed your leadership in quaffing an average of 20 beers per day on the League trip. 


Underbelly probably had the most ingenious excuse for missing the League trip.  He caught a bug in Mexico last October, and he just can't shake it.  Sure.  While most people who catch the Mexican bug tend to have problems with severe diarrhea, Underbelly claims that his problems are at the other end of the spectrum.  In other words, it takes a stick of dynamite to clear his system.  Hope they can get you fixed up, buddy.  Next year we'll reserve an extra seat (no pun intended) on the trip for your proctologist. 


Since the planning of the League trip is traditionally passed from member to member each year, I nominate Pipsqueak, WhiteSot and Possum for League planners for the 1991 trip.  I look forward to sneaking out to Rosenblatt for four innings of a game, and then rocketing to the Scorecard for a beer before sprinting home to make it through the door by 10 p.m.  Should be a great trip.