The Hubbard High School Girls softball team is advancing to the State playoffs this week upholding quite a tradition of "good ball players" in Hubbard.
I visited with Scott Riddle at his 50 something wedding anniversary party in Hubbard on Saturday night. Scott is a well known rancher/insurance executive and genetically blessed. He had 5 generations of family members at his party spanning from his 90 something year old Aunt, Tris Scott, to his great grandson, one year old Cooper. Aunt Tris is the niece and namesake of Tris Speaker.
Tris Speaker was born on April 4, 1888 in Hubbard, Texas. As a youth, he suffered a fractured right arm in a fall from a horse, forcing him to throw left-handed, which he continued to do throughout his baseball career. A career that included playing with and managing the Cleveland Indians and Boston Redsox. Early on his left arm was severely injured in a football accident, to the extent that surgeons advised amputation. Tris refused, and with unbelievable determination fully recovered to become one of baseball's great hitters and outfielders, manager of a World Championship team, the seventh member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the first athlete to be voted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.
Even with an awesome lifetime batting average of .344, Tris Speaker is invariably remembered for his superb defensive skills. Speaker holds one of the most impressive defensive records with 139 double plays as an outfielder (that's right double plays, in that he played so closely behind second base as a fleet footed center fielder he could turn ground balls up the middle into double plays while still running down fly balls hit over his head). Only Ty Cobb, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron have played in more major league games as an outfielder than the man commonly known as the "Gray Eagle". Like most players of this era known as the "dead ball era" Speaker was a character and known for his quotes such as, "It would be useless for any player to attempt to explain successful batting." He also made comments about the other great players such as, "The Babe (that would be Ruth) was a great ballplayer, sure, but Cobb (that would be Ty) was even greater. Babe could knock your brains out but Cobb would drive you crazy."
Tris' determination is genetic. Saturday night Scott Riddle was suffering from a broken bone in his leg that he obtained from a recent pickup truck accident. He was afraid that if he sat down he would not be able to get up and dance with his wife of 50 something years, Pat, at the end of his anniversary party. So he stood for the entire 2 hours so that he and Pat could dance to "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" sung as the last song of an act by the Country's best Elvis impersonator.
Folks, it doesn't get better than this.
Scott also shared a political prediction with me. He thinks Obama knows he will lose the election if he runs in 2012, and that he has secretly launched a strategy in which Hillary Clinton runs in 2012 as the Democratic Presidential candidate. The strategy will enable Hillary to lead an effort that spins that she and Obama have recaptured the prestige of the country overseas, however our world leadership is threatened by our deficit and weak economy (the result of 8 years of George Bush and Republicans). Hillary has started focusing on talking up the need to bring "Clinton style" discipline to the management of the US economy that George Bush ruined (remember Bill's balanced budget and surplus). Scott thinks we saw the first results of this strategy in the Pennsylvania Democratic Primay last week with Hillary's candidate, Admiral Joe Sestak , defeating Obama's candidate, Arlen Spector. Sestak ran against Obama's Stimulus Plan, Health Care Plan, (even though he voted for all the above a US Congressman) etc. Scott thinks Hillary will run as a Moderate (Dairy Queen style) against the Radical Right Wing Repulican Candidate to be named later.
Of course everyone at the Hubbard City Cafe knows that Obama and Hillary are two Secular Socialist Peas in the same Pod. Four years of Obama and four to eight of Hillary means "game over".
Think about it in a very determined way,