Little League Days: Eric Moore

Written by Eric Moore with the aid of Beth Moore

Of the three Moore boys, Eric and John were the two most interested in sports. John was always in the shadow of Eric and wanted to be wherever Eric was, and doing what Eric was doing, John was a good athlete because his heart made him a super player, whereas Eric was more athletic and his abilities far exceeded his age group – even as a young boy. His first memory of playing a sport was in Little league baseball as a shortstop and pitcher while living in San Angelo at 9 years old, with his dad coaching the team. Eric and John both learned some amazing coaching skills from their dad and took those skills into their adult years. What Eric remembers most is that Red was very gentle, and he never screamed or yelled at anyone. He was very hands-on in teaching young boys how to play baseball and many of them turned out to be super players.

It was around this time (1953) that the family finally settled in Midland, toward the end of Eric’s 6th grade. Eric started first grade in New Mexico at 5 years old, always putting him in a position to be the youngest, so in order to catch up the family held him back to repeat the 6th grade when they moved to Midland. It turned out to be a great decision. Eric matured very quickly, and by 12 years old he had reached a height of 5′ 9″ and towered over everyone. The only other kid as big as he was was Billy Owens, but his athletic skills had not developed fully.

John and his friend, Charles Hall, decided at 10 that it was time for them to play little league baseball and wanted to be on Red’s team. Tryouts weren’t going well for Charles and he felt since he was sent to the far outer field his chances of playing with John were slipping away. However, after a while a kid by the name of Charles Moore came up to him and told him he had been told to come pick some players to try out for his dad’s team and he needed to report to the other field. Seems there was a rule that each team had to have a designated number of younger 9 and 10 year olds on each team to balance it out, and John and Charles both realized their dream of making Red’s team and playing with John’s bigger brother, Eric, just might come true after all.

Since Eric’s brother John was always his shadow, Eric taught the younger guys everything he knew about baseball – batting, pitching, catching, fielding balls, and playing shortstop, John improved quickly and was soon assigned to second base playing next to Eric, who played shortstop (when he wasn’t pitching). The two of them turned a lot of double plays together, especially since Billy Owens was on first base and John McElligott was catching. Eric remembers the first time John McElligott played catcher behind home plate in all his catcher’s gear and he pitched to him. He was so little that when he squatted down with pads, a baseball glove, and mask on, all you could see were the whites of his eyes and the ball as it was headed toward him! He managed to connect with numerous pitches from Eric, though, but the balls were thrown so fast and hard that when caught they generally knocked him on his behind. He was determined to be a good player and according to Eric he did become a great catcher.

Western Little League 1955 Macs (red uniforms)

By Charles Hall

Scott Rogers looked through his picture file and sent me a copy of this photo, even though I wasn’t in the picture and didn’t make the team until the next year.   Thank you, Scott !!   If anyone has any other pictures of this era, please send them in.

I got to know most of these guys the next year, and here are some first names and comments where I can.   (For frame of reference,  Scott Rogers was in the 3rd grade, John Moore and John McElligott in the 4th grade, and Eric Moore in the 6th grade.)

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Boys of Summer/Midland Northern Little League

Written by Bill Wood

       Because of an August 1st birthdate, I actually played an extra year of Little League Baseball, all for the green uniformed Buffs of the Northern League. The fields were on north ‘A’ Street, a short distance north of Bowie Elementary. My Dad was the coach and I played left field the first year, then shortstop after that. My Dad gave long speeches using a lot of words before and after the games. I had trouble understanding what he was saying but I recall he always seemed very serious and well meaning. Some of it must have taken effect because the Buffs were 36-0 for my last two years of Little League. Some of the parents gave my Dad a nice trophy commemorating that unblemished record. I remember Bob Stanley, Paul Mast (at third base), Steve Combs, Quentin Remy (only that last year) and Ronnie Bittick . Bob was later a good high school football player who was one of several from Midland who went to Texas on a football scholarship. Paul became a physician, Quentin, an architect. Maybe some of the other names from that good team will come back to me. My Dad also coached our all star teams which I had dreams of going to the Little League World Series. that was never to be. I thought we were pretty good but we didn’t get far in any of those years. Pony League was a big step up in competition.

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Boys of Summer #1- Little League Baseball

Written by Charles Hall

I have been assigned the task of writing about Little League Baseball, and why it was so important to those of us who played, and why it still matters today – well over 60 years later.    The only way I know to explain it is to tell the story of my journey – from the perspective of a 10 year old –  through trying out, learning, practicing, making life-long friends … and a couple of high spots and low spots.   It’s a long story, so I will break it down into a few segments, by age.

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Boys of Summer, Little League Baseball – Chapter #2 The Second Year

Boys of Summer, Little League Baseball – Chapter #2  The Second Year by Charles Hall

As I continue on with Chapter 2 of Little League Baseball, I’m trying to explain what it was like from my point of view … inside of me.   And I feel that most of my friends felt almost exactly the same way I did.  Some could make it to the “A” Team on natural talent.  Some (like me) had to work harder.   But we all felt a real sense of “team”!!  That meant that you became as good as you could be, and played as hard as you could for your teammates.  I emphasize how important it was to all of us.  I can think of very few “funny” stories, but it was the most fun time of my entire life.

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The Final Year -Boys of Summer, Little League Baseball – Chapter #3

Written by Charles Hall

I’m now heading into my final year in Little League Baseball, age 12, and I easily made the “A” team.   My team, the Mac’s (red uniforms), was part of the Western League.   The other 3 teams were the Pirates (green), Sheriff’s Posse (gray), and the Sports (blue).   The league had some really good up and coming players, such as Dwayne Casbeer, Tommy Casbeer, Lanny Freeman, Bucky Kimble and Terry Schreiner.  But I thought our team had a chance to be the best, and for the first time I was really thinking about winning, as opposed to just playing hard and having fun.

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Boys of Summer Addendum and Pictures

Written by Dennis Grubbs

Attached are photos to add to Charles Hall’s most enjoyable Little League stories. They comprise photos of Garrett-Brown Park (formerly known as Holly Park) and the home to the Western Little League. The league was made up of (4) teams..The Macs (Red Uniforms)The Sports (Blue Uniforms)The Sheriff’s Posse (Navy & Gray Uniforms)The Pirates (Green uniforms)Photos included the Corner Street Sign, the “now” Park sign, The “Original Backstop”, The Home Base Plate, and the view of the backstop from the Pitchers Mound.

I, on the other hand (and as a 9 year old), was first a member of the Sheriff’s Posse “B” Team, which as Charles stated, played on the field that was located at the other end of that huge park. And yep..we had a backstop, but No Grandstand Bleachers and No Fence. A bummer for sure!! I felt Charles’ initial pain.
To make things worse for me, when I turned 10, the next year, instead of being moved up to the Sheriff’s Posse “A” Team, they SPLIT the city boundaries and formed a New League, which became the Northwestern League. Those players that were already on the Western League’s “A”Teams got to remain with their respective teams. Those of us that were on the “B” Teams of the Western League were the thrown into a “player pool” (depending on what new boundary you lived within) and forced to do “tryouts” for the teams of the new league. I was really miffed as I was going to the Sheriff’s Posse “A” Team and ALL of my friends were within the Western League.Be that as it may, I was drafted and became an “A” Team member of the Zapata Drilling Company Giants (which BTW was a company owned by former President George H.W. Bush). We were the Green Team of our league, and like the Western League, had (4) teams with the same color schemes as the Western League. We also won our Northwestern League Championship two years in a row.
Without a doubt, the Western League was by far the better league,along with the better players. And as luck would have it for me, I became a 1st Baseman All-Star for the Northwestern League and became the League’s Home Run Leader with (5) home runs for the season (2 in one game). We began the playoffs, and of course, had to face the Western League. We lost the playoff game to them 10-3, but to my credit (lol) I scored all (3) of the Northwestern runs…..and still fuming that I wasn’t a part of the league where all of my friends were.
But life in baseball goes on!  When we all became 13 ++, we were eligible to play in the Midland Pony League, which was BIG TIME! Playing night games under the lights at Redfern Field, (which was located within the Hogan Park complex). We had a big wooden fence and definitely bigger bleachers, dugouts and even a score box, along with an announcer. We all thought we had died and gone to baseball heaven. Tryouts took place and I ended up with the Gulf Oil Company Oilers, ironically wearing the same uniform color scheme as the Western League’ Sheriff’s Posse…except we wore Gold Baseball Caps to top it off and set us apart from others. And THAT WE DID……we had huge talent on that team. Not only did we win the Midland City Championship, but also the Texas Pony Division Championship and eventually the State Pony Championship. A first and incredible feat for a Midland Pony League Team. I played Center Field my entire Pony League career and ALL of those team members were so very talented. Everyone of them played for either the Midland High Bulldogs or Lee Rebels the next several years. In 1964, those former Pony League team members, that played for the Lee Rebels, Won the District 5-4A Crown and went on to play for the Texas State High School Championship,coached by Ernie Johnson, but ended up losing the final game to Bridgeport, and if I recall, 3-1.
In 1963, I ended my youth baseball playing career and began following my dream of playing in a good Rock ‘n ‘Roll band. And again, as luck would have it…I became the youngest member of “The Mystics”. Not only were we a good rock band, we won our own Championship by winning the 1963 Texas State Battle of the Bands, and became the #1 Rock N’ Roll Band in Texas. (and that Photo is displayed on here as well). So, Batter Up and Rock On!MY BEST TO EVERYONE!


Chapter #4 (inspired by Charles Hall’s Chapters 1-3- Boys of Summer)- John’s Memories

Written by John McElligott

“Little John”- MACS 1955

My story is somewhat different than Charles Hall’s since Scott Rogers and I started on the Mac’s as a 9-year-old and we did not meet up with Charles until the next year when we were all 10. I was a grade ahead of Scott and we stuck out like sore thumbs as 9-year-old starters. Billy Owens and Eric Moore were pitchers and Billy was the catcher that I was to replace. I had never played catcher before…ever.

Coach Everly asked me if I could play catcher, and I said “Yes” Every team had to have two 9-year-old play and Scott and I were it. Scott was placed at third base since he had an arm that was very impressive and stayed there for 4 years. Billy Owens moved to first base since he was already 6 ft tall and was our homerun hitter that year in addition to Eric Moore. John Moore was on the team as a 10-year-old and his father Red was the assistant coach. Ray Everly was head coach for the next 3 years.