Bowens, Sam

Primary Positions: Right field, left field
Birthplace: Wilmington

First, Middle Names: Samuel Edward Jr.

Date of Birth:  March 23, 1938          Date and Place of Death: March 28, 2003, Wilmington
Burial: Greenlawn Memorial Park, Wilmington

High School: Williston High School, Wilmington
College: Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tenn.

Bats: R             Throws: R        Height and Weight: 6-1, 195
Debut Year: 1963       Final Year: 1969          Years Played: 7
Teams and Years: Baltimore Orioles, 1963-67; Washington Senators, 1968-69

Career Summary
G         AB       H         R          RBI      HR       BA.      OBP.    SLG.     WAR
479   1287   287    141      143      45      .223     .283     .375     0.0

Much was expected of Sam Bowens when he joined the Baltimore Orioles at their spring training camp in Miami, Florida, in 1964. He had been a star athlete in high school and college and had hit .346 in the minors the previous year before pulling a groin muscle in July and struggling through the rest of season. He hit with power and played the outfield with grace. His throwing arm was a weapon that base runners respected. Bowens would team with Boog Powell, another powerful youngster, to give the Orioles a potent, lasting tandem.

“You don’t give up on a guy like that,” manager Hank Bauer said that spring, “not at least until the day after tomorrow.”[I]

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Booe, Everett

Primary Position: Outfield
Birthplace: Mocksville

First, last Names: Everett Little       
Date of Birth:  Sept. 28, 1891    Date and Place of Death: June 21, 1969. Kenedy, Texas
Burial: Kenedy City Cemetery, Kenedy, Texas

High School: Undetermined
College: Davidson College, Davidson, NC

Bats: L             Throws: R        Height and Weight: 5-8, 165
Debut Year: 1913       Final Year: 1914          Years Played: 2
Teams and Years: Pittsburgh Pirates, 1913; Indianapolis Hoosiers, Buffalo Buffeds, 1914

Career Summary
G         AB       H         R          RBI      HR       BA.      OBP.    SLG.     WAR
125    352    77       43        22        0         219      .289     .210     -2.0

The “e” in Everett Booe’s last name is silent, and he played baseball in a time before public-address equipment and names printed on the back of jerseys. To introduce players to fans, umpires bellowed out their names when they stepped to home plate for the first time.

Those were the circumstances under which Everett Booe met Bill Klem. The year was 1913. Booe was a 21-year-old rookie who was warming the bench for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He had been born in Mocksville, but his family had moved to Davidson, North Carolina, where his father owned a market and his mother ran a boarding house.

Klem was about a quarter of the way through an almost 40-year career that would make him one of the most-respected umpires of all time and one of the first inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He would introduce several innovations, such as hand signals that allowed fans even out in the bleachers to know the umpires’ decisions. Calling balls and strikes was a serious matter to Klem and he instructed other umpires how to position themselves to best judge the strike zone. They still stand in Klem’s “slot” between the batter and catcher to get the best view of home plate. Most importantly, Klem injected much-needed professionalism into a job that had known more than its share of drunks and rowdies.

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Bolton, Cliff

Primary Position: Catcher
Birthplace: High Point

First, Last Names: William Clifton    

Date of Birth:  April 10, 1907 Date and Place of Death: April 21, 1979, Lexington
Burial: Holly Hill Memorial Park Cemetery, Thomasville, NC

High School: Undetermined 
College: Did Not Attend

Bats: L             Throws: R        Height and Weight: 5-9, 160
Debut Year: 1931       Final Year: 1941          Years Played: 7
Teams and Years: Washington Senators, 1931, 1933-36; Detroit Tigers, 1937; Senators, 1941

Career Summary
G         AB       H         R          RBI      HR       BA.      OBP.    SLG.     WAR
335   962    280    113      143      6         .291     .366     .398     +4.5

Awards/Honors: Boys of Summer Top 100

Carl Hubbell had been masterful as he took the mound for the 11th inning of the pivotal fourth game of the 1933 World Series. He had limited the Washington Senators to an unearned run and just six hits. His New York Giants had scored in the top of the inning to take a 2-1 lead. Three more outs and they would have a commanding 3-1 advantage in the series, making the final outcome all but certain.

But baseball is rarely so well scripted. The Senators’ first batter, Fred Shulte, singled to left. Joe Kuhel then caught the Giants’ infield napping with a near perfect bunt down the first base line that eluded everyone. After a sacrifice moved the runners to second and third, Hubbell intentionally walked Luke Sewell, who already had two hits in the game. The pitcher Jack Russell was up next, but no one expected him to hit.

Instead, out of the Senators’ dugout stepped an unfamiliar figure. A kid. A rookie.

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Benson, Vern

Primary Positions: Third base, left field
Birthplace: Granite Quarry

Full Name: Vernon Adair

Date of Birth:  Sept. 19, 1924         Date and Place of Death: Jan. 20, 2014, Granite Quarry
Burial: Rowan Memorial Park, Rowan

High School: Granite Quarry High School
College: Catawba College, Salisbury

Bats: L Throws: R        Height and Weight: 5-11, 180
Debut Year: 1943       Final Year: 1953          Years Played: 5
Teams and Years: Philadelphia Athletics, 1943, 1946; St. Louis Cardinals, 1951-53

Career Summary
G         AB       H         R          RBI      HR       BA.      OBP.    SLG.     WAR
55     104      21       17        12        3          .202     .291     .356     +0.1

Vern Benson was a baseball lifer. Though he only appeared in 55 games over a sporadic five-year career in the major leagues, Benson devoted his life to the sport, spending more than half a century as a player, coach, scout, and minor-league manager. He was also perfect during his short but odd tenure as a big-league skipper.

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Barbee, Dave

Primary Position: Left Field
Birthplace: Greensboro

First, Last Names: David Monroe

Date of Birth:  May 7, 1905    Date and Place of Death: July 1, 1968, Albemarle
Burial: Guilford Memorial Park, Greensboro

High School: Pomona High School, Greensboro
College: Oglethorpe University, Atlanta, GA

Bats: R             Throws: R        Height and Weight: 5-11, 178
Debut Year: 1926       Final Year: 1932          Years Played: 2
Teams and Years: Philadelphia Athletics, 1926; Pittsburgh Pirates, 1932

Career Summary
G         AB       H         R          RBI      HR       BA.      OBP.    SLG.    WAR
116     374    92      44       60       6         .246     .290     .393     +0.3

To be honest about it, Dave Barbee didn’t amount to much in the major leagues, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t much of a ballplayer. Barbee set records in the minors and absolutely terrorized the competitive industrial leagues that flourished last century amid North Carolina’s textile mills and tobacco factories.

To those blue-collar, lunchbox-toting workers struggling through the Great Depression, David Monroe Barbee was a star.

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