The All-Seen Team

There used to be a little baseball publication in Portland called Left Field. One of its regular features was an All Seen Team. Staff member or readers could submit a team of players that they had seen play in person. Of course, if you’d seen enough big-league games, you could compile quite an impressive team. Even watching Triple-A teams could lead to a great All Seen Team.

I offer a more difficult All Seen Team—players that I’ve seen in the low minor leagues—players who made it to the majors and put in substantial careers.

PITCHERS:
— Mudcat Grant, Keokuk Kernals, Class B Three I League, 1951. MLB: 14 years (1958-71).
— Bud Daley, Cedar Rapids Indians, Three I, 1952. MLB: 10 years (1955-64).
— Dick Drott, Cedar Rapids Indians, Three I, 1954. MLB: 7 years (1957-63).
— Bob Hendley, Cedar Rapids Braves, Three I, 1958. MLB: 7 years (1961-67).
— Rob Dibble, Cedar Rapids Reds, Class A Midwest League, 1985. MLB: 7 years (1988-95). (I was on a baseball trip and saw Dibble that summer of ’85.)

CATCHERS:
— John Roseboro, Cedar Rapids Indians, 1955. MLB: 14 years (1954-70).
— Jim Fanning, Cedar Rapids Indians, 1953. MLB: 4 years (1954-57).

FIRST BASE:
Dick Nen, Reno Silver Sox, Class C California League, 1961. MLB: 6 years (1963-70).

SECOND BASE:
Ron Hunt, Cedar Rapids Braves, Midwest League, 1961. MLB: 12 years (1963-74).

THIRD BASE: Ken McMullen, Reno Silver Sox, 1961, Califnornia League, 1961. MLB: 16 years (1962-77).

SHORTSTOP: Denis Menke, Cedar Rapids Braves, Midwest League, 1958. MLB: 13 years (1962-74).

OUTFIELD:
Frank Howard, Green Bay Blue Jays, Three I, 1958. MLB: 16 years (1958-73).
Al Ferrara, Reno Silver Sox, California League, 1960. MLB: 8 years (1963-71).
Rocky Colavito, Cedar Rapids Indians, Three I League, 1952. MLB: 14 years (1955-68).

NOTES: When we were kids in the early fifties, my older sister and I were members of the Knothole Club at Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids Iowa. Judy had a crush on Rocky Colavito, as did many girls; he was a handsome dark-eyed man. My sister matriculated from the Knothole Club into the ranks of “Baseball Annies” by the early sixties when she and a girl friend hung out with members of the 1961 Cedar Rapids Braves. When home on leave from the Air Force I met several of those players. Once, after a game, Judy and I joined a few of the players for a beer or two, including Ron Hunt and Dixie Walker Jr. Sometimes the players came to my mom’s house for a meal, including Hunt, the first All-Star of the New York Mets. One day Hunt needed a haircut, so he and I went to my barber in Marion, Iowa, and got a haircut together.

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