In the summer of 1964, Scott Koch, 10, was the winning pitcher in a game that brought his Southern Division Pirates diamond glory in the form of the championship of the Minor League City Series. Koch, still a resident of Cape Girardeau, recently brought me the stories and pictures his mother had collected of that championship season.
This photograph of the Pirates was printed in "Cementopics," a newsletter published for the employees of Marquette Cement Mfg. Co. Scott's father, Doug, coached the young boys and was safety inspector at the Cape Girardeau plant.
I had to go to the Missourian archives to find identifications of all the players. From left, kneeling: Jeff Hahs, David Roeder, David Hagedorn, Kirk Hahs and Clarence Blattel. Standing, Kenny Sanders, Bobby Hathaway, Gary Bierschwal, Charles Smith, Scott Koch, Peter Phelps, Terry Steele and Pat Robertson. Doug Koch is standing behind the team. Not present for the picture were assistant manager J.C. Wills and players Gary Seesing and Jim Wills. J.C. Wills was a locomotive engineer at Marquette and James, 8, was his son.
Along with the photo of the team and newspaper clippings, Scott's mom kept the rosters of all the players from both the Northern and Southern divisions.
Manager Joe Davis
Assistant managers Gussie Maurer and Milford Adams
Manager Melvin Kasten
Assistant manager Mike Shoss
Manager Joe Blackwell
Assistant manager Paul Ervin
Gary Van Weelden
Manager Bob Evans
Assistant managers James Baker and Dayton Hahs
Manager Arthur Burchyett
Assistant managers John Brunkhorst and Paul Frushour
Manager Douglas Koch
Assistant manager John Wills
Manager Edsel Baldwin
Assistant manager Dave Cummins
Manager Richard Gill
Assistant managers John Sasche and Ralph Beck
James A. Schmidt
Manager Harry Bertrand
Assistant managers Jim Estes and Charles Parsley
Manager Howard Bock
Assistant managers Richard Hildebrand and Vernon Lawrence
Manager Bill Morgan
Assistant manager Kenneth Stovall
Manager John Schade
Assistant managers George Bell and Richard Sabbath
The Pirates played the Royals for the city minor league bragging rights that summer, and the odds weren't exactly in the Pirates' favor. Although the Pirates sported a better record that the Royals (18-2 to the Royals' 16-4), the Royals were the defending league champs. Not only had the Royals won the top honors in 1963, but they had done the same in 1956 and 1958.
The first game of the series was played the evening Aug. 11, 1964, at Capaha Park. And the Pirates were able to hold off a late rally by their opponents to win the game, 8-7. According to the Missourian's account of the game, "Down 7-2 after four innings, the Royals tallied five times in their last two at-bats to draw the game even. the pirates ended the suspense quickly in their half of the sixth, when David Roeder tripled, driving in a teammate with the winning run.
"Scott Koch was the winning pitcher in relief of Clarence Blattel. He allowed five hits while striking out three. Bobby Ervin took, the loss, striking out 10 but allowing 10 hits."
This article from the Aug. 14, 1964, Missourian tells the rest of the story: