royse m. parr When Baseball America's bimonthly newspaper polled its readers in 1999 to select the Minor League legend of the twentieth century, Joe Bauman was chosen as the number one legend.1 If I had voted I would have stuffed the ballot box for Joe because he is my number one baseball hero. To boys like me who grew up in the late 1940s and early 1950s in western Oklahoma, he took on almost mythical status from the moment he arrived in my hometown to play baseball for three glorious semipro seasons. Like Paul Bunyan of the north woods, he seemed to be at least ten feet tall although he stood only six feet four and one-half inches and weighed 230 pounds. Bauman's legend lives in anyone who ever saw him swat a ball. You couldn't put a fence out there that he couldn't knock over. And he did it all without steroids, other muscleenhancing drugs, or weight machines.2 I was one of the lucky ones who got to watch him play for free, selling pop at the ballpark. When a panel of Baseball America experts in 1999 were asked to name the "most significant or spectacular feats
NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture – University of Nebraska Press
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