We are celebrating Major League Baseball’s Opening Day! Stubby Currence added so much to the legacy of baseball, especially in Four Seasons Country.
“Sorrell was lured back to Bluefield, West Virginia, one year after his big-league career ended. According to his son, Sorrell and sportswriter Stubby Currence had maintained a close friendship since the pitcher’s coalfield league days in 1924. Currence persuaded Sorrell to pitch for the Bluefield Blue-Grays, recently admitted to the Class D Mountain State League. Down-to-earth and level-headed, Sorrell was a popular, beloved figure in the town of 25,000 residents. He took the mound for the Blue-Grays in his final three years of professional baseball (1938-40), went 26-11, and managed the club in in 1939 and ’40. He announced his retirement after the 1940 season, and 15 years in Organized Ball. In his ten years with the Tigers he was 92-101, logging 1,671⅔ innings with a 4.43 ERA.” -Gregory H. Wolf
In 1949, Stubby attended the 75th Anniversary of the Kentucky Derby in Louisville in 1949. As Eric Crawford writes
The Kentucky Derby has always been a writer’s event. At the Derby, bloodlines come first, but story lines are a close second. Great writers, some of the best, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, Hunter Thompson, took their turns penning descriptions of the great spectacle.
Let’s not get too carried away here comparing Stubby to these literary giants. But the ole man did attend and got him some killer sway.
A pair of Diamond Jubilee Commemorative Glasses
and a cool souvenir book
And we’ll end with sage advice from Stubby himself from his Press Box column, May 3, 1936 …
Above is The Press Box graphic from 1934. I hope to share more graphics from The Press Box column as it changed throughout the years.
But I liked the following was a tidbit in the December 30, 1934, Press Box column from The Bluefield Daily Telegraph:
“Correct this sentence: “Son,” said the newspaperman and father. “I hope you will choose an easy job like sport writing.”
I think we might have a double entrendre on our hands, especially with the teasers that follow:
Whether it was sport writing or sports writing, Stubby made good sports out of all.
Oh, those cold winter nights of West Virginia of today and days past…
While staying warm, I found this reference to Stubby attending a Davis & Elkins basketball game in a Bluefield Daily Telegraph “Press Box” column from January 24, 1936:
This D & B crowd is no bunch of pansies. Especially those three husky members of the outfit who so generously pushed my marooned car out of the snow in front of that Fairmont road house the night after the ball game in which they were crowned state champs at the state tourney last season. I’ll love them for that, if for nothing else. But I hate to think to what might have happened to me that night had l gone to Wesleyan and not to D & B back in the days of my callow youth. And I love ’em for that, too.
Stay warm, kids!
Ever wonder what would happen if the Poet Laureate of West Virginia didn’t like you? Stubby didn’t have to guess. He knew…
HE’S LOOSE AGAIN
Out of Bluefield comes a rumble
Words are flying in a jumble
Over hill and dale like showers of winter rain;
They are senseless, they are sappy
And they make no sports fan happy
Stubby Currence prattles foolishly again
Copyright By Roy Lee Harmon, Beckley Post-Herald April 16, 1937