2002 Game Summaries and Box Scores

June 1st . June 8th . June 15th - Holly Cork's Debut . June 16th . July 13th . July 20th - Rueth Makes Debut . August 11th - Indianapolis . Jonathan Miller . September 2nd

Blast Off! Season Opening Blowouts

June 1 - A pair of shortened affairs opened up the season at Corklestick Park on Saturday. Tony Cork and Ross Massey faced each other on the mound in what turned out to be a one-sided game. The home team struck early and often as Massey and Patrick Cork each homered in the first inning for a 2-0 lead. In the second, the floodgates opened on some shoddy defense as Cork, Massey, and Kyle (a.k.a. Abe) exploded for 8 runs on 3 homers. Massey and Cork each had 3-run homers in the inning thanks to three errors on rightfielder Chris Howard. The outfielders were in Opening Day form letting down Tony Cork on several occasions leading to 5 unearned runs, and more than a few misplayed balls. They would tack on four more solo homers (2 from Massey) and the game was called after 6 1/2 innings at 14-2. Massey pitched well in the win allowing just 2 runs on 5 hits, but the offense was the story. Using a nice breeze blowing out to left, the home team combined to hit 9 homeruns in the game. Tony Cork took the loss allowing 9 earned runs over 6 innings.

Stats for 6/1/02 (Game #1) - 6 1/2 innings

(Tony Cork, Chris Howard, Greg Howard) vs. (Ross Massey, Patrick Cork, Kyle "Abe")

TC/CH/GH 000 002 0 - 2 5 4
RM/PC/K 281 210 X - 14 18 1

T.Cork 3-9, 2B, R; C.Howard 0-9; G.Howard 2-9, 2B, HR, 2RBI, R
R.Massey 6-14, 4HR, 6RBI, 5R; P.Cork 8-13, 2B, 3HR, 5RBI, 5R; Kyle(Abe) 4-13, 2HR, 3RBI, 3R

R.Massey (W) 7IP, 2ER, 5H, 9K; T.Cork (L) 6IP, 14R, 9ER, 18H, 4K

Game 2 - The second half of the doubleheader lasted only 6 innings, and the result was similar to the first game. This time, Howard staked his team to a 2-0 lead with a 2-run homer in the bottom of the first inning. However, the lead would not hold as a 4-base error led to one run and Patrick Cork blasted a 2-run homer for a 3-2 advantage. With the game 4-2 after 5 innings, the visitors erupted for another huge inning as they tallied 8 hits and 7 runs including a pair of Abe solo homers and another 2 run bomb by Patrick. The game was called after 6 innings with the score 11-3. Howard pitched well for 5 innings, but ended up with the loss allowing 12 hits and 9 earned runs. Patrick Cork picked up his first win of the season, allowing 3 runs on just 3 hits, while striking out 7. For the day, the winners out-hit the losers an amazing 30 to 8 as they belted 14 homeruns in the doubleheader. Patrick Cork finished 12-for-24 with 5 homers and 9 RBI and extended his homerun streak to 28 games. Ross Massey had a career day as well going 10-for-25 with 5 homers and driving in 9.

Stats for 6/1/02 (Game #2) - 6 innings

(Ross Massey, Patrick Cork, Kyle "Abe") vs. (Tony Cork, Neil, Greg Howard)

RM/PC/K 030 017 - 11 12 0
TC/N/GH 200 001 - 3 3 3

R.Massey 4-11, 2B, HR, 3RBI, 4R; P.Cork 4-11, 2HR, 4RBI, 3R; Kyle(Abe) 4-10, 2B, 2HR, 3RBI, 4R
T.Cork 2-7, HR, RBI, 2R; Neil 0-7; G.Howard 1-7, HR, 2RBI, R

P.Cork (W) 6IP, 3ER, 3H, 7K; G.Howard (L) 6IP, 11R, 9ER, 12H, 5K

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More Runs and Extra-Inning Affair

June 8 – A pair of long afternoon games took place at Corklestick Park on Saturday. In the first game, Tony Cork took the hill for the second time already this year in search of his first win. He got some offensive help from Matt Trotter and Patrick Cork early as Trotter hammered a 2-run homer and Patrick hit a solo shot to stake the veteran to a 3-0 lead. Trotter added another 2-run blast in the third inning for a 5-0 advantage, however the home team struck a huge blow in the fourth when Chris Cork followed a trio of bloop singles with a mammoth grand slam deep into the seats in left center. The score remained at 5-4 until the 7th when Patrick hit a 2-run homerun. Tony Cork later added an RBI single and Trotter capped off a career day and the 6-run inning with a 3-run blast. Cork would go the distance for the 11-5 win. Trotter only had 3 hits in the game, but all three counted huge as he homered three times and drove in 7 runs.

Stats for 6/8/02 (Game #1)

(Tony Cork, Matt Trotter, Patrick Cork) vs. (Carter, Jake Hoalt, Chris Cork)

TC/MT/PC 032 000 600 - 11 11 2
C/JH/CC 000 400 001 - 5 8 5

T.Cork 4-15, 2 2B, RBI, 5R; M.Trotter 3-14, 3HR, 7RBI, 3R; P.Cork 4-14, 2B, 2HR, 3RBI, 3R
Carter 3-13, R; J.Hoalt 3-13, 2R; C.Cork 2-12, 2HR, 5RBI, 2R

T.Cork (W) 9IP, 5ER, 8H, 5K; Carter (L) 5IP, 5R, 4ER, 5H, 2K; J.Hoalt 4IP, 6R, 2ER, 6H, 2K

Game 2 – The 2nd longest game in chair baseball history followed as the two teams battled for 13 innings before the 4-4 tie was broken. Tony Cork took the mound once again and was brilliant for 8 innings, allowing just 8 hits. He got offensive supports from Patrick who drove in a pair of runs with a triple and a homer, and Tony also drove in a pair himself to stake himself to a 4-1 lead entering the 9th inning. After he retired the first 2 batters, Tony made a costly error on a routine grounder and the visitors made him pay. Chris Cork followed with a long RBI triple to cut the lead to 4-2, then Carter capped the comeback with a long 2-run homer to knot the game at 4. Tony would leave the game after his 9 innings and Patrick Cork relieved. Still suffering from a shoulder injury, Patrick was able to retire 8 of the first 9 hitters he faced to keep the score tied through 12 innings. Neither offense threatened until the 13th when Matt Trotter blasted a solo homer to right – only his third hit in 17 at-bats in the game. The home team put a pair of runners on in the bottom of the inning, but couldn’t score and fell 5-4. Carter picked up the win working 10 2/3 innings in relief and only allowing 3 runs. The loss was Patrick’s first since the 2000 season.

Stats for 6/8/02 (Game #2) - 13 innings

(Carter, Matt Trotter, Chris Cork) vs. (Tony Cork, Jake Hoalt, Patrick Cork)

C/MT/CC 000 010 003 000 1 - 5 10 1
TC/JH/PC 001 200 100 000 0 - 4 16 1

Carter 3-17, 2HR, 3RBI, 2R; M.Trotter 3-17, HR, RBI, R; C.Cork 4-16, 2B, 3B, RBI
T.Cork 6-19, 2B, 2RBI, R; J.Hoalt 1-19; P.Cork 9-19, 2B, 3B, HR, 2RBI, 3R

M.Trotter 2 1/3IP, 1ER, 5H, K; Carter (W) 10 2/3IP, 3ER, 11H, 6K; T.Cork 9IP, 4R, ER, 7H, 4K; P.Cork (L) 4IP, ER, 2H, 3K

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Pitchers take another beating at the Stick - Holly Cork makes her debut

June 15 – The weather has not been kind to pitchers this summer so far at Corklestick Park, and Saturday was no different. Yet another strong wind blowing straight out to left field led to another high-scoring game. The runs started early as Patrick led off the first with a solo homer, and added a 2-run bomb in the 2nd inning. The home team answered though with solo homers from Chris and Greg Howard as well as Ross Massey as the score was tied 3-3 after just two innings. However, Tony Cork would settle down on the hill as his son kept the offense coming. Patrick blasted a 3-run homer in the 4th inning after a pair of errors, and then solo homers in the 7th and 8th innings as well before capping the game with a 2-out grand slam in the top of the 9th inning. Tony would allow 3 unearned runs in the 9th, and finished with the 13-6 victory. He allowed just 3 earned runs despite the blustery conditions on only 9 hits while striking out a season high 10 batters. The team of Corks (Tony, Patrick, and making her debut Holly Cork) scored 13 runs on just 13 hits - taking full advantage of 4 errors. Patrick ended 8-for-14 with 6 homeruns and 12 runs batted in. Holly was impressive in the field making a nice catch in the 7th inning, but was unable to reach base going 0-for-14. She blasted a pitch into center field in the 7th inning, but was thrown out by a nasty, mean Greg Howard.

Stats for 6/15/02

(Tony Cork, Patrick Cork, Holly Cork) vs. (Chris Howard, Ross Massey, Greg Howard)

TC/PC/HC 120 300 115 - 13 13 0
CH/RM/GH 120 000 003 - 6 9 4

T.Cork 5-14, RBI, 5R; P.Cork 8-14, 6HR, 12RBI, 8R; H.Cork 0-14
C.Howard 2-12, 2HR, 3RBI, 2R; R.Massey 3-12, 2HR, 2RBI, 2R; G.Howard 4-12, HR, RBI, 2R

T.Cork (W) 9IP, 6R, 3ER, 9H, 10K; G.Howard (L) 9IP, 13R, 5ER, 13H, 9K

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Father's Day Slugfest - Holly Cork Sets 3 Chair Baseball Records

June 16 – Another very windy day led to another shootout, although the final score wasn't nearly as bad as the true outcome. Greg Howard started on the hill and was met early and often by a pair of left-handed hitters. With the wind gusting straight out to right field, lefties Dan Inboden and Josh Williamson took advantage. After a Tony Cork 2-RBI triple, Inboden singled in a run and Williamson followed with a 2-run homer for a quick 5-0 lead. In the second inning, Howard was met with more of the same as Williamson homered, then Inboden hit a 3-run shot, and Tony Cork homered as well and the lead had swollen to 10-0 after just 2 innings of play. The lead would grow all the way to 16-1 in the 6th, and finished a somewhat respectable 17-10 thanks in most part to a 9th inning surge of runs including 3 homers by Patrick Cork in the inning. It wasn't nearly enough though. Holly Cork set a milestone in the game by becoming the first female to drive in a run and to score a run in chair baseball history. In fact, Cork was 3-for-14 in the game setting a record for most hits in a game by a female as well. She was lifted, however, for a pinch hitter in the 9th as Kirby Newell singled in his only at-bat of the game. Judy Cork is the only other female to participate in an official chair baseball contest - going 1-for-13 on July 21 last season. Tony Cork had a huge Father's Day performance going 9-for-17 with 2 homers, 4RBI, and 7 runs scored. Inboden drove in 8 and Williamson homered 4 times. Howard lasted just 3 innings giving up 11 earned runs. With 4 homeruns in the game, Patrick extended his streak for consecutive games with a homerun to 32 games.

Stats for 6/16/02

(Tony Cork, Dan Inboden, Josh Williamson) vs. (Greg Howard, Patrick Cork, Holly Cork, Kirby Newell)

TC/DI/JW 550 105 001 - 17 21 1
GH/PC/HC 000 101 116 - 10 17 1

T.Cork 9-17, 2 2B, 3B, 2HR, 4RBI, 7R; D.Inboden 7-17, 2B, 2HR, 8RBI, 5R; J.Williamson 5-17, 4HR, 5RBI, 4R
G.Howard 5-16, 3B, 2HR, 2RBI, 4R; P.Cork 8-15, 4HR, 6RBI, 5R; H.Cork 3-14, RBI, R; K.Newell 1-1

J.Williamson (W) 9IP, 10ER, 17H, 0K; G.Howard (L) 3IP, 11ER, 13H, 2K; P.Cork 6IP, 6R, 3ER, 7H, 7K

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Pitchers Finally Have Their Day With Pair of Shutouts

July 13 – In this season of offense, there was finally something for the pitchers to talk about on Saturday. A 10-15 mph breeze blew in from center all day making runs difficult to come by for the first time this summer as a pair of shutouts were hurled in the doubleheader. In game 1, Lyndell Wright and Tony Cork took the mound as Tony’s team jumped out to an early one run lead on a Dan Inboden solo homerun in the 3rd inning. The score remained 1-0 until the top of the 6th when Patrick Cork connected off relief pitcher Jake Hoalt for a solo shot of his own. Tony Cork would run into his first bit of trouble in the 8th inning when the home team put a pair of runners on base, but Patrick Cork would come out of the bullpen and slam the door by recording the final five outs. Tony added an RBI double in the 9th for the 3-0 final.

Stats for 7/13/02 - Game 1

(Tony Cork, Dan Inboden, Patrick Cork) vs. (Jake Hoalt, Robert Trimble, Lyndell Wright)

TC/DI/PC 001 001 001 - 3 14 0
JH/RT/LW 000 000 000 - 0 10 2

T.Cork 7-15, 2B, RBI; D.Inboden 2-14, HR, RBI, 1R; P.Cork 5-14, 3B, HR, RBI, 2R
J.Hoalt 3-12; R.Trimble 3-11, 2B; L.Wright 4-11

T.Cork (W) 7 1/3IP, 0ER, 10H, 2K; L.Wright (L) 5IP, 1ER, 7H, 2K; P.Cork (S) 1 2/3 IP, 0R, 0H, K; R. Trimble 2 IP, 0R, 3H, K; J. Hoalt 2 IP, ER, 3H

Game 2 – Game number two featured the same anemic offense from the youngsters, while the veterans finally put some big numbers on the board. Lyndell Wright started the second game as well and kept the scored tied at 0 with Dan Inboden for 3 innings. In the bottom of the fourth, however, Inboden drove in two runs with a triple and they never looked back. In the 5th, an error by Wright left the door open for a big inning and Inboden delivered by cracking a grand slam and a 2 run homer in the inning to push the lead to 8-0. He would hold the visitors to just 7 hits in the contest hurling a shutout in the 9-0 win. For the first time in chair baseball history, a team was shut out back-to-back times on the same day.

Stats for 7/13/02 - Game 2

( Jake Hoalt, Robert Trimble, Lyndell Wright) vs. (Tony Cork, Dan Inboden, Patrick Cork )

JH/RT/LW 000 000 000 - 0 7 1
TC/DI/PC 000 260 10X - 9 10 0

T.Cork 3-13, 4R; D.Inboden 5-13, 2B, 3B, 2HR, 8RBI, 3R; P.Cork 2-12, 2B, HR, RBI, 2R
J.Hoalt 2-12; R.Trimble 3-11; L.Wright 2-11

D. Inboden (W) 9 IP, 0ER, 7H, 7K; L.Wright (L) 5IP, 8R, 6ER, 7H, 7K; J. Hoalt 2 IP, ER, 2H, K; R. Trimble 1 IP, 0R, H

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Rueth Makes Much Anticipated Debut at Soldout Corklestick

July 20 - With thousands of flashbulbs popping and the television cameras rolling, the great-grandnephew of the Babe - Dave Rueth - finally found himself where he always dreamed he would be – playing chair baseball at Corklestick Park. “You dream your entire life about what it would be like and then it’s finally here and it’s exactly like you thought it would be,” commented an emotional Rueth before his first game. “Sure my great-granduncle played at Yankee Stadium, but can you really compare that place to the Stick?” Rueth has been fighting to make a big-league roster for a number of years now since he was taken in the 2nd round of the amateur chair baseball draft after his senior year of high school. Having seen the likes of Pete Rose Jr., Eddie Perez, and other heirs to the throne come and go, Rueth wanted his story to be different. Eight years after being drafted, Rueth, now 26, appreciates the pros more than ever. “As a superstar in high school, and having the last name “Rueth” I always assumed I’d just jump right into the majors, but it’s amazing how competitive minor league chair baseball is here in southern Illinois,” added Rueth. “Now that I’m here though, it makes it that much more special knowing the kind of work I put in to get here.”

Rueth cracked the big league roster after Ryan Tomlinson was placed on the 60-day disabled list for his “inability to play”. Having followed some of the top-notch pitchers in the league over the years, Rueth was thankful that he would face an unproven youngster in Jake Hoalt in his debut. “You never want your first game to be against a Tony or Patrick Cork,” added Rueth. “I knew if I was patient I could hit Hoalt.” In his first at-bat, Rueth was greeted with a standing ovation from the capacity crowd that held signs such as “Babe Who?” and “The House That Rueth Built”. He quickly lined a single into right field. He would be stranded, however, and his team would fall behind on a Dan Inboden solo homerun in the 3rd inning. Inboden crushed a 3-run shot later in the 5th for a 4-0 lead, and then Rueth stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 5th and put his mark on chair baseball. The lefty hit a majestic “Ruethian” blast into the right field seats to put his team on the board. “I’ll keep that ball forever,” remarked Rueth. The homerun put him just 713 homeruns behind his namesake. The thrill wouldn’t last long, however, as the visitors put four more runs up on Tony Cork with homeruns from Chris Cork and Jake Hoalt in the following innings as Hoalt cruised to an 8-1 victory. With the sun scorching all day at 95 degrees, Rueth was not quite prepared for such a long day at the park. “My brain and body were prepared for nine innings, so when I started hearing talk of "the second game" during the first one, the sun suddenly felt about 20 degrees hotter than it had previously.” Rueth was able to put together a solid opening game going 5-for-12 with 2 doubles, and a solo homerun in his team’s loss. Patrick Cork, suffering from shoulder tendonitis had the worst game of his career going 0-for-12 and ending his historic homerun streak. Cork had homered in every game dating back over two years to July 3, 2000 – a streak of 34 consecutive games. “I couldn’t lift my arm more than about 8 inches so needless to say it wasn’t easy to get my arms extended to hit. I really don’t care about the streak, I just wish I could have helped my team put some runs on the board today. There’s no excuse for only scoring one run in this game. Hopefully I can get it loosened up for the second game.”

Stats for 7/20/02 - Game 1

(Jake Hoalt, Dan Inboden, Chris Cork) vs. (Tony Cork, Dave Rueth, Patrick Cork)

JH/DI/CC 001 032 200 - 8 12 1
TC/DR/PC 000 010 000 - 1 8 0

J.Hoalt 4-13, 2HR, 3RBI, 3R; D.Inboden 4-13, 2B, 2HR, 4RBI, 2R; C.Cork 4-12, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, 3R
T.Cork 3-12, 2B; D.Rueth 5-12, 2 2B, HR, RBI, R; P.Cork 0-12

J.Hoalt (W) 9 IP, 1ER, 8H, 0K; T.Cork (L) 9IP, 8ER, 12H, 2K

Game 2 – Rueth got more than he expected in the second game of the day as he was called on to start the game on the mound – a game that will forever be remembered in chair baseball history for it’s unique “ending”. “We didn’t want to have to have him pitch today, but I was simply unable to throw a ball and we had no choice,” commented teammate Patrick Cork. Although his control was not there early, Rueth set down the opponents in order for the first three innings without allowing a hit. In the fourth, however, he ran into trouble. After a Jake Hoalt single broke up the no hitter, Dan Inboden blasted a 2-run homer for a 2-0 lead. Three batters later, Inboden struck again with another 2-run shot and suddenly the lead was 4-0. Having not been used to the heat and the small margin for error at the big league level, Rueth was lifted after just 3 1/3 innings. “I made it through the first three innings of the game okay, but I really hit a wall in the middle innings--my pitching stats certainly reflect that.” In the top of the 5th Rueth’s team finally put some runs on the board on a 2-run homerun by Patrick Cork. However, reliever Tony Cork gave up a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning on a 2-run blast by Chris Cork and the score was now 6-2. The visitors rallied again in the 7th though as Rueth drove in a run with his first career triple and later scored when Jake Hoalt misplayed Tony Cork’s flyball. Patrick tacked on another run with an RBI single and after 6 1/2 innings the game was 6-5. A huge play followed in the bottom of the inning as Chris Cork hit an apparent solo homer down the left field line, but brother Patrick – sore arm and all – gunned him down from the ditch in left field to keep it a one-run game. “My arm, at that point had almost fallen off, so I just said “screw it” and threw it as hard as I could,” said Cork. “Fortunately, it was hot and dry and I got a good roll.” The 8th inning brought more drama as Patrick would tie the game up with a solo bomb into the cornfield. Dave Rueth make his run at being a hero when he followed Patrick up with a solo homer of his own and suddenly the lead had changed hands at 7-6. They nearly added more runs as Patrick Cork hit a liner into center with the bases loaded later in the inning, but defensive replacement Holly Cork made the grab to keep it a one-run game. Again in the 8th, Chris belted a ball to left field for an apparent double, but Patrick threw him out again from deep left field. It would be a huge play in the game because Dan Inboden followed with a long homerun to left field to tie the game at 7-7. In the 8th, it was announced that there would be no extra innings played if the score remained tied due to time constraints with the players. Patrick Cork tried to finish the game in the top of the 9th when he yanked a Chris Cork fastball down the line in left only to see the ball hook foul just inches before reaching the pole. Neither team would score and the game ended with the score 7-7, the first tie in chair baseball history.

“It sucks to have a tie in baseball, but all of the guys were about to drop dead out there,” added Patrick. “Plus, we had a couple players that had to leave and we really had no choice. It’s something that I hope never happens again.” Patrick broke out of his mini-slump and finished the second game of the day 10-for-16 with 2 homers and 4 RBI. Rueth struggled at times against the lefty on the mound, but still managed a 5 hit game. “Facing a lefty pitcher like Dan was tough. He kept busting me inside, and the few hits I did manage to get off him were cheap opposite field ones.” Rueth’s team outhit their opponents 19 to 10, but left the bases loaded three times in the game. However, for Dave Rueth it was a day he’ll never forget. “Despite the oppressive heat and my being way out of practice, I had a blast, and I hope Commissioner Cork sees fit to invite me back for future games.”…Consider it done Dave.

Stats for 7/20/02 - Game 2

( Tony Cork, Dave Rueth, Patrick Cork) vs. (Jake Hoalt, Dan Inboden, Chris Cork )

TC/DR/PC 000 020 320 - 7 19 0
JH/DI/CC 000 402 010 - 7 10 2

T.Cork 4-17, R; D.Rueth 5-16, 3B, HR, 2RBI, 2R; P.Cork 10-16, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4RBI, 4R
J.Hoalt 2-8, 2B, 2R; D.Inboden 3-12, 3HR, 5RBI, 3R; C.Cork 5-11, HR, 2RBI, 2R

D. Rueth 3 1/3 IP, 4ER, 4H, 1K; T.Cork 5 2/3 IP, 2ER, 6H, 5K; J. Hoalt 1/3 IP, 0R, 3H; D.Inboden 6 2/3 IP, 7R, 6ER, 15H, 3K; C. Cork 2 IP, 0R, 2H

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Chair Baseball Heads East

August 11 – For the first time in the history of the game, chair baseball played an official contest outside of famed Corklestick Park. “With all the success the league has had over the years, we decided it was finally time to branch out and let other people see our product,” commented commissioner Patrick Cork. “Indianapolis was the perfect fit. It’s a much larger market that already has one professional baseball franchise, so there’s obviously interest in this great game. I definitely think the people got their money’s worth.”

Sporting nearly all of the superstars in the league was a must, and a few famous names were thrown in the mix as well. All 3 Corks (Tony, Chris, and Patrick) were on the field as well as veteran Josh Williamson. Add rookies Dave "Babe" Rueth and Dave Schuth (a.k.a. Schuthless Joe), and the first game east of the Wabash was set. "For us to have all those big names and the two legendary namesakes was a thrill for the crowd today," added Commissioner Cork. It didn’t take long for the veterans to put some runs on the board in front of the Lions Park crowd as Williamson ripped a triple into right field off of Rueth to drive in the first run in the top of the 3rd inning. Patrick followed up with a 2-run homer down the left field line to push the lead to 3-0, however Rueth responded in the bottom of the inning with a solo homerun that cut the deficit to 3-1. In the 5th, Patrick struck again with another 2-run blast to left for a 5-1 advantage, but again the home team responded as Rueth hit a 2-run homer of his own to bring the game back to 5-3. Williamson added a solo homer in the top of the 9th for a 6-3 lead, and the Indianapolis boys would not threaten in the bottom of the inning.

Tony Cork pitched a gem of a game going 9 innings and allowing 3 runs on just 6 hits while striking out 8 batters. Rueth took the loss giving up 6 runs on 19 hits over 9 innings. The veterans had little trouble reaching base all afternoon as Tony went 5-for-16, Williamson was 8-for-16 with a homerun and Patrick was 6-for-16 with 2 homers and 4 RBI. In his much anticipated debut, Dave Schuth drew the collar with an 0-for-11 afternoon. One has to wonder if "Schuthless Joe" had actually taken his shoes off if things would have different. Teammates Chris Cork and Rueth didn't fare much better as they were only able to get 6 hits in 22 at bats combined. “It obviously wasn’t like playing at The Stick,” added Patrick. “But I liked the energy that the crowd gave us. Although I must admit that some of the fans were disappointed when they saw the Rueth we feature wasn't the Babe and Schuthless Joe was wearing tennis shoes, but we can only do so much. At least he didn't bet against his own team...that we know of. We may have to make a return trip here next summer if we can work it out, especially if MLB goes on strike. We pride our league on having healthy labor negotiations.”

Stats for 8/10/02

(Tony Cork, Josh Williamson, Patrick Cork) vs. (Dave Schuth, Dave Rueth, Chris Cork)

TC/JW/PC 003 020 001 - 6 19 0
DS/CC/DR 001 020 000 - 3 6 2

T.Cork 5-16; J.Williamson 8-16, 3B, HR, 2RBI, 3R; P.Cork 6-16, 2HR, 4RBI, 3R
D.Schuth 0-11; C.Cork 4-11, R; D.Rueth 2-11, 2HR, 3RBI, 2R

T.Cork (W) 9 IP, 3ER, 6H, 8K; D.Rueth (L) 9IP, 6ER, 19H, 2K

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Miller Leaves Players' Union for Greener Pastures

August 29 – With the looming dark cloud over Major League Baseball threatening to bring the season to a screeching halt, one player has decided that the risk of losing the rest of the season just isn’t worth it. Jonathan Miller, a graduate of Greenville College has left the MLB Players Association and will be reporting to Corklestick Park on Labor Day to see his first action in chair baseball. "I want to play baseball. That’s all," remarked Miller. "I’m tired of bickering like a bunch of little school girls. A lot of other guys were considering making the move, so I decided to be the first. Hopefully they’ll follow my lead."

Miller, who was quickly becoming a crowd favorite at Busch Stadium, was mulling over a 4-year deal worth an estimated $17 million from the Cardinals, but didn’t feel that the majors was the place for him right now. "You know when you’re a baseball player, it’s hard not to think about the money," added Miller. "Then when you think back to why you play the game, money shouldn’t ever be part of that thought process. I’ve made enough money in my first two years in the big leagues to last me the rest of my life. It was time for me to go after the things in life that I really desire and one of those is to play chair baseball at Corklestick Park."

Miller is the latest player to make their debut in front of the Corklestick faithful. Earlier this year, Holly Cork became just the second female to ever play in a game, and one week later became the first ever to score a run. Dave "Babe" Rueth made his much anticipated appearance on July 20th, and most recently Dave Schueth ("Schuethless Joe") took the field for the first ever game played outside of Robinson. Although Miller doesn’t anticipate any greater of an ovation in his first game, there could be a record crowd on hand if Major League Baseball is on strike come Monday. "I don’t want to think about fan reactions or anything like that in my first game," replied Miller. "I just want to go out there and play the way I know how to play. This league is special. There’s something sacred about Corklestick Park that words can’t describe. I can’t wait to finally see it in person."

Miller will not have an awful lot to live up to from this year’s other rookie call-ups. Holly Cork has gone 3-for-28 in her first 2 games, while Schueth drew the collar (0-for-11) in his debut. Rueth is the front-runner for Rookie of the Year and has proved to be a power threat going 12-for-39 (.308) with 4 homers and 6 RBI in his first three contests.

The September 1 date also marks the latest scheduled contest in chair baseball history. Game time on Monday, September 1 is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. As always, tickets are available by calling the ticket hotline at 1-800-CHAIRBB.

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Miller Shines in First Chair Baseball Appearance

September 2 – The latest date ever for a chair baseball contest featured a breakout game from yet another rookie. Jonathan Miller made his debut at Corklestick on Labor Day and didn't disappoint in either of the two games Monday afternoon. In game 1, Tony Cork took on Jake Hoalt on the hill in what turned out to be a great pitcher's duel. Tony helped himself early as he singled to lead off the game and later drove himself in with an RBI triple to left. The game remained 1-0 until the bottom of the fourth when Patrick Cork singled and Miller, who had been 0-for-5 in the game, ripped a line drive homerun out to left field to make the score 3-0. With the homerun, Miller became the first player in chair baseball history to homer for his first career hit. From there on, Tony Cork continued to get ground ball after ground ball with the visitors not threatening until the 8th when Dave Rueth and Chris Cork each singled with 2 outs. Patrick Cork came in from the bullpen to slam the door retiring all four batters he faced to pick up the save. Tony was brilliant allowing no runs in 7 2/3 innings on 9 hits (8 of them singles) in the 3-0 victory. Miller was the offensive hero going 3-for-12 with a homer and 2 RBI to lead the balanced attack. Patrick Cork was 4-for-11 and Tony was 4-for-12 with 2 doubles and a triple.

Stats for 9/2/02 (Game #1)

(Jake Hoalt, Dave Rueth, Chris Cork) vs. (Tony Cork, Jonathan Miller, Patrick Cork)

JH/DR/CC 000 000 000 - 0 9 1
TC/JM/PC 100 200 00X - 3 11 1

J. Hoalt 2-13; D.Rueth 4-12; C.Cork 3-12, 2B
T.Cork 4-12, 2 2B, 3B, RBI, R; J.Miller 3-12, HR, 2RBI, R; P.Cork 4-11, 3B, R

T.Cork (W) 7 2/3IP, 0ER, 9H, 2K; J.Hoalt (L) 8IP, 3ER, 11H, 4K; P.Cork (S) 1 1/3IP, 0R, 0H, 2K

Game 2 – The second game was greatly shortened, but there was plenty of fireworks in the four innings that were played. Patrick Cork made his first start in over a month after being on the shelf with shoulder tendonitis and he squared off against rookie righthander Dave Rueth. Rueth was all over the place with his control in the first, struggling to find the plate, but was able to get through the opening frame without allowing a run. However, in the second, the visitors exploded for a huge inning thanks again to rookie sensation Jonathan Miller. With two men on and nobody out, Miller blasted a 3-run homer to left center. Patrick followed with a triple, and was driven in by Tony Cork's single, and Miller followed that with a majestic homerun into the pine trees in left center and the lead was suddenly 6-0. That was more than enough for Patrick as he would allow only an opposite field homer to Rueth in the third on his way to a victory. The game was called after 4 innings, but was deemed an official contest. Patrick struck out 6 batters in 4 innings to notch his first win since Opening Day. Again, Miller was the offensive star going 4-for-8 with a pair of homeruns as he drove in 5 of the team's 6 runs. Tony and Patrick were both 4-for-8 as the team hit 12-for-24 in the 4 innings of play. Rueth struggled again on the mound going just 2 innings and allowing 6 runs. Miller was outstanding in his debut going 7-for-20 with 3 homeruns and 7 RBI. "I'm just happy to be here," remarked Miller. Miller is in a close battle with David Rueth for Rookie-of-the-Year honors.

Stats for 9/2/02 (Game #2) - 4 innings

)(Tony Cork, Jonathan Miller, Patrick Cork) vs. (Jake Hoalt, Dave Rueth, Chris Cork)

TC/JM/PC 060 0 - 6 12 0
JH/DR/DC 001 0 - 1 3 0

T.Cork 4-8, RBI, 2R; J.Miller 4-8, 2HR, 5RBI, 2R; P.Cork 4-8, 3B, 2R
J. Hoalt 0-5; C.Cork 2-6, D.Rueth 1-5, HR, RBI, R

P.Cork (W) 4IP, 1ER, 3H, 6K; D.Rueth (L) 2IP, 6ER, 8H; J.Hoalt 2IP, 0R, 4H, K

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