STORM CENTER: Stoner made a mark
Long before Brandon Workman had a day of appreciation in his honor back in 2013, Bowie was hometown of another celebrated baseball player.
His name was Ulysses Stoner.
Former Bowie High School boys’ basketball coach Gayno Shelton recalled how a former student found Stoner living in Enid, Okla.
His full name was Ulysses Sampson Grant Stoner, and what makes his story all the more interesting is his family background.
LuRainey May and William Caldene Stoner had 18 children together; however, four died as infants and another daughter died after being struck by lightning.
(And you thought you could procreate?)
Ulysses was the 17th of 18 children, and he inherited the nickname “Lil” because his brother, Ted, was unable to pronounce “Ulysses.”
That Stoner became a major league baseball pitcher despite a childhood incident whips up Ulysses’ story into an inspiring yarn.
Older brother William McKinley “Mac” Stoner was chopping wood in the backyard of their Bowie home when Ulysses came over.
“Lil” told his brother, “Chop my finger off Mac.”
“Mac” obliged and delivered a hatchet blow on Ulysses’ index finger on his right hand. He ran into the house crying. And the finger was hanging on for dear life.
LuRainey wrapped Ulysses’ finger, had her son lie still in bed, and sent for a doctor. All the doctor could do was to bandage the digit.
Then there was the wait. Would Ulysses’ finger reattach itself?
After a few days, the doctor returned and took the bandage off. The finger was now slightly crooked, but it had managed to reattach itself.
This deformity later helped Ulysses when he became a pitcher, and the baseball moved well when he threw it.
Scouts took note as Stoner’s curve and fastball both dropped, tailing off to especially left-handed batters.
“Lil had wanted to play baseball since he was a 10-year-old in short pants,” LuRainey once said in an interview with a newspaper.
Stoner became a “sandlot” legend. Back in those days, baseball was played on sand, a far cry from the artificial turf field we enjoy in Bowie now. Read more from this column in the Oct. 15 Bowie News.
Editor’s Note: The Storm Center column is the expressed written views of sports editor Eric Viccaro and not The Bowie News.
Ulysses Stoner was Bowie’s first-ever pro baseball player during the 1920s. (Baseball card part of The Sporting News collection)
Nocona baseball earns all-district honors
With baseball state tournament about to get under way this week, the district baseball honors were released for the district 10-2A which includes Nocona.
With the team missing the playoffs maybe the Indians were not as well represented as some other teams, but still some Nocona players were honored.
Wesley Murphey earned the highest honor as he was named second team all-district pitcher.
Fellow pitcher and brother Walker Murphey was named honorable mention along with outfielder Miguel Olivares and utility player Charlie Fuller.
To see photos of all four pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.
Bowie BMX hosts state qualifier
The Bowie BMX race park is hosting its busiest weekend of the year.
The park is scheduled to host three days of racing from June 10-12 with people from all over the state and even further expected to travel to Bowie to take part.
On June 10 is the Bob Warnicke scholarship race using single points format. Sign-ups start at 5 p.m. and go all the way up until races start at 7 p.m.
On June 11 is the Race for Life leukemia fundraiser and pro-am that will also be using single point format. Sign-ups start at 4 p.m. and will go until races start at 6 p.m.
June 12 is expected to be the busiest day as it will be at state championship qualifier races. Sign-ups begin at 9:30 a.m. and will go until 11 a.m. when the races will start.
Spectators are welcome to come free of charge with parking free as well. Concessions will be available for cold drinks to keep spectators hydrated and full.
To read the full story, pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.
Summer workouts starting up
With the arrival of June comes increasing temperatures, camps galore for kids and for high school athletes making time to get ready for next school year.
For Bowie, incoming boy’s 7th-12th graders will practice Monday through Thursday starting June 12.
On Mondays and Wednesdays high school will do football skills and junior high athletes will do basketball drills from 7:30-8:30 a.m. They will switch on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Workouts will follow and go from 8:30-9:30 a.m. except on Tuesdays which will be before the skills at 6:30-7:30 a.m.
The Bowie girl workouts will start the same week for incoming 7th-12th graders. The workouts are scheduled every day for 7:30-8:30 a.m.
On Mondays and Wednesday’s, the high school girls will practice basketball and junior high volleyball from 8:30-9:30 a.m. On Tuesdays and Thursdays it will be reversed.
Bowie is expected to take the week of July 4th off to give athletes a break before ramping back up for the start of August.
For Nocona athletes, incoming 7th-12th grade boys and girls will start summer workouts on June 5. The workouts will be Monday through Thursday and go from 8-10:30 a.m.
They are scheduled to take the week of July 4th off and are expecting to take another week or two off at some point during the summer.
At Saint Jo, workouts start on June 5 and will be Monday through Thursday for incoming 7th-12th graders. The week of July 4th and the final week of July athletes will have off.
Every day strength and conditioning will go 8-9 a.m. On Monday through Wednesday, there will be an hour that follows for sport specific skill work. On Mondays and Wednesdays it will be football and volleyball. On Tuesdays it will be basketball.
At Prairie Valley, incoming junior high and high school athletes are scheduled to start summer workouts on June 6. Sessions will be from 8-11 a.m. and cover weight training, cardio training along with basketball and volleyball training.
Workouts will be Monday through Thursday. There will be a two week break in the middle with the last week of June and the first week of July athletes getting off.
For Forestburg, its incoming boy athletes have completed their first week of summer workouts this week. The girl athletes will join them at the beginning of next week on June 6.
They will go Monday through Thursday every week and also will take a break the week of July 4. Instead of the morning, workouts are scheduled for 6-8 p.m.
At Gold-Burg, some new coaches are expected to be hired but until then there are no plans for official summer workouts in the meantime.
To read the full story, pick up a copy of the weekend edition of the Bowie News.
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