By Dr. Sharon Ocker
The guys still talk about their big win at North Dakota. Don Miller 1960 remembers that in the sixth inning they were protecting a 4-2 lead, and the opponents put runners on first and third. The next batter hit a grounder through the middle into center field. Miller charged the ball and threw the runner out at the plate. Ken Stripling 1960 was pitching that day. He had good stuff and worked the corners of the plate masterfully. Catcher Jim Anfinson 1961 said afterward that Miller’s throw “was the only strike he saw all night.”
There are lots of stories about Ray Washburn. Before the game, Pro gathered the team together and said that Washburn was “pretty quick.” Gary Wardlow 1962 led off and whiffed on three pitches that were clocked in the mid-90s. Miller was up next and walked. He said the main reason he got a free pass was because he couldn’t get the bat off of his shoulder soon enough to swing. Dr. Dave Mulder 1961 was up next and asked what the guy had. Miller said he didn’t have a thing. Mulder struck out. Ken Goecke 1960 got the only hit off of the speedy right-hander. The stands were full of major league scouts, and soon after the series, Washburn signed with the St. Louis Cardinals, where he was on the same staff as Bob Gibson. Wardlow recalls getting on base by getting nicked by one of his fastballs. The other two times he batted he struck out swinging on pitches “I couldn’t even remember seeing.” Wardlow may have unintentionally helped Washburn to a $50,000 signing bonus. Wardlow wasn’t alone – for the tournament, Washburn pitched 16 innings, allowing no runs; fanned 34; and was chosen as the MVP. He pitched for the Cardinals from 1961-1969. His best year was 1968 when he pitched a no-hitter against the San Francisco Giants and finished the season with a 14-8 record and a 2.26 ERA.
Mulder was involved in another great story. The University of South Dakota was our guest. His wife, Dot, was in nurse’s training at a local hospital and was going to get off to see the second game. Mulder drove his car to get her. As he went by Central High School, he was pulled over for speeding. He was in his baseball uniform and his billfold was locked up back at the college. The cop took him to the police station to book him, saying that since he couldn’t pay his fine and didn’t have an ID, he was going to jail. As the clerk was writing up the papers, he noticed that the arresting officer’s sidekick was Patronis. “How do you spell that?” he asked. Mulder said it was PETRONIS. “How did you know that?” Dave said that he knew Carl because he had been a student at Morningside.
They threw him in jail. Soon officer Petronis came along, got him out, threw away the ticket, drove him to the game and told Pro what had happened. It was almost game time, and Mulder had missed both batting and fielding practice. Pro was upset. He didn’t start him, the first time in his Morningside career that he didn’t start. Around the fourth inning, Pro asked, “Do you want to play?” “Sure,” said Mulder, and in he went.
WINS: Midland, 4-2; Iowa Teachers, 6-3*; Hastings, 7-3; Augustana, 2-1*; Westmar, 6-5; Westmar, 17-7; Buena Vista, 8-6; Buena Vista, 6-3; Augustana, 15-3*; Augustana, 8-2; South Dakota, 14-2*; South Dakota, 8-0*; South Dakota, 9-4; Westmar, 11-5; North Dakota, 4-2*.
[Note: *is for games that counted towards the NCC standings.]
LOSSES: Air Force, 5-4; Augustana, 8-7; South Dakota State, 4-2; South Dakota State, 13-4; Whitworth, 10-4; Omaha, 8-1.
SEASON RECORD: 15-6.
NCC ALL-CONFERENCE: Jim Anfinson 1961 – catcher; Dr. Dave Mulder 1961 – 3rd baseman, Ken Stripling 1960 – pitcher.
SEASON STATS: (Based on all games except the NAIA World Series games, which were unavailable.) Four players hit over .300: Dr. Dave Mulder 1961 - .391; Jerry Block 1960 - .357; Gary Wardlow 1962 - .333; and Jim Anfinson 1961 - .312. The best ERA was Ken Stripling 1960 at 1.71 and a 5-0 record. Dr. Jae Johnson 1961 had five wins, too, with an ERA of 3.74. Mulder and Anfinson led in home runs with three each, and Mulder led the team with 24 RBIs.