Just got off the phone with a gentleman who's also keeping an eye on Texas-Detroit: Alex Cosmidis. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is pulling for the Tigers -- surprising, since Cosmidis once played baseball in Dallas and in Fort Worth, first as an Eagle in 1955 and '56, then as a Cat three years after that.
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"Well, I scouted [Justin] Verlander in high school and college," referring to the Tigers pitcher who dropped Game 1 of the American League Championship Series to the Rangers on a soaking-wet Saturday night. "Every time he goes out there, he's capable of throwing a no-hitter."
He pauses for a second: "But, you know, Josh is from right here." He's referring, of course, to Josh Hamilton. "I'm pulling for him too. I should be pullin' for the Texans, but when Verlander's pitching ..." He laughs.
Cosmidis was born in September 1928, and first played ball for money -- not much -- in 1950. He's been in the game ever since: A scout since 1982, he's been with the Chicago White Sox since 1987 and was recently honored for having found the likes of Roberto Hernandez, Ray Durham and James Baldwin. Reason I called him: I see Heritage is selling a game-worn Dallas Eagles jersey dating back to the '55 season, when Cosmidis drove in 21 runs for the New York Giants' farm club and my old father's favorite ball club.
"We won two pennants and blew one in Dallas," Cosmidis says with a slight chuckle. "We had a good time. Red Murff won 27 on that 1955 team, and I set a Texas League fielding recording that stands to this day, so I've been told: 66 consecutive games at second without an error. And Joe Macko hit 36 home runs in 1956. He stood closer to the plate than anyone I've ever seen. He wanted the ball inside, because he could crank 'em. He was strong. We had good time in Dallas."