I almost hate to tell you about this auction; I'd like these balls all to myself ... wait, that didn't come out right. But I've been watching 'em for the past, oh, week or so, and the prices aren't climbing like they oughta for such rare commodities as these: signed baseballs from the 1955 and '57 Dallas Eagles. (Each is presently sitting at $8, with 19 days left.) Just a month ago I talked to a member of the famed first-place '55 squad, the great Joe Cosmidis, who went on to become an honored Major League scout. But there were other notables on that team too, back when Dallas first (and, then, only briefly) operated as the New York Giants' farm team, including Pete Burnside, who got called up to the big club the next year and bounced around the majors till '63.
The '57 team remains the most famous, perhaps, because that's when 19-year-old Willie McCovey played first base at Burnett Field. But his name doesn't appear to be among those scribbled on that team-signed ball. No matter. Others on that team are worthy of mention, among them Dick Getter, who I met years ago when working on this cover story about the Eagles -- to this day, one of the finest times I ever had reporting a story.
Dick Getter holds in his massive hand a photo of the 1957 Texas League Champion Dallas Eagles. The former outfielder -- who looks nearly as sturdy and intense as he did during his playing days -- reels off the names of his teammates as though he just stepped off the field with them: "That's Joey Amalfitano, he's third-base coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers now ...That's Tony Taylor, he played in the major leagues till the 1970s ... Nick Testa, he used to be the bullpen coach for the Giants ... Joe Kotrany, he died last week."
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The Eagles were Dad's favorite ball club, you know. I know I'm gonna regret telling you about this.