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1958 Drain Black Sox Baseball Team

1958 Drain Black Sox Baseball Team

Hailing from a town of less than 1,200 people, the Drain (Oregon) Black Sox completed the final chapter of their 1958 Cinderella season with a national baseball championship. As Oregon’s first and only National Baseball Congress champions, the underdog Black Sox won seven games in posting an undefeated record in the NBC tournament held in Wichita, Kansas. The team defeated the Alpine (Texas) Cowboys in the championship game 8-7 by scoring five runs in the final two innings. The game was typical of the underdog Drain squad’s tournament performance as four of their seven victories were come-from-behind wins and three of the games were decided by only one run. Drain placed fifth out of ten teams in hitting and sixth in fielding but made up for that with a hustling, aggressive style of play that featured good pitching and clutch hitting. The Black Sox won four team trophies at the national championships: Best Young Team, Most Aggressive Team, Leading Team Appearing First Time awarded to the team placing highest in their first tournament appearance and Number One Town Team awarded to the team placing highest in the tournament from a city of 5,000 or less.

In 1958, the Drain Black Sox were the first “town team” (a team sponsored by either businesses or civic-minded individuals from the community they represent) to win the national championship. Harold and Donna Woolley of the local Woolley Lumber Company sponsored the squad and 13 of the 16 players were either born or educated in Oregon. Helping lead the Drain team to an overall 54-4 record in 1958 and their seven tournament wins in the national championship were: Player-Manager Ray Stratton who was later enshrined in the National Baseball Congress Hall of Fame; Outfielder Jim O’Rourke who was named the National tournament’s Most Valuable Player with a .385 batting average and a team-leading eight RBI’s; Pitcher Elwood Hahn who was named to the All-Tournament team with a 3-0 record allowing only nine runs in 27 innings; and Outfielder Jerry Droscher of Oregon State who was also named to the All Tournament team with five RBI, four runs scored, and 15 putouts.

Pictured above are:    

Back row-left:

  • Wes Stock (Business Manager)
  • Tom Myers
  • Don Lane
  • Harold Woolley (sponsor)
  • Jerry Bartow
  • Jack Henkel
  • Jerry Droscher
  • Irv Roth
  • Darrel Wooten
  • Jim O'Rourke

First row-left:

  • Wimp Hastings
  • Stan Dmochowsky
  • Ellis Olson
  • Ray Stratton
  • Elwood Hahn
  • Dan Luby
  • Lowell Pearce
  • Jim Pifher