Putting on a Show

Hall-of-Fame manager Tony La Russa’s return this season to the team that gave him his first coaching gig came as a surprise to baseball watchers, and his current performance with the White Sox has not been without its challenges.

La Russa – who made his MLB debut as a player with the Kansas City Athletics on May 10th, 1963 – was a mediocre middle infielder, but he turned himself into an accomplished and recognizable skipper.

In his decades of pulling the strings from the dugout, the three-time World Series champion picked up over 2,850 wins and was named Manager of the Year on four occasions.

The Florida native also made some memorable appearances in Edmonton when he was a part of the major league rosters who came to the provincial capital for exhibition games.

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Setting The Trap

He may have just hit a triple, but Peter Pocklington couldn’t help but dream about crushing a home run.

The ink was still fresh on his acquisition of the Ogden Athletics of the Pacific Coast League when he mused about something much bigger: Major League Baseball.

On the 40th anniversary of the Edmonton Trappers beginning play in the PCL, we take a look back at the efforts made to bring the team to the capital and the legacy left behind.

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Black Sox Banishment

They went from big league ball players to big name barnstormers overnight, but not even a lifetime ban from Major League Baseball could keep them off the field.

The eight men ousted from the American League by the Black Sox Scandal were made unemployed by baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis when he issued the permanent MLB ban in early August of 1921, nearly two years after they were suspected of playing key roles in fixing the World Series.

No longer able to suit up for the Chicago White Sox, the disgraced players sought the refuge of whatever teams would take them.

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The Bat & The Kittle

From a historical and statistical perspective, Ron Kittle put together the best single season of baseball that Alberta has ever seen. 

But as good as that 1982 campaign for the Edmonton Trappers was, Kittle is much more prolific as a sports personality and baseball storyteller. 

Edmonton got a taste of Kittle’s gift of the gab recently when the 1983 American League Rookie of the Year visited the provincial capital. The 6-foot-4, thick-armed and bespectacled former outfielder was in town as a guest of the Edmonton Prospects of the Western Major Baseball League (WMBL).

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