Gilbert M. Carter

by Mike Magers

Gil Carter was a professional baseball player from 1958-1960. On August 11, 1959, the Carlsbad Potashers were playing the Odessa Dodgers of the Class D Sophomore League with about 1,000 fans in attendance. The Potashers were trailing 6-0 in the bottom of the 9th when pitcher Wayne Schaper delivered a pitch to Carter which Carter connected with and drove out of the park.

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Image credit: Carlsbad Current-Argus, 1959

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Joel Hunt

by Mike Magers

Joel Hunt was born in Texico, New Mexico in Curry County and graduated from Texico High School.  He attended Texas A&M University and was quarterback of the football team under Coach Dana X. Bible.  Joel was named to the All-Southwest Conference team all three years.

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Ralph Kiner

by Mike Magers

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Ralph Kiner was a 2014 inductee into the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame.  Ralph’s sole connection to New Mexico is that he was born in 1922 in Santa Rita, now a ghost town but at the time, a copper mining town in Grant County, New Mexico.  He attended high school in Alhambra, California and then attended Pasadena City College and University of Southern California, signing a contract with the Pittsburg Pirates in 1941.  Like many other players, he entered the armed forces after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Kiner served in the United States Navy as a pilot in World War II, afterwards making his debut with the Pirates on April 16, 1946 and playing his final game September 25, 1955.

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Terry “Tito” Landrum

by Mike Magers

Terry Landrum is from Albuquerque, New Mexico and graduated from Highland High School.  He was a good high school athlete with a desire to play professional baseball, despite not playing the sport in high school.  Landrum wanted to attend junior college rather than a four year college, but he caught the eye of the baseball coach of a small school, Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilbarton.  However, only a couple of months into his freshman year,  he signed as an undrafted free agent with the St. Louis Cardinals baseball club.

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Vern Stephens

by Mike Magers

[Vernon Stephens is not a product of New Mexico schools, but from time to time we will write about such people and hope you enjoy the diversion.]

Vernon Decatur Stephens, Jr. was born in tiny McAlister (Quay County), New Mexico. He was known as “Junior” and was the son of a minor league umpire, Vernon Stephens, Sr., who was a farmer by trade. Born in Oklahoma Territory, Vernon, Sr. and his wife Grace decided to head west in 1920, getting as far as New Mexico where Vernon, Jr. was prematurely delivered. This, however, is likely Junior’s only connection with New Mexico, as the family continued on west, eventually settling in Long Beach, California. Consequently, we will only do this brief sketch about him. If you would like to read more about him, please see the excellent article on Vern from SABR, the Society for American Baseball Research, written by Mark Armour.

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