No wonder they call it the "hot corner." Coach Loyal Park lost yet another third baseman, Jimmy Thomas, last Tuesday in a game against Boston College. Thomas jammed his ankle in the second inning, and as a result will be out of action for today's Greater Boston League (GBL) contest against Northeastern, which has been rescheduled for 4 p.m. on Soldier's Field.
Fortunately, Thomas' departure will not be as permanent as Jim Stoeckel's, the original third baseman, who was ruled ineligible to play by the Ivy League for signing a pro football contract. In the meantime, however, sophomore Fran Cronin will play the bag for Park's 16-6 squad. Cronin has been filling in at left and right field this season, and has been used as a pinch-runner on several occasions.
The team, which has been in somewhat of a hitting slump of late, will miss the bat of Thomas as much as his glove. Thomas has come up with some clutch hits in recent games and his average has been climbing. The team average, on the other hand, has been slipping since the beginning of the season and is now down to .278.
Following Harvard's loss to the Eagles and MIT's 9-8 win over Northeastern, the rumor is out in the GBL that the league is up for grabs this year. Only it doesn't look like anyone wants to win it. The Crimson squad is out in front with a 4-1 record now, but a loss to the Huskies today will send the league into pandimonium.
A surprising Brandeis club posts a 2-1-1 mark in the GBL, while Northeastern is 4-3, MIT has a 3-2 slate, Boston College upped its record to 3-3-1 and the hapless Jumbos of Tufts are winless in four league games.
Park will send Jim Harrell (3-1) to the mound today as Harvard looks to win an unprecedented fourth straight title. Tuesday's defeat was only the second league loss for the Crimson since 1970, and has given the rest of the teams a ray of hope that someone else might reign as king of the Beantown baseballers.
The Huskies are looking to be the ones to dethrone the Crimson, but they'll have to play better today than the last time out in Soldier's Field, when a pair of costly errors handed the game to Harvard in the eighth.