Today in NC State History: Southern Conference throws a curve ball

March 13, 2015
By Chris Saunders

historyIconNC State’s baseball team had high hopes heading into the spring of 1931. It was coming off of an 8-10-1 campaign the previous year, and had a solid lineup of position players heading into the season.

But the Southern Conference dashed any hopes on this day 84 years ago when it ruled starting pitcher and captain Bill Averette ineligible for the season.

Photograph courtesy of the Agromeck.

Photograph courtesy of the Agromeck.

It turns out that Averette had signed a professional contract in 1930  with the Rochester Red Wings, according to The Technician. The team, as well as the Greensboro Patriots, was a minor-league affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Averette was first listed as a member of the organization in 1932, according to Baseball-Reference.com, a website dedicated to player and team statistics.

So what was NC State’s contingency plan?

“Coach ‘Chick’ Doak seems well fortified in all other positions except that of pitcher,” reported The Technician. “It is expected that Soonzy Morris, star shortstop of the freshman team last  year, will do most of the hurling this spring.”

There were other surprise losses, too. The Agromeck reported that catcher and co-captain Zeb Plonk didn’t enter school that year. Lefty Wade also did not return. He was “one of the best freshman hurlers in the State in 1930,” according to The Technician.

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