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  Terry Tucker Article - Must Read (admin)
Posted: 8:02:59 am on 7/1/2011 Modified: 8:12:20 am on 7/1/2011
 
Terry Tucker: Former bat boy remembers time with Oilers<BR><BR>Local businessman Terry Tucker is stopped occasionally by longtime sports fans who remember when he wore a Tulsa Oilers baseball uniform. Tucker wasn't a player or coach, however. He was the Oilers' bat boy from 1962 to 1964. "It does surprise me when they ask if I'm that Terry Tucker of the Oilers," he said while at ONEOK Field recently to watch a Drillers game. During those three seasons, when Tulsa won two Texas League pennants while playing before large crowds as a St. Louis Cardinals farm team at old Oiler Park, Tucker found himself in the spotlight a few times. His photo appeared in newspapers, he had his own baseball card, and there were other moments that brought him to the center of attention. "The bat boy used to sit in the bat boy circle next to the batter in the on-deck circle," Tucker said. "Bat boys were closer to the batter that was batting. One night, when (Tulsa's) Bud Bloomfield was batting, I turned and looked away at something, and all of a sudden I was knocked flat. The next thing I knew, I was waking up. The bat had slipped out of Bud's hands, and I had been struck by the bat. Immediately after that I started wearing a batting helmet and they moved me back to the fence, where they are today." There were times when Tucker heard Oilers fans' cheers and jeers. "One night a foul ball was hit about a third of the way up the screen," Tucker said. "I went over to retrieve the ball because they had to stop the game. Kids had tried to get it but couldn't. I finally was able to push the ball back to me, but then everyone booed me. And I couldn't throw the ball over the screen to the fans because it was so high." And there was a time when he got a carried away a bit when he drove a go-kart as part of a regular promotion. "I got to drive it around the infield to demonstrate it when they had the seventh-inning stretch," Tucker said. "On the night they were giving it away, I decided I was going to cut a doughnut around each base. The groundskeeper, Mr. (John) Tabor, was mad when I got back. "Tucker, 62, is a lifelong baseball fan, but didn't go to his first game until he was hired as a bat boy when he was 13. His favorite Oiler was coach Pepper Martin, a star for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1931 and '34 World Series. Tucker, however, at that time wasn't fully aware of Martin's fame. "All the players were great, but Pepper Martin was just a neat guy who would talk to you and take time for you," Tucker said. "He told a lot of stories and he liked to use big words. I think he'd look at dictionaries and pick out a big word to use every day. "We actually went out to his farm in Mustang, and he'd have barbecues there for the whole team several times."Tucker got to make one road trip each year. He credits his bat boy stint and Oiler owner A. Ray Smith for helping him deal with the death of his mother in the summer of '62. "Being a bat boy was a highlight of my childhood," said Tucker, whose favorite players included Harry Watts, Clint Stark, Dal Maxvill and Tom Hilgendorf.Tucker still has his 1963 Oilers uniform. For 21 years, he wore an Air Force uniform and served in the Vietnam War. He also is the owner of KAT Enterprises, an industrial sweeping service company. And from April through November, he flies around the nation as the flight engineer in an old World War II B-17 bomber, Aluminum Overcast, as part of the Experimental Aircraft Association.Whenever his schedule allows, Tucker enjoys attending Drillers games. "I'm always watching what the bat boys are doing," Tucker said.
 
  Terry Tucker Article - Must Read (mswick)
Posted: 9:46:09 pm on 7/8/2011 Modified: Never
 
Great article. I remember Terry from his days as a Tulsa Oiler batboy. I envied Terry because I was as crazy about the Oilers as he was. I spent every minute at the old ball park becasue I lived accross the street and they were a part of my life up until my graduation from Rogers. Like Terry, Harry Watts became a favorite on mine. My only memories left of the Oiler days are a few memories and some Texas League baseballs I have still clung too.
 


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