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By David Stevens
The Staff of The News 

Pages past, July 16: A baseball slugger is born


Last updated 7/15/2023 at 1:07pm

On this date ...

1917: Ray Bauer was born in Portland, Ore.

After graduating high school, the baseball slugger was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds and he soon found himself playing minor league ball in Clovis.

He played eight seasons of professional baseball, interrupted by World War II, and then made Clovis home, marrying Dorothy Dale in 1951.

He operated Clovis’ Bauer Auto Supply.

Pioneer baseball fans still remember him as Ray “Power” Bauer. He hit 66 home runs in his professional career, including 19 in 1948.

He died in 2010 at age 93.

1918: Roosevelt County’s first soldier killed in World War I had written a letter to his parents just two days earlier, the Portales Journal reported.

“No, I am not fat,” Carl McDermott joked with his mother in a letter dated June 16, 1918.

“I feel good and must be in pretty good health to stand six days and nights without rest.”

McDermott wrote that he’d been involved in heavy fighting somewhere in France and was looking forward to a “leave of absence we have been due for about six months.”

While the newspaper did not report how McDermott died, it was clear he’d been involved in fighting that led to multiple casualties. He wrote that he was bringing home a German canteen as a souvenir.

1946: One of Portales’ four city water wells was not working and officials said the result was a “critical” shortage.

The city council voted to ask consumers to voluntarily observe a ban on watering lawns until the pump could be repaired.

City officials were making plans to drill a fifth well at the city park.

1960: Al Whitehouse, a five-year veteran with New Mexico State Police, began working in Roosevelt County.

The Portales News-Tribune reported state police headquarters had recently issued a new directive — to stop 10 cars daily for routine inspections.

1960: Babe Ruth League all-stars from Portales included Stan Lehman, Clois Jeffries, Johnny Hooper and Tinker Wood. The 15 boys selected were scheduled to participate in a district tournament late in the month.

1960: Despite opposition from the merchant’s committee of the Chamber of Commerce, Portales City Council members unanimously approved a 1% city sales tax.

The new ordinance was 30 pages long.

1961: Law officers in Bailey County rushed to an area farm expecting to make arrests for gambling.

Officials said they had received a tip that “a car load of people (were) playing poker and throwing dice.”

At the scene, officers found a farm couple picking wild plums while their children waited in the car.

Also, the officers’ car got stuck in the soft sand.

The farmers and their children helped free the vehicle, the Clovis News-Journal reported.

1971: The service station at First and Prince in Clovis was robbed at gunpoint shortly after midnight.

Police reports showed the bandit took $206. Police said the robber carried a small caliber pistol.

Station attendant Michael Walters, who was not injured, said the man fled on foot toward the Santa Fe Railway yards.

1975: Cannon Air Force Base was preparing for the arrival of a new wing commander.

Col. Cecil Crabb would become the 27th Tactical Fighter Wing commander by week’s end, succeeding Brig. Gen. (select) John Bennett.

Bennett had been named inspector general for Tactical Air Command.

1975: Eli “Billy” Dominguez tossed a no-hitter to lead Tucumcari’s Senior League All-Stars to a 9-1 victory over Friona.

Dominguez struck out 15 while walking five in the game.

Dominguez also had two hits and scored the game’s first run.

1975: Melrose was preparing for its annual Old Timers Day, which was set to kick off Aug. 9 with the Miss Melrose Pageant at the Melrose Auditorium.

Other weekend activities included a parade — featuring Miss Melrose 1975 and 1976 and an assortment of boats, bicycles and horse riders — along with an all-girls rodeo.

John Davis, with New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, was slated to be master of ceremonies for the gatherings.

1977: Cannon Air Force Base officials had cut the ribbon on a new $1.7 million gymnasium complex and were giving community tours.

Col. Thomas Hickey declared the complex, “probably the finest in the Air Force.”

1977: Albums and 8-track tapes on sale at Kmart included:

• “Book of Dreams” by the Steve Miller Band

• Superman” by Barbra Streisand

• “Rumours” by Fleetwood Mac

• “Izitso” by Cat Stevens

Prices ranged from $1.97 to $5.97.

Pages Past is compiled by David Stevens and Betty Williamson. Contact:

[email protected]

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