Rushmore Drillers

As I mentioned a few posts back, my mom and I took a week-long road trip to Saskatchewan to visit family living there.  On the way, we took advantage of the opportunity to visit Mount Rushmore in Keystone, South Dakota.

Mount Rushmore

In touring the museum for this national monument, I came across some artifacts from the Rushmore Drillers.  As it turns out, during the creation process for Mount Rushmore, the men working on the mountain also had a baseball team.

Rushmore Drillers jacket

Gutzon Borglum was the sculptor behind Mount Rushmore, and his son Lincoln was on hand to help oversee the project.  Lincoln Borglum, it seems, was a huge baseball fan, not to mention extremely competitive, and for particularly important games, he would park his car near the hoist house and left the radio on so the hoist operator could listen to the game.  The operator would then phone scores and game updates up to the men working on the mountain.  In an effort to boost morale and camaraderie among the workers, the Borglums decided to form an amateur baseball team.

As part of this endeavor, the Borglums, in true competitive fashion, added an additional job requirement for men applying to work on Mount Rushmore: they must also be good at playing baseball.  The men worked eight hours a day, six days a week.  Then, the Rushmore Drillers practiced baseball in the evenings, and on Sundays, they played.

The team was good enough to make it to the semi-finals of the State Amateur Baseball Tournament in 1939.  The greatest game in the tournament was one against the Brookings team, which went scoreless into the tenth inning.  Rushmore catcher McNally walked with one out in the inning. Then 18-year-old right fielder Nick Clifford hit a line drive triple into right center field to send McNally home. Clifford later came in on a wild pitch, and the game ended 2-0.  In the end, Rushmore placed third in the state.  Unfortunately, however, the team disbanded when work on the monument ended following the death of Gutzon Borglum in 1941.

Rushmore team pic

Rushmore baseball

This day in baseball: Records in stranding

On August 10, 1901, Frank Isbell of the Chicago White Sox set what was then an American League record by stranding 11 base runners as a result of his at-bats.  The Indians beat Chicago, 11-7, at Cleveland’s League Park.

The current American League record for base runners stranded stands at 12, held in a tie by Trot Nixon (2003) and David Ortiz (2009).  The NL record is 14, held by Ryan Zimmerman (2016).

Frank Isbell, 1909 (American Tobacco Company)

Yankees fan

My mom and I recently returned from a week-long trip to Saskatchwan (hence the sporadic posting lately).  Honestly, I’m still exhausted and recovering from our little jaunt, but promise to get back on the ball with my posts pretty quickly.

For now, here is a little joke to help tie us over.  Poor Yankees — though I imagine, in a lot of ways, they and their fans might get a kick out of being hated so much.


Two boys are playing hockey on an inlet on a pond in suburban Chicago when one is attacker by a rabid Rottweiler. Thinking quickly, the other boy takes his stick and wedges it down the dog’s collar and twists, breaking the dog’s neck. A reporter who is strolling by sees the incident and rushes over to the boy. “Young White Sox Fan Saves Friend from Vicious Animal,” he starts writing in his notebook.

“But I’m not a Sox fan,” the little hero replied.

“Sorry, since we are in Chicago, I just assumed you were,” said the reporter, and he began writing again.

“Cubs Fan Rescues Friends from Horrific Attack,” he continued writing in his notebook.

“I’m not a Cubs fan either,” the boy said.

“I assumed everyone in Chicago was either for the Cubs or the Sox. What team do you root for?” inquired the reporter. “I’m a Yankees fan,” the child responded.

The reporter turned the page in his notebook and wrote “Little Bastard from New York Kills Beloved Family Pet.”