The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Mark Schremmer

July 23, 2013

BLOG: Former Joplin minor leaguers who played in majors, Part III

This year marks the 100th anniversary of historic Joe Becker Stadium in Joplin. The stadium was a home to minor league baseball for almost 40 years until the final season in 1954.

You probably know that Mickey Mantle played for Joplin during the 1950 season. But did you know that dozens of former Joplin minor leaguers reached the majors? Many of them played at Joe Becker Stadium after it was built in 1913.

Throughout the summer, I will share brief biographies of the former Joplin minor league baseball players who advanced to the majors, according to baseballreference.com.

This blog looks at the players who competed for Joplin in the 1930s.

-          Bob Boken played second base for the Joplin Miners in 1930. He played parts of two seasons in the majors with the Washington Senators and the Chicago White Sox from 1933-34. He played 17 seasons in the minors and recorded 1,866 career hits. Boken died in 1988.

-         Byron Humphrey pitched for the Joplin Miners from 1930-34. Born in Vienna, Mo., Humphrey had two relief appearances with the Boston Red Sox in 1938. He later served as a scout for the Baltimore Orioles and St. Louis Cardinals organizations. He died in Springfield, Mo., in 1992.

-          Harry Kimberlin pitched for Joplin in 1930. He pitched parts of four seasons with the St. Louis Browns from 1936-39, finishing with a 1-4 record and 4.70 ERA. He had a standout performance in the 1938 Texas League All-Star Game, retiring the first nine batters and striking out five of them. Kimberlin was born in Sullivan, Mo. He died in 1999 and is buried at Memorial Gardens in Poplar Bluff, Mo.

-          Cotton Tierney was a player-manager for Joplin in 1930. He played six seasons in the majors, highlighted by a .345 batting average with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1922. After baseball, he opened a bowling alley with Hall of Famer Zach Wheat in Kansas City, Mo. Tierney died in Kansas City in 1953.

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Mark Schremmer