Blizzard, Snow, and My Garden Gnomes

gnome ankles 1 pm

“With the tail-end of that dreadful Northwestern blizzard rattling the windows and doors and the ground partly covered with snow and ice, it is rather difficult to compose an original article on baseball.” ~ The Washington Post, January 22, 1888

Before we get to my garden gnomes …

I wish I could tell you something about Jack Blizzard, who pitched nine games in the Texas minors in 1954. But, there’s nothing much to tell. No one knows much about Jack Blizzard. Or, if they do, they’re not talking.

He pitched nine games or so for the Plainview Ponies and the Abilene Blue Sox. These were Class C teams in the West Texas-New Mexico League. He was from Sulphur Springs, Texas. He was 19. He was a lefty.

Other than that, there’s not much to tell; just a few mentions in The Abilene Reporter News in the spring of 1954.

He first appears on April 28, playing with Plainview. He came into a game as a reliever and pitched part of the 8th. No runs.

On May 8, now with Abilene, he was one of four Blue Sox relievers who struggled through the 4th inning versus the Pampa Oilers; together the four relievers gave up seven runs in that inning. The Sox lost 12-4.

On May 20, another loss, this one to the Clovis Pioneers 9-3, and Blizzard came in to eat up the last 4.1 innings, holding the Oilers to just 3 hits, no runs.

May 25. Double-header, two losses, and two relief appearances from Blizzard who gave up one run in his second game of the day.

June 1. Another Blue Sox loss. Blizzard comes in in the 9th and walks two. On June 21, the Blue Sox send him to Oklahoma City.

And, he disappears. Leastways, I can’t find him.

He could very well be Jack Blizzard of Nederland, Texas, a former salesman, who passed away in 2009. His obituary doesn’t mention the spring of 1954 or baseball, but all the other details fit.

Today would be a good day to talk about Jack Blizzard, when there’s nearly two feet of snow outside here in Virginia.

Or, we could talk about Charlie Snow who played in just one big league game – on October 1, 1874 with the Brooklyn Atlantics.

But, I can’t tell you much about him either. I can’t find a record or box score of that game, but some records indicate he caught the game and went 1-for-1.

First baseman J.T. Snow played from 1992 to 2008 with four teams, mostly with the Giants.

In Game 2 of the 2000 NLDS, Giants versus Mets, Snow’s 3-run homer in the bottom of the 9th tied the game, but the Giants lost in the 10th anyway and ultimately lost the series. (The Mets went on to win the NL pennant and lose the World Series.)

Just like in 1888, it’s rather difficult to compose an original article on baseball today.

So, all I have left are my garden gnomes in the Virginia snow. “Gnomeageddon.”

gnome toes 11 am

11 a.m. Friday. Gnomes hate snow. No worries, just flurries.

gnome ankles 1 pm

1 p.m. Friday. Snow is gnome-ankle high.

gnome knees 330 pm

Friday, 3:30 p.m. Up to their knees, gnomes want to flee.

gnome butt 5 pm

Friday, 5:00 p.m. The snow has reached gnome-butt level. Clearly, this is serious snow.

gnome beard 9 pm

Friday, 9:00 p.m. The snow is now gnome-beard high. Stay strong, little gnomes! (Editor/Husband — after a brief “Are you serious?” conversation — trudged out into the cold and dark and held the light for me. He’s a trooper!)

gnome ears 7 am saturday

Saturday, 7 a.m. You know the old saying, “Snow is as high as a little gnome’s eye.”

gnome hat 11 am

Saturday, 11 a.m. It’s been snowing for 24 hours. You know the old saying, don’t you? “When the snow’s up to a gnome’s cap, it’s time for a nap.”

gnome tops sat 330 pm

Saturday, 3:30 p.m. Covered up. But, don’t worry, when stressed gnomes breathe through their hats. (Although I’m pretty sure that one on the left just split and left his hat behind.)

It’s been 12 weeks since baseball. And, it’s still snowing.

SUNDAY UPDATE: The Snow Has Stopped!

I suggested to some friends yesterday that a gnome’s favorite meal was cheese & crackers and tequila. I’m not sure about all gnomes, but since cheese & crackers and tequila is a generally good meal, why wouldn’t gnomes like it?

Some of my friends were concerned that I was treating these gnomes inhumanely (not understanding, I guess, that these particular gnomes are made of terracotta clay and are not real live gnomes). (I admit that it’s hard to tell when most of them are under snow.)

I hope this photo from Sunday morning will put everyone’s mind at ease.

gnomes are fine sun 8 am

Photos: January 22-24, 2016. Madison, Virginia © The Baseball Bloggess

18 thoughts on “Blizzard, Snow, and My Garden Gnomes

    • We’re never quite sure to do with so much snow down here. But, the nice thing about Virginia is that tomorrow the sun will be out, the temps will near 40, and everything will be melted in just a couple of days. In the meantime, I’m always happy for the occasional “citizens should shelter in place” snow day! :)

  1. Your way of measuring snowfall is so much more fun than those metal yardsticks the reporters have been using! Thanks for the grins on this otherwise “nappy” day.

  2. What a wonderful way to combine baseball and the weather. Love the Gnomegeddon. Hang in there, fellas.
    And glad to hear you and yours are safe (well, except maybe the leftmost Gnome)

    • Thanks, v. As of 9 p.m. both gnomes are nearly completely covered with snow. Either that or they both lit out for Florida and when all this clears out all I’ll find are their little hats lying in a puddle of melted snow. :)

  3. While being “socked in” by SnowZilla today, I saw that there are 26 days until pitchers and catchers report for the Orioles! Yay! Right?

    Didn’t J.T. Snow have baseball’s greatest save? Wasn’t he the one who pulled Dusty Baker’s son out of the way of home plate when the Giants scored the winning run in a World Series game?

    • Yes, that was J.T. Snow! I have that video on my blog somewhere … it was pretty quick thinking on Snow’s part. And, it led to the rule that bat boys have to be at least 14 years old. It’s a little crazy now to think they would let a 3 year old be a bat boy in a game where balls fly around at 100 mph and bats shatter all the time.

      I hope you have come through this snowstorm safe and sound. Yup … can’t wait for baseball!

      • So far, so good. No power loss. I did get out and took some pictures. I cleaned my car off, but I’m sure it’s covered back up. And I realized that I don’t have a shovel, so I’m not sure how I’ll dig out tomorrow. It’ll be low-tech if I use what I have; MacGyver style. A bucket and a broom hahahaha…

  4. JT was a good Giant. A fan favorite – not only for saving Dusty’s kid from a terrible accident or that home run to right field, but for his glove and great attitude. Lots of reasons to cheer for JT Snow.

    • Bruce, it’s so hard to believe that at one time they would allow a 3 year old to be a bat boy (even with his dad close by). It’s a dangerous place down there with fastballs and broken bats flying around. Yes, I liked JT too … and I’m glad that he’s continued to be part of the Giants’ organization after retiring.

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    • It’s one of my favorite challenges … just keep pawing through old newspapers until I find something or someone that fits and seems interesting, especially the obscure players who deserve a little extra hurrah. :)

    • Hi JB! Those little rascals didn’t pop completely out of their snow drift until yesterday … but with temps in the 50s (and into the 60s next week) the gnomes should be back to their tequila-fueled frolicsome ways soon. :)

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