Waterloo's All-Star baseball past

Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2022

Here's a treasure of Waterloo's baseball past, thanks to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. Three of the Waterloo White Hawks in this 1955 Courier photo made the 1961 American League All-Star team. Their manager had been a National League All Star in the 1940s. The fifth man is active in baseball to this day.

Pictured from left to right are White Hawks rookie stars Norm Cash, John Romano, manager Willard Marshall, Deacon Jones (not the National Footbal League star) and Barry Latman. 

This Aug. 30, 1955 Courier photo appeared on a 2019 obituary for Barry Latman on the site ripbaseball.com

Norm Cash was the 1961 American League batting champion (leading the majors with a .361 batting average), making his first of four All-Star appearances. He played first base for the 1968 World Champion Detroit Tigers. His 1961 Tigers won 101 games but finished second to the World Champion New York Yankees who won 109 games and starred Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle in their famous home run race to catch Babe Ruth's single-season home run record. Mr. Cash died Oct. 11, 1986 in a boating accident at age 52. 

John "Honey" Romano, a catcher, played 10 years in the big leagues and was a two-time All-Star for the Cleveland Indians in 1961-62. He passed away in 2019.

Willard Marshall played 11 years in the big leagues (giving up three years to military service with the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II) and was a two-time All-Star for the New York Giants in 1947 and 1949. In 1947 he hit 36 home runs, finishing second in the National League and the majors to Hall of Famers Johnny Mize (a Giants teammate) and Ralph Kiner, who tied at 51 (Marshall hit more homers that year than Hall of Famer Ted Williams, who led the American League with 32 and won his second Triple Crown that year, leading the AL in homers, batting average and runs batted in). In 1951 Marshall became only the second outfielder in baseball history to finish an entire season without a fielding error.  Mr. Marshall passed away in 2000. 

Deacon Jones had 60 plate appearances for the Chicago White Sox over three seasons in the 1960s, batting .286, but set a Midwest League record when he hit .409 for the Dubuque Packers in 1956, with 26 home runs. He coached for the Houston Astros and San Diego Padres and is now, at age 87, a special assistant to the president of the Sugar Land, Texas Skeeters, an Astros Triple A affiliate.

Barry Latman pitched 11 seasons with five different major league clubs, making the 1961 American League All-Star team with a 13-5 record with the Indians. Mr. Latman passed away in 2019.

Waterloo's Riverfront Stadium, formerly Municipal Stadium, was built in 1946 and marked its 75th anniversary last year. Over that time, through 1993 Waterloo had Class A minor league affiliates of the Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians and San Diego Padres in the Three-I and Midwest leagues and produced many good major league players including as Hall of Famers Luis Aparicio (1954) and Carlton Fisk (1968).

The Waterloo Bucks, a collegiate summer team in the Northwoods League, was established in 1995.