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Page 16 BOSTON POST-GAZETTE, AUGUST 16, 2013 Matt Batts Caught for Sox in '49 Pennant Race Back when I was born, baseball was still baseball. Most players were connected to the fans in the stands and those outside the park waiting for autographs. No one thought of selling their autographs and enjoyed the mere fact somebody wanted theirs. Matt Batts was one of those baseball characters. During his 10-year career, he played for the Red Sox from 1947 to 1951 and ended up being a resource for David Halberstam's Summer of '49, which chronicled the AL race for the pennant between the Sox and Yankees which went down to the season's final weekend. This was a great baseball book, which I have read and re-read from time to time. It is such an easy read and is difficult not to keep reading it page after page. Matt Batts re- mained close t.o Ted Will- iams, Johnny Pesky, Mel Parnell and Dave Ferriss long after their playing careers had ended. Batts passed away July 14 th at age 91. He was a .269 life- time hitter who was adept at throwing opposing batters off their game by messing with their concentration at the plate. His daughter Denise Claf- lin said of her father, "He lived a fun life and wanted those around him to enjoy it as well." Batts came up to the Red Sox in late 1947, hitting .500 with eight hits in 16 at-bats. He hit .314 in 46 in 1948 when Boston lost to the Indians in a one-game play- off for the pennant. He hit .242 in 1949 and .273 in 1950 as a backup player. He was traded to the St. Louis Browns in 1951 and ended up catching for the great Satchel Paige. The following year, it was off to the Tigers. He started 116 games and batted .278. He was remem- bered at Fenway Park this past July 204 at a memorial EXTRA Innings by Sal Giarratani service one week after his death. His daughter said he always saw himself as a "Red Sox" and enjoyed his Boston years. His nephew, by the way, Danny Heep also played for the Sox back in 1989-90. Max Seherzer Looks Like Cy Young League Baseball next to the surprising Kansas City Royals. They want the National League Central title badly. For 20 losing years, the Pirates couldn't win and now they seem intent as I just said on not losing. This could be their year. The last time they were this good was 1979, when Willie Stargell, in those old uniforms with the adoption of the song "We are Family" won the hearts of Baseball Nation. I Still Like Josh Reddiek Best pitcher in baseball to date and all season thus far is Max Scherzer. He is mak- ing everyone forget the Cy Young winner who pitches before Max in the rotation. ]'hat guy is 12-8 this season and Max has an incredible 17-1 with a 2.84 ERA. Johnny Logan Helped the Braves in the '57 World Series Johnny Logan a four-time All-Star who helped the Milwaukee Braves win the 1957 World Series has died at age 86. In 13 seasons with both the Boston and Milwau- kee Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates, he hit .286 with 93 home runs and 547 RBIs. He finished his career in Japan in 1964 and later worked as a scout for the Milwaukee Brewers. Logan was honored last month by the Brewers with the unveiling of his plaque on the Miller Park "Walk of Fame." Pittsburgh Pirates Still Winning As I Wlte this, the Pirates are still winning games and have yet to collapse, as they have the past two seasons. This year they seem intent on stopping the St. Louis Cardinals. The Pirates are the hungriest team in Major Last week Josh Reddick hit three home runs in a game against the Blue Jays. I liked him when he was with the Red Sox and was sorry to see him go to Oakland. I see great things in his baseball career. He will be remembered by the Fenway Faithful, as was Johnny Damon. Did You See That Photo of Big Papi? Last week the Boston Globe ran a photo of David Ortiz holding a little baby during the singing of the national anthem. Talk about damage control. By the way, he was holding his left hand over his heart, just saying. He went from Down East to Down Under. Then it was on to the Lone Star State. And now the City of Brotherly Love beckons. And squeezed in among all of those moves was his four-year playing career at Boston University. Yes, for a basketball person Brett Brown certainly has done his share of traveling over the years. Not during games, mind you, but get- ting to them -- especially when they involved him in a coaching capacity. And now he gets to fully display his acumen on bas- ketball's grandest stage -- the NBA -- as he takes over the reins of the Philadelphia 76ers from Doug Collins, who resigned this past spring following a 34-48 finish. Brown has been in the NBA for a while, of course, but always in the background -- as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs. It's the culmination of a journey, it really is. But when you exam it in totality maybe, just maybe, Brett Brown was destined to reach the pinnacle of his profes- sion, even though he would be 52 by the time he would be called an NBA head coach. He grew up in South Port- land, Maine in a state bet- ter known for its outstand- ing college hockey team -- the University of Maine Black Bears -- than other aspects of athletics. But his father just hap- pened to be the longtime head basketball coach at South Portland High. And it was there that Brett, while playing point guard, led the team to an unde- feated 20-0 season and the Class A State Championship in 1978-1979. From there it was on to the Big City to the south -- Boston -- where another young man was also seeking to make a name for himself in the Hub. That would be Rick Pitino, who had just nailed down his first head coaching job, leading the bas- ketball version of the Boston University Terriers in a venue usually associated with excellence in college hockey. It wouldn't take long for Brown to make his mark, earning team MVP honors by the end of his sophomore season and then leading the Terriers to their first NCAA March Madness appearance in 24 years in 1983. It was the capstone achievement of his senior season. But there was always a bit of wanderlust in Brett. In the years following his gradu- ation he traveled around the South Pacific, eventually meeting his future wife Anna and finding a coaching job in Australia. He would remain there for the next 14 years, far from the rocky Maine coast of his youth but at home with the game that he loved. Hired by the Melbourne Giants of the Australian National Basket- ball League in 1993, he was named coach of the year the following season after lead- ing the team to the league championship. He went on to serve as an assistant coach for the Australian Olympic Team at the 1996 Atlanta Games. He did the same for the 2000 Games in Sydney and was named the head coach of the Australian squad that fin- ished seventh at the 2012 London Games. In between there was the U.S., the NBA and the San Antonio Spurs. He became a volunteer assistant with the Spurs for the 1998-1999 sea- son, a year that they went all the way and claimed their first NBA Championship. He rejoined the team in 2002 as an assistant coach and director of player develop- ment and was moved to a full-time assistant position starting with the 2006-2007 season. The Spurs have won four NBA titles and Brown has been involved in some way with each of them. In fact, he was in line for a promotion for the coming 2013=2014 campaign if he hadn't gone to the 76ers, destined to become the top assistant for the Spurs when training camp opens next month. But he had his eye on a head coaching job. When the top spot at the Celtics became open in the late spring, Brown was one of a number of coaches and former players who stated openly in the media that they would like to be considered. As we all know it wasn't to be as GM Danny Ainge con- ducted a search away from the media glare and came up with Butler University coach Brad Stevens. And like Brad Stevens, who received a six-year guaran- teed contract with the Celtics, fellow rookie NBA head coach Brett Brown also has his guaranteed -- for four years. Like Stevens, he takes over a team that is in a rebuilding phase, having (Continued on Page 13)