New letter for an old pitcher: Claude Scott ’48

New letter for an old pitcher: Claude Scott ’48

In the days after World War II, young men didn’t challenge authority. So Claude Scott ’48 kept his mouth shut. That’s what he was taught in the U.S. Army, and it’s what ol’ Dutch Meyer wanted too.
Six decades later, Scott can talk about why, as a former TCU baseball pitcher, he never received a varsity letter.
Scott remembers the moment. Not pitching that day, he was coaching third base. With TCU down a run, a Horned Frog batter belted a liner into the gap and the runner at first was rounding second base and puffing toward him at third.
“He was a fast runner, and the ball had bounced funny,” said Scott, 88, who has lived in Fort Worth since the 1950s. “I knew for sure he’d make it home and we were going to tie the game.”
But as the runner galloped around the bag and was steaming toward home, his legs got tangled and he fell face-first 40 feet from the plate. He scrambled to his feet and made a dash for home, but it was too late.
The ball beat him by a step and the Frogs would lose.
“After the game, Dutch Meyer, our manager, was so mad,” Scott recalled. “He was too mad to talk.”
But Dutch wouldn’t hold it in forever. He tracked Scott down and told him he wouldn’t get a varsity letter. Don’t even ask, he’d tell his young player. So Scott didn’t.
He graduated a month later and went on with his life.
“That’s just how he is,” says his wife, Peggy Carter Scott ’49. “He didn’t want to make much of it. He didn’t talk about it much.”
But the story about his father always bothered Robert Scott, the fourth and youngest son of the Scotts. It was a wrong that should be righted. He even dug up old newspaper clippings to corroborate the account.
So last spring, he shared the story with TCU Athletics Director Chris Del Conte, who passed it along to TCU Lettermen’s Association director Greg Blackwell and TCU baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle.
All three agreed Scott should get his letter, even if it was 64 years late.
So on April 13 before the Frogs played Air Force, Scott lumbered out of the TCU dugout onto the Williams-Reilly Field at Lupton Stadium and, with Del Conte and Schlossnagle on hand to congratulate him, received a framed Lettermen’s Association insignia, membership in the group and his letter.
“We wanted to honor him with membership,” said Blackwell. “He earned it and has an amazing story to share. Once a Frog, always a Frog.”
Scott says he is grateful.
“I’d never trade those playing days. Dutch was a good man and a good coach,” he said. “I’ll always love him and TCU.”

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