By Don McAlvy: Columnist
One of the most forgotten baseball teams in Curry County was the team made up of 11 brothers and one neighbor boy. How often is a baseball team made up of nearly one family? Rarely.
This is a partial story of that team.
“My folks, John and Lola Northcutt, were married in 1904 in Hamilton, Texas,” said Ralph Northcutt. “They brought the four older children to Curry County and homesteaded in 1909 east of Bellview. The family and friends enjoyed my mother, Lola, playing organ music and several of the children played musical instruments and sang together.”
“The only school in 1911-1914 was Liberty Bell,” said Burnie W. Northcutt. “My oldest sister and brother, Millie and Cecil, started to school there.
“It was us brothers who got together and came up with the idea of making up a baseball team,” he said.
The father, naturally the boss, okayed the idea. The boys of course had chores and work to do in the fields but found time to practice and practice hard. They loved the game.
“By 1936,” said Burnie, “we had a real baseball team made up of us 11 brothers and one neighbor boy. J. C. Penney in Clovis sponsored us with bats, balls, gloves and suits. We practiced each Sunday at my father’s farm east of Bellview.
“That is, if we didn’t have a game with Hereford, Littlefield, Grady, Ruth, Wheatland, or Ima. We played baseball for about two years until 1938. The Northcutt brothers had a wonderful time.”
The 11 brothers were Burnie, Ralph on first base, Johnnie, Fred, Cecil the catcher, Elmer the pitcher, Wesley at third base, twins Floyd and Lloyd, who took turns at shortstop, and Curg. Bobbie was too young to play and thought he could play if he was a little bigger, but the team broke up before he had the chance.
The daughters of the Northcutts, Millie (later Mrs. Nelson Pierce) and Gladys (later Mrs. Frank Rierson) were supporters of their brothers. (The third daughter died at birth.)
The solitary boy who was not a brother to the Northcutt boys was Rorex Lacewell, son of Windsor William Lacewell (1881-1969) and Ina Elizabeth Rudd Lacewell (1988-1974).
“They were the parents of four boys and four daughters,” said the former Ruddene Lacewell who lived in the Texico area, but was raised near Bellview. “Rorex was dark in his complexion and he also played catcher on the Northcutt baseball team. He was thought to be a Northcutt for that reason. He was the only person who could catch the hard balls from the pitcher Elmer Northcutt.”
Two of the baseball boys, one a Northcutt boy, played basketball as did Rorex Lacewell at Bellview.