Remembering the Pioneers

David Stevens

It’s too early to tell if Clovis will be selected as the Pecos League’s seventh team next summer, but it certainly has the resume for professional baseball, hosting the Clovis Pioneers in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s.

Clovis mostly played in the West Texas-New Mexico League, enjoying brief Major League affiliations with the Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds.

Few Pioneers players made their way to the big leagues, but Muleshoe farmer Wilcy Moore and Ray Bauer, who owned a Clovis auto parts store, were among locals who enjoyed minor league success.

Bauer’s son Scott, who lives in Henderson, Texas, said his dad was paid to play for the Pioneers from the mid-1940s to about 1951. But “Power Bauer” made most of his baseball money from Clovis fans who poked dollar bills through the fence in appreciation of the slugger’s run-scoring hits.

Bauer, who died earlier this month in Clovis at age 93, hit .364 with 19 home runs and 211 hits in 1948, according to baseball-reference.com.

Scott Bauer said his dad’s career was interrupted by World War II — he didn’t play professionally from 1941 to 1946 —