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Mannford Wins Baseball Title, Survives Tornado 40 Years Ago – Presented by Results Physical Therapy

It was a Sunday morning in Mannford. Many of the citizens were either at church or preparing for church when a tornado tore through town. Many houses and buildings were either damaged or completely destroyed.

It was supposed to be an exciting time for Mannford and its baseball team who was headed to the state baseball tournament. Then head coach Ed McCann told The Oklahoman newspaper that the tornado damaged the school and there were pieces of the school on the field. A shed containing much of the team’s equipment was gone and the team was not in a good place mentally.

“We started practice,” he recalled, “and the kids had their daubers down. Their hearts just weren’t in it. It was a beautiful day after the tornado, so I just said, “Hey, let’s go fishing,” McCann told The Oklahoman. “We didn’t catch any fish, only sunburn.”

Mannford would face Bishop McGuinness in the finals at Oral Roberts University. The proximity to Mannford meant the fans could come out in force despite the devastation they were dealing with at home.

Pitcher John Casey was stellar through 4 2/3 innings having not allowed a single hit. Eventually McGuinness would break up the no-hitter, but no runs would cross the plate for the Irish. Casey improved his record to 14-1 and recorded eight strikeouts. Mannford center fielder Chris Martin was the big hitter for the Pirates recording two singles, one double and reached on base due to an error.

Mannford would go on to win the Class 3A state title over Bishop McGuinness, 8-0. Coach McCann told The Oklahoman after the game, “This is going to stay at my house until we get one built.”

The win marks the only baseball title in school history.

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