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I Remember Guy Bush
by Mary A. Scobey

Guy Bush was the celebrity in our family. He was my mother's first cousin and was often a visitor in our home as I grew up. In fact, he and my father co-owned an eleven-hundred acre farm near Buena Vista, Mississippi, and coming from a farming background, Guy, while living in Chicago, got great pleasure coming down to help supervise the tenant farmers and keeping up with the growing and harvesting of crops.

My brother and I, as teenagers, were much in awe of our swarthy, handsome cousin who made such an impression on all our friends when he arrived at our home in Booneville, Mississippi, driving a sporty, British-made car -- a Cord. Guy regaled us with stories of his life "in the fast lane," telling us about the celebrities he knew, the parties he attended and a lifestyle completely foreign to us. One incident he loved to tell was when he was pitching to Babe Ruth in a World Series game; the "Babe" missed his first throw and said to Guy, "Throw me another one just like that." Guy did and Babe Ruth knocked it out of the park. Guy actually surrendered the last two home runs of the Babe's career in 1935.

Guy became the notable pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, and later for the Pittsburg Pirates, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds. Some of his major accomplishments in the Major Leagues include: helping the Cubs win the National League Pennant in 1929 and 1932; gaining notoriety in 1927 for winning an 18-inning game in which he pitched from start to finish (a feat only matched by two other pitchers throughout Major League history); finishing twice in the top-twelve vote-getters in the National League Most Valuable Player race; and accumulating a 176-136 win-loss record and a 3.86 earned run average over his seventeen year career. He also was an entrepreneur, owning a number of service stations in the Chicago area and had endorsement contracts for various products.

Aberdeen, Mississippi, was Guy's birthplace, and he began playing baseball with friends as a young teenager in a pasture near his home. His ability to pitch was brought to the attention of a representative of TMI (Tupelo Military Institute) and he accepted a scholarship there. After that he was discovered by a scout from a professional baseball team and the rest is history. He became known as "The Mississippi Mudcat."

Guy retired to a small farm in Shannon, Mississippi, where he did truck farming. He could often be seen on his tractor, cultivating the soil and enjoying the fresh air and freedom of country life. My brother, Vic Ashmore of New Albany, took his young sons there to visit him several years before his death, and he honored the two boys by pitching a few balls to them. Vic said he could still throw a mean "curve" ball.

In 1985 at the age of eighty-three Guy passed away. He was portrayed in the movie, "The Babe," by Richard Tyson in 1992. Knowing how he relished the "glory years," it is too bad he did not live long enough to see himself being given this well-deserved recognition on the silver screen.


      Mary Ashmore Scobey was born in Lafayette County and proudly admits to having just reached the stage of octogenarian. She graduated from Booneville (Mississippi) High School and, after moving to College Hill with her parents, she attended "Ole Miss," receiving her B.A. degree in 1948 and her Master's (in French and English) in 1950. She then began a career in teaching and has been employed in recent years as counselor for the American Intercultural Student Exchange. She is married to Eugene Scobey of Coffeeville and they have two children: Dr. Eugene Scobey who serves as Hospitalist at Baptist-East and Julianne Scobey, who is Director of Programming at WMC-TV in Memphis.

Writing short stories and poems has always been a favorite pastime of Mary's. She wrote her first poem at the age of eleven, got it published and has been "hooked" ever since. She currently has a book of her father's World War I memoirs titled French Memoirs - World War I for sale on the shelves of Square Books in Oxford and Davis-Kidd Booksellers in Memphis.

Here are more fascinating memoirs by Mary Scobey:
Les Pommes A Paris [Apple Head Dolls]
Faulkner and Yaknapatawpha Country
Paul Rainey ~ A Legendary Figure
Out Of My Element
Love At Last

Want to leave a comment on Mary’s story?
Please write Ye Editor at bethjacks@hotmail.com.

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