Hobbs' new SS  for the 1961 season would become known as the "Stick". Gene Michael would bat .324 with 25 2b, 7 3b & 5 HR for the Pirates before going on to become the everyday shortstop for the New York Yankees. Kubski, Waslewski and Michael would help lead the Hobbs Pirates to 1st place… and a sweep of the Albuquerque Dukes for their 2nd straight Championship title. Just when things were looking at their best, the Hobbs Pirates got the bad news. The league was folding after the playoffs and Hobbs was out of professional baseball for good. In 7 years, Bender Park was the home to 3 titles and 2 playoff berths. Our thanks to Halls Nostalgia for these great ballpark photos.