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Horny Toads have a 45-year history of American Legion baseball in the Panhandle

June 15, 2012

Horny Toads’ announcer Joe Dunnagan reminisces about his days as a Horny Toad, now about 30 years ago, while waiting to see if the Garden City team was going to make it to Hooker for the scheduled doubleheader. The Horny Toads won by forfeit. Staff photo/John Plestina

HOOKER—Don’t laugh at the name. The Horny Toads have a rich, 45-year history of American Legion baseball in the Panhandle.
Currently the Panhandle’s only American Legion baseball team, the Horny Toads won a scheduled doubleheader with Garden City by forfeit last night when the Kansas team failed to show up at Jack Goosen Field in Hooker by 6 p.m.
Sponsored by Hooker American Legion Jack Goosen Post No. 137, the Horny Toads date to 1967.
This season started May 29 and continues through July 15 with scheduled games against teams from Kansas, Texas and Colorado.
Managers include Tony and Karen Goosen. He is a former Horny Toad, the father of a current player and the son of long-time team manager Jack Goosen.
“Tony’s dad was the founder of the team,” Karen Goosen said.
The 2012 squad includes Hooker High School’s Cody Ansley, Brandon Goosen, Chad Kennedy, Taylor McBee, Brian McCann and Alec Pauda. Other Horny Toads include Jack Powers of Texhoma, and players from Texas that come from as far away as Dallas, who are living in Hooker for the season.
Team announcer Joe Dunnagan was a teammate of Tony Goosen about 30 years ago.
“We had some good teams back then,” he said.
“We played around 120 to 140 games a summer. There was a doubleheader almost every night,” Dunnagan said.
“It was all about us kids. About everybody worked for a farmer back then but they always let you off for a game,” he said.
Dunnagan played for both the Horny Toads Babe Ruth and American Legion programs.
One slogan is “Once a Horny Toad always a Horny Toad.”
Donations for the Horny Toads may be made to Hooker Legion Baseball, P.O.Box 932, Hooker, Okla., 73945.
More information about the program is available at hookerhornytoads.com.

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