Boyd (Bogey) Horrell, the leading hitter in 1948 for the only
championship baseball team Newport Harbor High ever had, died of a
respiratory illness, following a long illness, at 2:30 p.m. Friday.
His wife Dana and family members were present when he passed away at
his home in Huntington Beach. He was 74.
Horrell, who averaged around .340 in batting during the '48
season, had been farming and ranching near Yuma, Ariz. For many years
before shifting back to Orange County in recent times.
Horrell was a popular personality in the harbor area for many
years and excelled in athletics at both Newport High and Orange Coast
A Daily Pilot Sports Hall of Famer, Horrell was highly valued as a
sportsman and team player by the late Wendell Pickens, the '48 Tar
baseball coach, and Ray Rosso, his grid coach at OCC in 1948-49.
The stout outfielder also figures into the sports history book on
several other counts. He scored some of the first points in pirate
grid history with his conversion booting in the first-ever game
against Riverside, a 14-6 win for Coast.
To date, he is the only prep baseballer ever to hit a home run out
of a CIF playoff game at Lions Field in Costa Mesa. He also helped
Pickens construct the first baseball diamond for OCC in 1949.
Horrell was a four-year letterman in basketball at Harbor High and
performed in outstanding style for the football and baseball teams.
He played center and linebacker for four grid teams.
Rosso always had words of excellence for Horrell when he served as
a sterling center and linebacker for the Buc gridders.
He and the legendary fullback Hal Sheflin were among the only four
former athletes invited to a 50-year wedding anniversary on a boat
cruise by Mr. and Mrs. Wendell Pickens.
Although there were fans who heaped praise on him for the great
'48 Newport baseball season, Horrell was always the first to extend
the primary credit to a dazzling left-handed, 6-foot-4 pitcher named
Frank Hamilton. Hamilton was offered a $50,000 signing bonus by the
New York Yankees, but turned it down in favor of a college education.
Horrell also issued lofty words for an ace catcher named Bill
Weatherwax and a fine infield comprised of Bill Skiles, Don Ward,
Carleton Mears and George Reeves.
The noted athlete was ready for combat duty when the Korean War
broke out in June of '50. He became a BAR sergeant along the front
lines in South Korea.
His old friends loved his talent for bringing humor and good cheer
to any circle.
He once called on a '48 classmate named Don McCallum, who lived in
special quarters at the Balboa Bay Club, and surprised him over
breakfast in the patio.
McCallum looked up with astonishment and exclaimed, "How did you
get in here past the guards?"
Horrell laughed, then said, "I told them I owned the place."
He was once asked how he came by the nickname of "Bogey." He said
he and his dad once worked for the famed movie star Humphrey Bogart
around his yacht near Balboa Island. Eventually, his classmates would
rib him if he was ever stubborn. He said, "They would turn to me and
say, 'Who do you think you are, Bogey?' "