El Paso Diablos opening night is Thursday, May 8, at Cohen Stadium. You can read David Vasquez's blog about the Diablos here.
April 13, 1973
By Barbara Funkhouser
El Paso now has a bonafide movie actor in residence, and 21-year-old Kurt Russell appears to be enjoying the best of all possible worlds.
The handsome young man arrived this week to play infield with the Sun Kings and next week may go to the movies to see “Charley and the Angel,” in which he has a co-starring role.
“Movies take precedent in the winter and baseball in the summer . . . If I should get hit by a truck and my face was ruined, I will play baseball. If I find out I can’t hit that ball hard enough, I’ll make movies,” he said.
“Baseball is lots tougher than acting, a much greater challenge. Acting is really very simple. They give you the lines and you go out there and deliver them. Baseball is different,” he said.
He sad his presence on the team may draw a few extra people to the stadium for a while but then the novelty will wear off and he wants to be watched for his baseball playing rather than his film fame.
He did two seasons with the Hawaii Islanders and teams in Oregon and Washington before joining the Sun Kings and hopes this is one more step toward top in baseball.
May 17, 1973
Kurt Russell Given Release
Kurt Russell, the El Paso Sun King’s leading hitter until felled by a shoulder injury, has been given his unconditional release by the Texas League ballclub.
Kings president Bing Russell made the announcement Wednesday afternoon after learning that Kurt will be sidelined for at least the next eight weeks with severely strained rotator cup in his right shoulder.
But before the crying towels come out, it should be noted that Bing, Kurt’s father, gave the actor-turned-ballplayer his walking papers so Kurt could make a movie or two during the summer.
“If he can make a motion picture, we’ll let him.” Said the head King. “He can’t play for eight weeks, and then Dr. (Robert) Kerlan, the Angels’ team physician, says it’ll be another two weeks for him to get back in shape. That’s 10 weeks, so if he can make a movie, why not?”
Contacted at his Thousand Oaks, Calif., home, Kurt said, “I’m not discouraged about baseball, I’ve been a good arm all my live, I just hope I haven’t ruined it.”
Before his injury, Russell was leading the Kings in hitting with a .563 average. His best night came against Midland at Dudley Field when he had three doubles and a home run in five trips, knocking in four runs.