Tag Archives: midwest league
The recent fire at West Michigan’s ballyard set me to searching for coverage of the only comparable event in Midwest League history, the fire at Community Field in Burlington, Iowa, on June 8, 1971. The best treatment I could locate was in the Des Moines Register on June 10.
Although blogs hadn’t yet been invented, seventeen years ago I kept a Lansing Lugnuts weblog, which I called Joel’s Lansing Lugnut Notes. The 1996 Luggies were a new team. I began keeping the online journal because I’d been watching Midwest League (MWL) play for several summers and figured I had something to contribute to the Lansing discussion. As things worked out I did a writeup after each series, and composed a few other pages as inspiration struck. I plan to repost all of the weblog entries, and most of the other pages, to this journal over the next few months. Most will be posted 17 years to the day after they were originally written.
There will be no playoff series in the Illinois State League after all. Directors of the circuit called off the post-season games on the final day of the season, at a time when President Howard Millard was preparing to release the playoff schedule to the wire services
Howard Millard, the president of the Midwest League’s predecessor Illinois State League in 1947 and 1948, was sports editor for the Decatur (Illinois) Review (later the Herald and Review) from 1920 through 1958. For his entire tenure in Decatur Millard wrote a column called “Bait for Bugs.” He was good at his job, but covering the Three-I League for The Sporting News didn’t bring him national fame. He was unusually active in Illinois, however, founding and presiding over the Illinois Associated Press Sports Editors Association.
A fine piece of research. Most minor leagues failed in the 1950s; we need more people examining why specific leagues succeeded.
We’ve straightened out the pitching situation–Scott McGregor’s magically appeared on the mound. And we’ve released Ingram from his baserunning duties so he can return to QC’s CF. emBut: We’re still lost track of one out. That will haunt us.
Emails often made my day. I heard from fans, from past and present players, from team radio voices, from former and would-be player girlfriends, from executives, from prospective team owners, from newspaper reporters. Over the years I received thousands of notes on a vast array of topics. A Danville fan told me about watching Butch McCord. One writer told about his mother boarding black players in Decatur. Another filled me in on a former player’s troubled life after baseball. A batboy told about his continuing friendships with players who’d shared the Dubuque dugout. Pat Neshek wrote me a delightful note after his MWL summer. Bob Sprout thanked me for writing up his remarkable season, as did Bob Lawrence; both were reminded of lost friends. In the best email I ever received, a kind lady from Williamsport, Pennsylvania, told me in detail how her family became unintentional hosts to a gentle giant named Juan Salazar, and fell in love.
Tim Rask is an excellent baseball historian, and although the Arcadia format handicaps him, he’s done a fine job of presenting an overview of professional baseball history in the Quad City area. The book’s photographs are well-chosen, too. That Dorothy Wulf spent a lifetime collecting photographs of Davenport based teams proves a valuable resource.
My preferred name for Lansing’s ballyard would be The REO Diamond. But it’s not gonna happen.