Easy on Readers (1939)

Found in the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, September 21, 1939 (page 4)–just as World War II was beginning:

McComb, Miss.–AP–The McComb Daily Enterprise gives confused readers a hand up by labeling each war story.

Its four symbols and their meaning
V — Verified.
OP — Official propaganda.
A — Seems authentic.
R — Rumor.

Good system. Everyone should adopt it for all political news.

No-Hitter, Two One-Hitters in Twin Bill (1980)

From The Sporting News, June 28, 1980; page 45:

The largest Waterloo Stadium crowd in several seasons–6,180–was treated to sterling pitching performances as the Waterloo (Midwest) Indians swept a doubleheader June 7 from the Appleton Foxes, 3-0 and 1-0. In the first game, Indians righthander Dane Anthony raised his record to 8-1 by unfurling a no-hitter. He allowed three base runners, all on walks. Earlier this season he had pitched a one-hitter and a two-hitter. In the second game, Appleton’s Chuck Fox and Waterloo’s Jack Nuismer each tossed a one-hitter. The lone safe blow off Fox decided the game. It was an eighth-inning single by Waterloo right fielder Carmen Castillo that scored first baseman Bob Bohnet from second. Bohnet had reached first on an error and was sacrificed to second.

Definitely my kind of an afternoon.

Beloit in Midwest for 1970 (1969)

From the Waterloo, Iowa, Daily Courier dated April 10, 1969, on page 26:


DECATUR, Ill. — Beloit, Wis. plans to play baseball in the Midwest League, reported league president Jim Doster here Thursday morning, but not until the 1970 season.

“The National Assn. met last week in Tampa, Fla.,” said Doster, “and advised us that the Midwest League should operate with nine clubs this year, since most farm directors had already disbanded and players have already been assigned.”

A report Wednesday said the city would field a team for the 1969 season, making the league a 10-team operation, but that report was incorrect.

“We first went to Dubuque,” said Doster, “but we got a cool reception there about putting a tenth team in. Rockford, Ill. was our next choice, but we found commitments had already been made there for the baseball stadium.

“Then Mike Kelegian of Rockford went to Beloit and found them interested,” Doster added. “The have a stadium two years old which seats 3,000.

“I have now invited Mike Kelegian to the meeting of our board of directors April 20 in Davenport. If the directors so desire, he can make formal application for 1970.”

The odd abbreviations are in the article. I’m pretty sure Jim Doster didn’t actually speak that way.

The “Wednesday” report cited above was surprisingly specific: The team name was going to be the Braves, the 1969 affiliation would be a Tigers-dominated co-op, the 1970 affiliation would be with Cleveland, and Kelegian would likely move the team to Rockford for the 1970 season. None of these things happened.

The June 23 Burlington Hawk-Eye reported progress on the Beloit grandstand for the 1970 season, as did the July 12 Madison Capital Times.

Danville would (re)join the Midwest League as its tenth team for the 1970 season. Beloit and Rockford would both eventually join the league–Beloit in 1982, and Rockford in 1988.

And people wonder why I’m generally skeptical about franchise move reports.

Have You Ever Had the Urge? (1968)

A photo caption from the Waterloo Courier dated June 10, 1968, on page 13, titled as above:

Layton Stump, manager of the John Deere Employees Credit Union, left, realizes an urge often felt by baseball fans and slams a cream pie into the face of Umpire Bill Deegan before the start of Saturday night’s Midwest League baseball game at Waterloo Stadium. Some 4,000 fans watched, slightly stunned, as Stump interrupted what appeared to be a roaring argument between Deegan and managers Jack Krol of Cedar Rapids and Rac Slider of Waterloo with a pie. They quickly realized, however, that it was a pre-arranged gag and they applauded the umpire as attendants wiped pie off his face and shirt so the game could be officially started. Cedar Rapids won it 5-4, the key blow a three-run homer by Wayne Boltinghouse with one out in the first of the ninth. Waterloo went into the ninth with a 4-1 lead.

I just couldn’t resist this one. William Edward John Deegan, who’s apparently a good sport, would umpire in the American League for about a decade, with subsequent short stints from time to time as a replacement during union actions.

Call Off Final M-O-V Playoffs (1950)

From the Mattoon Journal-Gazette for September 11, 1950:

Belleville, Ill. — The final playoff round between Paducah and Centralia of the Mississippi-Ohio Valley League has been called off, Clarence “Dutch” Hoffman, the league president, announced Saturday. The cancellation was blamed on “poor playing weather.”

At the time Paducah was leading West Frankfort two games to none in their five game series, and Centralia had beaten Mattoon 3-1. Two Paducah-West Frankfort games were postponed because of rain.

League directors will meet to determine distribution of the $600 playoff purse, Hoffman said.

Compare the 1951 TSN Guide, on the same topic:

Playoffs — Centralia defeated Mattoon, three games to one; Paducah defeated West Frankfort, three games to none; final series called off because of bad weather, injuries, and military calls.

As you can see, the accounts actually disagree, both about the status of the Paducah/West Frankfort series and about the reason for the cancellation. Looking at the game reports for those which were actually played, it looks like the weather was sufficient reason to shut things down; it was wet and cold, and few were in the stands.

Centralia, Belleville Play 17 Innings, Game Ends in 2-2 Tie (1947)

From the Harrisburg, Illinois, Daily Register for August 27, 1947:

Centralia, Ill., August 27 — (U.P.) — Centralia and Belleville played 17 innings in their Illinois State Baseball League game last night before calling it a draw at two all.

Belleville scored two in the eighth while Centralia picked up a pair in the fourth. Neither team was able to score again in the innings that followed. [Ed] Lubanski went all the way on the mound for Belleville, and [Harry] Markellos did the same for Centralia.

The line score for the game was elsewhere on the page:

Belleville 000 000 020 000 000 00 - 2 11 3
Centralia  000 200 000 000 000 00 - 2 12 2
Batteries: Lubanski and Lovin, DeFrietas (5);
Markellos and Ciacchi.

Lovin? Who is this Lovin who started the game at catcher for the Stags? And why did manager Walt DeFrietas have to relieve him in the fifth? I’ve not seen his name before, and SABR’s under-construction minor leagues project doesn’t have anyone last-named Lovin. But I see he’d caught another game two days earlier, and would catch again on September 2 (complete games, in both cases.) But I don’t find a first name, nor a clue.

Someone to add to my roster, and SABR’s.

Wisconsin Rapids Loses Manager Before Season Starts (1977)

From the Waterloo Courier for April 17 1977:

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis (AP) — Tom Zimmer did not even try managing the Wisconsin Rapids Twins of the Midwest League before he quit.

Zimmer, 24, son of former major leaguer Don Zimmer, said Friday he was quitting as manager because of poor facilities, ill-fitting uniforms, inadequate stadium lighting and a lack of lodging in the Wisconsin Rapids area.

The team’s first baseball game was scheduled for Saturday night at Clinton.

The club, affiliated with the Minnesota Twins, was to be directed on an interim basis by Minnesota assistant farm director Jim Rantz.

Zimmer conducted a practice session with the team Friday afternoon, then announced his resignation after a telephone discussion with Twins’ officials in Minnesota.

As you’d expect, this AP story was printed all over the country.

Rantz managed two games, 1-1, before he was succeeded by Twins scout Carlos (Potato) Pascual. Pascual stayed for five weeks, compiling a 16-24 record before handing the team to another Twins scout, Red Robbins. Robbins, who finished the season, had a 49-57 record.

The big league Twins disavowed Zimmer’s comments, and kept sending players to WR until 1983. When they moved, the reason given was inadequate facilities.

Double Iron Man Stunt (1952)

From the Alton (Illinois) Evening Telegraph for August 13, 1952:

Centralia, Ill. (AP)–Two “Iron Men” pitched against each other in a Mississippi-Ohio Valley baseball league July 4th double-header.

Harvey Noland of Canton and Pete Naranjo [of Decatur] pitched both games for their respective sides. Noland won the first game, 2-1. Naranjo copped the nightcap, 3-0.

This article appeared in newspapers around the country, word-for-word–none mentioned Naranjo’s team–over the course of about a month. Interesting enough to use as a filler, I guess; not interesting enough to be timely.

I searched for, but could not find, a local account. I’d really like to see the box scores.

Umpire Huddle Leads to Protest (1962)

Found in the 7/21/1962 issue of The Sporting News, while looking for something else:

Here’s a new one in the line of protests. In the game between Burlington and Dubuque (Midwest), July 8, Walt Novick, Packers’ manager and Umpire Dick Williams were conferring outside first base. Plate Umpire Keith Harris did not notice the conversation and neither did Burlington Batter Bill Kuklenski. Kuklenski grounded to Ron Henderson at second base, but the infielder couldn’t make a throw because First Baseman Bob Iglesias was watching Novick and Williams. As a result, Kuklenski was called back to bat again. However, Jim Adlam, Burlington manager, claimed the batter should have been given first base, and when he was overruled, filed the protest. Dubuque won, 6 to 5.

The odd capitalization was in the original.

Also on page 42 of TSN that week:

  • Quad Cities drew 12,095 overflow-ground-rules fans for a game on an unspecified date.
  • Denny McLain struck out 16 batters for Harlan (Appy) in his second start of the season; his first had been a no-hitter. No dates were listed for either game. They misspelled his last name.
  • At their mid-season meeting the Alabama-Florida League discussed permitting Negro players to appear on the field. It seems they’d received an ultimatum from the major league farm directors. No decision was reached, though the Florida-based clubs were willing to integrate.

Much of the page was devoted to part of a long story featuring Flint Rhem, a colorful (hard-drinking) guy who played major league ball in the twenties and thirties, mostly with the Cards. Since I was (unsuccessfully) searching for information about 1962 MWL umpire Edward Rhem, that’s how I stumbled on the page.

TSN is now available via WorldVitalRecords.com. I’m so pleased to have it back.

M-O Winner May Play Kitty Loop Champion (1949)

From the Mattoon Journal-Gazette for July 12, 1949; page 5:

Paducah, Ky. –(AP)– Officials of the Mississippi-Ohio Valley baseball league have decided to challenge the Kitty league to post-season series.

The action was taken yesterday on motion of Pete Mondino, owner of the league’s West Frankfort, Ill., club.

“I’m tired of having people send me newspaper clippings telling me that the Kitty is better than the Valley,” Mondino told the league meeting. “If they’re good, let them prove it.”

The group approved sending its Shaughnessy playoff winner in a September series to be arranged by the two leagues.

Shirley Peace, Kitty league president, told newsmen that if the challenge is received his league will consider it.

Dunno what became of the challenge. The game was not played, though.