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The message on the Northern League's schedule printed in the "Sporting News" said "Original member of the National Association comes back this season." The season ran from May 4 to September 5. Other leagues that used the "Northern" label played in 1902 (ind), 1903-1905 (class D), 1908 (D), 1913-1916 (C) and 1917 (D).
Larry Desautels, sports editor of the "Grand Forks Herald" wrote in "The Sporting News" that Bubbles Hargrave was being sought as the manager at Little Falls and Bunny Brief was expected to sign as the Brainerd pilot. Pat Gharrity had been inked to manage at Eau Claire after the club was unable to reach an agreement with Nemo Liebold who was originally slated for the job.
Management of the league's teams was: Grand Forks - R.L. (Russ) Voelz, owner; Little Falls - Joe Bieganek, owner; Superior - Dick Wade, owner; Eau Claire - David Quinn, owner; Winnipeg - Bruno Haas, owner; Crookston - Lute Boone, owner; Fargo-Moorhead - Al Theis, owner; Brainerd - Ray Mergens, owner.
4-33: Charley Armstrong, a high school star at Sturgeon Bay, WI, was signed by Eau Claire. He was picked for his high school league's all star team at shortstop in all of his 4 years there. His team won the conference championship in 1928 which was the year Armstrong handled 19 chances in one game without an error. Since graduating from high school, he had been playing semi-pro ball. At 22 years old, he was 5'9", 150 pounds and batted and threw right-handed.
Bunny Brief was delaying his start at managing Brainerd until he was sure his "filling" station business in Traverse City, MI, could do without him. Supposedly, the Brainerd owner had a number of letters on his desk from other managerial possibilities. The owner was also attempting to form an all-rookie team to play at Bane Park from 200 potential players (letters received). Aspirants were to furnish their own baseball gear and pay their own expenses during the training period. It was reported that several Chicago youths were going by train to the training site which the city park board was getting in shape for the season.
Russell Voelz, of Grand Forks, was named the league president-secretary. Voelz requested that Lute Boone be treasurer "as the Grand Forks owner did not wish to be the league's lone officer." Training began on April 20 with Grand Forks scheduled on April 17. Grand Forks, Crookston, Brainerd, Little Falls, Eau Claire and Superior practiced on their home fields. However, Winnipeg did their training in St. Paul and Fargo-Moorhead in Minneapolis.
The Fargo-Moorhead team had 40 players (15 pitchers, 6 catchers, 2 first basemen, 6 second basemen, 4 short stops, 2 third basemen and 5 outfielders) in camp at Minneapolis. Two Fargo pitchers were included - Le Nelson and brother Lynn Nelson. Oliver Gjerdahl, of Fairfax, MN, was expected to win the 3rd base job and Ben Held, who last played for Denver in the Western Association, pretty much had the catching job locked up. Manager Al Theis planned to carry 4 infielders, 3 outfielders, 5 pitchers and 2 catchers. The league roster limit was 14 players which included outfielder Theis. A former Dakota League player, Al Bernier (an outfielder and pitcher) was also expected to make the team.
Grand Forks owner, Russell Voelz, moved his franchise across the Red River to East Grand Forks, MN. The move was made when business men of East Grand Forks offered to construct a new grandstand and turn the city ball park over to Voelz. A suitable park could not be provided in Grand Forks. Therefore, no league games would be played in North Dakota as the Fargo-Moorhead club played their home games in Moorhead, MN.
In other cities, Joe Bieganek experienced a "bit of difficulty" in acquiring the Little Falls ball park for his team, but it was reported that differences were eventually ironed out. President Voelz had considered giving that franchise to Wausau who had asked for a berth in the league.
Thirty-five players were on hand for training in Little Falls. Early on, manager Joe Camiller looked favorably at Art Hauser and Leo Litke of Little Falls, Ed Olson of Swanville, MN, and Lefty Thomas of Minneapolis who had pitched for the Pacific Coast Marines. Arrangements had been made for the installation of lights for night games and they were described as "good as any to be found throughout the Northwest." [Minnesota is located in the "Northwest"?].
Shortly before the start of the season, Little Falls withdrew from the league and the franchise was given to Thief River Falls, MN, where local business men were confident they would put together a winning team. Franchise owner, Joe Bieganek, said he had received no "financial or moral support" from fans in Little Falls and that it would be "useless to try to run a team under the circumstances."
Late May, 1933: Superior led the league with a 14-5 record which was 2 ½ games ahead of Winnipeg.
Thief River Falls did not get a team up and running. The league played the season with 7 teams.
George Schrader, of Brainerd , pitched a 4-hitter but lost to E. Grand Forks 3-1. He walked 6 batters.
5-22-33: Ray Nicholson (E. Grand Forks) singled with the bases loaded in the 9th inning to help his team beat Eau Claire 7-6. Pete Williams got the win.
5-25-33: Sonny Abar (F-M) gave up 7 walks, 7 hits and 7 runs to Superior. The Blues won the game 9-2.
5-27-33: Fargo-Moorhead ended an 11-game "start of the season" losing streak with a win over Brainerd 7-5.
6-1-33: Frank Piet (Winn) was perfect at the plate going 5-for-5 with 3 doubles and 2 singles. He also walked.
6-4-33: East Grand Forks hit 9 doubles which remained an all-time league record.
6-5-33: Superior (17-8) was in first place by 2 ½ games over E. Grand Forks (12-8).
6-8-33: Crookston pitcher, Babe Johnson, threw a one-hitter against E. Grand Forks and shut them out 4-0. It was his 5thstraight victory. Johnson also played the outfield.
6-12-33: Winnipeg ended a successful home stand by entertaining 8,000 fans in a 3-game series vs. E. Grand Forks.
6-15-33: Brainerd had 22 hits off 3 F-M pitchers as they beat the Twins 20-8. Mike Sime and Jack Calvey each were 4-for-5.
Mid-June 1933: Superior (19-10) held a .001 percentage point lead over Winnipeg (17-9).
Pitcher Boots Butkus, who was formerly with Eau Claire, joined the Fargo-Moorhead team.
Umpire Ollie Anderson was released by the league. He had once officiated in the Northern League which last operated in 1917. Anderson had also seen service in leagues of higher classification.
The league estimated that 700 players had tried out for the loop's eight teams. The roster size was 15 for each club. Most of the talent had come from Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Canada.
Manager John Mostil was now playing regularly for Eau Claire. Early in the season, Mostil realized that he was not in good condition and his name did not appear on their active roster.
After 14 games, manager-player John Anderson (E. G-F) led the league in hitting with a .527 average. In 2nd was Elmer Greenwold (Winn) at .450. Julian Johnson (Crookston), Al Ledin (Super), Jake Baumgartner (E. G-F), and Lefty Ebnet (Winn) led the pitchers with 3-0 records.
E. G-F had injury problems as both of their catchers (Ed Moulin and Merle Bastian) were out of action and shortstop Babe Williams was playing with a sore shoulder.
6-19-33: Superior led the league with a 23-13 record which was one game ahead of Winnipeg (19-11).
6-21-33: Jarboe (Brainerd) was still pitching in the 6th inning, of a game vs Winnipeg, even though he had allowed 12 hits in 5 2/3 innings. Gene Corbett then hit a grand slam and the hurler was done for the day. Winnipeg won the game 12-3.
Boots Butkus (F-M) was hit in the had by a fast ball from his former Eau Claire teammate Gump Juntenen. He left the game but was not seriously injured. Eau Claire won 5-1.
6-23-33: E. Grand Forks scored 4 times in the top half of the 9th inning, in a game with Eau Claire, to take an 11-4 lead. The Cardinals almost made a miraculous comeback in the bottom half as they scored 5 runs to just fall short in the 11-9 victory for the Colts.
Late-June 1933: Superior (25-14) led Winnipeg (20-13) by 2 games.
Fargo-Moorhead, who had been in last place since the beginning of the season, threatened to pull into 6th place with their better play. However, original owner Al Theis sold the club to Ralph Williams who played third base for the team and was a former House of David performer. Williams made several positive changes to the club.
Regina, Saskatchewan, was bidding for the Eau Claire franchise and the Cardinals' owner, David Quinn, threatened to move the team there. League President Voelz said that Quinn did not have the authority to make the move and the league would make "every effort to retain the club in Eau Claire."
6-27-33: Earlier in June, the Brainerd franchise was transferred to Brandon, Man. Their first game was played there on this date after a 14-21 start in Brainerd.
6-33: League President Russell Voelz acquired control of the Eau Claire club from David Quinn. Voelz announced that the franchise would remain in Eau Claire and that a new grandstand would be built there.
Early July, 1933: Winnipeg (26-13) led Superior (27-16) by one game.
John Anderson (E. GF) led the league in batting with a .447 average. It was 41 points ahead of the number two hitter - Elmer Greenwald (Winn). The leading pitcher was Leroy Goldsworthy (Winn) who had an 11-1 record. Jake Baumgartner (E. GF) was second at 10-3.
7-3-33: John Anderson was released as the East Grand Forks manager and was replaced by John Vanusek. Anderson then bought the controlling interest in the team, became the club president and named himself manager again.
Superior was the first half "split season" standings leader.
7-33: It was reported in "The Sporting News" that the American Association was considering Winnipeg as a member. Dick Cullum of the "Minneapolis Journal" was quoted as saying: "What appeals to the magnates, in addition to the intense interest of the citizens in baseball, is the long twilight which makes it possible to start a game after all the fans are out of the offices and the shops."
7-9-33: Red Haroldson (E. G-F) almost had the league's first no-hitter. He gave up one hit and struck out 6 in the first game for the Colts since they had been purchased by manager John Anderson.
John Anderson continued to lead the league in hitting with a .452 mark. Lute Boone was 2nd at .386. Leading the pitchers was LeRoy Goldsworthy (Winn) at 13-2 and Jake Baumgartner (E. G-F) was 14-4.
7-12-33: Superior out-hit Crookston 11 to 4 but lost a game 2 runs to 0. The Pirates' pitcher also walked 5 batters, but the Blues stranded 14 runners.
7-17-33: Brandon (8-4) led the 2nd half standings ½ game ahead of Winnipeg (7-4).
7-25-33: Roman Bertrand (Brandon) pitched a 4-hitter over Superior in an 11-4 win. He struck out 7 and the Greys had 18 hits.
Late-July, 1933: In the season's second half standings, Brandon (15-6) led Winnipeg (14-8) by 1 ½ games.
The Eau Claire franchise was reorganized with Herman White becoming president and Johnny Mostil was retained as the manager. League President Russ Voelz severed his connections with the team, but initially kept the league's headquarters there. Later he moved the league's office to Minneapolis.
John Anderson continued to lead the league in hitting with a .434 mark. Lute Boone was second at .402. LeRoy Goldsworthy was 15-3 as the leading pitcher. Otto Davis (Brandon) was 11-5 and Jake Baumgartner (E. GF) had a 13-6 record.
It was reported that the Cleveland Indians had an option until August 20 to purchase either Julian (Babs) Johnson or Norm Masters from Crookston.
Eau Claire first baseman Arnold Anderson was purchased by the St. Louis Cardinals and sent to Greensboro (Piedmont).
8-1-33: Pete Williams (E. G-F) threw a one-hitter against F-M. The Colts won 2-1 in the 8-inning game which was called by darkness.
8-7-33: Brandon (18-8) led Winnipeg and Eau Claire (both at 15-10) by 2 ½ games.
8-8-33: Roman (Lefty) Bertrand of Crookston pitched a 2-0 no-hitter over Fargo-Moorhead for the first no-hitter in league history. Only 28 batters faced him and 2 reached first base - one on a walk and one on an error. Bertrand struck out 8 in his 7thstraight win. It was Lefty's first year in pro ball having been born in Cobden, MN. He did have past pitching experience with the Sioux City, IA, Stockyards team.
8-9-33: Winnipeg killed F-M pitching for a 14-4 win. They scored 9 runs in the 2nd inning off starter Tony Butkus. In the 3rd inning, Twins' manager Ralph Williams, who was playing second base, switched positions with Butkus and allowed only 6 hits the rest of the way. Leroy Goldsworthy got his 17th win of the season with a 6-hitter.
8-10-33: Norm Masters (Crookson) had 8 three-up-and-three-down innings for the Pirates in their 4-1 victory over Eau Claire. However, he ended up allowing 3 hits. Masters will report to the Cleveland Indians for 1934 spring training.
8-12-33: Brandon hit 7 triples for an all-time league record.
8-14-33: Brandon (24-8) led the league's 2nd half standings which was 5 games better then Winnipeg (20-14).
E. Grand Forks pitchers allowed 11 walks to hand Eau Claire a 12-3 victory. George Orvalla gave up 8 and Pete Williams allowed 3.
8-16-33: Winnipeg scored an all-time league record 35 runs. The final score, of the game, was Winnipeg 35, Eau Claire 19 which also set the record for most combined runs in one game. In addition, Winnipeg had a record 15 extra base hits (7 doubles, 3 triples and 5 home runs) and the game set an all-time league record for total bases - 92 (Winn 58, EC 34). The Maroons scored in every inning including 12 in the 5th inning and totaled 30 hits during the game. The Cardinals had 19 hits and committed 6 errors. Winnipeg starter, Leroy Goldsworthy was taken from the game by manager Haas after one out in the first inning and 7 runs on the board for Eau Claire. His replacement, Lefty Ebnet, quickly gave up 4 more and after the top of the 2nd, the score was 11-2. The gusting gale-like winds at Sherburn Park caused infielders and outfielders to mimic circus performers to catch routine flies and popups. After 4 innings, the score was tied at 14-14. Then the Maroons scored their 12 in the 5th and added 5 in the 7th and 2 in the 8th. Eau Claire finally had a third baseman and outfielder pitch. The teams combined for 49 hits and Bill Allen of the "Winnipeg Free Press" stated: "It is just possible a hit or two may have been overlooked as it was a tough day on scorers as well as pitchers. But what does a mere hit matter when they were as plentiful as grasshoppers in the wheat fields". "The Sporting News" reported that the world record, at the time, was set in a 1869 game when Niagaras defeated Columbus 200-10.
8-17-33: Lefty Bertrand lost his control in the 4thinning of a game vs Superior. He walked 2, threw 2 wild pitches and committed an error. In addition, his teammates had 2 more errors as the Blues scored 5 runs, in the inning, which was enough to defeat the Pirates. The final score was 6-1.
8-18-33: Jimmy Brown (EC) set a league record for strike outs with 17 against Winnipeg during a 6-0 victory for the Wisconsin team. The former record was 12.
Late-August, 1933: The 2 league-leading teams for the 2nd-half pennant, Winnipeg and Brandon, started a 4-game series that helped decide the leadership. The Maroons were 3 games behind the Greys and lost the first game. They then rebounded and won the next 3 to end the series only one game down. There were still 10 games scheduled, in the season, between these league leaders. LHP Jimmy Brown, who is on option from the St. Paul Saints, was an important factor in Winnipeg's recent drive. He had struck out 17 in a game vs Eau Claire.
Lute Boone became president of the league. The league's owners deposed of Russ Voelz when he was charged with "inability to handle league affairs in a proper way." Voelz returned to his home in Minneapolis after a season where he was at various times: 1) the owner of the Grand Forks club, 2) the president of the league and 3) Eau Claire's owner.
Winnipeg held an appreciation "day" for owner/manager Bruno Haas. He was presented with a trophy of Manitoba marble with a bison on top.
8-21-33: Brandon (27-10) held a 2 ½ games lead over Winnipeg (26-14).
8-29-33: Brandon won both games of a double header over E. Grand Forks 2-1 and 8-3. Johnel Goldberg threw a 6-hitter in the opener and Mike Costello struck out 10 in the night cap.
8-31-33: Lefty Masters (Crookston) pitched a one-hitter against E. Grand Forks in a 6-0 victory. He also had 2 doubles in the 7-inning game.
Jimmy Brown's balk, in the first inning, cost Winnipeg the only run in the game with Brandon. The victory, of the 1-0 contest, went to Otto Davis who gave up only 3 hits.
Early-September, 1933: Brandon (37-15) led Winnipeg (35-20) by 3 ½ games in the second-half standings.
New league president, Lute Boone, fined Eau Claire first baseman Jim Collins and pitcher Ralph Blatz and they were ordered to send an apology to fans in Moorhead for their "very profane and ungentlemanly language." Collins was fined $5 and Blatz $10 which included a fine for his throwing a ball at Umpire Earl Dougherty after the arbiter had ruled a F-M player save at home.
The league's playoffs were scheduled to start on September 12 between Superior, the first half winner, and Brandon who won the second half. Players signed later than Aug. 28 were not eligible for the series, but in an emergency, players from other clubs may be used with the approval of both managers and the league president.
John Anderson won the batting crown with a .403 average and Lute Boone finished second at .387.
Leroy Goldsworthy had the league pitchers' best record of 22-6. Next best was Lloyd Sterling (Winn) with a 19-8 mark. The other 20 game winner was Brandon's Otto Davis (23-13).
Superior won the playoffs 5 games to Brandon's 4 games. The Blues
were the Northern League's first champions.
4-34: Lute Boone returned as president of the league. "The Sporting News" wrote that he "is getting things in shape for another season, which he confidently looks forward to as promising [and it will] ...be better than last, when the circuit surprised every one with it's success."
Brandon, Manitoba, was dropped from the league because it's distance from the other league members increased expenses to too high of a level. However, Brandon itself made a profit.
Eau Claire President Herman White reported that a grandstand was being built and four inches of good soil was being added to the loose sandy playing field.
New Fargo manager Jack Knight had been scouting schools and training camps to get youngsters for the team. He would play exhibition games on the way north and, therefore, believed that he would have the jump on other teams. Two local San Antonio, TX, players were expected to sign with their home town team "The Missions". However, Knight signed both players - outfielder Gerald Feille and pitcher Paul Kardow. The manager was described in a "Sporting News" news item as: "a conservative man who learned his baseball in the practical way through 17 years in the business." He was a 4-year pitcher in the majors and played in the PCL, Southern Association, Texas League and the Western League. In 1933 he managed a semi-pro team in San Antonio. His experiences there resulted in the signing of 7 players from Texas. "He is well aware of the situation that existed here [in Fargo-Moorhead] last year, but has confidence in the fans taking kindly to the hustling young group he will bring here to represent the twin cities..."
Grand Forks owner/manager Johnny Anderson stated that the city's business men gave him the "required support." He lost Jack Currie, Jake Baumgartner and Red Haroldson from last year's team. His outfield from 1933 would all return including Anderson himself.
Crookston, under the helm of Lute Boone, "never gives the league any worry." Boone said he never found more baseball spirit than was in evidence at Crookston since he helped win pennants in St. Paul. Recently, the city's ballpark had a covered grandstand built and they fenced in the field and stands. .
Winnipeg was said to probably show a lot of new faces this year as Bruno Haas was "overloaded" with applications and would have no trouble filling the vacancies. Fargo and Duluth would receive some of the surplus talent that was lined up by League President Boone.
Early predictions were for Superior to "show the way" in the league race for the first part of the season as Dick Wade was fortunate in having most of the 1933 team, that won the first-half and the playoffs, back again. Ray Megens also was "setting pretty" at Brandon [they played the season in Brainerd-Little Falls] where he won the second half of last season's race.
Dick Wade, the owner and manager of the Superior Blues, stated that he had signed all but one of the team's 1933 regulars -- third baseman Jerry Kopko. Also Morrie Arnovich will be moved to the outfield.. Fifty to 100 players were scheduled to tryout on April 23 for the team that will open season play on May 9. The Blues lost some money last season, but Wade claimed that 1934 would be better financially because a Twin Port rivalry will be established with new league member Duluth and they have a lease on Hislop Park for which they will improve the field. Twenty rookies reported to Superior for trials to make the club. Eleven of these players were from Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Duluth will be managed by Harry Strong who played first base in the St. Louis Browns organization and retired in 1927. He signed with the Browns from the sand lots of Minneapolis in 1920 and played for Joplin, Rockford, Beaumont, Houston and Omaha. He would have the following players on his 1934 club: Ray Mock, a former Notre Dame 2b; Pete Guzy, a Superior High School athletic coach; Marty O'Neil, a SS from St. Thomas College; Ralph Wanless, a pitcher from Creighton College; Butch LeClaire, from St. Paul; Hi Oettel a catcher from the South Atlantic League and Ade Stemig who had played with the Minneapolis Millers. The Duluth team's officers were: Edward Hatch, president; Tom Bell, vice-president and Henry Curtis, secretary and treasurer.
The Minneapolis Millers returned pitcher Norm Masters to Crookston.
The Hot Springs, AR, based Doan School of Baseball graduated 53 players who were slated for pro ball. Eleven graduates signed with Northern League teams.
The league scheduled an All Star game for July 9. An all star team would play the winner of the first half championship at the winning city's park.
The 1934 season was scheduled to open on May 3 and the second half would begin on July 10. The season would end on September 9. Shortly thereafter, the winner of the first half would then play the winner of the second half in a best-of-9 playoff series.
The League named the "Goldsmith Official League ball No. 97" as the ball it would use in 1934.
Former league president, Russell Voelz, sued the league for $21,000 which included $1,200 for lost salary and $20,000 for slander. He claimed he had been removed from office illegally. The action was dismissed by District Judge James Montague on motion of counsel and Voelz eventually settled for $140. Earlier in the year, Voelz was attempting to put together another minor league called the "Western International League" with proposed teams in Minot, Jamestown, Bismarck (all in ND) and Weyburn, Regina, Moose Jaw, Swift Current and Saskatoon (all in Canada).
Superior arranged to open their season on May 2 which was one day ahead of the regular schedule. The change was made in order to avoid a conflict with the league's inaugural game in Duluth on May 3.
In an exhibition game on April 22, Duluth manager Harry Strong used 31 players.
Tryouts at Crookston included three brothers - Walt, Harold and Raymond Barnes. Walt played with the team in 1933.
Bill Zuber reported to Fargo-Moorhead. He lived in Romana, IA, and was discovered by Cy Slapnicka a scout for the Cleveland Indians.
AAA Montreal returned pitcher Ralph Blatz to Eau Claire.
The league continued their 15-player limit (including managers) for the 1934 season.
5-6-34: Superior turned a triple play during a game against Grand Forks. With 2 on base, George Hartley lined to Mark Almll (1 out) who threw to Charlie Larson and he tagged the runner who was caught off second base (2 out). Then Larson threw to Don Faldstad who caught the runner at first base (3 outs). The Blues also turned 3 double plays in their 14-7 victory.
5-7-34: F-M committed 10 errors in a game with Duluth. Five of the miscues were made by pitcher Charley Suche in their 10-3 loss.
5-9-34: Umpire Knute Knutson ejected Winnipeg manager Bruno Haas from a game in Duluth. Haas then attempted to hide behind the White Sox' dugout but was spotted by Knutson who chased him out of the ball park. Because of his actions, Bruno was banned from games for a time and fined by the league.
5-11-34: Superior scored 7 runs in the first inning of a game vs Crookston. The runs included 2 home runs (one a grand slam) by Charlie Larson in the 9-4 Blues' win.
Mid-May, 1934: The early standings showed Superior (7-2) in first place by one game over Eau Claire (6-3).
Each league club found traveling to Winnipeg a financial bonanza as they could pay their entire road expenses from the proceeds of a series at the Canadian city. For the second straight year, Winnipeg led the league in attendance.
Crookston obtained 2 players from Des Moines of the Western League - Elmer Johnson and John Welli.
The Duluth White Sox added John Stemig to their roster. He was the brother of Ade Stemig who was the caption of the Sox. They also added Larry Rene from N.D. and Marv Shelson who had played at the U. of Minnesota.
5-20-34: Marty Kuppich (F-M) hit 2 home runs in an 11-9 win over Duluth. His second, in the 8thinning, was the margin of victory.
5-21-34: For the first time in the season, F-M failed to hit a home run during a game. Eau Claire pitcher Roy Decker held them homerless in the 5-1 Bears' victory.
Earl Stratton of Crookston and Walt Johnson of Superior walked 15 men and had 3 wild pitches in a game won by the Blues 14-10. Johnson gave 10 passes and had one wild pitch while Stratton got 6 k's and the other 2 wild throws. Johnson also struck out 8 and Stratton gave up 18 hits. Needless to say, since they played in a park without lights, darkness ended the game early (after 8 innings).
5-22-34: Pitcher Bill Zuber (F-M) struck out 8 different Eau Claire players at least once. Only first baseman Dan Collins missed a whiffing. Zuber had 11 k's during the 6-2 win.
In a pitcher's duel between Larry Rene and Ambrose Ebnet which went 11 innings, Duluth scored 6 runs in the final inning to beat Winnipeg 7-4. (After 9, the score was 1-1). Winnipeg rallied for 3 in the bottom half of the 11th, but fell short.
5-23-34: Winnipeg's Lloyd Stirling struck out 10 and allowed only 3 hits, but lost to Duluth 3-0 mainly because his defense committed 5 errors.
5-24-34: Crookston pitcher Norm Masters struck out 15 Duluth batters and allowed only 4 hits in his 8-1 win.
5-27-34: Earl Stratton (Crookston) walked a batter in each inning of a 7-inning game with Duluth. Even though he gave up the 9 walks, he only allowed 4 hits and won the game 6-0. Stratton was also 2-for-3 at the plate.
5-28-34: In the 4 league games, teams compiled 77 runs and 15 home runs. Winnipeg led with 22 runs against Crookston with Hank Sisson, who was 5-for-5, leading the way. Every Maroons' player had one or more hits except catcher John Rosette. Elmer Greenwald had 2 homers.
F-M player/manager Jack Knight hit 2 home runs in the Twins' loss to E. Grand Forks 11-8. .
Wilbur Stolt, from Minot, was given a pitching trial with F-M.
Late-May, 1934: Superior (14-7) led Grand Forks and Eau Claire (both at 12-9) by 2 games.
5-30-34: Crookston sweep a double header from E. Grand Forks by equal 1-0 scores. Norm Masters pitched a 6-hitter in the first game and Earl Stratton equaled Masters' feat in the second game.
The Pirates announced that they had scheduled an exhibition game at International Falls for June 7. The city had a "big celebration" scheduled for that day and the Pirates would stop by while coming back from a road trip to Winnipeg.
5-31-34: Lute Boone was hit in the head by a Pete Williams pitch in a game vs E. Grand Forks. Boone was reported to have suffered only a slight concussion, but in June he took a leave of absence and turned management of the team over to catcher George Treadwell. It was said that Boone had "relapses" during that month.
Superior center fielder, "Jersey" Joe Goldfine, hit 3 doubles and received 3 walks during a slugfest won by Duluth 21-14. White Sox outfielder, Cully Swanson, stole second, third and home in one inning of the game.
Crookston pitcher Elmer Johnson, a former Northwestern U. chucker,
had a crazy game vs E. Grand Forks. He struck out 13, but allowed 13
hits of which many were caused by high wind and a dust storm that
made fielding very difficult. The Pirates won the game 10-9.
Early-June, 1934: Eau Claire (17-11) was tied for first place with Superior (17-11). East Grand Forks (17-13) was one game behind.
6-2-34: Bruno Haas (Winnipeg owner/manager) and E. Grand Forks first baseman Johnny Reider drew suspensions and $10 fines for participating in a fight after their game in Winnipeg.
6-5-34: Crookston pitcher Elmer Johnson played right field in a game vs Winnipeg and hit a grand slam in the 2nd inning. However, the Pirates lost 13-5 in a game that ended the Maroons' 7-game losing streak. Len Ellison was 5-for-5 for the victors. The Pirates recently added a shortstop, Al Wieland, from Des Moines of the Western League.
6-10-34: In a game between E. Grand Forks and Crookston, umpire Moore reversed himself twice. With a Colts' runner at second, Pirates' catcher George Treadwell threw to Davidson who tagged the runner. At first, Moore called him safe which drew a storm of protest and then he called him out. After returning to his position, the umpire finally decided his first call was the correct one and declared the runner safe. After the game was delayed with more vigorous protests, the protested runner scored the winning run.
Mid-June, 1934: Superior (20-13) took a one game lead over Grand Forks (19-14). Eau Claire (19-15) was only 1 ½ games back.
One week later, Superior (26-14) had lengthened their lead to 4 games ahead of E. Grand Forks and Eau Claire (both at 22-18).
Joe Goldfine (Superior) led the league in batting with a .457 average with 140 at bats. Phil Seghi, of Winnipeg, was 2nd at .406. George Pollman (Brainerd-Little Falls) led pitchers with a 4-0 record.
Carl Bielkie a pitcher-outfielder from Chicago, was recently given a trial by Rogers Hornsby of the Browns who gave him a pass. He then signed with Eau Claire.
Superior sold John Kopko, their third baseman, to the Cleveland Indians. Later in the season, he was farmed out, by the Tribe, to Fargo-Moorhead. At that time, the Twins' club included 4 players who were Cleveland property - Kopko, Gus Koch, Bill Zuber and Charlie Suche.
6-14-34: Norm Masters threw a 2-hitter against F-M for a 1-0 victory. Masters also scored the only run in the contest.
6-21-34: In the 10th inning of a game between Winnipeg and Superior, the Maroons' Phil Seghi homered over the right field wall to win the game for the Canadians. The Blues had outhit their opponents 15 to 9 but committed 5 errors.
The Duluth White Sox unveiled two new players during a game against Crookston and they both contributed to their 4-3 victory. Ed Albertson, formerly with Sioux City, got the deciding RBI on a single over the first base bag and Mike Radon, from St. Joseph, pitched a 6-hitter and struck out 6 while walking 7.
The league's leading hitter, Joe Goldfine, quit the Winnipeg team after a near riot at Superior. In addition, umpire Erwin Andrews who was the storm center of many arguments during the game resigned. In the 10th inning, Goldfine was called out at first and had to be restrained by 3 players to keep him from attacking Andrews. After the game ended with a 5-4 Winnipeg win, a crowd of fans surrounded Andrews and he had to be escorted to his car by police officers and players. Later the umpire wired his resignation to the league office.
6-22-34: Ray Mock hit a grand slam for Duluth in the 4th inning during an 11-5 victory over Crookston.
"Jersey" Joe Goldfine requested permission to return to the Superior Blues. It was granted.
6-24-34: Superior celebrated their 1933 pennant with George Hislop in attendance by raising the official year's pennant. He was the gentlemen for which their ball park was named more then 10 years ago. The Blues also celebrated on the field by sweeping a double header from Crookston.
Fargo-Moorhead beat Brainerd-Little Falls 9-4 on home runs by Gus Koch, Marty Kuppich and Jack Knight. "The Sporting News" referred to it as "the KKK combination." [little political correctness in 1934].
Late-June, 1934: Superior (31-18) led Eau Claire (28-20) by 2 ½ games.
League sports writers were asked to select an all star team for the All Star game on July 9.
7-2-34: Norm "Lefty" Masters pitched a one-hitter against F-M as the Pirates gained a 4-0 victory. Only one Twins' player reached 2nd base and there were only 2 other base runners. John Koets got the only hit, there was one walk and one error. George Treadwell's bases-loaded double in the 6th inning drove in 3 of Crookston's runs.
Early-July, 1934: Superior (34-20) held a 2 game lead over Eau Claire (32-22).
Duluth obtained Chris Schmidt, a former U. of Iowa catcher, from the Minneapolis Millers.
7-8-34: The first half of the season ended with Superior winning the standings leadership with a 40-22 record which was 5 games in front of Eau Claire (35-27).
It was announced that Fargo-Moorhead would play an exhibition game against the House of David club on August 25.
Morrie Arnovich took over the lead in the batting race with a .391 average and Joe Goldfine was 2ndat .372. Phil Seghi was close behind at .371. Pitchers were led by Gerry Davis (Superior) who had an 8-2 record. Ensio Juntenen (EC) and Art Braga (Superior) had 11-3 marks.
7-9-34: On the arms of Pete Guzy, George Pocan (both of Duluth) and George Pollman of Brainerd, the All Stars beat Superior 5-1. A third umpire, Dave Bancroft, was actually cheered by the baseball-savvy fans who filled the grandstand, both bleachers, space along the fences and many aisles. Superior was held to only 4 hits and the Stars had home runs from Pollman, Babe Williams and Phil Seghi. Seghi also had 2 other hits. The All Star team included Stan Sperry (EC), jJohn Reider (GF), Gus Koch (F-M), Ade Stemig (Duluth), George Hartley (GF) and George Treadwell (Crookston). Superior players included Joe Goldfine, Morrie Arnovich. and Dick Wade. The Stars scored 2 in the 1st, one in the 6th and 2 in the 9th. Other umpires were Delaney and Knutson.
Mid-July, 1934: Crookston (4-1) took the early lead in the 2nd half standings which was ½ game ahead of Eau Claire (4-2).
It was reported that Superior pitcher, Jerry Davis, developed a sore arm every time he pitched. However, the pain went away within 2 days so he seldom missed a starting turn.
Reports circulated that the Boston Red Sox were very interested in establishing a farm team in the league for 1935. Winnipeg was believed to be their first choice.
7-13-34: Gil Tess, catcher for Grand Forks, was 4-for-4 in a game vs F-M. All of his hits were singles.
7-17-34: Crookston lost, for a time, outfielder Ted Klark to a boil and Elmer Johnson to a spike wound.
7-19-34: Crookston sold Norm Masters to the New York Giants. He was scouted by the Giants' Heinie Groh and will report to the New York club for 1935 spring training.
7-22-34: Pete Guzy (Duluth) pitched a 3-hitter over Grand Forks.
Morrie Arnovich hit 3 home runs and a single driving in 7 runs during a Blues 13-8 win over F-M.
7-23-34: Crookston (8-3) led the 2nd half standings one game ahead of Grand Forks (7-4).
7-25-34: Ned Johnson (Winn) had 4 hits during a game vs Duluth, but the Maroons only totaled 8 and lost to the Dukes 4-3.
Late-July, 1934: Cleveland Indians' scout Cy Slapnicka watched the Fargo-Moorhead team's games for a few days.
Leroy Goldsworthy returned to pitching after being injured for 2 weeks. He was victorious in his return by defeating Superior 11-2.
Morrie Arnovich led league batters with a .397 average. Ed Alberston (Dul) was 2nd with a .385 mark. Among pitchers, Jerry Davis (Super) had the lead with a 9-3 record. Gil Bruhn (Brainerd-LF) was at 11-4.
Superior lost pitcher Clem Martin on August 15 when he returned to duty with the Wisconsin State Militia.
7-29-34: Charley Suche (F-M) held Winnipeg to 2 hits during a 2-0 win for the Twins. The only Maroons' hits were 2 singles in the 7th inning. The Winnipeg pitcher, Lloyd Stirling, allowed only 5 hits with the big one coming in the 5thinning - a 2-run home run by Tex Stuart.
7-30-34: Pete Guzy (Dul) and Roy Decker (EC) had a scoreless pitching dwell going through 8 innings. The Bears won the game 2-0 in the 9th with a 2-run home run by first baseman Rip Collins. Decker only allowed 3 Dukes' hits.
7-31-34: Crookston, with an 11-6 record, led Grand Forks (10-7) by one game.
Marty Kuppich (F-M) was 5-for-5 during a Twins' 10-2 victory over Winnipeg. His hits included a home run.
8-34: A former California football and baseball star, George "Icehouse" Wilson, joined Duluth after being obtained from Sioux City (Western).
Ted Klark, Crookston outfielder, was hit by a pitched ball and had to spend time on the bench. Several years earlier, he was hit and it nearly ended his career.
League President Lute Boone was considering an inter-league series between the winners of the Northern and Nebraska State Leagues after each league's season was completed. There was more likelihood of the series being played if there was no playoff between the Northern League's first and second half champions. However, the first half leader Superior was in last place in the second half standings. The Nebr. State League's president, JE Beitzzer, made the offer to Boone.
8-5-34: In a double header against E. Grand Forks, F-M batters hit 13 home runs. Gus Koch had 4 of the blasts and Jerry Kopko had 2 during their 11-6 and 13-2 victories.
8-6-34: Ade Stemig (Duluth) hit 3 home runs, a double and a single in 5 times at bat (15 total bases). However, the White Sox barely won the game 11-10.
F-M led the league's standings with a 15-9 record which was one game better then Eau Claire (14-10).
8-13-34: Morrie Arnovich (Super) continued to lead the league in hitting with a .386 average and in 2ndwas John Kopko (F-M) at .365.
8-15-34: Bill Zuber (F-M) had a bad 6th inning in a game vs Brainerd. Three runs scored consecutively on 2 wild pitches, a balk and a passed ball. They were the deciding runs in his 9-6 loss.
In an at-bat during his team's game against Superior, Crookston's Lute Boone dropped his bat, began to run toward first base while shouting over his shoulder toward plate umpire Delaney that Blues' catcher Mark Almli had "touched my bat." The umpire looked at Almli, then at League President Boone and nodded his head in agreement which allowed Boone to take first base due to catcher interference.
Mid-August, 1934: F-M (19-12) led Crookston (20-14) by ½ game.
Morrie Arnovich continued to lead the league in hitting with a .385 mark and was followed by Joe Kopko at .379. Bill Zuber led pitchers with a 10-4 record. Gil Bruhn (Brainerd-Little Falls) was second at 12-5.
8-20-34: Crookston had a 25-15 record to lead the league. F-M (22-16) was 2nd two games behind.
8-22-34: Umpire Amby Moran was hit on his chin by a foul ball during the first game of a double header between F-M and Duluth. He was attended to by a physician and returned to action.
Mike [Mitchell?] Radon (Duluth) started both games of the double header against F-M. He pitched the complete first 7-inning game, but was knocked out in the 2nd inning of the second game.
Julius Weise (Brainerd) , formerly of the U. of Illinois and Grand Rapids (Central), pitched a 2-hitter over Crookston to win 3-0. He struck out 6.
Late-August, 1934: Fargo-Moorhead and Crookston were tied for the second-half lead at 28-17.
Morrie Arnovich was hitting .388 and leading the league and Ed Albertson (Duluth) had a .363 mark. Ralph Mead (EC) led pitchers with a 9-1 record followed by Gil Bruhn (Brainerd-LF) at 13-5.
After season end, Norm Masters (Crookston) will report to the New York Giants to whom he was sold 6 weeks ago.
8-26-34: Paul Kardow (F-M) pitched a 3-hit shutout in the 2nd game of a double header against Superior. He helped his own cause with a home run and a double. Kardow was scheduled to report to the Cleveland Indians for spring training in 1935.
8-27-34: Eli Enger's 9th inning home run gave Superior a 1-0 win vs Winnipeg. It capped a pitching duel between the Blue's Gerald Davis and the Maroons' Roman Bertrand. Bertrand had struck out 11 and gave up 7 hits for the loss. Davis allowed 5 hits.
Charley Suche (F-M) had a one-hitter against Brainerd. Joe Rezotko's single in the 4th was the lone hit in the 5-0 victory. Suche struck out 12 Muskies and Gus Koch's 3-run home run was the big offensive blow for the Twins.
8-28-34: Leroy Goldsworthy completed a 3-hit 3-2 victory over Winnipeg. His allowed runs were caused by Joe Goldfine's home run and his walking in a run.
Early September, 1934: F-M took the lead in the second half standings with a 32-18 record which was ½ game in front of Crookston (32-19).
Red Braga (Superior) played the last few games of the season with a "sprouting" beard as he was scheduled to join the House of David baseball team at the close of the season.
Winnipeg's trainer, Ian McDonald, designed a covering to keep his pitchers' arms warm. It was made of "silence-cloth" which was the same material that was used to make tea-cozies (a covering placed over a tea pot to keep the liquid warm). It was formed like a sleeve with a cuff and it was closed at it's end like a mitt. As it was heavily padded, it was pulled over a pitchers arm between innings and when he was running the bases to keep his throwing arm warm. McDonald, who was also a machinist, also designed a bat rack for the team which kept them out of the dirt and rain.
9-2-34: It was "Jack Knight Appreciation Day" in Moorhead as fans presented "a bag of silver" to the Twins' manager. Also, Herb Crompton and Jerry Kopko were given gold baseball watch charms as the team's representatives at the All Star game.
9-6-34: Bill Zuber pitched a 2-hit 6-0 victory over Crookston. One of the safeties was reported as of the "scratchy" variety.. He struck out 8 and walked 3.
Crookston (36-23) edged Fargo-Moorhead (35-23) for the second-half standings lead by .007 percentage points. They were tied before the last day of the season. First half winner, Superior, finished last with a terrible 18-41 record.
The playoffs were reduced to a best-of-7 series with the 1st 3 games being played in Superior and the remaining matches at Crookston.
Morrie Arnovich won the batting crown with a .374 average and John Kopko was 2nd at .347. John Anderson batted .352, but did not have enough at bats to qualify.
Ralph Mead (EC) had the best pitching record at 11-4 and Gil Bruhn (Brainerd-LF) was 2nd at 14-6. There were one 20-game winner as Norm Masters finished at 21-11.
Superior won the first game of the playoffs with a 5-run rally in the 8th inning. They had entered the inning behind 4-1. In game 2, F-M won easily 8-1 with 7 runs in the final 2 frames. Charlie Suche held the Blues to 4 hits but walked 7 which caused a few jams.
In game 3 of the playoffs, the Twins won going away 18-5 in front of a record-setting crowd of 2,500 and the Blues evened the series in game 4 sneaking past F-M with a 9-8 win in a sloppy 10-inning game. Gus Koch committed 2 errors in the last 2 frames and the Twins made 4 others during the game (Superior had 3). F-M's Jerry Fellie stole home in the 8th.
F-M won game 5 by an uneven 10-2 score on the arm of Charley Suche and 7 runs in the 7th inning. Joe Goldfine was ejected from the game in the 8thinning as he "protested too vigorously" against a ruling by umpire Amby Moran. The Twins won the playoff championship with a 10-2 victory in game 6. They took the lead in the 1st inning and added to it throughout the game. Herm Crompton led the Twins' attack with 3 singles and a double and Bill Zuber pitched a 5-hitter.
The league played a best-of-3 series against the Nebraska State
League's champion Lincoln. Fargo-Moorhead won 2 games to none.
3-35: There were no changes in the league franchises for 1935.
Winnipeg owner Bruno Haas purchased a 27-passenger Greyhound bus to transport his team during the season. "The Sporting News" described Hass as "slightly obese". He did not manage the team in 1935.
Eau Claire and the Boston Red Sox agreed that the major league team would send surplus talent to the Northern League team. In the pre-season, the Sox sent 2 pitchers and 2 outfielders to the Bears including Stan Spence. In addition, Eau Claire secured an agreement with Charlotte (Piedmont) where the two club would exchange players. The agreement included a provision allowing Charlotte to select any 3 players from Eau Claire at the end of the season.
Baseball Commissioner K. M. Landis disallowed the drafting of 2 Northern League players by Johnstown (Middle Atlantic) because he decided that Johnstown had acted only as an agent for the Philadelphia Phillies thus depriving the Northern League teams of the difference between the class A and major league draft price. The players were Morrie Arnovich, who played with Superior in 1934, and Stan Sperry who was with Eau Claire. After the decision, the Phillies made separate deals for both players, therefore retaining ownership.
Brainerd president Marvin Nutting said that local business men raised funds to insure operation of the club throughout 1935 and it was reported that a goal of $2,000 will be reached. New Manager, Chuck Patton, received over 100 letters from prospective players in the off-season. He began training camp for the rookies on April 25 and for veterans on May 1. Patton brought players from his home base of Peoria, IL. Outfielder, Mike Sime, who played with the team in 1933 was signed for the season. He was out of pro ball in 1934.
The Goldsmith Official League Ball No. 97 will be used again by the league.
The Doan School, run by Ray Doan, announced that 2 of it's graduates had signed with Northern League teams.
4-35: Lute Boone, who returned as the league president, said in St. Louis that he hoped the price of grain would stay up because, if it did, he thought the league would become the most profitable class D loop.
Fargo-Moorhead manager, Jack Knight, held his team's spring training in at his home base in San Antonio until April 25
President Boone announced that 2 umpires had been signed for the season. Fat McGinnis, of Tower City, ND, was one and John McCartney of Pittsburgh was the other. McCartney was rated the best in his home town's semi-pro circles. Amby Moran, who umpired the past 2 seasons, did not return.
Brainerd's training camp began with 90 players. Only 7 members of the 1934 team had been signed which included 4 pitchers.
Eau Claire manager Johnny Mostil started training at the club's home park on April 22. Only 4 or 5 players from 1934 club were thought to return for 1935. A pitcher from last year, Carl Beilke, was told by doctors to give up baseball because of a weak heart. Danny Collins, their 1934 first baseman, did not agree to terms before training started. .
A brother battery, Stuart and Francis Brodin of Dassel, MN, tried out for the Crookston team. Francis was the catcher and the older of the two.
Grand Forks reached an agreement with Davenport (Western) that would provide players for the newly-named Chiefs. Six players were sent to GF during training camp. Davenport will have their choice of Chiefs' players at the end of the year. The Western League team also sent a pitcher to Brainerd.
The Dai-Nippon Tokyo baseball team, which was the first Japanese pro team to tour the U.S., scheduled a game at Fargo, ND, on June 14 and a double header with the Winnipeg club on June 15.
In a feature story in May 9 edition of "The Sporting News", the league's early history was outlined. Referring to the league as "one of the most substantial class D units in the organized ball structure", it indicated that many of the baseball wise men said "it can't be done." In the spring of 1933, five men (Johnny Mostil, Dick Wade, Bruno Haas, Johnny Anderson and Lute Boone) who had experience in the majors and the high minors, together with a man who had successfully handled minor league clubs (Russell Voelz), organized the league. Their friends were not supportive as the economy was suffering greatly. "But these men had studied the situation thoroughly and went ahead confidently and conservatively, though without the pretentious characteristic of many new ventures." In it's first season, most of the clubs made money despite investments in ball parks and equipment. The second season was a greater success with Winnipeg drawing 108,000 fans with crowds of 4.000 not uncommon, but still four applications for membership in 1934 were rejected. "There were plenty of them eager to get on the band wagon after we had proved that a sensibly-handled outfit could be turned into a money-maker," Bruno Haas was quoted as saying. He continued: "We are only a class D outfit, but we are well on the way to becoming a permanent and substantial league. All of the old-timers, like myself, try to keep in the line-up at least part of the time. The average age of the players is around 19 years and much of the strength is recruited from college men, graduates of the innumerable amateur leagues in Minnesota and the sand-lots generally. That we play a good caliber of ball is proved by the fact that a least a dozen of our boys went up to the big leagues or the large minors for trials this spring and most of them are sticking... all of us stick to our agreements on salary and player limitations and we really haven't had a serious headache [he obviously omitted the Russ Voelz situation from 1933]. We should do even better this season, for we have some solid combinations...Duluth, across the bay from Superior...means those two clubs will be able to capitalize on the keen natural competition between them. The Fargo-Moorhead and Grand Forks-East Grand Forks duos provide a similarly lucrative set-up. Then there's nearby Crookston to round out a Big Three with the loop and provide a fine competitive arrangement." Haas seemed proud of the fact that the league's teams did not have to maintain a carnival atmosphere to draw fans. They had ladies days weekly and most teams played twilight games. In Winnipeg they started their games at 7 PM and it did not get dark until 10 PM. Bruno also stated that the league had been successful because they did not expand before the loop was well seasoned. One of the league's worse problems was the fact that Sunday baseball-for-admission could not be played in Winnipeg, Grand Forks or Fargo. However, the league did play Sunday games in E. Grand Forks and Moorhead. The league's operating philosophy was explained by Haas: "We have cut corners, but we have not neglected our men and on the road we always stop at the best hotels, which give us good rates. We have used private busses and automobiles for traveling since in probably half of the cities, rail services is confined to a train or two a day, at least in the direction we need to travel."
The league salary limit was $1,000 monthly for each team.
Crookston manager, Lute Boone, offered his first baseman, Les Schwarzrock, to other league teams for 2 dozen baseballs. No team took him up on his offer and Schwarzrock was released.
The Cleveland Indians' general manager, Billy Evans, promised F-M pilot, Jack Knight, that he will attend the team's pennant raising ceremony during the season at Moorhead League Park. Catching seemed to have been Knight's biggest problem in training as last year's star, Herb Crompton, is gone and his replacement, Bill Rucker, had a sore arm and fractured finger. Knight thought he would carry 6 pitchers which would mean no back-up for any of the other positions including catcher. Returning were Paul Kardow and Gus Koch and newcomers will include Jim Shilling and Blas Manaco.
Crookston traded catcher George Treadwell and shortstop Al Wieland, both regulars last season, to Duluth.
Superior opened the season with a roster that included Blix Donnelly.
Charley Suche was sent to Zanesville (Middle Atlantic) by New Orleans (Southern), but traveled to F-M instead. Cleveland, who owned Suche, agreed to let him stay with the Twins at least for the first half of the season.
5-7-35: Opening day in Moorhead drew 800 fans which was good considering it rained and hour before the game started. The rain continued throughout the game and darkness ended it after 6 innings with the score tied at 9-9. Winnipeg hit 3 home runs and F-M had 2.
Brainerd won at Duluth 14-12 in both team's opening day. The teams combined for 24 hits and 6 errors and the game was clinched by the Muskies' 5-run 7th inning. The Dukes drew 2,000 for the game which included a rare protest. Brainerd manager, Charley Patton, protested Jimmy Ball's 8thinning pinch hitting appearance for pitcher Wilder because he was not wearing a regulation Dukes' uniform (a wrong color scheme). The umpires upheld the protest.
Grand Forks beat Crookston 3-2 in a pitcher's dwell between the Chiefs' Tommy Rocker and the Pirates' Jack Hallett. Both hurlers allowed only 5 hits. The deciding run scored in the 5th for the Greater Grand Forks club. Approximately 500 paid to attend.
The home town Eau Claire Bears lost an 8-3 contest to Superior in front of 500 fans. The Blues' Wendell York did not allow a run until the 9thinning as he scattered the Bears' hits throughout the game.
Winnipeg's Lefty Bertrand limited F-M to 4 hits as the Maroons won 5-1.
5-10-35: Winnipeg pitcher Ambrose Ebnet had a one-hit victory over Grand Forks by a 9-1 score.
Superior led the league with a 3-0 record and was followed by Winnipeg at 2-0.
5-14-35: Roy Decker pitched a 2-hitter for EC in their 6-1 win over Duluth. The Dukes scored all of their runs in the 2ndinning.
5-15-35: Winnipeg won their 6th in a row with wins over F-M and GF. Center fielder Otto Meyers had hit safely in each game for the Maroons this season. In the game against GF, the Chiefs were one strike away from a 4-3 victory and Myers was at the plate. On the next pitch, he hit one over the right field wall to win it for the Maroons. The Sporting News stated: "Manager-Catcher [Wes] Griffin has handled his pitchers in masterful fashion and, all in all, it looks like a grand season for the Sherburn Parkers."
Mid-May, 1935: Winnipeg led the standings with an 8-1 record and were followed by Crookston (6-3) 2 games behind.
Mark Almil was lost to Superior for the season when he suffered a paralytic stroke. Home run leader, Gus Koch, could not play a few games for F-M because of influenza and sinus problems. Joe Goldfine, who had a trial in the Western League, was back in the Northern league, but this time with Winnipeg. Paul Kardow, who had a bad season's start, was sent to Devils Lake for 30 days for development under former Amer. Assoc. catcher Jack Hruska. Devils Lake was in a semi-pro league.
The Eau Claire Bears and Duluth Dukes were tied 2-2 after 7 innings in a pitching dwell between Harry Nace (Bears) and Cliff Homstad (Dukes). It was broken up by a home run from the Bears' Danny Collins for the deciding run. Homstad only allowed 4 hits.
5-19-35: In the 10th inning of a scoreless tie, Jim Shilling (F-M) hit a home run with 2 out to win it for the Twins over Duluth. The blast climaxed a great pitching match-up between Charley Suche (F-M) and Cliff Homstad (Dul) with the pitchers only giving up 5 and 4 hits respectively.
5-23-35: LeRoy Goldsworthy (Winn) pitched a 3-hit win over Duluth on a 8-2 score. He had pitched poorly in his previous 2 starts.
Late-May, 1935: Winnipeg (15-1) continued to win and opened a 6 ½ games lead over F-M (8-7).
The Twins had moved from 7th place to 2nd in only one week. Pitching had been their biggest problem with Charley Suche being the only effective hurler. However, Wilbur Stolt and Jack Andrews had contributed greatly to their recent spurt.
Eau Claire was playing poorly with their mostly rookie lineup. Manager Johnny Mostil had recently released 3 players and signed 2 and was scouting further talent for the team. Veteran Roy Decker had been the best pitcher having won 4 of the first 6 Bears' victories. Offensively, Frank Rendler and Dan Collins had recently gotten their batting averages over .300.
Winnipeg won 16 of their first 18 games and, as a result, were a financial success drawing 5,000 for a double header on Victoria Day (May 24). Their 2 losses came when Leroy Goldsworthy pitched with a sore arm.
6-2-35: Fargo-Moorhead tied a league record with 9 doubles.
6-6-35: Fargo-Moorhead played an exhibition game vs the House of David baseball team. The Twins pitched two rookies - Greg Lippold who was just out of high school and Gene Babbitt of Central City, IA.
6-10-35: Winnipeg (24-5) held an 8 ½ games lead over Fargo-Moorhead.
6-11-35: Blix Donnelly (Super) pitched a 9-0 shut out over Crookston. He scattered 6 hits in the first 5 innings, but allowed no others in the final 4 frames. Donnelly struck out 12 including 6 in-a-row.
Ace Sterling (Winn) threw a 4-hit 8-0 shut out against Duluth. He struck out 9 and faced only 28 batters in 8 innings before the game was called by darkness. Sterling had won 9 in a row.
6-13-35: With the score tied in the 9th inning and 2 outs, Gerald Feille stole home to give F-M a 3-2 win over Duluth.
Mid-June, 1935: Winnipeg's (26-8) lead was 7 ½ games ahead of Brainerd (17-14).
The league scheduled a game, to replace an all star contest, which would be played between the first half champs and the veteran "leaders" (managers and owners) of the league. The vets would include Jack Knight (P-OF), Wes Griffin (C), Harry Strong (1b), Charley Patton (2b), Lute Boone (SS), Johnny Anderson (3b), Dick Wade (OF), Johnny Mostil (OF) and Bruno Haas (OF-P).
Joe Goldfine led the league in hitting with a .392 average and Jim Shilling was 2nd at .372. Lloyd Sterling led pitchers with an 8-0 record.
Umpire John McCartney resigned because of ill health and returned to his home in Pittsburgh. He was replaced by Lloyd Falgren who lived in Grand Forks.
Crookston catcher Fred Bergmann led the league in hitting with a .421 mark. Chet Cichosz was second at .418. Lefty Bertrand and Lloyd Sterling (both of Winnipeg) led pitchers with 5-0 records.
6-17-35: Superior's George Gondira allowed only 4 hits and walked one, but lost to Crookston 3-1. The Pirates put together the hits and an error in 2 innings to get the deciding runs. The Blues' only run came from Gondira's bat with a home run as they squandered 12 base runners from 6 hits and 6 walks (by Elmer Johnson).
6-22-35: Pitcher Jim Gravin of Brainerd allowed 23 hits in a game vs. Fargo-Moorhead. This remained the all-time league record for hits allowed in one game by a pitcher.
6-24-35: Jim Schilling had the league's best average of .382 with Joe Goldfine 2nd at .377. Lloyd Sterling led the pitchers at 10-0.
6-25-35: In a 7-inning game, Bill Lanier (GF) pitched a one-hitter over Superior for a 4-2 victory. If not for his wildness (he walked 8), he also could have had a shut-out. Lanier struck out 6.
Late-June, 1935: Winnipeg (31-10) had a 7 game lead over F-M (20-15).
F-M manager Jack Knight announced that his team would tour Mexico after the end of the season. He received a "lucrative offer" from a Mexican promoter to play teams from the republic. Previously, teams from Texas leagues and the Southern Association had made tours of this type.
Lute Boone returned to full-time player taking over at second base when Ray Browne was released. This season, team owner Boone began using the team bus to transport fans from downtown Crookston to their ball park.
League President Boone assessed fines against F-M and Winnipeg due to disputes during games played several weeks ago. The Twins were fined $50 for actions during a June 12 game at Brainerd. Manager Jack Knight had taken his team off the field at the end of the 5th inning after umpire Peterson called a runner out when he attempted to steal home. The umpire then declared the game a forfeit to the Muskies - a decision affirmed by Boone. Winnipeg manager Wes Griffin's $10 fine from June 15 was also upheld. He was fined, at that time, by umpire Clay Knutson when he became "abusive" after Knutson called a batted ball "foul". In addition, Boone did not honor a protest by Duluth in a game against Grand Forks on May 28. Dukes' manager Harry Strong protested when Ed Gabrielson circled the bases after a wild throw by the pitcher to first base was declared "in play" by umpire Knutson.
7-1-35: Winnipeg (35-11) held a 7 ½ games lead over G-M ((28-18).
7-2-35: Six innings of no-hit relief pitching by Charley Johnson helped Duluth win a 14-inning game 7-4 over Eau Claire.
7-4-35: In a double header against Superior, Ad Stemig of Duluth was 6-for-8 including 4 home runs.
7-7-35: Winnipeg won the first half of the split season with a 44-13 record. In 2nd was F-M at 30-21 which was 11 games back. The Maroons won each of their last 9 games.
Superior's third baseman Chet Clehosz was sold to Cleveland where he was to report after the season's end. He had been scouted by 4 major league teams and one from the Amer. Assoc., but the Indians held an option on any player on the team. Clehosz was an all-around athlete with St. Mary's College in Winona, MN.
F-M picked up 3 new players from the Cleveland Indians.
7-8-35: Winnipeg beat the league's managers/owners in a 5-4 game. Lute Boone was unable to play because of a back injury and Johnny Mostil had to miss the game because his team was playing an exhibition game. Jack Knight and Bruno Haas alternated pitching for the vets. Henry Ruffing pitched a complete game for the Maroons who scored 3 in the 4th and 2 in the 6th before the vets rallied for 3 in the 9th.
League President Boone dropped Grant Meinnes as a umpire and replaced him with Lloyd Falgren who had umpired previously for the league.
7-9-35: Superior played an exhibition game at Ashland, WI, beating their town team 9-5. Earlier in the season, the Blues had played games in Rice Lake, WI, and Virginia, MN.
7-10-35: Winnipeg played a regular league double header against Superior in Ft. William, Ont. Both teams won a game. Earlier, the Maroons played an exhibition game at St. Boniface where they beat the locals 12-5 in front of 4,000 fans.
7-11-35: Lloyd Sterling (Winn) won his 13thstraight game when the Maroons were victorious by an amazing score of 25-0 over Superior.
The Duke's 18-year-old catcher Fred Niemiller, who had just been obtained from Sioux City (Western) hit a 3-run home run in the 9th inning to beat Crookston 4-2.
7-14-35: Winnipeg lost the first game of a double header over Duluth and were leading 8-6 in the 2ndgame, but got into a long argument with umpires Landry and Leach over a fly ball. This delay caused the game to be called because of a 6 PM curfew.
7-15-35: Winnipeg lost an exhibition game to the Mando baseball team 10-3. The game was played at International Falls, MN, and their opposition was made up of players from that city.
7-17-35: Pitcher Earl Stratton's winning streak ended at 8 straight games and GF defeated Duluth 10-9.
Mid-July, 1935: In the early 2nd half standings, F-M (5-1) led GF (4-1) by ½ game.
There was a movement, during the month, to transfer the Grand Forks franchise to Brandon, Man., and the Superior club to Ft. William, Ont. The owner of the Grand Forks club, John Anderson, refused to sell to a group of GF business people and Ft. William made a proposal for the Superior team to the Blues' Dick Wade.
7-21-35: Superior pitcher Joe Rogalski was in an automobile accident which caused damage to his pitching arm elbow. It took 4 stitches to close the wound and it was thought it might end his season.
7-22-35: Joe Goldfine led batters with a .362 average. In 2nd place was Chet Cichosc at .336. Lloyd Sterling was the pitching leader with a 14-0 record. Wilbur Stolt (F-M) was 2nd at 10-2.
F-M won 12 of 15 road games to start the 2nd half in first place. Manager Jack Knight gave credit to their good pitching which was something was lacking in the first half. He listed Charlie Suche, Eugene Fish, Wilbur Stolt, Jack Andrews and Clay Smith as stand outs.
7-25-35: Umpire Singbush threw the league president out of the park. Crookston manager/league president Lute Boone was coaching third for his team against Winnipeg when he began to argue with Singbush over a decision and was eventually bounced.
7-29-35: F-M (15-5) was in first place by .062 percentage points over Winnipeg.
Umpire J.M. Landry was out of action for several games because he was hit in his head by a pitched ball on July 22 in Brainerd. Local umpire Dr. A.A. Steinfeldt and Muskies' player Alderman Erickson filled in for him.
League President Boone allowed a protest of a game between Duluth and Winnipeg several weeks ago where an umpire's decision caused a heated argument between managers and players of both team and the umps. As a result, a loss was removed from Duluth's record and a win taken away from Winnipeg. The game was to be re-played later in the season.
8-35: Lloyd Sterling ended his win streak at 15 games when he appeared in relief against F-M and the Twins pulled out a win.
F-M announced that August 4 was to be "Herb Crompton Day" when the catcher of the 1934 championship team would officially be welcomed back. In addition, August 11, would be "Babs Johnson Day" to honor the Halstad, MN, native son.
F-M shortstop Johnny Rosette left the team without permission and headed for his home in Toledo. He got as far as Chicago when a series of telegrams from manager Jack Knight caught up with him and he returned to the team. His explanation was "I got lonesome."
In the first inning of a game at GF between the Chiefs and Duluth, the Dukes stole 5 bases and scored 2 runs without getting a hit. John Stemig walked, stole 2nd and then stole 3rd. Al Wieland walked and, on a double steal, Steming scored. Les Schwartzrock reached first on an error with Wieland scoring. Schwartzrock then stole 2nd. All told, Duluth stole 8 bases during the game, but had only 5 hits and lost the game 7-6.
Crookston was in the process of adding lights to their park from the Giant Manufacturing Company.
8-5-35: Gus Koch took over the batting leadership with a .358 average. Joe Goldfine was 2nd at .348. Lloyd Sterling continued to lead pitchers with a 17-1 record and Roman Bertrand was second with an 11-2 mark.
F-M led the league's standings with a 20-8 record which was 3 games ahead of Winnipeg (15-9)
8-9-35: Paul Kardow (F-M) returned to the Twins with a 3-hit 5-2 victory against Duluth.
8-12-35: Brainerd stopped Winnipeg's winning streak at 11 games.
Crookston tested their new lighting system during an exhibition game vs the House of David team. After a loan is paid-in-full, the equipment will be the property of the city's park board and be used for all sports.
Mid-August, 1935: F-M (23-10) led Winnipeg (22-9) by .004 percentage points in the 2nd half standings.
F-M lost their 2nd baseman, Wimpy Jansco, for the final games of the regular season due to an infected finger. It was caused by a spike wound from Charley Patton of Crookston.
A proposal was made in Superior to move the grandstand, bleachers and fences of Hislop Park to another site because of excess soot and smoke caused by train traffic at the present location.
The league was considering a rule not to allow more then 4 players, per team, who had had experience above the class D level. It was reported that Winnipeg and Duluth opposed the idea.
8-14-35: F-M pitcher Charley Suche hit 3 home runs during a game against Duluth. He had 4 RBI and scored 4 runs during his 8-inning game-winning effort. The final score was 7-6.
8-17-35: Wally Gilbert made his debut with the Duluth Dukes.
8-19-35: F-M (27-12) had a ½ game over Winnipeg (27-13).
Al Koch (F-M) led batters with a .343 average and was followed by Jim Shelling (F-M) at .340. Lloyd Sterling (18-1) had the best record. He was far ahead of Lefty Bertrand who was at 12-2.
8-20-35: Tied 6-6 with the bases loaded in the 9th inning, Eau Claire's Eddie Schohl laid down a perfect bunt scoring the runner from third for a 7-6 Bears' victory.
In the 5th inning of a game between Duluth and Grand Forks with the Chiefs leading 2-1, umpire Jack Landry forfeited the contest to Duluth because of a dispute over one of his decisions. At that time, Landry and the other ump left the park, but hundreds of fans protested vigorously and the managers agreed to continue the game. Two umpires were recruited from the stands and Duluth proved decisive by a 3-2 score.
8-26-35: F-M (33-14) had a 5 ½ games lead over Winnipeg (28-20).
The first scheduled night game in the history of the league was played at Crookston where the Pirates beat the Grand Forks Colts 4-3. Highlights included "brilliant" outfield catches.
Ray Helixon (GF) led league batters with a .340 average and the runner-up was Adolph Stemig (Dul). Lloyd Sterling was 20-2 to lead pitchers. Charley Suche ranked 2nd at 18-5.
9-35: New Orleans brought up 2 F-M players. Charley Suche and Jim Shilling would report to the AA team at the end of the season.
The Duluth Dukes' blond left-hander, Charley Johnson, was recalled by the Minneapolis Millers. Also, Earl Stratton was sold to the St. Louis Cardinals.
League President/Crookston manager-player Lute Boone was in the hospital during the season's final days due to an infected leg (from the last week in August). Charley Patton managed the team while Boone was hospitalized.
9-2-35: F-M (38-16) held a 6 game lead in the 2ndhalf standings over Winnipeg (32-24).
9-3-35: Harry Strong announced that he would not return as manager of the Dukes in 1936. He did not play the last games of the season due to a sprained ankle.
9-6-35: The Dukes' Jim Goff started both games of a double header against Eau Claire. He won the first game 4-1 on a 3-hitter. In the 2nd game, he again threw a 3-hitter, but lost the game 3-2 on 2 home runs in the 6th and 8th.
9-8-35: F-M won the 2nd half championship with a 42-18 record which was 6 ½ games ahead of Winnipeg (36-25).
Jim Shilling won the batting crown with a .345 average and Gus Koch was 2nd at .343.
Lloyd Sterling led pitchers with a 24-2 record and Charlie Suche was 22-5.
The best-of-9 playoffs were scheduled to start on Sept. 11 with the first 3 games at Winnipeg and then the next 3 at F-M. Games 7 and 8, if necessary, would be at Winnipeg and a game 9 was scheduled for F-M. The umpires were Walther Jansen of Minneapolis and Clayton Knutson of Superior.
Mid-September, 1935: The National Association was researching a possible league which might include some of the following cities: LaCrosse, Madison, Janesville, Beloit, Kenosha, Racine,WI, Winona, MN, Dubuque, IA, Freeport, Rockford and Waukegan. IL.
F-M won the first game of the playoffs 6-1 on Charley Suche's 6-hitter. In game 2, Roman Bertrand limited F-M to 3 hits in a 12-0 win for Winnipeg as he struck out 13. Ambrose Ebnet gave up only 6 hits in the Maroons' 9-5 win in game 3.
Lloyd Stirling also pitched a 6-hitter in game 4 for a 6-4 Winnipeg victory. In games 5 and 6, the Maroons ran away with 23-8 and 11-5 easy wins. Winnipeg became the 1935 league champs.
Attendance at game 5 was 2,500 Fargo-Moorhead fans, but by the 8th inning the park was almost empty because of the 22-3 score.
Financially, Winnipeg owner Bruno Haas was not pleased at the
quick playoff ending in Moorhead, but he was still very happy with
the outcome. The Maroons were led in the playoffs by Phil Seghi who
hit .517 and, as a team, they hit .365. Whereas, Jim Shilling, the
Twins' regular-season leader, hit only .087 in the series and F-M had
a combined batting average of .248.
3-36: The Fargo-Moorhead board of directors voted to accept an offer from the Zanesville (Middle Atlantic) club to finance the Twins in 1936 which would include construction of a new ball park in Fargo. The team operations were to be run by Steve Gorman and Jack Knight would return as manager. At the end of the season, the franchise ownership would revert to the people of Fargo and Moorhead.
Ken Penner was selected to manage Crookston. In 1935 and part of 1934 he had been at the helm of the Louisville team in the American Association. Former owner/manager, Lute Boone, took over the Brainerd franchise and moved it to Wausau, WI. The Crookston president was E. E. Turnquist who announced a working agreement with the St. Paul Saints. They agreed to send "a number" of players to the Pirates and then have the pick of the "best" players at the end of the season. Turnquist further announced insolation of the league's first lighting system and a planed to have one-half of their scheduled games broadcast over Grand Forks radio station KFJM.
Herman White of Eau Claire became the league president replacing Lute Boone.
During the off-season, the Grand Forks franchise was transferred to Jamestown, ND. The plan was for part of the club's schedule to be played in Greater Grand Forks.
The National Baseball School of Los Angeles, which was run by Jess Orndorff,, had 3 of their graduates sign with Northern League teams. Tuition for the 7-week course was $25.00.
It was reported that Jamestown business men and civic organizations had formed a Boosters' Club with the help of owner/manager John Anderson. The city had not had an pro team since the Dakota League folded in 1922.
Superior president, Bill Berg, announced that the club had traded Blix Donnelly and Johnny Plait to Duluth for George Treadwell who would manage the Blues.
4-36: Duluth manager Dick Wade was part of the spring training coaching staff for the St. Louis Cardinals' minor league players at White City Park in Springfield, MO.
The salary limit of $1000 per month for each league team continued for 1936. Each player could make no more then $75 monthly exclusive of the managers.
The league decided to return to the old format for an All Star game in July when a team of all stars will play the league's leading team. The league's teams voted (5 to 1 [Wausau led Lute Boone] with 2 not voting) to adopt a Shanghnessy-type play-off at the end of the season. A one-half cent assessment was levied on each ticket sold to form a $1000 playoff pool where the winning team's players would get $25 each and the runner-ups players would receive $15. For 1936, the league will have 6 paid umpires. They were: Al Jensen, Ed Gharrity (former Washington Catcher from Rippon, WI), J.W.Miller (former Cleveland pitcher from Cambridge, OH), Tony Masters (former NYP League ump from Hazleton, PA), Foster Moore (from Ft. Wayne, IN) and Frank Roscoe (2nd year pro umpire from New Paris, IN). The league will begin play on May 6.
With the adoption of the Shaughnessy playoffs, there was no split-season in 1936. The 1st-place team, at the end of the season, would play the 3rd place team and the 2nd place team would play the team in 4th place. The winners would then meet for the title.
The league increased each team's player limit from 16 to 18.
Eau Claire began their training at their home park on May 20. Only 5 members of the 1935 team were signed to return including Hank Majeski. Manager Johnny Mostil returned as manager. He had been an instructor at the Doan Baseball School and had signed several players he saw there.
Very few of the league's clubs will have many of their 1935 players back for 1936 as the league surpassed all other class D circuits in the number of players who went on to play in high classifications.
5-6-36: Jamestown and Wausau played their first league game against each other. The Jimmies won easily 12-4 on 18 hits including 4 home runs. Bill Sekeres was the winning pitcher having struck out 11. He allowed 3 home runs.
Eau Claire beat Winnipeg 7-4 as the Maroons committed 5 errors with led to 6 of the runs. In the 8th, Winnipeg came back from a 7-1 deficit to score 3 runs, but Bears' relief pitcher Ed Sielski held the lead.
In opening day at Superior, Crookston's starter Ed Lehmann walked 8 with 3 coming in the 8th inning. Those late walks led to 5 runs highlighted by a bases loaded double from George Tkach. The Blues' rookie third baseman from St. Louis, Milford Wildeneaur, was 3-for-3. The game was called after the 7 1/2 innings because of darkness.
5-7-36: In the first two Crookston games of the season, first baseman Bob Latshaw, reached base 8 consecutive times on 5 hits and 3 walks.
5-8-36: Fargo-Moorhead won their opening game easily on the road by defeating Duluth 12-2. The Twins spread their scoring over 7 innings with Truman Connell leading the way having gone 4-for-5 including a double and triple. Clay Smith was the winner as he struck out 12 and allowed the Dukes only 6 hits.
5-36: Of Duluth's first 7 scheduled games, only one was played as rain and wet grounds forced postponement of the other 6.
5-11-36: Wausau became the 2nd league team to play some of their home games under the lights. It was reported that attendance at the night games that week "was encouraging."
5-12-36: Crookston scored 8 runs in the 8th inning in a game against Eau Claire, but lost 12-11.
Malo Reece, a tall F-M pitcher with a great change up, pitched a 3-hit 4-0 shut out over Wausau. He struck out 9.
5-15-36: Henry Ruffing of Winnipeg allowed only 5 hits and struck out 9 in a 5-3 win over Superior. Henry was the brother of Yankee pitcher Charley (Red) Ruffing.
Mid-May, 1936: F-M (6-3) was in first place ½ game ahead of Jamestown and Eau Claire (both at 7-5).
Wausau drew 7,500 fans in their first home stand of 11 games.
Joe Goldfine returned to the league with Superior.
Mike Kash (Duluth) was given the nickname "Rear View Vision". When he sent a request for a trial to the team last spring, he sent a photo of himself that was taken from the rear.
5-19-36: Fargo-Moorhead out-slugged Wausau to win a wild game 16-11. The Twins' Blas Monaco and the Blues' Mike Sime had perfect nights at the plate with each going 5-for-5. Monaco had a home run, a double and 3 singles and Sime got 2 home runs, a double and 2 singles. The Lumberjacks' Maurice Colona also hit 2 home runs.
5-20-36: Crookston out-hit Superior 8-4, but were shut out by Ed Schumacker and lost the game 3-0.
Blix Donnelly (Duluth) pitched a 3-hitter but lost to Winnipeg 2-1.
5-25-36: Bill Burr of Winnipeg pitched a 8-0 no-hitter against Eau Claire. It was the second no-hitter in league history. Burr, an18-year-old from Columbus, OH, walked 3 and fanned 3. Three days later, he pitched a 3-hitter vs Wausau.
With 47 at bats, Len Ellison of Winnipeg led hitters with a .447 average. Cal Lahman (Jamestown), with 65 at bats, was hitting .431. Bill Sekeres (Jamestown) had a 5-0 record. Ralph Waldo (Jamestown) and Henry Ruffing (Winn) were at 4-0.
Duluth's leading hitter (.398) was catcher Johnny Plait who had a disappointing season at Superior in 1935. Plait was from Winona. Manager Dick Wade was generally not pleased with the team's hitting and it was reported that unless there was quick improvement, personnel changes would be made.
5-26-36: Justin Ray pitched for his 7th Northern League team - this time with Superior.
5-27-36: Ray Helixon (Jamestown) extended his hit streak to 8 straight. He was 3-for-3 in his last 3 at bats on May 26 and was 5-for-5 the next day.
Late-May, 1936: F-M and Winnipeg were tied for first place with 10-5 records. Jamestown (10-7) trailed ½ game behind.
League President Herman White fined Duluth outfielder Ade Steming $15 and suspended him for 10-days for a near-assault on umpire Tony Masters at Winnipeg on May 19. Catcher Johhny Plait, who was also involved in the dispute, was fined $10.
A new park was being built in Eau Claire as a WPA project. The grandstand was constructed on concrete columns, reinforced with steel.
Umpire Tony Masters resigned. He was replaced by James Williamson of Menomonie, WI.
5-31-36: Eau Claire beat Wausau 20-6 with 26 hits.
6-1-36: Ted Frank (Eau Claire) struck out 13 Duluth batters and allowed only 6 hits during a 3-2 victory.
With 2 out in the 10th inning, Superior's Milly Wildenhauer hit his 2nd home run of the game to defeat Wausau 13-12. The Lumberjacks', Lyle Thompson, was 5-for-6 with 2 home runs, a double and a single.
Jamestown (13-8) led F-M (12-8) by ½ game.
6-2-36: Bud Ruemmele (Crook) pitched a 2-hitter vs F-M using his very good fast ball and taking advantage, late in the game, of the approaching twilight. He struck out 11 in his 3-1 victory. F-M's Jack Andrews only allowed 7 hits and struck out 12.
6-3-36: Winnipeg pulled out a 10-inning 10-9 win over Jamestown. Third baseman Joe Bolla was 4-for-5 for the Maroons which included 2 home runs. Winnipeg totaled 17 hits in the contest.
Wausau won a pitcher's worse nightmare 23-15 over Superior. The Lumberjacks logged 21 hits.
6-4-36: Fill-in first baseman Garrett McBride of F-M made 4 errors in a 5-4 loss to Winnipeg.
6-5-36: Winona native Chet Wieczorek (Duluth) ended his 14-game hitting streak against Wausau's Gilbert Bruhn. The Dukes' Ade Stemig was 4-for-4 in the game which included 2 home runs.
Early-June, 1936: Winnipeg (18-12) led the league's standings only ½ game ahead of Jamestown (17-12) and Eau Claire (18-13).
The league cut umpire Foster Moore.
Lyle Thompson (Wausau) was lost for 10 games when he was spiked in his big toe by Duluth's Joe Cavosie.
Bill Burr, who had pitched a no-hitter and a 3-hitter in succession for Winnipeg, was bashed for 19 hits in his next start against Jamestown. The Jimmies won 15-3.
Four league clubs had working agreements with teams from higher classifications and the other four operated independently. The clubs with affiliations were Crookson with St. Paul (AA), Duluth with Cedar Rapids (Western), F-M with Zanesville (Mid-Altantic) and Jamestown with Sioux City (Western).
6-8-36: Gene Fish struck out 10 and walked none in a 13-2 victory for F-M over Crookston. The Twins clinched the win in the 6th inning with 7 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks. The game was called at the end of the 8th due to darkness.
6-9-36: Ken Jungles (F-M) started his first Northern League game and was hooked up in a pitching duel with Elmer Johnson of Crookston. Each hurler gave up only 5 hits and the Twins pulled out a 3-2 victory.
6-11-36: Duluth ended their 7-game winning streak when they tied Eau Claire 3-3.
6-12-36: Eau Claire and Duluth fought it out at Duluth - literally. A fight broke out between the teams which left Eau Claire catcher George Ruff with a cut over his eye and the Bears' Frank Scalise suspended for 3 days by League President White.
Mid-June, 1936: Eau Claire manager Johnny Mostil was said to be slowly but surely straightening out his pitching difficulties. Ted Frank became the ace of the staff, Ralph Willard was improving and he felt he could begin to count on Whitey Steimling and Lefty Ficek. The offense, led by Hank Majeski, was doing well.
F-M (21-13) led Jamestown (20-14) by one game and Eau Claire and Winnipeg (both at 21-16) by 1 ½ games.
League President Herman White upheld Jamestown's protest in a game June 6 against Winnipeg. The Maroons used the hidden ball trick which was expressly forbidden by the league's by-laws. The game was scheduled to be re-played.
6-17-36: The game at Wausau was postponed because of cold weather. Throughout the rest on the country, cities were sweltering under extreme heat.
Eau Claire third baseman Bud Weiting suffered 2 badly brused fingers when he was hit on the hand by a pitched ball during a game with Jamestown.
6-19-36: Mike Radon (Dul) pitched a 2-hitter over Winnipeg in a 5-1 victory.
6-22-36: Wausau had 21 hits off 2 Jamestown pitchers with everyone in the lineup having at least one. The Lumberjacks won 20-3. Dan Phillips was 5-for-6.
Winnipeg ended Superior's 5-game winning streak when they got 15 hits off Blues' pitcher Justin Ray. Henry Ruffing gave up only 5 hits and struck out 7 for the 7-3 victory. The Maroons trailed until the 8thinning when they scored 2 and then clinched the game with 4 more in the 9th.
Jamestown led the league's standings with a 24-15 record which was one game ahead of F-M (23-16).
6-25-36: Johnny Anderson, Jamestown manager, was suspended for 5 days by League President White and fined $25. The cause of the censure was "an assault" on umpire Frank Roscoe during a game on June 23. Danny Collins (Duluth) was also fined $5 for using abusive language toward umpire J.W. Miller on the same day.
6-28-36: Mike Radon (Duluth) pitched both ends of a double header against Jamestown. In the first game, he was blasted by the Jimmies and replaced. However, in the 2ndgame, he pitched a 5-hit 10-1 win.
Late-June, 1936: F-M was in first place with a 28-18 record which was 2 games over Jamestown (26-20) and 2 ½ games ahead of Eau Claire (26-21).
Ironwood, MI, native Joe Cavosie was honored by his townfolk before a game played in Duluth. His fans presented him with a "Gladstone bag". Involved in the presentation was Mark Almili who was forced from baseball in 1934 by a stroke.
Past league star Gus Koch returned to F-M. Eau Claire's Henry Meyer was sold to the Chicago Cubs. He will play out the season with the Bears. Former major leaguer Wally Gilbert joined Duluth in a pro ball come-back attempt.
During a home stand of 21 games, the "grand daddy" of the league, Ade (Unk) Stemig of Duluth, hit .423, drove in 26 runs and scored 19.
7-1-36: Bill Burton, a new F-M recruit, stole home in the 8th inning of a game against Crookston for the deciding run. The score was 3-2 as Whitey Grossman, a former U. of Minnesota pitcher, struck out 7 and scattered 9 hits to keep it close for the Pirates.
Early-July, 1936: F-M (33-20) led Eau Claire (34-23) by 1 game and Jamestown (28-25) by 5.
Wausau traded Phil Masi, who was a reserve catcher with them, to Eau Claire. In his first trip to the plate for the Bears, he hit a home run.
Chet Cichosz returned to Superior. He had been with New Orleans (Southern Assoc) and F-M.
The All Star game scheduled for July 8, between the F-M Twins and the All Stars, was postponed because it conflicted with the N. D. State Fair at Fargo. It was re-scheduled for August 18. The All-Stars were: Charley Larson (1b), Hank Majeski (2b), Chet Cichosz (3b), Ernie Olson (SS), Ray Helixon (OF), Herman Blennerhassett (OF), Truman Connell (OF), Chet Bujaci (C), Henry Ruffing (P), Bill Sekeres (P) and Clay Smith (P).
Tom Bell, the V.P. on the Duluth Dukes, gave his club some entertainment for road trips by having a radio installed on the team bus.
7-6-36: Cal Lehman of Jamestown led the league in hitting with a .413 average. He was followed by Hugh Alexander of F-M who had a .381 mark. Henry Ruffing had the best record of all pitchers at 11-3 and Clay Smith was 2nd at 11-4.
7-7-36: The first night game was played at Jamestown [an exhibition?]. A 100,000 watts lighting system was purchased through the co-operation of the park board, the chamber of commerce, Jamestown College and the junior chamber of commerce.
7-12-36: Duluth protested the first game of a double header against EC. With the Bears behind 8-0, EC outfielder Marv Janes hit a drive to right field that bounced off the Duluth's right fielder's glove and over the fence for a home run. Dukes' manager Dick Wade contended that the hit should have been a ground-rule double. Eau Claire ended up winning the game 15-11.
7-13-36: F-M (34-23) had a .005 percentage points lead over Eau Claire (36-25).
7-14-36: Jamestown pitcher Judge Mathews walked 9 Superior batters but the Jimmies won the game 8-1 with the help of 4 double plays and 6 strike outs by Mathews in tight situations. He allowed 7 hits.
Mid-July, 1936: Johnny Anderson who had been the owner and manager at Grand Forks and Jamestown, sold his interest in the Jimmies' franchise to a group of Jamestown business men. He also quit as manager and was replaced temporary by shortstop Ernie Olson and later (permanently) by George Foster who was originally of Joplin, MO. For the past two years Foster had resided in Jamestown and had been a member of the town's semi-pro team. He had also played on town ball teams, since he was 16-years-old, in Joplin, Tulsa, and Fullerton, CA. Foster had never previously played professionally. Another report indicated that businessmen from Valley City, ND, also bought interest in the team with the understanding that part of the team's schedule would be played in their city.
The National Baseball Association President W.G. Bramham ordered F-M to return outfielder Gus Koch to the Minneapolis Millers. He had played with the Twins for two seasons and was sold to the Millers earlier this year. However, in violation of association rules, he was back playing for F-M.
The league recently added Eddie Gharrity as a umpire. He was a former American League catcher and coach with the Cleveland Indians. It was said that he was a "big favorite with the fans."
Jamestown players nicknamed their club the "Jims" over other names sportswriters have been using such as "Jimmies" and "Colts".
7-19-36: EC (40-27) led F-M (38-27) by one game.
Late-July, 1936: Winnipeg became the standings leader with a 44-33 record which was 1 ½ games ahead of F-M (40-32) and Eau Claire (41-33). Jamestown (40-33) was 2 back.
Winona native Johnny Plait left the Duluth Dukes and went home stating he had a sore back. The catcher was suspended indefinitely.
Gus Koch had surfaced as an outfielder with Wausau having been cut loose by Minneapolis.
Building of the new park at Eau Claire was delayed by a shortage of material to complete the grandstand. The club gave up trying to play there this season.
Last-place Duluth received player help from other league teams. EC sent first baseman Lyle Thompson and Wausau contributed Ervin Oberlander (2b) and Morris Colona (OF) to the Dukes.
7-31-36: F-M's Gene Fish pitched 2-hit shut out ball through 8 innings vs Wausau. However, in the 9th, he allowed 4 hits and 2 runs and got the loss 2-1.
8-2-36: Cooperstown N.D. native Floyd Stromme made his pro debut for F-M against Jamestown. In the first inning, he allowed 4 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks. He gave up 2 more hits in the 2nd inning before settling down and pitched through the 6thinning. The Jims won the game 7-5.
8-3-36: Hank Majeski of Eau Claire had seven hits in seven times at bat (3 singles, 2 doubles, a triple and a home run). Also in the game, Eau Claire had 34 hits which became the all-time league record.
Jamestown (45-36) held a ½ game lead over Eau Claire and F-M who both had 44-36 records.
Umpire Eddie Gharrity ejected Superior manager/catcher Red Treadwell in the 6th inning of a game vs Wausau for arguing ball and strike decisions. The game was called after 8 innings due to darkness tied at 13-13. Treadwell was fined $10 by League President White.
8-4-36: Hank Majeski, EC shortstop, ended his hit streak at 10 straight. He singled in his first at bat and then grounded out in his second appearance.
8-6-36: Duluth won their first game in 12 tries beating Jamestown 10-4.
8-10-36: EC (50-38) was in first place 2 games in front of F-M (47-39).
8-11-36: F-M first baseman Bill Rucker was spiked in a collision with pitcher Ed Sielski of EC. It took 7 stitches to close the wound.
8-12-36: Winnipeg pitcher Bill Burr pitched a 6-hitter and fanned 10 as the Maroons defeated Superior in the 2nd game of a double header 10-2.
Mid-August, 1936: Eau Claire (53-42) led the league with F-M (52-43) one game behind. Winnipeg (53-46) was 2 back and Jamestown (50-44) was 2 ½ games behind.
F-M home games were played at Moorhead's League Park in August because of delays in completing work on Barnett Field in Fargo.
F-M's Clay Smith went home to Cleveland for rest and medical attention. League President White overruled the protest of Duluth against F-M in the Twins' 5-4 victory of August 8.
The ownership of the Jamestown franchise was passed to the Jamestown Baseball Club, Inc. The team officers were: A.J. Breitback, president; Dr. J.D. Carr, vice president and John Bernabucci, secretary-treasurer. Stock in the team was being sold locally.
8-17-36: Lefty Ebnet pitched a 3-hitter for Winnipeg over Crookson. The score was 5-1.
8-19-36: Jamestown held their first league night game and beat Duluth 15-10. The Jims' Fred Bergman drove in 6 runs with 2 home runs.
8-20-36: Blix Donnely (Dul) struck out 15 Jamestown batters in a 7-inning game. The Dukes won 3-2.
8-23-36: Gil Bruhn of Wausau allowed 21 runs vs. Crookston. It was the all time league record.
Cal Lahman (Jamestown) tied a league record with 2 home runs in one inning (the 3rd) in a game vs Superior. The Jimmies scored 11 runs on 11 hits in that inning with 9 being scored after 2 were out. The N.D. team won 18-4.
8-24-36: EC (56-43) had a 1 ½ games lead over Jamestown (55-45).
8-26-36: During a game between Wausau and Jamestown, a jackrabbit bounded onto the playing field and held up the game for a few minutes. It jumped past all players who attempted to catch it and made "the rounds" on the field. It finally left through a hole in the left field fence.
Ralph Waldo (Jamestown) pitched his 3rdconsecutive shut-out with a 12-0 victory over Wausau. He walked 2.
Late-August, 1936: Jamestown took over leadership in the standings with a 63-46 record which was 3 ½ games ahead of Eau Claire (58-48) and Winnipeg (60-50). F-M (55-52) dropped to 7 behind.
8-31-36: Cal Lahman held on to the batting leadership with a .409 average and he was followed by Hank Majeski at .373. Ralph Waldo led pitchers with a 13-6 record and Henry Ruffing was 18-9.
9-2-36: George Tkach of Superior died in Winnipeg from injuries received when he was hit by a pitched ball on August 27. A wild pitch, in the first inning, from Alex Ufferman struck Tkach in his jaw and he was immediately rushed to a hospital but never regained consciousness. Dr. J.A. Hillsman, an outstanding Canadian surgeon, performed brain surgery on August 30 and, the next day, oxygen and glucose were administered. This was Tkach's 2ndyear in pro ball as he had played with Rock Island and Crookston in 1935 before signing with the Blues later that year. Along with Don Falstad at shortstop, he formed one of the best double play combinations in the league for 1936 and was very popular with his teammates and the fans. He was 20 years old and lived in Waukegan, IL. [You may read more about this tragedy on the page "Skeets Killed by Pitch"].
9-7-36: Elnar Hosve (Superior) pitched for 13 innings in two games against Duluth and wound up with wins in both. He won the morning game 12-5 and entered the afternoon game in the 8th inning with the score tied at 5-5. In the 11th inning, the Blues pulled out a victory 7-5. In the first game, Joe Goldfine was fined $25 by umpire Frank Roscoe. In the 8thinning of the 2nd game, he got into another heated exchange and was ejected plus drew another fine - this time $20.
9-8-36: Memorial services were held in Superior for George Tkach. Players from Superior and Duluth stood at home plate with bared heads and eulogies were given by several speakers. A game was then played for the benefit of Tkach's family and drew "a large" crowd with Duluth winning 10-6. During the game, a foul ball broke through the catcher's mask of George Treadwell and he left the game with a large gash above one eye.
Jamestown won the league pennant with a 73-50 record which was 4 games ahead of Eau Claire (67-52).
Cal Lahman won the batting crown with a .391 average. Dennis Gleason (Duluth) hit .361.
Henry Ruffling had the best record of 18-9. Jude Mathews (Jamestown), Joe Rogalski (Wausau) and Bill Sekeres (Jamestown) were all at 17-9. Clay Smith won the league's first ERA crown with a 3.13 mark with Dan Fish (F-) at 3.39.
Third place Winnipeg beat the regular season champs, Jamestown, 4 games to 3 in round one of the playoffs. Also, 2nd place Eau Claire beat 4thplace Wausau 4 games to one. In the finals, Eau Claire won over Winnipeg 4 games to 3.
9-16-36: The first former Northern League player appeared in a
major league game - Indians' pitcher Bill Zuber. Gene Corbett played
for the Phillies three days later (June 19).
Spring training for the Duluth Dukes and nine other St. Louis Cardinals' farm teams opened on April 5 in Springfield, MO.
The new manager of the Wausau club, Dickie Kerr, spent the off season working in the mutuals department at Epsom Downs in Houston.
Eau Claire scheduled an exhibition game with the Minneapolis Millers for June 1.
Julian (Julie) Wera was named manager at Crookston. He last played minor league ball for Toronto in 1936.
Eau Claire manager Johnny Mostil spent his 4th year as an instructor at the Doan School of Baseball. Eleven of it's graduates reported to Crookston this spring. Eight tried out with Winnipeg, 9 with Duluth and 8 at Eau Claire
The ownership of Chet Cichosz was decided by Baseball Commissioner K.M. Landis. Last year, Cichosz had become property of Cleveland, was transferred to New Orleans, sent to F-M, loaned to Superior and called back to F-M. He was given his free agency by Landis because of irregularities in the transfers of his contract and it was reported that he immediately signed to play with Superior in 1937. However, before the season started, he became property of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Ed Kraus, who was only 21 years old, was named to be manage at Jamestown. He was an infielder from Chicago who played with the Jimmies for the last half of the 1936 season and Greater Grand Forks and Eau Claire in 1935. He opened the team's try-out camp at Spencer Coal's Field in Chicago on April 12 and it lasted for 5 days. The best of the players went north to Jamestown on April 20 for the final paring down of the roster.
Winnipeg owner Bruno Haas announced he had signed 6 of last year's players to return for 1937. The Maroons trained at Dunning Field in St. Paul.
During their 1,100 mile bus trip to Crookston from their training camp Springfield, MO, the Pirates' bus caught fire. All players escaped injury which occurred when the team was only 8 miles out from their training camp. However, some of the players lost their personal belongings. On the baseball front, there did not seem to be much optimism around the club as only 2 veterans from last year's club returned for 1937.
Eau Claire was scheduled to open their new $50,000 ball park with Gov. Phillip LaFollette attending. The park had lights for night games beginning June 1. Club President Carl Bylander predicted that attendance, for '37, would increase to 40,000 for the season. Rain during 7 out of their 12 spring training days meant a slow start for the Bears. However, pitchers and catchers had indoor workouts at a local gymnasium.
5-37: Former league star Joe Goldfine was on the league's inactive list at the beginning of the season due to an eye injury suffered in the off-season.
Duluth had all veterans (at least one year of pro ball) on it's roster except their 19-year-old third baseman Bill Hart.
It was reported that most of the league's teams lost their best players due to promotion to higher minor league classifications.
Superior President Bill Berg was upset that Chet Cichosz had became the property of the Phillies and was investigating the circumstances of ownership. He claimed that Cichosz had first signed with the Blues, not the Phillies.
Dutch Dorman replaced Dick Wade as manager of Duluth, Lute Boone left Wausau to be replaced ty Dickie Kerr. Jack Knight returned to F-M after a year's layoff and Bruno Haas would manage Winnipeg after 2 years away from the job. Red Treadwell and John Mostil both returned to their jobs at Superior and Eau Claire respectively. Knight and Haas were the only managers who were scheduled not to play.
5-4-37: The new park in Eau Claire had a record 3,000 fans for it's first game. The visiting Superior Blues won the game 7-5 with 4 runs in the 6thinning on 2 walks, a wild pitch, a sac fly, a balk and a triple by Ed Ficek. Einar Hoisve
got the win. Before the game, Gov. LaFollette made a short address stating "There is something in this world besides making money and right here you have an athletic layout that will serve the boys and girls of your city for generations to come."
5-5-37: The Duluth Dukes won their opening day game against Wausau 6-2 on a 6-hitter from Fred Martin. The only runs allowed were aided by 2 Dukes' errors. The attendance in Wausau was 2,000.
Jamestown held on to beat Winnipeg 11-10 in their home opener. The Jimmies had a 10-4 lead after 5 innings and the Maroons had 2 late-inning rallies, but fell short. The victors' Mike Kash hung on to pitch a complete game even though he allowed 13 hits (including 3 homers), but he did strike out 8.
At Crookston, the Pirates scored 7 runs in the 8thinning to beat F-M 10-3. Both starters (Floyd Stromme and Dan Fry) struck out 8 but neither finished the game as August Asselraeier got the victory.
In his first pro game, Ray Campbell, struck out 13 and gave up only 5 hits pitching for Eau Claire in a game vs Superior. The Bears won 10-1 as 2 errors contributed to the lone run.
5-10-37: Eau Claire turned 4 double plays in a game against Duluth which they won 11-7. The Dukes left 15 runners on base as they had 13 hits and were walked 7 times. Obviously, the double killings saved the game for the Bears.
Crookston's Oscar Georgy used his slow-motion delivery and "dipsy-doo" curves to great effectiveness against Jamestown. He allowed only 2 hits and struck out 13 in the 9-1 Pirates' victory. However, he did get into trouble numerous times with 6 walks and from errors by his defense.
5-12-37: Eau Claire made 8 errors with 6 of them coming in the final 2 innings during a 10-5 loss to Wausau. Second baseman Jerry Standaert had 3 miscues. The Bears used 6 pitchers in an attempt to keep the Lumberjacks at bay.
Mid-May, 1937: Crookston led the league with a 9-2 record which was 2 games ahead of Duluth (5-2).
5-16-37: Wausau manager Dickie Kerr and catcher Chet Bujaci were ejected by umpire Clay Knutson in a game at Duluth. They had disputed a play at the plate "too vigorously."
5-18-37: Jamestown, with N.D. Gov. William Langer participating, raised their 1936 pennant before their game vs Wausau. The game that followed was called in the 7th inning because of darkness with the score tied 7-7.
The game between Duluth and Crookston was called at the end of 8 innings because of darkness. The score was tied at 5-5.
5-19-37: John Schroeder's (Crookston) batting streak ended at 14 games. During the game against Duluth, he was walked twice and on base once by an error.
Late-May, 1937: Crookston's (11-3) lead was 3 games over Duluth (7-5).
5-24-37: Bruno Hass, owner/manager/player for Winnipeg, came into the 2nd game of a double header against Wausau with the bases loaded and struck out 2 batters to retire the side. Then, in the Maroons' next at bat, Haas hit a home run with 2 on base to give his team a 4-0 lead. He spent the rest of the 8-2 win on the bench.
5-25-37: Trailing 3-2, with 2 out, 2 men on and 2 strikes in the last half of the 9th inning, Crookston's Don Olix hit a home run over the right field fence to give the Pirates a 5-3 victory over Eau Claire. In his previous 3 at bats, Olix had struck out.
5-26-37: In a strange promotion, Crookston held "honesty night" in honor of manager Dickie Kerr. Of course, the name referenced his non-participation in the fixing of the 1919 World Series when he was a member of the White Sox.
6-1-37: The Eau Claire Bears lost an exhibition game to the Minneapolis Millers 6-2. The Mill City club scored 4 runs in the 8th for the victory.
Fred Martin (Duluth) pitched his 2nd consecutive 3-hitter in a game vs Superior as the Dukes won 4-1. In his previous outing, he beat Eau Claire 5-1.
6-3-37: Joe Golfine came back from an eye injury earlier then expected to play in the Superior outfield. He said his eye still bothered him, but he claimed he could "still follow the ball better than a lot of umpires I have seen."
Early-June, 1937: Crookston (15-7) led Duluth (12-6) by one game.
6-4-37: Eau Claire scored 12 runs in the first inning of a game with Crookston. The Bears' third baseman, Bud Weiting, singled and hit a bases-loaded triple in the inning. EC also executed 2 double steals in that frame. Pirates' pitchers August Asselraeier and Erwin Schuerin gave up 13 hits and walked 12 during the 18-3 loss.
6-5-37: The owner of the Jamestown team, A.J. Breitbach announced that he was negotiating with Ray Doan, of Muscatine, IA, to sell the franchise. The report seemed to indicate that if Jamestown were not be in the Northern League in 1938, they would be part of a new a 6-team N.D. circuit.
A week later, Crookston (18-8) still held the one game lead over Duluth (16-10).
In three successive games, Eau Claire rallied in the 9th inning to sweep a series vs Fargo-Moorhead.
Rufus Marshall, of Peoria, IL, was added to the league's umpiring staff.
6-7-37: Crookston player/manager, Julie Wera, was knocked unconscious when he collided with catcher Al Erickson while going after a foul ball. Afterward, he suffered dizzy spells, was taken to a hospital for observation and released the next day.
Winnipeg completed a 2-game swamping of Eau Claire. On June 6, they won 21-0 by scoring in every inning with 19 hits total. During the June 7 game, the Bears committed 11 errors and the Maroons had 20 hits during the wild 19-15 win.
In a double header between Jamestown and Duluth, each team won one game by a 2-0 score. Fred Martin (Dul) won the first game on a 4-hitter and Steve Warchol (James) won the 2nd one on a 3-hitter. The Jimmies' first baseman, Pete Medak, was thrown out in the 4th inning, of the second game, by umpire Rogers because he used "abusive language". Medak was also fined $5.
Mid-June, 1937: Duluth took over the lead in the standings with a 20-13 record just percentage points ahead of Crookston (21-14).
The Dukes packed the fans into their park with sell-outs for 2 Sunday games. On June 10, they set a week-day attendance record in a game against Crookston.
League President Herman White declared his opposition to the transfer of the Jamestown club. Ray Doan claimed he had been offered the franchise for free as long as the team remained in Jamestown, but he refused the offer.
Joe Goldfine withdrew from the Superior team. He thought he had conquered his eye problems but found he "was placing excessive strain" on the eye and would not play again until "the difficulty clears up."
Duluth (26-15) led Crookston (24-16) by 1 ½ games.
6-14-37: During a Winnipeg and Crookston game, play was stopped because the supply of baseballs was exhausted. A fan saved the day by climbing into the "upper section" of the stands and salvaged 2 balls that had become lodged there. Winnipeg scored 3 runs in the 9th inning to take a 8-7 lead, but the Pirates came back in the bottom half to score 2 runs and win 9-8.
Chet Wieczorek (Dul) and Dick Rome (Super) were tied for the batting lead with .373 averages. Julie Wera was at .368. In Pitching, Charles Barney (EC) and Cliff Homstad (Dul) had 5-1 records. Steve Warchol (James) was 6-2.
6-15-37: Bill Butland (EC) pitched his first full game since joining the Bears from Minneapolis. He held Superior to 7 hits for an 8-4 win.
6-19-37: Jamestown and Crookston played a 15-inning game which was won by the Pirates 4-3. Oscar Georgy (Crook) and Jude Matthews (James) both pitched complete games. At that point in league history, it was the longest game ever played.
6-21-37: In the 4th inning of a game between Winnipeg and Jamestown, an extra ball was thrown on the field just prior to a third strike being called on Winnipeg's Hugh Gustafson. Bruno Hass. Maroons' manager, refused to continue the game unless the strike was rescinded. Neither he nor the umpires backed down and the game was forfeited to the Jimmies 9-0.
6-23-37: Wausau and Crookston played a see-saw game with both scoring 2 runs in the 8th inning. Wausau then scored 2 more in the 9th, Crookston tallied 3 in the bottom half and the score was tied. In the 10th, both teams scored 2 runs and finally, in the 11th, Wausau scored one and Crookston didn't answer to lose the game 8-7.
Late-June, 1937: Duluth (32-16) led Crookston (28-19) by 3 ½ games.
The Jamestown franchise played a series of home games at Bismarck, ND, in order to determine if the capital city had a sufficient fan base to support it's bid for the team.
6-28-37: Russ Loafman of F-M pitched a 5-hit shut-out over Wausau. The Lumberjacks had only 2 men reach 3rd base during the 4-0 loss.
In 40-degree weather at Duluth, Oscar Georgy struck out 16 Dukes and allowed only 6 hits. He also walked 7 in the 6-3 win for Crookston.
Chet Wieczorek led league batters with a .365 average and Dick Rome was 2nd at .342. Oscar Georgy had a 10-1 record to lead pitchers. He was followed by Rett Charley (Dul) and Cliff Homstad (Dul) who both had 7-2 marks.
7-1-37: Superior outfielder Charley Sellers was thrown out of a game against Winnipeg because he threw dirt at umpire Clay Knudson. He also drew a $5 fine.
Early-July, 1937: Duluth had a 35-19 record to lead the league. They were 3 ½ games in front of Crookston (32-23).
7-5-37: Duluth's Bill Hart ended his streak of 10 straight hits. He had gotten a hit in the 10th inning of a game at Crookston on July 3 and then followed by going 3-for-3 and 4-for-4 in a double header on July 4. In his next game against Superior, he had 2 hits in his first 2 trips to the plate before being stopped.
7-6-37: Down 11-1 after 7 innings and 11-3 after 8, Duluth had 8 hits and scored 7 runs in the 9th inning but fell one run short in their 11-10 loss to Wausau. Carl Lehman, who was removed from the game in the 9th, got the win for the Lumberjacks.
During the game between F-M and Crookston, pitcher Oscar Georgy hit Blas Monaco with a pitched ball. Monaco then charged Georgy and the two "came to blows", but were separated before either were injured. The Twins won the game 7-1 as their pitcher, Dave Stephens, held the Pirates to 6 hits and struck out 10.
7-7-37: Early in the season, Rett Charley of Duluth announced that he would win 20 games in 1937. He reached the half-way mark in his quest by defeating Wausau 5-3. It was his 7th straight victory.
7-9-37: Fred Martin (Dul) underwent an operation for appendicitis at St. Mary's Hospital in Duluth and was expected to be lost to the Dukes for the rest of the season. On July 8 he had helped his teammates beat Wausau 15-3. It was his 11thvictory of the season and his 6th in a row.
Between July 6 and July 9, the Duluth Dukes hit 22 home runs off of Superior, Wausau and Eau Claire pitching. Bill Hart and Dennis Gleason each hit 5, Lyle Thompson and Ade Stemig each had 4 and Chet Wieczorek and Ray Helixon contributed 2 each.
7-11-37: Ralph Waldo, former ace for Crookston, returned to the league with Duluth and helped the Dukes win over Eau Claire 5-4. Waldo allowed 6 hits and struck out 9.
7-14-37: Lyle Thompson (Wausau) threw a 6-hitter and struck out 10 vs F-M. However, his defense committed 5 errors and the Twins won 8-5 even though they contributed 3 errors in the loosely-played game.
Mid-July, 1937: Duluth's (42-21) lead became 6 ½ games over Crookston (35-27).
One week later, Duluth (44-22) held a 5 ½ games lead over Crookston (39-28).
Joe Goldfine once again signed with Superior in his 2nd attempt, this season, to come back from his eye injury.
7-19-37: Crookston outfielder Winfred Hansch thought he had caught a low-liner during a game against EC. When umpire McGrath called it a trap, Hansch threw the ball at him which drew an immediate ejection. McGrath and fellow umpire Paulson then had to deal with the vocal protests of manager Julie Wera whom they also threw out. The Bears won 7-2, but the game was completed under a formal protest filed by the Pirates.
More player/umpire battles highlighted (?) a game between Jamestown and Superior. The Jimmies had frequent verbal battles with umpires Rodgers and Leary which ended with 2 of their players being escorted from the ballpark by 7 police officers. In the actual baseball game, the Blues committed 2 errors in the 9th inning which led to 2 runs and a 4-3 Jimmies' victory.
7-20-37: Jamestown's Mike Kash beat his former teammates from Duluth on a 4-hitter. He struck out 7 in the 5-3 win.
Phil Masi (Wausau) hit 3 home runs and a double for 8 RBI during a 12-11 Lumberjacks' victory over Crookston.
7-21-37: Fred Martin left the hospital and rejoined the Dukes as a spectator. He thought he would pitch again in about 3 weeks.
7-25-37: Crookston turned 5 double plays in a game vs F-M. They still lost, however, 3-2.
7-28-37: Don Olix (Crookston) fractured his ankle in a game with Jamestown which ended his season. The Pirates thought they had obtained a replacement - Maurice Colona - from Duluth, but Colona refused to report and said he was going home.
Late-July, 1937: Duluth (50-25) was 7 games in front of Crookston (43-32).
Joe Tinker was offered the manager position at Jamestown. He had recently left that same job with Orlando (FL State League). Tinker turned down the job as he thought it was too late in the season to leave his Florida home where he ran a real estate business.
7-29-37: The new park at Fargo was formally dedicated and 3,800 fans turned out for the ceremonies and a 5-2 Twins win over Winnipeg.
Early-August, 1937: Duluth still led the league with a 52-25 record which was 8 ½ games ahead of F-M (42-32).
Crookston had a family affair at shortstop. Joe Bach was signed to play the position but he had regular employment with a railroad and could not play when he was on duty there. At those times, his nephew, Russ Bach filled in for him.
8-2-37: Oscar Georgy pitched hitless ball for 6 innings with 9 strike outs in a game vs Duluth. In the 6th, he was hit on his pitching hand by a hard line drive. Georgy attempted to pitch the 7th, but after walking the first 2 batters, he left the game. Danny Fry replaced him on the mound and the Dukes scored 3 times that inning which was enough to defeat the Pirates 3-2.
8-4-37: Floyd Stromme (F-M) threw a 5-hitter over league-leader Duluth to help defeat them 5-1. He also hit a triple and stole home.
The Jamestown franchise was turned over to the league and they played the remainder of the season's games on the road. Former club president A.J. Breitbach said it had to be done because of "lack of support by the fans." Salaries of the players were to be paid by the league and Ken Penner, who had recently been manager at Montgomery (Southeastern) was placed in charge of the team. He replaced Mike Kash who had taken over from Eddie Kraus a month before.
8-5-37: Crookston's Ernie Rudolph pitched a 2-hitter and drove in the game's only run during a 1-0 win for the Pirates over Eau Claire. He struck out 10.
F-M and Duluth remained scoreless through regulation as F-M pitcher Russ Loafman held the Dukes to one hit. However, in the 10th inning, Duluth got 4 hits and the Twins committed an important error for a 3-0 Dukes win. Winning pitcher Ken Brown held the Twins to 5 hits.
8-6-37: Due to a problem with their team buses' engine, which caused a delay of 5 hours, Jamestown did not arrive for their game in Duluth until 20 minutes before game time. The ordeal helped lead to their 16-4 defeat at the hands of the Dukes.
In the first game of a double header at Crookston between the Pirates and Wausau, an argument occurred between the home team and umpire Rogers. Even the Pirates' business manager Ray Oppegaard got involved and entered the field of play to argue. When Oppengaard refused Rogers' order to leave, the game was forfeited to the Lumberjacks 9-0. Shortly thereafter, the umpire was surrounded by screaming Crookston fans who threatened violence. Rogers did not back down, the fans returned to their seats and game 2 was played without too many problems In that game, Oscar Georgy threw a 2-hitter with 14 strike outs.
8-8-37: Ralph Waldo pitched a no-hitter for Duluth over Jamestown (his former team) by the score of 4-0.
The lost season of Joe Goldfine finally ended. He broke his ankle sliding into FIRST base in the first inning of a game against F-M and was done for the year.
When Floyd Stromme (F-M) pitched a 7-4 win over Superior, he had 600 fans from Griggs County to cheer him on. He had previously played for their Cooperstown American Legion junior team.
8-10-37: Oscar Georgy had to leave the mound in the 8th inning of the 2nd game of a double header with Superior. It was reported that he had "pulled a muscle in his right arm." He was credited with the win in the 7-3 triumph.
8-11-37: F-M set a record by turning 6 double plays in a game vs Wausau. The game ended after 8 innings because of darkness with the scored tied 5-5.
8-7-37: Duluth (58-31) held a commanding 6 ½ games lead over F-M (48-34).
8-12-37: Superior ran out of catchers when manager George Treadwell was hit in the head by a swinging bat which forced him from the game. The good-sportsmen at Duluth loaned them catcher Red Gleason until Treadwell could resume playing.
8-14-37: Duluth (63-33) had a 5 ½ games lead over F-M (53-34).
8-16-37: Duluth played their home game vs Superior at Virginia, MN. The crowd was estimated at 3,000 with a large percentage being Legionnaires and Legion auxiliary members who were attending a state convention in the town. The Dukes won 9-1.
Joe Sosnouski of Eau Claire held the St. Paul Saints to 5 hits during an exhibition game before 2,500 Bears' fans. Eau Claire won the game 9-2 as Sosnouski had a no-hitter going until the 5th inning.
8-19-37: Umpires ejected Winnipeg manager Bruno Haas and players Joe Bolla and Jim Witham during a 12-3 win by Duluth over the Maroons.
8-21-37: Duluth (71-34) was 8 games in front of F-M (60-37).
8-22-37: Duluth ended their winning streak at 8 games by losing the 2nd game of a double header to Crookston 7-4. They had won the first game 16-4.
Red Gleason who had been loaned by Duluth to Superior was recalled by the Dukes to take the place of their third baseman Bill Hart who suffered hip and knee injuries when he got into a collision at first base.
8-24-37: Einar Holsve (Super) gave up only a single to Jamestown's Charley Sellers duirng his 2-0 shut-out. Manager Treadwell returned to catching duties for the Blues.
8-25-37: A scoreless pitching duel between Forrest Evans of EC and John Miklos of Winnipeg extended into the 10thinning. Then with Jim Locke on 3rdbase, the Maroons staged a double steal and Locke scored the winning run. Evans only allowed 4 hits and Miklos 3.
8-29-37: Duluth (76-37) had a 6 ½ games lead over F-M (65-39).
The Chicago Cubs had an agreement to supply players to Eau Claire this season. In return, they could choose 3 players from the Bears' roster to own. Their choices were: Clarence Levan, Soup Campbell and Derwin Steimling (who was on loan to Superior).
Superior supporters claimed the season a loss but planned to keep the franchise going for 1938. Rain and cold weather kept their spring training candidates off their field until the day before the season's opener. As the weather warmed up, interest in the team also improved, but then injuries took their toll with catcher/manager Red Treadwell being hit in the head by a bat while in his catching stance, Milly Wildeneaur broke a finger grabbing a hot grounder, Marion Cilbrowski and Loyal Hodge suffered sprained ankles and Joe Goldfine broke his ankle. Treadwell suffered dizzy spells and was not in the lineup for some time after his injury.
Winnipeg business manager Art Morrison was also a "nationally-known" timekeeper for football and hockey and a sports commentator on station CJRC in Winnipeg.
Cedar Rapids notified Crookson that 4 Pirates' players would be taken for trials with the class A team in the spring of 1938. They were: Oscar Georgy, Ernie Rudolph, Erwin Schueren and Bill Barnacle.
F-M sold pitcher Dave Stevens and third baseman Erine Talos to Milwaukee of the American Association.
8-30-37: Floyd Stromme (F-M) won his 14th consecutive win this season by defeating Jamestown 4-2. He struck out 12.
8-31-37: As part of a Wilkin County Fair celebration, the game between F-M and Jamestown was played at Breckenridge, MN. The Twins, on the arm of Russ Loafman, shut out the Jims 6-0.
9-4-37: Duluth (78-37) held a 5 ½ games lead over F-M (69-39).
9-6-37: Hank Miklos of Winnipeg pitched the season's second no-hitter over Fargo-Moorhead in a 6-0 win.
9-37: Duluth won the regular season pennant with a 81-39 record which was 6 ½ games ahead of F-M (70-41).
Chet Wieczorek (Dul) won the batting crown with a .355 average. He was followed by Ray Helixon (Dul) at .348.
In Pitching, Dave Stephens (F-M) was 14-4 and Floyd Stromme finished at 19-6. Russ Loafman (F-M) was the only 20-game winner (21-7). The ERA crown went to Stromme with a 2.10 mark. Ernie Rudolph (Crook) was at 2.24.
In the playoffs, the regular season winner, Duluth, defeated the 3rd place team, Eau Claire, 4 games to one. Fargo-Moorhead, the 2nd place finisher, beat Crookston, who ended in 4th place, 4 games to 3. The Pirates had won the first 2 games.
In the playoffs final series, Duluth beat F-M 4 games to 2.
Grand Forks returned to the league two years after their franchise was moved to Jamestown.
Crookston formed a working agreement with the Minneapolis Millers.
4-38: It was reported that Winnipeg owner Bruno Haas attempted to find a major league partner and hoped to reach an agreement before the start of the season. He did not send contracts to any of his outfielders from 1937, but did to all of his infielders - Hugh Gustafson, Skeets Ebnet, Mike Hack and Joe Bolla. Pitchers Henry Ruffing and Clark Metcalfe were also slated for return.
5-24-38: Winnipeg owner/manager Bruno Haas was ejected from the 2nd game of a double header between the Maroons and Eau Claire for protesting a called ball too vigorously with the plate umpire.
5-26-38: Superior's Barney DeForge struck out 15 Eau Claire batters during a 5-4 victory.
5-38: Of the first 20 games scheduled in Duluth, 9 were postponed due to inclement weather and only 3 were actually played.
Steve Warchol's ailing arm from last season had healed and he pitched well in his first 2 starts for Duluth. On the other hand, the Dukes' Cliff Homstad had sore arm problems in his first start and could not find his control as he walked 9 in a game on May 24.
5-30-38: Fargo-Moorhead held the early lead in the league standings with a 9-4 record which was ½ game ahead of Wausau (8-4) and Crookston (9-5).
5-31-38: F-M finally initiated the lights at Barnett Field with a crowd of 1,800 for a game against Winnipeg which they won 8-4.
Duluth and Superior played a wild 23-16 game won by Superior. The Blues had 23 hits and the Dukes 16 with Duluth's Mel Wasley getting 2 home runs.
6-1-38: Wasley had another good day for the Dukes as he hit 2 home runs, but he could have had another if he had touched first base when he circled the bases. The Dukes beat Wausau 21-8 with 19 hits and the Lumberjacks committed 8 errors. .
6-38: Jack Whipple (F-M) ended his 19-game hitting streak. He had been leading the league in hitting.
The league admitted that game reports had rather consistently misspelled Grand Forks pitcher Ted Frank and F-M catcher Chet Bujaci names incorrectly as "Franks" and "Bujnci". They both had been in the league for a number of years (Frank since 1935 and Bujaci since 1934).
Ambrose (Skeets) Ebnet graduated from St. John's University in Collegeville, MN, and returned to his second base position for Winnipeg.
New Wausau manager, Bunny Brief, was reported to have been the most forthcoming manager, in the league, with information (about his team) to sportswriters.
League managers were considering a request to the league for an increase of the roster size from 15 to 16 in order to provide for an extra pitcher. Hurlers were desperately needed because of all of the double headers played early in the season which were necessitated by rainy weather.
In a game between Superior and Crookston, 14 runs were scored in the first inning. The Pirates scored 5 runs and the Blues 9 in that frame. Superior went on to win 18-7.
Due to the overflow crowds for Sunday games in Duluth, the club increased the seating capacity of it's park to 3,450. The team also scheduled an old-timers game for July 2 which would include former star players from their area.
6-4-38: Crookston (12-5) led Duluth (12-7) by one game.
6-5-38: A former Case School of Applied Science football and basketball star, Ray Micovsky, made his debut with F-M in a pinch-hitting attempt. He had shortened his name to Ray Mack when he joined the Twins.
6-9-38: Eau Claire manager Eddie (Patsy) Gharrity was fined $25 by League President Herman White for an argument with umpire Clay Knutson. Gharrity played the game under protest because he claimed F-M catcher Erv Albritton should have been called for interference. The protest was not allowed by White.
President White also assessed a $5 fine on manager Bill Burwell of Crookston who had a run-in with umpire Norm Blleding on June 8.
6-10-38: Mel Wasley (Dul) took over the league lead in hitting by going 4-for-4 in a game on this date. The former leader was Jack Whipple (F-M).
6-12-38: F-M (15-8) held the league lead by percentage points over Crookston (17-10).
6-14-38: The first game was played at Grand Forks' new lighted ballpark which had a seating capacity of 1,200. The Chiefs had been using the old East Grand Forks field while the new one was being completed.
6-16-38: Hank Miklos (Winn) pitched a 3-hit 4-0 shut-out over Grand Forks.
Crookston completed back-to-back shut-outs over F-M. On June 15,
Mike Kash won 2-0 and Bill Butland followed with a 4-0 win at their
Highland Park home field. .
6-18-38: Crookston (21-10) led Wausau (19-12) by 2 games.
Earlier in the week, F-M had won 5 straight on the road to move from 5th in the standings to first. They then lost 5 in-a-row and dropped back to 5thplace.
6-38: Superior outfielder Marion Ciborowski made, what witnesses thought, was the "catch of the year" during a 15-7 victory over Eau Claire. Ciborowski made a bare-handed catch of a short drive along the left field foul line. He raced in and grabbed it just before it was about to touch the ground.
Kenny Williams (F-M), who had played shortstop for the Twins, became a catcher after regular back stop Chet Bujaci
broke his thumb. Shortly thereafter, Williams broke a small wrist bone with which he played [taped] for 12 games before the team finally realized the extent of the injury.
6-20-38: Bill Butland (Crookston) held F-M to 5 hits and struck out 7 during a 8-0 victory.
6-21-38: In a wild 6-inning contest, Superior beat Winnipeg 14-13. Pete Reiser led the Blues with a home run, double and single. The game, played in Winnipeg, was called because of darkness.
6-24-38: The F-M Twins played a game against Superior that was designated as American Legion Day. One-half of the game proceeds were given to the Gilbert C. Grafton Post for use in support of it's junior baseball programs.
6-26-38: Superior had the league lead with a 29-14 record. In 2nd was Crookston (26-13) one game behind.
To gain first place, Superior had won 12 in-a-row.
Dwain Sloat, playing for Grand Forks on option from the St. Paul Saints, won a 4-3 victory over Wausau.
Walt Lewinski pitched his first game for F-M. H allowed 4 hits and 5 runs in the first inning, but then settled down to pitch hitless ball over the next 6 innings. Duluth won the 7-inning game 5-3.
7-3-38: Duluth (34-17) held first place by ½ game over Crookston (33-17).
7-38: Johnny Mostil, now manager at Grand Forks, was ejected on successive days when his team played in Fargo.
Wausau manager Bunny Brief filed a protest regarding the umpire's calling, after the 8th inning, of the June 29 game at Duluth in which the Dukes were awarded a 7-4 victory. He did not agree with umpire Ward's decision to allow the game to begin, in the first place, during a drizzle.
Superior players were given "snappy" blue jackets with white lettering by the city's merchants.
In a game vs F-M, Joe (Joker) Wojciechowski, who was the only native-Superior player on the Blues, drove in the tying and winning runs in the 8th inning of an 8-7 victory.
Superior was scheduled to abandon Hislop Park by the end of the month for their new park which was built with a $65,000 aid project. The Blue's "Booster Club" was nearing it's goal of raising $2,500 for installation of lights at the new field. After they were installed, Duluth was the only team whose home park was not equipped with lights.
7-4-38: Umpire Clay Knutson threw out Winnipeg manager Bruno Haas and Maroons' player Frank Danneker in the first inning of a game vs F-M for excessive arguing.
In a later game at Eau Claire, umpire Norm Blleding ejected the Maroons' Hugh Gustafson and then ran all of the players off the Winnipeg bench.
7-6-38: Steve Warchol (Dul) helped his team regain first place with a 7-hit 8-2 victory over Crookston. It was his 10th win against only one loss.
7-7-38: Bill Butland (Crookston) stopped Duluth's 6-game winning streak with an 8-hit 4-2 win.
7-9-38: Duluth held their ceremonial 1937 pennant raising prior to a game with F-M. League President Herman White and Duluth dignitaries took part in the celebration. The Dukes won the ball game that followed 6-1 with Joe Behrman on the mound. He had the support of 3 timely double plays.
7-10-38: Duluth took over first place with a 37-10 record which was one game ahead of Crookston (35-10).
7-12-38: Manager Ed Gharrity of EC and pitcher Bud Joyce of F-M were both ejected during a game between the two teams. In the 7thinning, Joyce reportedly threw at Gharrity and, on the next pitch, the EC manager punted with obvious intent. They both reached the foul line at the same time and began throwing punches which drew the ejections of both.
7-13-38: Wausau pitcher Carl Lehman pitched a no-hitter over Fargo-Moorhead. He walked one batter and another runner reached base on an error. In 1935, Lehman had pitched a no-no for Tigerton High School.
7-17-38: Duluth (43-20) was in first place by 2 ½ games over Crookston (39-21).
Superior reached their goal of raising funds for lights at their new park. The first night game was scheduled for either August 14 or 15.
Carl Lehman gave up a scratch hit in the 6th inning of a 7-inning game vs F-M to end his hitless streak The Twins then had 3 straight hits in the 7th to defeat Lehman and the Lumberjacks 2-1.
7-18-38: F-M ended their losing streak at 7 games by beating Duluth 7-3.
7-20-38: George Schoenecker, Grand Forks pitcher formerly from St. Paul, made his debut with the Chiefs by pitching a 2-hitter over Duluth. The final score was 5-2.
7-21-38: Linus (Skeets) Ebnet of Winnipeg died in a Winnipeg hospital from being hit in the head by a pitched ball from Vince Clawson during a game against Grand Forks on July 16. The hospital's medical staff had attempted to relieve pressure in his brain with an operation. Ebnet, who was 23 years old, had played in the league since it's inception. [For a full essay about this tragedy, please see the page "Skeets Killed by Pitch"].
7-22-38: Paul O'Dea (FM), formerly of Cleveland, ended his hit streak at 6. On the 21st, he had 4 hits against EC and, on this date, he had 2 more vs. Wausau.
7-23-38: Crookston (43-22) was in first place by percentage points ahead of Duluth (45-24).
It was announced that Duluth ace Steve Warchol would not play "indefinitely" because of a pulled ligament in his back.
7-25-38: Paul Welsh, FM outfielder, ended his hit streak at 11 straight which was 3 short of the league record. Superior pitcher Harry Cohick finally got him out in the 6th inning.
An inquest into the death of Skeets Ebnet was completed. Dr. H.M.X. Speechly, the provincial coroner, announced that the opposing hurler was free from all blame in the accident. A memorial service was held at Barnett Field in Fargo with a wreath being placed at second base by 82-year-old Judge W.H. Barnett for whom the park was named. The wreath remained there during the game that day between Superior and the Twins.
7-26-38: Vince Clawson, whose pitch accidently killed Skeets Ebner, made his first appearance after the tragedy. He held Wausau to 4 hits, but the Chiefs lost the game 3-0 on a 3-run homer by Ben Bolinski.
7-27-38: Dwain Sloat (GF) struck out 17 Winnipeg batters during a 9-2 victory.
7-28-38: Superior opened their new $70,000 park before a crowd of 2,000. The Blues' Barney DeForge threw a 4-hitter with 13 strikeouts for the 5-1 win over Wausau. Mayor Byrn Ostby threw the ceremonial first pitch to former councilman Charles Peterson. The new park's dimensions helped Blues' outfielder Marion Cibrowski catch up to a deep fly ball that would have cleared the fence at their old park by an estimated 50 feet. During the game, Blues' manager, Red Treadwell, suffered a 3-inch gash on his forehead in the 6th inning when one of DeForge's curve balls hit his mask. Treadwell stayed in the game.
7-29-38: The Duluth players were guests of the Duluth Athletic Club for a Lake Superior trout dinner. The main course was a 21-pound lake trout that was caught by Ray Snell who was an author of adventure stories for boys and girls.
8-1-38: With the winning run on base in the 9thinning, F-M attempted to give Marion Cibrowski an intentional pass. The Superior outfielder reached across the plate, at one of the outside deliveries, and singled to drive in the game-winner. The final score was 8-7.
Grover Cleveland Alexander's Whiskered Wizards played an exhibition game in Fargo. Their strike-out artist John (Wimpy) Conner did not leave town with Alexander's unit, but instead signed with the Twins.
8-2-38: Duluth (51-28) held first place by ½ game over Superior (51-29).
Duluth received and raised the 1937 league championship flag before their 6-1 win over F-M. League President Herman White, John Louden (sales manager of General Mills who sponsored radio play-by-plays on KDAI), club President Ed Hatch, Duluth mayor C.R. Gergult, team V.P. Tom Bell, managers Dutch Dorman and Jack Knight all spoke during the ceremonies.
Duluth discontinued giving free grandstand tickets to women fans on Ladies Days and began to charge a small fee. It was reported that men, who paid the full admission charge, were unhappy because they were unable to obtain seats on those days.
8-3-38: Superior formally dedicated their new park before a record 5,000 fans. The Blues' Dick Scott pitched the home team to a 6-hit 5-1 victory even though he walked 7.
8-7-38: Harry Cohick pitched a 7-inning no-hitter over Winnipeg. He did not give up a walk in the 4-0 triumph, however, 2 runners reached base on errors. It happened on "George Treadwell Day" which was held to honor the Blues' manager.
8-8-38: Duluth (57-30) was in first place by one game over Superior (56-31).
Superior President Bill Berg said he was attempting to secure Wally Gilbert from Winnipeg. On August 6, Gilbert hit the first home run in the Blues' new park.
8-12-38: Bernie Kincannon (F-M) pitched a 2-hit 1-0 win over Duluth. He struck out 6 and walked 3. The Dukes' first baseman, Lyle Thompson, had 19 put-outs during the game.
8-13-38: Mel Wasley of Duluth hit 4 home runs for the all-time league record. They were hit consecutively in the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 6thinnings of the first game of a double header vs F-M. He drew a base on balls in his 5th at bat.
8-14-38: Paul O'Dea added to his hitting streak of 25 games. His streak was stopped during the Dukes' next game.
Wally Gilbert joined Superior after being acquired for cash and infielder Tony Sauntag.
8-15-38: Superior (61-52) regained first place with a one game lead over Duluth (60-53).
Len Perme, formerly from Cleveland, joined the Fargo-Moorhead Twins.
Superior drew only 9,800 fans in 1937, but to date in 1938, they had over 20,000 paid admissions. This fact quieted the skeptics who doubted the wisdom in building their new "spacious" ball park.
Conflicts caused the re-scheduling of games in Fargo and Grand Forks. A series originally set for Fargo on Aug 29-Aug 31 could not be played at Barnett Field because the park's field was the exposition grounds for the Red River Valley Fair. Games scheduled in GF for Aug 19-Aug 21 had to have their dates changed because the western sectional of the American Legion junior baseball tournament would be played at the Chiefs' park during those days.
8-16-38: Wimpy Conner made his debut for F-M in front of 3,100 home fans for "Jack Knight Appreciation Day". Connor nearly pitched a shut-out, but a wild throw on a double play try eliminated that possibility in a 10-1 win for the Twins. Manager Knight received a monetary gift and a .22 caliber rifle in appreciation of his work.
8-17-38: F-M and Superior committed 14 errors during a 12-8 victory for the Blues. The Twins had 9 and the victors 5 with F-M's third baseman, Henry Zomezak getting "credit" for 3.
8-20-38: Superior (64-33) led Duluth (61-35) by 2 ½ games.
8-38: It was a wild 11-inning game between port rivals Superior and Duluth. Going into the bottom of the 9th inning, the Blues were trailing 3-0 but the Dukes' Moose Kennedy tied the score with a 3-run home run. In the 11th, he won the contest with a solo blast. In the city's first night game, an unbelievable crowd of 7,000 entered the park before the gates were closed.
League managers were surveyed to determine if they favored mandatory use of batting helmets. Five of the eight managers approved of the idea. It was reported that league directors would be asked to consider such a rule in their next meeting. Duluth manager Dutch Dorman said, "I certainly am behind any movement that will give our young players additional protection. Surely a helmet can be devised that would be light in weight and still afford protection." Crookston manager, Bill Burwell, was even more emphatic for the plan as recently a Pirates' player was hit in the head during an exhibition game with the Chicago Giants. Other managers in favor of the idea were Bunny Brief, Jack Knight and Bruno Haas. It was not supported by Red Treadwell, John Mostil and Ed Garrity.
The Vice President of the Cleveland Indians, C.C. Slapnicka, made a trip to Crookston to watch the F-M Twins split 2 games with the Pirates.
8-21-38: Bob Haas (F-M) struck out 13 and allowed 8 hits, but lost the game to GF 5-4 in 10 innings.
8-22-38: Paul O'Dea led the league in hitting with 147 at bats and a .401 average. Officially, however, Ray Mack (with 209 at-bats) had the league lead with a .361 average followed by Lyn Rumfield (Dul) at .354. For Pitchers, Bill Butland had a 17-5 record and Lee Taylor (Superior) was at 13-4. O'Dea was a cousin of Cubs' catcher Ken O'Dea.
8-30-38: F-M ended an 11-game winning streak when they lost to GF 6-5 in the first game of a double header. The Twins' John Conner gave up 11 hits in the loss.
8-31-38: Grand Forks manager, John Mostil, was given a "day" and a check from the Grand Forks Baseball Association. His players also presented him with a sweater, a box of cigars and handkerchiefs.
9-4-38: Phil Pellicore, second baseman for Grand Forks, was chosen as the team's most popular player by it's Knot Hole Gang. He was presented with a trophy for his achievement.
The president of the Fargo-Moorhead club, Steve Gorman, was given a birthday party in GF. He received a pen and pencil set from Twins' players.
Lyle Thompson (Dul) was selected as the most popular player on the Dukes. He was given several gifts by the fans. In addition, a collection of $164.46 was taken up and given to injured shortstop Erv Oberlander.
9-5-38: Superior won the regular season pennant with a 78-36 record which was 7 games ahead of Duluth who had a 72-44 mark.
Ray Mack (F-M) won the batting race with a .378 average. Mel Wasley and Paul O'Dea each hit .357.
In pitching, Mike Kash (Kaiserski) was 20-5 and Steve Warchol (Dul) 11-1. Bernie DeForge and Bill Butland both had 19-6 marks. No ERA winner was declared.
In the first rounds of the playoffs, clubs shared the receipts evenly after club expenses and a small fee to the league were deducted.
F-M sold Wimpy Conner to Cleveland. He will join Ray Mack who was sold to the Tribe previously.
Wally Gilbert was signed by Superior State College to be their assistant football coach.
In their first game of the playoffs' first round, Superior and Crookston went 14 ½ innings before a run was scored. Bill Butland and Barney DeForge pitched the masterpiece with DeForge finally allowing the winning run in the bottom of the 15thon 3 hits and a walk. The game-winning RBI, for the Pirates, came from the bat of catcher Erickson. In game 2, Crookston won 5-1 on Mike Kash's 4-hit pitching. Superior won game 3 with 2 runs in the 5thinning and held on to a 2-1 win. The Blues also won game 4 by a score of 4-1. Crookston retook the series lead in game 5 by winning 10-4 and won round one on an 8-1 victory in game 6 with another great pitching performance from Mike Kash. .
In the first playoff game between Wausau and Duluth, the Dukes
scored 5 in the first inning and they went on to beat the Lumberjacks
9-5. Wausau led game 2 early, but Duluth won 15-10 with 9 runs in the
8th inning (on 5 straight hits and 3 successive errors).
Game 3 was another close one, but was again won by the Dukes, with a
run in the 9th, 8-7. The Dukes sweep the series with a 8-3
win in game 4.
Duluth beat Crookson in the playoff finals 4 games to 3 games.
4-39: The league said the "Goldsmith Official League Baseball" would continue to be used in league games this season. The roster size limit was 15 which included the manager.
The following radio stations carried league games:
KDAL - Duluth aired "live" home Dukes' games and recreated road contests. The sponsors included General Mills and Goodrich Tires and the announcer was Bill Harrington. The station also broadcast game review programs at 6:30 PM M-W-F with Ellis Harris commentating.
KVOX - Moorhead ran Fargo-Moorhead Twins games with Manny Marget as the announcer.
KFJM - Grand Forks broadcast home games with General Mills and Cities Service Gasoline as sponsors. The play-by-play announcer was be Elmer Hansen.
WEAU - Eau Claire carried Bears' games with Art Hanstrom at the mike.
The Winnipeg team was reorganized under the name "Winnipeg Maroon Baseball Ltd" with John T. Boyd as chairman of the board and Charles H. McFadyen as president.
4-13-39: It was reported that the Superior Blues, who had been losing money for six years, had not secured a satisfactory lease for the new Municipal Stadium which was built with WPA funds in 1938. The club offered the city $900 for the season not including electricity costs, which they claimed would be more then any other city in the league would receive. The city park board turned down the offer and asked for 10-15% of the gross revenue, that the percentage could be changed during the season and they indicated the agreement could be terminated with only ten days notice. Blues' president William Berg then threatened to move the team to another city. He also made arrangements to play the first six weeks of the schedule on the road.
4-22-39: Eugene Fitzgerald was named president of the Northern League Baseball Writers Association at their organizational meeting in Minneapolis. Walt Grinois of Crookston was named Secretary-Treasurer. Other members were Dave Christianson of Wausau, Don McKenzie of Crookston, Fred O'Neil and C.D. Lockin of Grand Forks, John Buss and Ed Armstrong of Winnipeg, Hank Hurley of Fargo, Bruce Nelson, Frank Liska and Art Hanstrom of Eau Claire, Bill Stewart and Bob McBride of Superior and Cubby Campbell and Chick Campbell of Duluth.
5-39: Superior agreed to use the city's Municipal Stadium for the season. The Blues will pay 7 ½ % of gross gate receipts up to an attendance of 45,000 and 10% for any over that mark. The team would keep all concession revenue. The settlement came less then 24 hours before their first game (on the road).
Information regarding the quality of ball park lighting, in the league, was published by "The Sporting News". It also listed the dimensions and seating capacity of each field:
Winnipeg had lights with 255,000 wattage. The field's dimensions were 341 to left, 400 to center and 300 to right. The park seated 3,500.
Wausau's lights totaled 200,000 watts and the park dimensions were 321, 333, 312 with a capacity of 2,500.
Duluth's park did not have lights at the beginning of the season. No park dimensions or park capacity were listed.
Eau Claire's lights were at 175,000 watts, the dimensions were 335, 435, 380 with a 3,200 capacity.
The Fargo-Moorhead park had lights listed as 174,000 watts and their field dimensions were 326, 375, 320. The park's seating capacity was 4,000.
Superior's new park had lights estimated at 172,500 watts and the dimensions were 315, 415, 315 with a 3,500 capacity.
Grand Forks' ball field had lights totaling 150,000 watts and had 323, 458, 323 dimensions for a 2,500 seating capacity.
Crookston's park was listed with lights of 150,000 watts, dimensions of 323, 450, 299 and a 1,500 capacity.
5-5-39: Led by manager Joe Mowry, who hit four doubles in four trips and drove in five runs, Winnipeg beat Fargo-Moorhead 9-1 in the season opener before 4,000 in Fargo.
5-7-39: Eau Claire lost their first game of the year to Superior 8-7 when four Bears' pitchers walked 10 and threw 4 wild pitches in the first 6 innings.
5-8-39: Wausau manager Wally Gilbert drove in 3 runs and hit 2 homers to lead the Lumberjacks to a 5-4 win over Superior.
It was a marathon game between Duluth and Eau Claire. Both teams combined for 25 hits and 22 walks during a 13-11 victory for the Dukes. The victors used 4 pitchers who accumulated 12 of the walks with Gene Breese allowing 8 of them in 3 2/3 innings.
5-10-39: Duluth had 20 hits off 3 Eau Claire pitchers for a 14-0 win. The Bears got only 3 hits with no runner getting beyond first base off the Dukes' Cliff Homstad.
5-11-39: Pitcher Clarence Lemmer's hold-out lasted until this date. He had not signed a contract with Wausau earlier because he wanted a higher salary, but eventually agreed with the original offer.
Winnipeg's Gayle Shupe pitched a 3-hitter vs Grand Forks with all of the Chiefs' hits coming in succession in the 7thinning. Those safeties scored the only run off Shupe as the Maroons won 3-1.
Bob Haas (F-M) struck out 12 and his outfielders did not get a put-out during his 4-hit 6-0 victory over Crookston.
5-39: Superior designated June 2 as "Iron River Night" at which time a number of upper Wisconsin communities would participate in honoring Jim Savage who pitched for Crookston, but was originally from Iron River.
Grand Forks infielder Jimmy Grant, who was injured while playing for Wausau in 1937, was hobbled twice in the spring of '39 with a bad leg and was sent to a St. Paul hospital for repairs. It was hoped he could return later in the season.
5-13-39: Winnipeg had the early lead in the standings with a 5-1 record which was 1 ½ games in front of Wausau and Superior.
5-17-39: Joe Hatten of Crookston struck out 21 Superior batters to set a league record. He struck out 10 of the first 11 batters he faced. The former record was 17 by Elmer Johnson in 1936. .
5-19-39: Manager Joe Mowry and Windy Hansch led Winnipeg with 2 home runs each in a 14-4 victory over Wausau.
5-22-39: Forrest Evans, a Wausau pitcher, won a 10-1 victory over Crookston. He gave up 6 hits and 6 walks while striking out 9. He also had 3 straight singles and stole 2 bases.
5-23-39: Eau Claire beat Fargo-Moorhead 2-1 in 10 innings. The Twins were behind 1-0 until the 9thwhen they tied it at 1-1. Bob Essex got the win giving up 6 hits and getting 10 Ks. Len Perme got the loss allowing 9 hits and striking out 11 batters.
Winnipeg (9-4) led Superior (10-6) by ½ game in the league standings.
5-24-39: Robert Larson, of Grand Forks, who was optioned from Cedar Rapids, pitched a 10-inning victory. He didn't get much defensive support from his third baseman, Ed Schohl, who had 3 errors.
5-25-39: Lou Viorol of Fargo-Moorhead had a shutout going into the 9th inning in a game against Superior. But, Bill Rich doubled and Wally Gilbert singled Rich home in the final frame. Viorol held on for a 2-1 win allowing 6 hits.
5-29-39: Don Godfredson of Winnipeg did not allow a base runner past 2nd base during an 11-0, 5-hit victory.
Standings after three weeks showed Winnipeg (14-5) in first by 3 games over Eau Claire (11-8).
Albin Schnoor of Duluth pitched a 2-hitter over Superior. He had 9 strike outs including 3 in the 9thin the 3-1 victory.
5-29-39: Glenn Grimes of Eau Claire re-injured his leg when he beat out a hit in a game against Wausau. The next batter was hit in the leg. With two limp runners, Bears' manager Ivy Griffin yelled at the next batter "Hit one, so they don't have to run." The next batter, Lil Odom, did just that - he hit a homer.
5-30-39: Joe Hatten, Crookston pitcher, fanned 17 Grand Forks hitters in a 4-1 victory. He allowed 4 hits.
5-31-39: Eau Claire lost an exhibition game to the St. Paul Saints 10-7 due mainly to 6 errors by the Bears.
5-31-39. Former major-leaguer Phil Todt was released by Crookston. He was signed to be a playing manager, but club officials claimed it was difficult to get him to even make a personal appearance on the field.
6-1-39: Henry Miklos, Winnipeg pitcher, helped his team beat Wausau 9-5. He struck out 14 with 12 of them coming in the first 5 innings. Hugh Gustafson had 5 hits including 2 home runs. Miklos had pitched in relief on May 30 coming into the game with the bases loaded and 2 outs in the 7thinning. He stopped the rally.
Jerry Dvorak was released by Crookston. He started the year with Eau Claire, then went to Wausau and then to Grand Forks before ending with the Pirates.
League president, Herman White, fined Wausau manager Wally Gilbert $25, Jersey Joe Goldfine $10 and Gil Neumann $5 for actions taken during a game on May 30. Gilbert and Goldfine were thrown out of the game in the 3rd inning. Bill Barnacle and Neumann were thrown out in the 7th, however, due to a shortage of players, Barnacle was allowed to finish the game. While leaving the field, Goldfine became involved in a fight with a fan and was finally escorted off the field by a policeman
6-3-39: Dwain Sloat of Grand Forks continued his streak of pitching 13 consecutive scoreless innings by beating Duluth 2-0.
Joe Hatten struck out 16 in an 11-inning game against Superior, but lost the game 1-0. The winning pitcher was Bernard Kincannon.
6-5-39: Joe Barbeiri of Superior was hit in the head by Grand Forks relief pitcher Bob Larson. He was carried off the field and taken to hospital suffering from a slight concussion. During the prior inning, Larson had walked in two runs.
6-7-39: Eau Claire turned a triple play in their game vs. Grand Forks. With runners on first and second, shortstop John Dziura made a diving catch of Bob Doving's line drive and flipped the ball to John Nieman at second while still on the ground. Nieman then threw the ball to first to get the third out.
Fargo-Moorhead's Len Perme had a no-hitter going into the ninth inning of his start. A blooper fell behind Perme for a single to spoil it, but he held on to win 1-0. He had 13 strike outs.
A protest of the May 30 game between Duluth and Superior was upheld by the league president. The teams will replay the game from the beginning at a later date. The protest arose from a play the occurred while the Dukes were staging a rally. A runner going from first to second was said to have been hit by a batted ball by umpire Tollers. He refused to change his call even though the umpire-in-chief, for the game, Bill Sekeres stated that the ball did not hit the runner.
6-9-39: Duluth drew a record week-day crowd of 2,300 for a game against Winnipeg which they won 9-6.
6-10-39: The team standings for early June had Winnipeg (22-10) in first place 2 games ahead of Eau Claire (20-12).
6-11-39: Russ Rolandson (Crookston) was hit in the jaw by a pitch which caused a fracture. He was scheduled to be out of action for an indefinite period.
6-17-39: George Shoenecker of Grand Forks pitched a 1-0 eleven inning no-hitter against Crookston and Joe Hatten. Only 2 Pirates' runners reached base - both on errors (one on an overthrew in the 1st inning and the other when Shoenecker misplayed an easy ground ball in the 10th). He did not walk anyone. Hatten only gave up 6 hits and lost the game in the 11thwhen the Chiefs got 2 hits and the Pirates committed an error for the game's only run. In the game, Shoenecker extended his scoreless innings streak to 30 2/3.
6-19-39: Winnipeg (25-11) was in first place by 2 ½ games ahead of Duluth (24-15).
6-39: Arve Montrude was named permanent manager at Crookston. He had become the acting manager when Phil Todt was fired.
Joe Barbeiri, who had received a severe concussion when he was hit in the head by a pitch during a game vs Grand Forks returned to his home in Windsor Locks, CT, to recuperate.
6-20-39: Cliff Homstad (Duluth) had the F-M batters hitting ground balls during a 4-2 victory over the Twins. No Dukes' outfielder had a put out.
6-21-39: Joe Hatten struck out 18 Superior batters and his opponent, Bernie Kincannon, had 12. However, Hatten also gave up 16 hits but still won his outing.
6-22-39: Chuck Sproul (EC) pitched the first shut-out over F-M this season. He only allowed 2 hits in the Bears' 6-0 triumph. A triple in the 2ndand an infield hit in the 8th were the only safeties off Sproul.
6-24-39: Duluth took over first place with a 28-16 mark which was 1 ½ games ahead of Winnipeg (25-16).
6-25-39: Junie Thompson ended his consecutive win streak at 6 when Fargo-Moorhead beat him 4-0.
6-26-39: Winnipeg starter John Godfredson had a no-hitter through 6 innings in a game against Wausau. He finished with a 2-hitter and a 4-0 victory.
6-27-39: Fargo-Moorhead's manager, Jack Knight, resigned because of "ill health". There were also rumors of friction between he and his players. After the 1935 season, he also had left baseball because of "ill health." After the Twins moved to Fargo from Moorhead in 1937, he returned as manager. Knight also managed the team in 1934 and 1935. The team's new manager was catcher Chet Bujace who has played in the league since it's initial year of 1933.
6-28-39?: Duluth was in first place with a 35-19 record and Winnipeg followed one game behind at 33-19.
7-5-39: The Minneapolis Millers played an exhibition game against Eau Claire beating the Bears 13-7. The Millers scored 8 runs in the 3rd inning.
7-6-39: Fargo-Moorhead had won 9 straight under new manager Chet Bujace, but finally lost to Duluth 9-4. The Dukes had 15 hits including 2 home runs, a triple and a single by Joe Schmidt.
Wausau won a protest with the league president regarding an earlier game against Fargo-Moorhead. The umpires had "forgotten" to call time out, after a play, and a runner took the opportunity to score the winning run from third base. The game will be replayed from the point of the protest - bases loaded, two outs in the ninth inning.
Radio station CJRC began to broadcast Winnipeg home games. Rusty Young was the announcer and he was assisted by Lyle Holmes.
7-8-39: Superior marked baseball's "centennial" with ceremonies in the afternoon and a pre-game program before their evening game against Fargo-Moorhead.
7-9-39: Walt Ebel of EC was 4-for-4 in being walked in a game against Grand Forks pitcher Henry Ruemmele. Ruemmele walked 8 and lost the game 7-2.
7-10-39: Duluth held the league lead with a 36-23 record. Winnipeg was second with a 35-23 record, 1/2 game behind.
7-11-39: Bob Eisiminger of Duluth pitched a 4-hitter and had the game-winning RBI on a home run in the 9th inning during a 3-2 win vs Crookston.
Shortstop Norm Wallen (Wausau) made 4 errors but the Lumberjacks beat Winnipeg 10-9 on two 3-run rallies in the 8thand 9th innings.
7-15-39: David Christenson, who was a member of the Wausau "Daily Record-Herald" for more then 25 years, had a "night" at a Lumberjacks' home game vs Eau Claire. He started reporting on baseball in 1913 when Wausau was part of the Wisconsin-Illinois League. Christenson was a member of the team's board of directors, part of the league's schedule committee, Wausau's official scorer and he handled their P.A. system.
7-16-39: Bob Haas (F-M) had a one-hitter vs Crookston in a 7-inning game win 6-4.
Clarence Lemmer signed with Wausau the day after he was reinstated by the National Association President W.G. Bramham.
7-17-39: Duluth (41-27) led F-M (35-25) by 2 games.
7-19-39: Fargo-Moorhead and Wausau finished the protested game from June 25 from the point of the protest - 9th inning, scored tied at 1-1, 2 outs and bases loaded with Twins. In an anti-climactic finish, Lumberjacks' pitcher Forrest Evans hit Ed LaFrance with a pitch to drive in the winning run for the Twins.
7-20-39: George Jansco of Fargo-Moorhead hit 6 singles for the all-time league record.
7-21-39: Hugh Gustafson, Winnipeg first baseman, was given a "day". He was voted by the city's youth as the team's most outstanding player in 1937-1938. He received a gold watch.
7-24-39: Winnipeg (47-28) was in first place by 2 ½ games over Duluth (44-30).
7-24-39: Umpire Norm Blieding stopped a game between F-M and Superior in the 7th inning with the Twins leading 5-2 due to heavy rain. After 30 minutes, the umpires ordered the game to be resumed, but Dukes' manager Chet Bujace refused to send his players on the field contending that rain was still falling and the field was in poor shape. After Bujace's continual refusal to play, the umpires forfeited the game to the Blues.
Winnipeg ended their 11-game winning streak in a 5-4 loss to Wausau.
7-39: Pitcher Charlie Sproull was placed on the "suspended" list because of an infected leg.
Chet Cichosz returned to the league by signing with Grand Forks. He had been playing semi-pro ball at Winona, MN. Manager John Mostil assigned the infielder-by-trade to right field.
8-1-39: Winnipeg (53-33) was in first place by 2 ½ games ahead of Duluth (49-34).
8-2-39: Bob Haas, Eau Claire starter, would have had a no-hitter had his catcher caught a foul-tip. With new life, the batter then singled for the only Superior hit of the game.
8-2-39?: Duluth continued to hold on to first place with a 55-35 record. Winnipeg (54-40) was 3 games behind and Fargo-Moorhead (47-35) was 4 back.
8-3-39: Ralph Hendrix of Eau Claire won his 13thgame when his teammates rallied to beat Winnipeg 6-5 in the ninth inning.
8-4-39: Byron Kennedy of Superior and Don Godfredson of Winnipeg participated in a milking contest held before the game. The milking portion, of the afternoon, was declared a draw.
8-8-39: Joe Hatten struck out 10 Fargo-Moorhead batters to come within 5 of the league season's record. [He ended the year with 299 and his record with broken in 1940.]
Grand Forks' Dwain Sloat had a shutout, against Superior, going into the 9th inning, but allowed 2 runs in the final frame for the loss. Blues' starter, Harry Cohick, kept pace with Sloat through 8 innings, and got the victory by allowing only one run in the 9th.
8-9-39: Mike Skaalen of Crookston had a no-hitter through 6 innings, but after 2 hits and a wild streak, he left the game in the 8th after Duluth had tied the score. The Pirates eventually won 6-3, but Skaalen did not get the victory.
8-10-39?: Duluth (57-38) still was in first place with Winnipeg (58-39) one game out and Fargo-Moorhead (51-30) was fading.
Joe Hatten struck out 12 Wausau batters in a 4-2 victory for Crookston.
8-14-39: Fargo-Moorhead lost 4-2 to Duluth after they had won 7 straight games
Fargo-Moorhead attendance records were broken as the Twins drew 3,053. Then, on Aug. 15, they again broke the record with a 3,305 attendance. It was the 4th highest figure in league history.
Eau Claire first baseman, Whitney Anderson, was fined $10 because he did not leave the field after being ejected by an umpire.
Winnipeg scored 16 runs in the 1st inning of a 23-4 victory over Wausau. Twenty-three batters came to the plate in the 1st and made 14 hits. Bill Barnacle had 3 hits in the inning. Three pitchers appeared for Wausau in the 1st - Clarence Lemmer allowed 6 runs on 6 hits, position player Bill Rich gave up 10 runs on 8 hits and first baseman Gil Neumann finished the game allowing 7 more runs.
8-15-39: George Schoenecker almost had his second no-hitter of the season. The only Superior hit came in the 2nd inning by Moose Kennedy - a double. The Chiefs won 1-0.
8-16-39: Joe Hatten struck out 9 Fargo-Moorhead batters
At Fargo-Moorhead it was "Chet Bujace Night". The Twins' manager was presented with a $50 bill as a gift.
Wausau played 9 games in 8 days traveling 1,425 miles. After a 13-hour ride, they lost to Duluth 19-4. Junie Thompson, who had been having sinus problems for 2 weeks, started but only lasted 2 innings. His replacement, Arnold Hoag, made his professional debut and allowed 13 runs, 12 hits, 4 walks and committed 2 balks.
Vince Castino, Grand Forks catcher, suffered a fractured skull in the first inning when he was hit on the back of the head by Winnipeg pitcher Hank Miklos. He was taken to hospital and was listed as "serious" after x-rays. Doctors believed he would be hospitalized for 2 weeks, but was finished with baseball for the season.
8-17-39: Don Olix' hitting streak ended at 18 games. The Grand Forks batter was held hitless by Superior pitcher Harry Cohick.
Sixteen-year-old Wes Westrum, from Clearbrook, WI, was asked by manager Johnny Mostil to accompany his Grand Forks team on their final road trip of the season.
Mid August, 1939: Duluth continued to lead in the standings with a 68-42 record which was one game ahead of Winnipeg (67-43) and 1½ games in front of Fargo-Moorhead (64-41).
8-22-39: Norm Wallen of Wausau had knee surgery and it was thought that he would be in a cast for 3 weeks.
Charlie Sproull of Eau Claire pitched 7 innings of great baseball by striking out 11 Fargo-Moorhead batters including 3 in each of the 3rd and 6thinnings. But, in the 8th inning, the first 6 Twins' batters reached base and he was taken out of the game. Fargo-Moorhead won 10-6.
8-23-39: It was "Wally Gilbert Day" in Wausau. Their manager was given a ring by his players and a "substantial" cash gift by the team's fans. It was announced that he would return as the manager in 1940.
The league announced that $1,000 will be split 60-40 by the 1st and 2nd place teams after the season is completed. In addition, each player on the championship team will receive $25 and each player on the runner-up team $15. The amount was obtained by a ½ cent levy on all tickets sold during the season. The remaining funds will go to the team owners.
8-27-39: Bob Schmidt of Duluth got a hit in his 32ndconsecutive game. His streak started on July 28 and remained as the all-time league record.
Manager Wally Gilbert, Major Bertoglio and Bennie Bedrava were fined for their participation in disturbances during a game on Aug. 20. Gilbert was fined $50 and the others $25 by umpire Welsh. League President White reduced the fines to $25 and $10.
8-31-39: Vince Castino was released from the hospital. One of his first appearances was at the Grand Forks ball park to accept a 30-inch trophy because he was voted, in a radio poll, as the team's most popular player. Castino appeared to be recovering well.
9-3-39: Winnipeg and Crookston played a game at Thief River Falls with the Maroons winning 9-7 by scoring 5 runs in the 9th inning.
Winnipeg finished strongly (won 10 out 14 late road games) to win the pennant with a 72-48 record. Duluth was second with a 71-40 record and Fargo-Moorhead third at 67-48.
Bob (Joe) Schmidt (Duluth) won the triple crown by batting .441, hitting 31 home runs and driving in 133 runs. Joe Mowry finished 2nd in the batting race with a .375 average. Schmidt won the Louisville Slugger Trophy (a full sized sterling silver bat) as the man who had the highest average in the minor leagues. It had been awarded annually since 1934 and Schmidt's average was the highest ever.
Bob Haas (EC) finished with a league-leading 2.57 ERA and Jack Dawson (F-M) had a 2.69 mark. Galen Shupe (Winn) was18-7 and June Thompson (Wausau) and Don Godfredson (Winn) were at 15-7.
Norm Wallen left the hospital with his parents who took him home to Milwaukee. They were assured that his knee operation was successful and that he would be able to play in 1940.
In the first round of the playoffs, Winnipeg beat F-M 4 games to 3 and Eau Claire defeated Duluth 4 games to 2.
In the playoffs final, Winnipeg won the League Championship by winning 4 games to Eau Claire's one game.
The St. Paul Saints announced that they would continue their
working agreement with Grand Forks.
There were no changes in the league's team membership for 1940. Herman White remained league president.
4-40: Fargo-Moorhead held their spring training in Charleston, WV, with other Cleveland Indians affiliated teams.
Manager Joe Mowry of the Winnipeg Maroons opened a tryout camp in St. Louis in order to find some talent for his team in that area. Their training camp was to begin in Shakopee, MN, on April 20.
Directors of the Wisconsin State League decided, at their spring meeting, to push for a "Baby World Series" between their playoff champion and the Northern League's. Herman White was president of both leagues.
The league club's presidents were listed in "The Sporting News" as follows: Crookston - D.A. McKenzie; Duluth - Frank Wade; Eau Claire - Mel Larsen; F-M - S.T. Gorman; GF - Joe Holte; Superior - William Berg; Wausau - R.J. Dudley; Winnipeg - G.H. McFadren.
5-40: Duluth opened their season without the team's regular third baseman Ivan Barnhart. He suffered a blood clot on a knee sliding home during an exhibition game on May 5.
Fargo-Moorhead began play with only 2 players from their 1939 squad - Len Perme and Gus Preusser.
Superior held a rally for the Blues in their Central High School auditorium the night before their season opener. There was "a program of talks and music" and the players were introduced. Superior and Fargo-Moorhead managers Chappie Geygan and Chet Bujace also entertained the fans. In addition, the American League film "Touching All Bases" was shown.
Four new managers entered the league for 1940: Geygen at Superior, Joe Davis of Duluth, Fred Williams of Grand Forks and Fred Neiser at Crookston. Returning were Bujace at F-M, Ivy Griffin of Eau Claire, Joe Mowry at Winnipeg and Wally Gilbert of Wausau. All but Griffin were to be playing managers.
Bujace had spent his entire career, to date, in the league. He was a rookie with Brainerd in 1933 and eventually settled in as manager with his 5th team - Fargo-Moorhead.
League umpire Leo Kallis admitted to making some additional markings on ball fields prior to each game that he would officiate. He drew a mark across the right field foul line back to first base. Kallis explained that he discovered that he could call a play at first base well about ten feet back of the bag. Therefore, prior to games, he marked that spot. It was thought that it had been just a superstitious activity.
5-8-40: At opening day in Eau Claire, Crookston beat the Bears 5-2. The Pirates' Morris Skanlen pitched a 4-hitter although he was shaky in the first inning when he allowed a run by a wild pitch. Skanlen only faced 22 batters in the last 7 innings.
At Wausau, the Lumberjacks* defeated Grand Forks 4-3 on home runs by Wally Gilbert, Major Bertoglio and Cichosz. The sold-out crowd saw Lemmer hold the Chiefs to 2 hits. However, in the 7th inning, he loaded the bases on 2 walks and a hit batter and then Olix tripled to score 3.
[*"The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball - 2ndedition" lists the 1940 Wausau team nickname as "Timberjacks". That name was never used in any of the Wausau game highlights published in "The Sporting News" during the 1940 season.]
The Dukes held their home opener before a packed crowd and rewarded them with a come-from-behind 10-9 win over Winnipeg. Duluth scored 3 in the 8thto tie the score, but then the Maroons got 3 in the 9thto retake the lead. The Dukes again tied the score in the 9th, on a 3-run homer by Herb Wilson, and added the winning run on a single, walk and a run-scoring single.
5-9-40: Superior rallied 3 times to beat F-M 10-7. The winning runs came in the 8th inning when the Blues scored 3 times. The Twins' pitchers walked 8.
5-13-40: Grand Forks led the league, in early going, with a 4-1 record. Superior was 2nd at 3-1.
In their first home stand, Superior won 3, lost 1 and had 4 games postponed because of bad weather. On their first road trip, the Blues carried only 13 players - all new from last year. They had 5 pitchers on the roster.
5-17-40: Fargo-Moorhead held their home opener before 2,639 fans and got a 9-2 win over Superior. Pitchers Del Leslie and Gus Preusser combined for a 3-hitter.
Grand Forks won their 6th straight win in their home opener defeating Wausau 6-5. Bruno Sonenzi held the Lumberjacks to 6 hits.
5-20-40: Eau Claire scored 4 runs in each of the first 3 innings in a game against Winnipeg. They won 15-8 on 17 hits even though the Bears' Bud Herman walked 12 in 8 innings.
5-21-40: Winnipeg won their first home game 10-9 over Eau Claire on home runs by Joe Mowry and Rollie Barnacle.
Ralph Holland made his home debut for F-M by striking out 11 Wausau batters and walking none. However, he gave up 11 hits to loss 10-1. The Lumberjacks' Hugh Orphan pitched a 3-hitter.
5-27-40: Wausau lefty Bill Howard pitched a 3-hitter vs Duluth to
5-28-40: Superior (8-5) led the league by 2 games over Grand Forks (10-7).
Construction on a new ball park in Duluth began. The completed park was scheduled to cost $152,000 and have lights. It was expected to open by August 1.
Johnny Blatnik (F-M) was sidelined for several games due to dizziness caused by being hit in the head with a pitched ball on May 22.
5-30-40: Fans attending a double header between Winnipeg and F-M saw plenty of offensive. The teams totaled 43 runs on 52 hits in a twin-bill split with the Maroons taking the first game 17-2 and the Twins the second 12-11 in 11 innings.
5-31-40: The respective Duluth and Superior managers held a home run derby during their game on this date. Chappie Geygan hit a home run in his first trip to the plate and it was matched by Joe Davis the next inning. In his 3rd at bat, Geygan hit another only to be matched by Davis in the next inning.
6-2-40: Walt Long (Superior) was hit by a pitches 4 times to set an all-time league record.
Grand Forks batted 15 men in the 4th inning of a game with F-M. They scored 10 runs on 8 hits, 2 hit batters, a walk and an error in that frame. The Chiefs won 14-2. The Twins' pitcher, Felix Karwales, pitched the complete game.
6-3-40: Grand Forks (14-10) held a one game lead over Winnipeg (11-9).
Rollin Barnacle (Winn) led the league batters with a .547 average after 11 games. Chet Cichosz (Wausau) had a .463 mark after 21 games. Joe Davis and Cliff Homstad (both of Duluth) led pitches with 5-0 records.
Joe Goldfine, the 7-year league veteran, signed with F-M.
F-M made 8 errors in a game vs GF, but rallied for 3 runs in the 9th to beat the Chiefs 6-4.
6-5-40: Clarence Benec (Dul) had a no-hit, no-hit game going after 5 innings in a game against Winnipeg. In the 6th, 2 errors and 2 home runs gave the Maroons 4 runs, but the Dukes came back to win in the late innings 6-5.
Ed Bastien, in his mound debut for Eau Claire, was pitching a no-hitter through 6 2/3 innings in a game vs F-M. He then allowed a single but held on for a 3-0 win giving up just one other hit. He struck out 6, walked 3 and his defensive played errorless ball.
6-10-40: Grand Forks (18-12) had a one game lead over Superior (14-10).
6-13-40: Joe Davis (Dul) won his 7th straight game be defeating Grand Forks 5-1.
6-17-40: Superior (19-12) took over the league lead by .002 percentage points over Grand Forks (22-14).
Hugh Orphan (Wausau) pitched a 2-hitter and struck out 9, but walked 7 during a 7-1 win for the Lumberjacks.
F-M released Joe Goldfine.
Pitcher Orville Grubb was optioned to Eau Claire from Madison (Three-I) in early June. However, he never reported and had "dropped from sight."
6-22-40: Chuck Sproull struck out 14 F-M batters when Eau Claire beat the Twins 7-4.
6-24-40: Superior (25-14) led Grand Forks (26-17) by one game.
It was reported in the June 27 edition of "The Sporting News" that the Grand Forks Chiefs were in the pennant race because of "fine pitching of Lefty Sloat and righthanders Bruno Somenzi and Karl Wolfsberger, steady fielding and timely long-distance hitting. Manager-First baseman Fred Williams, catcher Herman Bauer, third baseman Jimmy Grant and outfielders Ed Puchleitner, Don Olix and Wilbur Cearley are giving the Chiefs the best attack a Grand Forks club has had since the city returned to the Northern League in 1938. The Chiefs opened the campaign away from home and won five of their first six games. When they made their first home stand they couldn't solve opposition pitching and won only six of 15 games there. Then they took to the road again and immediately started a winning drive."
Umpire Norm Blieding, who was in his 3rd year in the league, was promoted to the Three-I League.
F-M sent shortstop Steve Gromek to Flint (Mich. State).
Chet Cichosz (Wausau) led the league in batting with a .407 average. Paul Blane (Dul) led pitchers with a 5-0 record.
The league directors had originally limited voting on the All-Star team to writers and managers. They changed their minds and begin allowing votes from fans. The selected team will play the league's first place team as of July 5.
7-1-40: Superior (29-17) led by ½ game over Grand Forks (31-20).
Chet Bujace was relieved of his manager's duties for Fargo-Moorhead and was replaced by Wes Griffin who was a former pilot at Indianapolis (Amer. Assoc.). Bujace remained with the team as a catcher.
Len Perme (F-M) gave up only one earned run to Grand Forks, but the Twins lost 5-4. A throwing error by Johnny Blatnik, in the 6th inning with 2 outs, started the Chiefs' winning rally.
7-4-40: Joe Davis (Dul) pitched a 7-inning 2-hit shutout over Superior. The Dukes won 2-0 as Davis struck out 12.
7-5-40: Grand Forks won the right to host the All-Star game by finishing .001 percentage point in front of Superior at the close of play on this day. League President Herman White had not yet announced the date for the contest.
7-8-40: Grand Forks (36-23) was in first place by one game over Superior (33-22).
7-10-40: In a slugfest, Winnipeg beat Wausau 14-11 with 19 hits for the Maroons and 17 for the Lumberjacks. Winnipeg's Joe Mowry had 2 home runs and Wausau had 5 pitchers toe the rubber.
7-11-40: Hugh Orphan struck out 17 Grand Forks batters during a 3-2 victory for the Lumberjacks. He allowed only 6 hits.
In his first game for Superior, shortstop Mel Harpuder was hit in the head by a pitch from Winnipeg's Garland Joyce. Harpuder was examined at a hospital and X-rays showing no fracture. He was ordered not to play for a few days.
7-12-40: Dick Mlady (Super) had a no-hitter through 7 innings in a game against F-M. However, he got the loss when he allowed 3 hits and his defensive allowed errors in the last 2 innings of a 3-0 defeat. The Twins' Gus Preusser scatted 5 hits for the win.
7-15-40: Grand Forks (40-26) led Superior (27-25) by one game.
The regular league umpires did not arrive in time for the Winnipeg at F-M game. However, Twins' catcher John Neuwirth and the Maroons' Bob Peterson did a reportedly "satisfactory" job as replacements.
Wausau's Hugh Orphan struck out 18 Superior hitters and allowed only 5 hits during a 7-0 win for the Lumberjacks.
7-16-40: In a 13-inning complete-game effort, Howard Belknap (GF) gave up 4 hits and got the win when the Chiefs scored 2 in the final inning against F-M. Belknap, who had recently been optioned from the St. Paul Saints, did not allow a hit during the last 8 innings. The Twins' Felix Karwales also hurled the complete game facing the minimum through 6 innings.
7-17-40: Bob Schremser (GF) extended his scoreless streak to 20
innings when he shut out Duluth 3-0. He fanned 6 and scattered 7
7-20-40: Karl Wolfberger of Grand Forks pitched a 3-0 no-hitter against Superior. The righthander struck out 13.
7-22-40: Grand Forks (45-27) led the league's standings 4 games ahead of Superior (39-29).
The league recently approved of having their playoff champion meet the Wisconsin State League's, in a series, at the end of the year.
In the league's All-Star game, the Stars beat the Grand Forks Chiefs 3-2 as their pitchers held the North Dakotans to 4 hits. Winnipeg's Bob Peterson, who was credited with the win, did not allow a hit or a run during the first 3 innings. The Chiefs got their 2 runs off of Clarence Benac (Dul) in the 5thinning and Ernie Sowada (Crook) pitched one-hit ball the rest of the way. The Stars scored 2 in the first inning and got the winning tally in the 4thon Bob Mason's triple and he scored on a wild pitch. The All-Stars were: Paul Welch (CF), Frank Danneker (2b), Bob Decker (LF), Chet Cichosz (RF), Herb Wilson (1b), Johnny Blatnik (3b), Mason (SS), Chet Bujace (C) and the 3 pitchers mentioned above.
Cy Buker was released by Wausau.
Umpire Scotty Wallace fined Superior's bat boy, Bob Connolly, $5 for protesting one of his decisions. Also,during the game, fines were levied against Blues' manager Chappie Geygan ($10) and pitcher Dick Mlady ($5).
Dave Christenson of "The Wausau Record-Herald" was selected to present the "Linus (Skeets) Ebnet Trophy" for the league's most valuable player to the 1939 winner Hugh Gustafson. Gustafson was playing in the Three-I League for Madison in 1940 and, it was thought, the presentation would be made there in August.
The league was considering a suggestion from the Duluth president, Frank Wade, to request a change in the league's classification from "D" to "C". A committee was selected and would report to the club's directors at their fall meeting.
F-M was in trouble over allowing Art Bonnell to play shortstop for the team. The National Association President W.G. Bramham declared him ineligible over a contract he had signed with an Evangeline League team several years ago. Bonnell never reported, but the agreement was never cancelled through a release. In addition, the player had received an illegal bonus, last spring, from the Cleveland Indians. Only players signing their first contract could be given a bonus. It was reported that Bonnell would return the bonus so that he could be declared eligible to play.
7-23-40: Fargo-Moorhead pitcher Del Leslie threw a 3-0 seven inning no-hitter over Eau Claire in the 2ndgame of a double header. Only 2 Bears' batters reached first base - one on an error and one from a walk. Leslie pitched for the first time in 5 weeks as he had been recovering from an injury.
7-25-40: Grand Forks' Howard Belknap shut out Eau Claire 3-0 with the help of 14 strike outs.
7-28-40: Karl Wolfsberger (GF) meet Del Leslie (F-M) in a show-down of the league's recent no-hit pitchers. Wolfsberger gave up 2 hits in the 2nd, but Leslie went to the 6th before he gave up a safety. Unfortunately, for him, it was a home run by Don Olix as the Chiefs won 4-0. In the 8th inning, Wolfsberger charged the Twins' George Zivich who had been doing some extreme bench-jockeying. They were separated before coming to blows.
7-29-40: Grand Forks led the league by 7 ½ games with a 51-27 record over Superior (41-32).
7-30-40: In a messy game between Duluth and Eau Claire there were 13 errors committed. It lasted 12 innings before the Bears finally put the fans out of their miseries by scoring the winning run for a 3-2 victory. The Dukes had 8 errors and the Bears 5.
Hugh Orphan (Wau) struck out 14 and allowed only 3 hits during a 2-1 win over Superior. All of the Blues hits came off the bat of Vern Blackwell.
8-2-40: Grand Forks experienced their first game postponement of
the year as it rained all that evening. The Chiefs were the only team
who had no had a home game postponed this season.
8-5-40: Grand Forks (56-28) was in first place by 9 ½ games ahead of Superior (45-36).
8-6-40: Eau Claire batters got to no-hit pitcher Del Leslie (F-M) for an 8-1 victory. Leslie got into a fight, in the 6thinning, with the Bears' first base coach, pitcher Bud Herman, because of remarks made toward the Twins' hurler. Members of both teams also made appearances on the field in a war of pushing and shoving matches. No one was seriously injured.
8-40: Gordie Evans (F-M) appeared at the plate 7 times in the
first 7 innings in a game against Superior. He did not bat in the
6th, but had 2 chances in the 7th. In his
appearances he walked, sacrificed, grounded out, fouled out, homered,
singled and struck out.
8-12-40: Grand Forks (59-33) led Superior (48-40) by 9 games.
Clint Conatser re-joined F-M. He came from Flint (Mich. State) and had some experience with the Twins early in 1939.
Rhett Charley (Super) struck out 18 Eau Claire hitters and drove in the winning run in their 10- inning victory. He allowed 9 hits.
8-8-40: Lefty Sloat (GF) gave up only one hit, but the Chiefs lost to Wausau. The hit was by Bob Decker, but 3 walks and an error in the 2nd inning allowed the winning run to score for the Lumberjacks. Clarence Lemmer got the win as he scattered 4 singles.
8-13-40: The Duluth infield turned 5 double plays during a game vs Grand Forks which they won 9-3. Three of them were "Crawford to Henning to Wilson" and the other two went "Henning to Wilson".
Wausau and F-M played an exhibition game at Valley City, ND, in honor of Lumberjacks' manager Wally Gilbert who had "made his start in baseball there".
Art Bonnell, who had been declared ineligible because he had illegally taken a signing bonus, returned to F-M and became their starting second baseman.
8-19-40: Grand Forks' (61-39) lead was at 5 games over Winnipeg (55-43).
8-20-40: Chief Youngblood (Super) participated in 2 contests winning the first and losing the second. The first was a milking contest, but the second was his start against Winnipeg in which he pitched an 8-0 four-hit shutout.
Ernie Stowa (Crookston) started both ends of a double header vs Duluth. In the first, he had a 3-hit 9-1 victory, but he lost the 2nd game 3-0.
8-21-40: Eau Claire turned a triple play in the 2nd inning of a game with Grand Forks. With the bases loaded, pitcher Rollie Herman caught a liner, threw to 3rd baseman Don Anderson to catch the runner there and then a relay to first baseman Cy Redifer got the runner at that base. The Bears committed 6 errors in their 7-3 losing effort.
8-23-40: Winnipeg beat Duluth 21-0 in the first game of their double header. The Maroons had 20 hits including 5 from Len Ellison (a home run, 3 doubles and a single). The Dukes came back to win the 2nd game 8-5.
8-25-40: Grand Forks continued to lead the league with a 66-41 record which was 5 games ahead of Winnipeg (60-45).
8-26-40: Fargo-Moorhead ended a 9-game losing streak with the help of the 3-hit pitching of Felix Karwales in a game against Superior. He struck out 9 in the Twins' 8-1 victory.
Grand Forks' manager Pap Williams drove in the winning runs of both games of a double header vs Duluth in which they won 2-1 and 4-2. In both games he hit 2-run home runs
8-30-40: Wausau was shut-out for the first time in 109 games by Duluth in a 5-0 contest.
9-2-40: With the season coming to a close, Grand Forks (71-43) had a comfortable 5 ½ games lead over Winnipeg (64-47).
Joe Shroba (Dul) pitched the league's 3rd no-hitter of the year. His was a 7-inning no-no against Superior which the Dukes won 4-0. He struck out 12 and walked 2 during the 2nd game of a double header.
9-5-40: Joe Shroba pitched 7 innings of no-hit ball during a game vs Eau Claire. However, in the 8thinning, the Bears scored 8 runs on 6 hits to take the lead 8-6. Umpire Bill Sekeres then awarded the game to Eau Claire as he contended the Dukes were stalling in an attempt to have the game called because of darkness.
9-8-40: Grand Forks won their first league pennant with a 79-44 record. They finished 9 ½ games in front of Winnipeg (66-52).
The playoffs were scheduled to begin Sept. 10 with Grand Forks playing Winnipeg and Wausau meeting Superior.
Chet Cichosz (Wausau) won the batting championship with a .403 average. Joe Mowry (Winnipeg) was 2nd at .373.
Denny Horton of Grand Forks had the league's best ERA with a 1.29 mark with Howard Belknap following at 1.95. Horton also had the best record of 10-2 and Bob Paterson (Winn) was at 17-5.
In the playoffs' first round, Winnipeg beat Wausau 4 games to zero and Grand Forks defeated Superior 4 games to 3.
The victors in the playoffs' finals was Grand
Forks who beat Winnipeg 4 games to 2.
The league was successful in moving up from the class "D" minor league classification to class "C".
The membership in the league remained the same from 1940.
3-41: It was announced that the manager of the Eau Claire Bears would be Wilfred "Rosy" Ryan. He had retired from baseball in 1936 when he left the Minneapolis Millers. This year, the Eau Claire club would be operated by Mike Kelley who was his boss at Minneapolis and he fulfilled Ryan's request to get back into the game. Ryan had graduated from Holy Cross College and was with the New York Giants from 1919-1925 and other American League teams until he was sent to AAA in 1926 and pitched there for Toledo, Milwaukee and the Millers.
The ownership of the Superior franchise was transferred from William Berg to the Superior Civic Baseball Association. The association had completed a stock plan to raise $6,000, but had raised $9,000. The franchise was purchased for $4,000 which included $1,000 in stock. In the stockholder's first meeting, James Dugan (who was the instigator of the campaign) was named president, and the other officers chosen were: Henry Skudstad, secretary; Ernest Darst, treasurer; and Clyde Thomas (representing the Superior post of The Veterans of Foreign Wars), vice president. The new owners also named Art Hauger manager of the team. He was born in Springfield, MN and was the manager of Pennington Gap (Appalachian) in 1940 from which it was planned he would bring playing talent to the Blues. One of Hauger's first priorities was to determine a location for their training site. Last year's team trained at Minong, WI, which was 50 miles south of Superior and away that region's cold spring lake winds.
4-41: The Eau Claire club raised funds for their franchise with the sale of bats of $5.00 each. They then were to be re-sold as many times of possible with the proceeds going to the team. The original purchasers were 12 men who agreed to carry the bat with them until resale with that same requirement being agreed to by any subsequent purchaser. Stickers carrying the names of all of the bats' "owners" were affixed to each bat. The 1941 team's board of directors were: H.C. Kuhl, Don Darr, W.H. Mann, Howard Hutchens, Charles Irwin, Marshall Atkinson, G. Donald Barnes (Eau Claire mayor), E.R. McPhee, Judge Merrill Farr, G. Otis Linderman (general chairman), Connor Hansen (team president), J.W. Halverson (team treasurer), W.D. McIntyre and Albert Larson (team secretary).
Grand Forks announced that their new manager would be Larry Bettencourt who was originally from New Orleans and was a football star at St. Mary's University in California. He had played major league baseball with the St. Louis Browns and managed at Springfield, MA (Eastern) in 1940. He was at spring training, this year, with the St. Paul Saints and it was determined that he would be a playing manager. Former Chiefs' manager, Pap Williams, was sold to Winnipeg in the pre-season.
Fargo-Moorhead named their club officers as follows: Steve Gorman, president, J.D. Farnham, vice president/treasurer, Leonard Morud, secretary/business manager and J.I. Brady, J.H. Sampson and H.G. Niles became members of the board of directors. Gorman was the team's owner.
It was reported that Chet Bujace, who had been a player or manager in the league since it's origination, was not playing in 1941, had become a father and was employed by a produce company in Fargo.
Team presidents, for the other league cities, were listed in the April 24 edition of "The Sporting News" as follows: Crookston - Judge Murphy; Duluth - Frank Wade; Grand Forks - Joe Holte; Wausau - R.J. Dudley; and Winnipeg - C.H. McFadyen. Herman White continued as league president.
The league changed their rules regarding it's teams roster requirements. The new requirements, for each team, were: 4 rookies, 4 limited service (with less then 3 years experience) players and 7 veterans. Rookies were defined as those players with less then 45 days of pro baseball experience. There was an exception to the veteran limit rule in that it would not apply this year in cases where players with more than 3 years' experience were back with the same teams as they were in 1940. The same applied to limited service men, however, each team most have 4 rookies at all times.
Four umpires from 1940 were rehired: Harry O'Neill, Elmer Kadow, Jack Wallace and John Ridder. New hires were: Ham Olive of Springfield, IL, Al Baer of Cross Plains, WI, Leroy Appelhaus of Chicago and Lou Dionne Jr of Minoequa, WI.
An All-Star game will be played during the season with the Stars playing the first-place team as of July 8.
In pre-season reporting, Grand Forks, Winnipeg, Crookston and Wausau seemed to have been the potentially strongest teams. Fargo-Moorhead, Eau Claire and Superior were beginning the year with almost complete new teams.
Duluth opened the year with only 5 veterans - Joe Davis, Cliff Homstad, Ted Novak, Fred Hensley and Glen Crawford.
5-8-41: Winnipeg and Crookston's starters both allowed only 4 hits in their season opener. Don Godfredson (Winn) and Lou Vulliet (Crookston) worked the pitcher's duel won by the Maroons 2-0 when they combined 2 hits with the only walk allowed by Vulliet. Godfredson struck out 10 and also walked only one.
5-9-41: After rain postponed the opener at Fargo on May 8, the Twins beat Grand Forks 5-4 on a 4-run 9th inning rally.
Former major league catcher Wilbur Smith purchased the first
ticket for F-M's season's opener. He caught for the Browns in 1909
after seasons in Tecumselica and Pueblo. He then played for the
Minneapolis Millers from 1910-1914. Smith was working for the
Allis-Chambers equipment company and had recently been transferred to
Fargo from Minneapolis. His son, Richard, received a letter from the
U. of Minnesota as a catcher on their 1940 baseball team.
5-12-41: Wausau led the early standings with a 4-0 mark which was 1 ½ games ahead of F-M and Grand Forks who were both at 2-1.
F-M's George Farnham threw a 3-hitter to help the Twins defeat Grand Forks 2-1. The losing pitcher, Ed Behnan walked 10, and also gave up only 3 safeties.
Cliff Purpur who had been named the MVP of American Hockey Association 3 times, was given a season pass for Grand Forks home games.
5-13-41: Duluth held their home opener and easily beat Eau Claire 11-0. The game was stopped after 7 innings because of cold weather. Pitching victor Frank Mottley allowed only 3 hits.
Morrie Martin (GF) struck out 8 F-M batters and only gave up 4 hits to gain a 5-1 victory for the Chiefs. Martin walked 8.
Superior had their home opener and were defeated by Wausau 7-2 in a 7-inning game which was stopped by darkness. The Lumberjacks' Dutch Lemmer allowed only 3 hits in their 6th straight win. It was the Blues 5th straight loss.
Joe Monahan, who was the son of Browns' scout Pat Monahan, was traded to Superior from Fond du Lac (Wisc. State). During the off-season, Monahan had told the Fond du Lac team that he would not play another season at class "D" and so the trade was arranged. Stan Wrobek went to Fond du Lac in the exchange.
Grand Forks manager Larry Bettencourt was out of action with a bruised hand. Later in the week, his replacement rookie Al Schwartz, developed a sinus infections and was hospitalized for 3 days. Bettencourt had to return to action more quickly then he had wanted.
5-19-41: Wausau's 9-2 record led the league. It was 1 ½ games better then Duluth (7-3).
5-20-41: Wausau pitcher, Hugh Orphan, threw a 2-hit 9-1 win over Winnipeg. He struck out 15.
Crookston scored 7 runs in the first inning and Lou Vulliet held Eau Claire to 6 hits with 9 strike outs during their 11-3 win.
5-21-41: Superior rallied to score in the last 3 innings for a 5-2 victory against Winnipeg. Blues' pitcher Rhett Charley struck out 10 and allowed only 5 hits.
5-22-41: Morrie Martin won his 4th straight game as the Chiefs beat Eau Claire 4-2. At this point in the season, he had allowed only 3 earned runs in 28 innings. The Bears' pitcher, Loren Bain, gave up 3 less hits then Martin, but did not get as much offensive support.
5-25-41: Wausau (12-4) was ½ game ahead of Grand Forks (11-4).
Final exams at high school kept F-M pitcher Norm Erickson from accompanying the team on a road trip. It was reported that he weighted 240 pounds.
Grand Forks traded injured infielder Dave Garcia to Eau Claire for lefty pitcher John Foell. Garcia broke his ankle in the 2nd game of the season and was not expected back until the 1942 season.
5-26-41: Al Schwartz, who returned to action for Grand Forks, was 5-for-6 in a game against Winnipeg. In total, the Chiefs had 22 hits during their 12-8 win.
Superior beat Wausau 6-3 on the strength of 2 home runs by third baseman Bud Long. The game was ended in the 8thinning because of dense fog at the Blues' park.
5-28-41: The Grand Forks vs F-M game was postponed when it begin to rain just prior to game time. The Chiefs first rain-out, of the season, was much earlier then last year when they went until August 2 before having one postponed.
5-29-41: Morrie Martin's win streak ended when he allowed 4 hits in-a-row at the beginning of the 2ndinning. That was all the offensive F-M needed as they scored 2 runs and pitcher George Farnham shut out Grand Forks. After allowing those hits, Martin struck out 3 in-a-row and did not allow a hit the rest of the way.
6-1-41: Wausau (15-6) led Grand Forks (12-8) by 2 ½ games.
6-2-41: Because of fog and icy winds, only a handful of Superior fans paid to see their home club play Grand Forks. The Blues' president, Jim Dugan, insisted that the game begin because no games had been played in more then a week due to poor weather. However, after one pitch from Superior pitcher Chief Youngblood, umpire Kardow called time and made a brief inspection of the field and called the game because of wet grounds. Kardow had to wait until after a pitch was thrown because the game was not under his control until had actually begun. Dugan also said he wanted fans to see the new re-tooled Blues who had recently added 3 outfielders and a first baseman.
Eau Claire's Loren Bain allowed 12 hits and 3 walks to F-M batters, but they stranded 12 base runners as Bain and the Bears beat the Twins 7-3. He had won 6 in-a-row.
Jack Christensen (Wausau) struck out 15 in a game against Crookston which the Lumberjacks won 14-3. He only allowed 6 hits.
The recently graduated F-M pitcher, Norm Erickson, sprained his ankle and was out of action.
6-4-41: Hugh Orphan (Wausau) struck out 16 F-M hitters and the Twins got 17 runs on 13 home runs during their 11-0 win.
6-8-41: Wausau (20-7) led Grand Forks (15-8) by 3 games.
F-M continued to loss pitchers due to injury. Norm Erickson had a pulled muscle in his throwing arm, George Farnham had a sore turned ankle and Russ Loafman had a sore arm. Recent Hamline University graduate, Dale Rook, was signed in a stop-gap measure.
6-9-41: Don Wheeler (EC) stepped to the plate with 2 out in the 9th inning with his team behind Grand Forks 9-7 and the bases loaded. He tripled to win the game for the Bears.
6-10-41: F-M had an awful double header schedule on tap since they were rained out at home for the 12thtime this season.
6-13-41: In his first game for Grand Forks, Howie Schultz singled home the winning run in the 11thinning to defeat Superior. Schultz, who was a 6-foot 5-inch freshman from Hamline U. in St. Paul, had just been signed by the Chiefs.
6-15-41: Wausau (23-10) was in the lead over Grand Forks (18-10) by 2 ½ games.
6-16-41: Wausau first baseman Dick Rome had only 2 putouts in a game vs Grand Forks with both of them coming in the 6th inning. The Chiefs rallied with 3 runs in the 9th inning to win 5-4. The uprising was climaxed by Howie Schultz' triple with 2 on.
Jim Schantel (F-M) did not have a Twins' debut of his dreams. He came into a game vs Duluth as a relief pitcher in the 3rdinning and gave up 12 runs on 13 hits. Defensively, his team committed 8 errors in the 18-2 nightmare.
6-19-41: Larry Bettencourt (GF) ended his 14-game hitting streak in a game against Crookston and pitcher Hank Zureick.
Morrie Martin (GF) pitched a 5-hit victory over Crookston. He struck out 6 and walked one. At the plate, he singled in the first run and scored another after getting a double.
6-20-41: Infielder Jimmy Grant (GF) hit 2 home runs during a victory for the Chiefs over Winnipeg.
6-21-41: Wausau (28-12) was in first place by 4 games over Grand Forks (22-14).
Late June: Chub Ebnet, who was the brother of Skeets Ebnet, was working out with F-M as an infielder.
For the rest of the season, there were 83 double headers scheduled for the league teams of which only 26 were on the original schedule. Winnipeg and Superior each had 15 to be played. Rain and cold weather were the culprits.
Wes Griffin was relieved of his managerial position with Fargo-Moorhead. In what was described as an economy move, he was replaced by the team's catcher Mike Blazo. However, the Twins were in last place at the time of the move. Blazo had been purchased from Cedar Rapids (Three-I) in the spring.
Young Norm Erickson (F-M) was ordered to further rest his sore arm.
It was reported that league umpire Al Baer had won 6 letters at the University of Wisconsin. He had 3 in baseball, 2 in football and one in boxing.
All-Star ballots were sent to the league's sportswriters. The team, which they will choose, will meet the league's first place team as of July 7. Last year's game drew a record attendance and had a profit of $1,600 which was split between Grand Forks and the league.
6-23-41: After an 8-run 2nd inning, Superior appeared headed for an easy victory over Wausau. However, on 6 walks and 3 hits, the Lumberjacks tied the score at 10-10 after 7 innings. In the 8th, Superior scored 4 to win 14-10.
6-30-41: Wausau (32-14) held a 5 games lead over Duluth (24-16).
7-1-41: Chet Chichoz hit a home run in the 12thinning for Wausau to beat Eau Claire 2-1.
7-3-41: After 10 days on the injured "list" because of a sore arm, Morrie Martin pitched Grand Forks to a 10-4 victory over Crookston. The win snapped the Chiefs' 9-game losing streak.
7-5-41: Superior swamped Duluth 25-9 by scoring 6 runs in each of the 5th and 6th innings and 9 tallies in the 7th.
7-6-41: Wausau's (37-14) lead was 7 games over Duluth (28-19).
7-7-41: Don Turck (Crookston) was the top vote getter in the All-Star balloting and Chet Cichosz was 2nd. The votes for manager were tied with Wally Gilbert (Wausau) and Rosy Ryan (EC) each getting 7 votes. Gilbert will lead the league leading Lumberjacks so Ryan will manage the All Stars. The players selected were - Dick Rome (1b); Adrian Thompson (2b); Art Tourangeau (ss); Jimmy Grant (3b); Cichosz, Turck and Ed LaFrance (all OF); Wes Westrum (C); Hugh Orphan, Lorin Bain, Morrie Martin, Len Perme, Russ Loafman and Frank Mottley (all pitchers).
Harold Grant (Superior) drove in the game-tying RBI in the 9th inning of a game vs F-M. Then in the 12th inning, he won the game for the Blues with a home run.
7-41: Lefty pitcher Russ Loafman (F-M) reported for military service as ordered.
Pitcher Norm Erickson was placed on the "suspended" list by F-M in order to give him time to get into playing condition.
Ade Stemig became the manager at Crookston succeeding Ray Oppegaard. It was described as an "economy move" by the team's board of directors. Stemig played in the league from it's origin in 1933.
League President White set the date for the 2ndannual All Star game as July 21. All Star manager, Rosy Ryan, announced that Larry Bettencourt had been chosen as a coach for the squad.
7-8-41: Superior second baseman Bill Bowman made 5 errors during a game against F-M in which the Blues lost 11-2.
Grand Forks infielder Jimmy Grant drove in 4 runs with 2 doubles in the Chiefs' 8-1 triumph over Eau Claire.
Duluth stole 8 bases off Winnipeg pitching and catcher Al Erickson during a 9-0 win. Four of the stolen bases were by center fielder Warren Tappen.
7-10-41: Bob Bowman (Superior) was hit in the head by a pitch from Ed Depp of Crookston. Bowman was taken immediately to a Crookston hospital.
7-13-41: Wausau (40-19) continued to lead the league by being 4 ½ games ahead of Duluth (33-21).
Cy Redifer (EC) was 5-for-6 including 3 triples when the Bears beat Crookston 19-3.
Wilbur Cearley (GF) homered in the 13th inning to give the Chiefs a 9-8 decision over Duluth.
7-41: Duluth traded their manager/pitcher Joe Davis to Decatur (Three-I) for Howard Taylor who immediately became their manager/pitcher.
F-M President Steve Gorman asked League President White not to assign umpires Harry O'Neill and Jack Kuzma to any games played in Fargo.
7-15-41: Grand Forks got 20 hits off 3 Winnipeg pitchers including their ex-manager Pap Williams. Jimmy Grant hit for the cycle plus he had a second double and drove in 7 runs during the 20-5 win over the Maroons.
7-20-41: Wausau (42-20) had a 5 ½ games lead over Duluth (35-24).
7-21-41: In the league's All Star game, Wausau beat the Stars 11-7 when they scored 7 runs in the 3rdinning and 3 in the 4thoff Loren Bain and Morrie Martin. Hugh Orphan gave up only one hit in his 5 innings for the Lumberjacks. Wausau hit 5 home runs.
Norm Erickson (F-M) finally was reinstated after 2 months of injuries which included a "twisted muscle" in his arm and a case of the mumps.
7-26-41: Umpire Scotty Wallace awarded the Crookston-Eau Claire game to the Bears on a forfeit in the 8th inning after the Pirates' manager Ade Stemig argued too hard and too long over an arbitrator's decision. Stemig had refused to leave the field after being ordered to do so by Wallace.
Wausau turned a triple play during their game with Grand Forks which they won 8-5. With Chiefs on 1st and 3rd, Larry Bettencourt flied to right fielder Clint Dahlberg (first out) who threw out the runner at home (2nd out). Then when the runner at 1st tried to move up to 2nd, he was thrown out by catcher Bill Peterman (3rd out).
7-27-41: Wausau's (45-24) lead was down to 2 games over Duluth (42-25).
7-28-41: Last place Crookston sent utility player Don Turek to the mound as a starter in it's game vs Superior. He came through with a 7-hit 9-2 victory allowing no walks and struck out 4. The victory stopped a 5-game Blues' winning streak.
7-30-41: Umpire Scotty Wallace was again in the middle of a argument which caused a forfeiture. In the game at Eau Claire between the Bears and F-M, Wallace and EC manager Rosy Ryan became involved in a 3rd inning heated exchange regarding a called strike. Ryan refused to leave the field after being ejected from the game, therefore, Wallace declared the contest a forfeit to the Twins. As the umpire attempted to leave the field, fans beat him with canes and threw bottles even though he was being escorted by two policemen. Wallace suffered severe lacerations and bruises. League President Herman White later fined Ryan an undisclosed amount and suspended him indefinitely.
7-31-41: In the July 31 edition of "The Sporting News", Bill Stewart of the "Superior Telegram" wrote this story about the Superior franchise:
"A couple of years ago, the Superior club's finances were at ebb-tide. Bill Berg, former franchise owner, and manager George Treadwell, now pilot of Johnstown of the Penn State Association, constantly burned the midnight oil. seeking a solution of the financial difficulties of the club. The club traveled in two ancient seven-passenger hacks, and the trips about the Northern League, one of the most extensive in the minors, were hazardous. The motors wheezed and the tires popped with disconcerting regularity. While the team was on a 500-mile jaunt to Winnipeg, Man., one of the frayed tires gave out completely. That night, Treadwell wrote to President Berg: 'Tire on one of cars completely shot, and cash account likewise. Had to release righthanded pitcher to make both ends meet. He was a good boy and we could use him, but we need the tire worse. We can make it home without the pitcher, but not without a tire. Got a good second hand buy.' Regards, George"
8-3-41: Wausau (50-27) held a 2 ½ games lead over Duluth (46-28).
8-4-41: In the game between F-M and Grand Forks, an 8th inning balk caused the only run in the game. Morrie Martin was the culprit as he had been in a pitcher's duel with the Twins' Dale Rook with each only allowing 5 scattered hits. Chiefs' manager Larry Bettencourt protested the game and League President White was scheduled to make the final decision on the call.
8-5-41: Fargo-Moorhead pitcher James Schantel pitched a 10-0 no-hitter over Grand Forks. Twenty-nine batters faced Schantel in only his 2ndpro start. He struck out 4 and was aided by his club's good defense.
8-11-41: Wausau (55-31) increased their lead to 3 ½ games ahead of Duluth (47-30).
Howie Schultz (GF) tripled with 2 out in the 7thinning to drive in 2 runs for a 3-1 Chiefs' victory over Wausau. Morrie Martin got his 13th victory of the season.
8-12-41: In a double header against Winnipeg, Vern Blackwell was 8-for-10 for Superior. He was 5-for-5 in game one and had 2 doubles and a single in game 2. The Blues won both games with scores of 13-11 and 6-4.
8-13-41: Wausau's Wally Zwatty gained 2 wins in a double header against Fargo-Moorhead. In the opener, he pitched a 7-inning complete game allowing only 4 hits. In game 2, he pinch hit in the 9th inning and stayed in to pitch. The Lumberjacks scored 4 runs in the 10th to give him his 2nd victory of the day.
8-17-41: Dizzy Dean pitched 3 innings for F-M in a game vs. Grand Forks. He put nine Chiefs' batters down in order before a crowd of 4,100. Dean had signed a contract upon his arrival in Fargo and drew a release after the game in he was used strictly as a promotional devise.
8-18-41: Wausau (60-33) upped their lead to 7 games over now 2nd-placed Grand Forks (52-39).
F-M held an "Out of the Red Week" in an attempt to have the club break even financially for the year. It drew 8,224 paid admissions which was 224 over their goal. The goal for the season was 30,000 but they did not have a chance to meet that mark because of all of the bad weather in Fargo.
8-19-41: Winnipeg's second baseman, Herm Floridan, was struck in the face by a pitch from Eau Claire's Frank Nesseth. It forced him to leave the game.
8-25-41: Wausau (63-37) led Duluth (56-42) by 6 games.
8-26-41: Duluth pitcher Frank Mottley hurled a 7-0 seven inning no-hitter against Grand Forks. He struck out 7 and walked only one.
Wally Gilbert was given a "night" by Wausau fans. The manager was given a "purse" and a radio.
8-31-41: Wausau (66-38) held an almost insurmountable 7 ½ games lead over Duluth (57-44).
Wausau was unable to play either of their Labor Day double header games due to flood conditions that blocked roads leading to Carson Park in Eau Claire.
9-3-41: Limping into the season's end, Crookston had 5 pitchers in their starting line-up against F-M. However, the hurler on the mound, Bill Lakics, held the Twins to 5 hits and they were able to get 10 hits off John Conner for a 9-5 win.
9-7-41: Wausau won the regular season pennant with a 71-40 record which was 7 ½ games better then 2nd placed Grand Forks (64-48).
Larry Bettencourt won the batting championship with a .366 average and Chet Cichosz was 2nd at .356. Bettencourt hit very well during in the final days of the season to edge out Cichosz.
Morrie Martin won the ERA crown with a 2.05 mark. He beat Cliff Homstad who had a 2.47 mark. Frank Mottley had the best record at 19-4 and he was followed by Hugh Orphan who had a 21-8 record.
9-41: The Saint Paul Saints recalled 3 Grand Forks players: shortstop Harold Younghans, catcher Al Swartz and third baseman Jimmy Grant.
Hank Glor (EC) finished the season with no hit batsmen in 181 innings. He was the only pitcher to accomplish that feat in 1941.
Duluth beat Wausau 4 games to one in the first round of the playoffs. They won game one (2-1), game 2 (18-4). game 3 (6-5) and game 5. Wausau won game 4 (3-1). Many of the players in the Lumberjacks' line-up were pitchers as some of their regular players were not available for the playoffs.
In the Eau Claire-Grand Forks first round games, the Bears won 4 games to one game for the Chiefs. Eau Claire won game one (3-2), game 2 (4-1), game 3 (8-6)and game 5 (10-7). Eau Claire won game 4 with a 9-0 score.
Eau Claire won the playoffs finals 4 games to Duluth's 3 to become the 1941 Northern League Playoff Champs.
Rosy Ryan, Eau Claire manager, was given a maroon and gray Dodge
"coach" by Bears' fans in appreciation for his efforts in
leading the team to the playoffs championship.
The Crookston franchise was moved to Sioux Falls, SD, and became the "Canaries". The South Dakota city, who formerly had a team in the Western League, was the first from that state to enter the league. .
3-42: As an example of the problems the league would have in operating in a war year, "The Sporting News" highlighted one AAA team - the St. Paul Saints - and listed players just on their spring roster which included league players from 1941: Larry Bettencourt, Morrie Martin, Jimmy Grant and Harold Younghans. Al Schwartz was to be listed but he was drafted into the army.
It was also reported that the Minneapolis Millers had the following ex-Northern Leaguers in camp: Frank Nesseth, Loren Bain, Bill Clark and Hank Glor.
Wally Gilbert was again signed to manage the Wausau Lumberjacks* for 1942. Team President R.J. Dudley also announced a working agreement with the Cleveland Indians and that the club had offered only 3 contracts to players from 1941 - Frank Pelat, Dick Rome and Zeke Dahlberg. In addition, the club sold last year's pitching star, Hugh Orphan, to Allentown (Inter-State) and Jack Christensen to the AAA Milwaukee Brewers.
[*"The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball - 2ndedition" lists the 1942 Wausau team nickname as "Timberjacks". That name was never used in any of the Wausau game highlights published in "The Sporting News" during the 1942 season.]
A 1941 Wausau pitcher/outfielder, Wally Zwatty, enlisted in the Navy and was stationed at the Newport, RI, Training Station.
4-42: Duluth manager Eddie Malone was probably the youngest manager in pro baseball. At age 21, he had already played professionally for 5 years.
Entering the season, Sioux Falls was the only league club not to have an affiliation. The other teams had the following working agreements: Winnipeg - Chicago Cubs (Milwaukee), Duluth - St. Louis Cardinals (Decatur), Superior - Chicago White Sox (Waterloo), Wausau - Cleveland Indians (Wilkes-Barre), Grand Forks - St. Paul, Eau Claire - Minneapolis and Fargo-Moorhead - Detroit Tigers.
5-7-42: In an opening day game, Jim Schantel pitched a 4-hit victory for F-M over Grand Forks. He struck out 13 in his 8-0 shutout.
Eau Claire pitcher Werner Strunk struck out 12 Superior batters and scattered 8 hits for a 5-1 Bears win.
Duluth and Wausau played a game of rallies which included the Lumberjacks starting the game in front, losing the lead and then coming back in the late innings to win 12-8.
5-8-42: A paid crowd of 1,300 attended Sioux Falls' inaugural league game vs Winnipeg. The Maroons scored 3 runs in the 9th inning to take a 13-5 lead, but the Canaries rallied with 5 runs and nearly pulled even. The final score was 13-10
even though the Maroons' Cliff Carlson issued 15 walks. Sioux Falls pitcher Gene Byrd walked 8 and hit 3 batters and his replacement, Loren Thornton, gave up 5 more walks. Winnipeg's Fred Nichols hit a 390-foot homer over the left-field fence which was the first round-tripper hit over that part of the park since 1940. The game scheduled for May 7 was postponed because of bad weather.
5-10-42: Eau Claire and Fargo-Moorhead led the league with 3-0 records which was one game ahead of Duluth who had a 2-1 mark.
5-11-42: F-M's Jim Schantel had a 4-hitter through 8 innings of a game vs Winnipeg. However, in the 9th, he allowed 2 doubles, a triple, a single and threw a wild pitch which resulted in 4 runs and a Twins' 5-2 loss. In the 8th inning, Winnipeg's Jake Nieman tried to stretch a single into a double but was tagged out by the Twins' shortstop Ed Skladany. That encounter did not end with the tag as Nieman and Skladany immediately started a fist fight.
5-12-42: Cliff Carlson (Winn) struck out 14 Winnipeg batters to help the Maroons to a 5-2 victory. He walked 6.
Sioux Falls pitchers walked 11 as the Canaries lost to Grand Forks 11-10.
Gene Czaplicki (Duluth) tripled in the 10th inning of a game against Eau Claire to tie the score at 3-3. He then scored on a wild pitch to give the Dukes the win. The loss ended the Bears' 4-game winning streak.
5-14-42: The Winnipeg home opener was postponed because Sioux Falls' bus broke down due to engine trouble. The vehicle, which had climbed mountains and crossed burning prairies when the team was in the Western League, stopped at the Canadian border. The Canaries used other transportation to eventually reach Winnipeg and later picked up the bus with a new engine installed.
5-19-42: F-M (6-2) had a one game lead over Eau Claire and Duluth (both at 5-3).
Mauri Johnson (SF) who was on furlough from the Army, only lasted one inning in his start against Eau Claire. He allowed 4 walks, 4 hits and 5 runs. The Canaries came back to tie it, but the Bears scored 2 in the 10th to win 7-5.
Paul O'Dea, who hit .362 for F-M in 1938, returned to the Twins as a pitcher.
Duluth pitcher Wayne McLelland was sent to class "D" LaCrosse (Wisc. State) by Dukes' President Frank Wade. .
5-20-42: Ray Gamache of Grand Forks scattered 5 Duluth hits to lead the Chiefs to a 2-0 decision. The only runs in the game came off the bat of Chiefs' second baseman Hank Wojcik who hit a 2-run homer in the first inning.
5-22-42: Rookie Phil Johnson (F-M) walked 10, threw a wild pitch and allowed 6 hits, but the Twins still beat Superior 10-5. Johnson struck out 7.
5-25-42: Winnipeg (9-4) led F-M (8-5) by one game.
Duluth left 17 runners stranded in their game against F-M to lose 7-4. They had received 13 base on balls and had 8 hits.
In the game between F-M and Duluth, a Dukes' runner was called out when he slide past 3rd base and was tagged. Plate umpire Hannem then overruled the base umpire Ralph Shanks and called the runner safe as he determined no tag had been applied.. After 15 minutes of arguments, the next batter struck out and the Twins went on to win 7-4.
5-26-42: Sioux Falls sold tickets to their capacity of 3,500 on "Merchants Night". The Canaries defeated Superior 5-3.
5-27-42: Frank Laga (Superior) struck out 14 and limited Wausau to 4 hits during his 5-1 victory over the Lumberjacks on a cold Wisconsin night.
F-M pitcher Norm Erickson walked 7 of the first 8 batters he faced in a game vs Winnipeg. The other batter sacrificed before Twins manager Mike Blazo pulled Erickson out of the game. The Maroons won 12-9.
6-42: Wausau pitcher Dave Paynter was spiked on his left heel. The wound required 7 stitches he was required to use crutches for about 10 days.
St. Louis Cardinals scout Joe McDermott attended Duluth home games, for one week, in order to gage the Dukes' talent or lack thereof.
League veteran Ad Stemig (SF) who had also played with Superior, Duluth and Grand Forks, received his Army induction notice. He was the only player remaining who had played in every season during the league's history.
During this war year, the league drew more players from the college ranks such as: John Havanec from Gustavus Adolphus College (MN) and Bob McCabe and Gene O'Brien from St. Thomas College (St. Paul).
That season, Winnipeg shortstop Johnny Schroeder entertained fans, in every league city, with a pre-game pantomime ball game.
F-M players Johnnie Schenck, Tommy Laidlaw and Jim Schantel were all expected to be called into the military in the near future.
6-1-42: Winnipeg (14-8) was in first place one game ahead of F-M (13-9).
6-2-42: F-M third baseman, Joe Heimbacher, ended an 8-game hitting streak at Wausau. At the start of the season, he had a 13-gamer.
Frank Nesseth (EC) won a 3-hitter over Sioux Falls. The Bears scored 7 runs in the 3rd inning to win 7-1. Nesseth had a shut out until the 9th, but then he allowed a walk, wild pitch and a hit to permit the Canaries' lone run.
Wausau manager Wally Gilbert came in as a pinch hitter with 2 outs in the 9th inning of a game vs F-M with the bases loaded and the Lumberjacks trailing 3-2. Before Gilbert had a chance to deliver a hit, Twins' catcher Mike Blazo gunned a throw to second and caught base runner Nick Maschalk for the third out.
6-3-42: Wausau pitcher Hal Kleine throw a 2-hitter for a win over F-M 6-1. He struck out 7 and walked 7 in his first appearance for the Lumberjacks.
Dick Hanna pitched his debut game for Duluth and struck out 19 in a 10-inning contest against Grand Forks. He had 17 in regulation play, but the Dukes lost 7-6 due to poor defense play.
6-4-42: Sioux Falls turned 5 double plays in their game against Eau Claire and won 6-4. Second baseman Mickey McNeely was involved in 4 of the twin killings, had 5 putouts and 5 assists during the game.
6-5-42: Wausau outfielder from the 1941 season, Nick Machalk was inducted into the Army.
6-8-42: Winnipeg (17-9) had a 2 games lead over Eau Claire (15-11).
Shortstop Ed Patrow had 4 of the 6 errors made by Sioux Falls during a game vs Duluth. The Dukes won 9-8.
Herb Conyers (Wausau) led the league in hitting with a .407 average in 27 games. His teammate, Hal Kleine, led pitchers with a 4-0 record.
6-9-42: Duluth scored 12 runs in the 5th inning (12 batters went to the plate) of their game with Sioux Falls and added 5 more in the 6th for a runaway 19-0 victory. Dukes' pitcher, Dick Hanna, gave up only 3 hits, but walked 8.
Pitcher Ade Stemig was able to play in the league after all. He reported back to the Sioux Falls club after failing an Army physical. .
6-10-42: The contest between Sioux Falls and Superior ended with a play at the plate in the bottom of the 9th inning. Trailing by one run, Blues' second baseman Virgil Payne attempted to score the tying run on a hit to center, but Canaries' center fielder Tony Koenig made a perfect throw to catcher Vince Plumbo who had the plate perfectly blocked to get Payne for the 3rd out and seal the victory. Koenig had a great defensive night getting 4 assists and 2 putouts.
6-12-42: Sioux Falls (15) and Winnipeg (13) walked an all-time league record 28 combined times.
Sioux Falls rallied for 5 runs in the 9th inning to tie the score in a game against Superior. However, they lost in the 15th by a 7-6 count. The Blues had loaded the bases in the 13th but Canaries' pitcher Gene Byrd, who went the route, got out of the jam. Byrd struck out 19 during the game.
Sioux Falls shortstop Ed Patrom was hospitalized in Duluth with a concussion which he sustained in a game at Superior. He was out of action for about 10 days.
6-13-42: Wausau shortstop Bobby Garrison broke his nose when a grounder hit a rock which caused a bad bounce that hit him in the face.
6-14-42: Eau Claire (21-11) took over the league lead by 1 ½ games in front of Winnipeg (19-12).
6-15-42: Duluth pitcher Slats Kearney was scheduled to by inducted into the Army on June 16. He won his 4th game for the Dukes when the Dukes beat Wausau 9-4.
6-21-42: Eau Claire (28-11) led Winnipeg (25-13) by 2 ½ games.
Herb Conyers continued to lead league batters with a .380 average
just 4 points ahead of Dick Harris (Wausau) who had a .376 mark.
Cliff Homstad was 4-0 to lead pitchers.
6-23-42: Eau Claire ended their record-setting 17-game winning streak when they lost to Winnipeg 2-1. They began their streak on June 6 and easily surpassed the old record of 11 straight. During the streak, the Bears beat: F-M 5-0 and 1-0; Winnipeg 7-4, 4-3 (10 innings) and 8-4; Grand Forks 3-0, 7-6, 5-3 and 5-1; Superior 12-5 and 13-7; Duluth 8-6, 5-3 and 5-4; and Superior 5-4, 8-6 and 7-4.
Two league players left their teams to work in defense plants. Wausau catcher Casey Cosgrove went to work in Houston and veteran Duluth pitcher Cliff Homstad traded his baseball glove for work gloves presumably in the Twin Ports area.
Duluth scheduled a Naval Relief funds game for July 8. Many of the city's civic clubs began to sell as many as 4,000 tickets for the contest against Sioux Falls.
6-29-42: Duluth's Dick Hanna tossed a 4-hitter against Winnipeg for a 1-0 win. He struck out 8 and the Dukes played errorless defense.
6-30-42: Eau Claire (33-13) had a 4 ½ games lead over Winnipeg (28-15).
Baseball Commissioner K.M. Landis ruled that former league player Pat McNair was a free agent and ordered Winnipeg and Grand Forks to pay him the difference between a $175 per month salary offered him by Meridian (South Eastern) and the $100 he had accepted from Winnipeg. It was reported that the decision was a warning by Landis to clubs not to transfer players by unconditional release. The evidence was: Grand Forks tendered McNair a contact for $80 per month in 1941. The player claimed his arm was in poor shape and asked to be sent to a warmer climate. Grand Forks agreed to let McNair make another deal, however, they did not ratify the agreement he had made with Meridian. Instead, they notified him on May 18 that his contract had been transferred to Winnipeg. He reported there and signed a contract for $100 per month on May 29. Grand Forks then mailed him a notice of unconditional release dated May 31 which McNair did not receive until June 19. He then filed for free agency with the National Association based on the facts of being improperly signed by Winnipeg before being released by Grand Forks and without knowledge of his "present or prospective release." The Association president denied the claim and the Executive Committee concurred. However, committee member Frank Shaughnessy dissented which caused the case to be decided by Landis.
F-M pitcher Phil Johnson pitched a 4-hit shutout over Eau Claire 2-0. The Twins' Mike Blazo had both of the RBI.
Duluth pitcher Al Cleary had a bad day at work. Cleary lost the first game of a double header to Winnipeg 3-2 and also the 2nd game when he came into the game in relief and the Maroons won in 10 innings 9-8.
7-1-42: Babe Riley (Superior) had a 2-hit 4-0 victory against Duluth. Two Dukes runners reached 3rdbase.
7-4-42: Eau Claire (35-16) led Winnipeg (33-17) by 1 ½ games.
7-6-42: Dick Hanna (Duluth) nearly had the season's only no-hitter when he allowed just an infield single in a game against Superior. He struck out 11 during the Dukes' 1-0 win..
Frank Wagner of Sioux Falls had his streak of 29-straight innings of not walking anyone end when he allowed a free pass to Grand Forks leadoff hitter Jim Perrault in the first inning. Wagner went on to pitch a 4-hitter and the Canaries won 8-0.
Ade Steming, who had recently been released by Sioux Falls, became a league umpire. He was also ordered to report for another Army induction physical in 60 days.
7-7-42: Umpire Herb Braatz forfeited the Winnipeg-Wausau game to the Lumberjacks. In the 9th inning with Wausau trailing by one run and 2 outs, a balk was called on Maroons' pitcher Joe Pizzi which allowed the tying run to score. Wausau had runners on 1st and 3rd when Pizzi started his windup, at which time, the runner at first base headed for 2nd. Pizzi stopped his pitch and turned to throw toward 2nd which caused the balk call. Winnipeg players then argued too long and too vigorously for Braatz and he declared the forfeit.
7-10-42: Grand Forks shortstop George Meyer broke his leg when he slid into 2nd base during a game vs Wausau.
League President Herman White awarded the league's All Star game to Winnipeg as they led the league after games of July 9. The Eau Claire manager, Rosy Ryan, protested by stating that the Maroons had violated the rule of not carrying 4 rookies on their team.
The All Star team was announced as follows: Max Goldsmith (C), Herb Conyers (1b),, Ron Murphy (2b), Dave Garcia (3b), Fred Hensley (SS), Dick Harris, Ed Mutryn and Gene Czaplicki (OF), Frank Nesseth, Vic Johnson and Bobby Peterson (P). Wally Gilbert was chosen as manager for the July 20 contest.
7-12-42: Eau Claire led Winnipeg 12-2 after 8 innings. In the top of the 9th, the Maroons tied the score 12-12 with 10 runs. However, in the 10thinning, the Bears scored the winning run to decide the 13-12 game. The Maroons center fielder Bill Smith had 7 RBI as he hit 4 home runs and a single.
7-13-42: Eau Claire (41-19) regained their league lead by 3 games over Winnipeg (37-21).
Sioux Falls pitcher Bud Younger had a 3-hit shutout going after 8 innings of a game vs Wausau. In the 9th, Herb Conyers hit a drive that easily cleared the 362-foot right-center field wall and gave the Lumberjacks a 1-0 win.
7-14-42: F-M ended their 7-game losing streak and stopped Eau Claire's 7-game winning streak with a 16-5 victory.
7-16-42: Wausau beat F-M 8-7 with a grand slam in the 9th inning by Dick Harris.
Sioux Falls owner Rex Stucker announced that only 9,893 fans paid to see the Canaries play in their first 21 home games. When the team played in the Western League in 1941, attendance was 18,591 in the first 23 home contests.
Sioux Falls starter, Bill Jammer, had to leave the game against Eau Claire in the first inning when a line drive hit him in the left arm leaving a severe bruise.
7-18-42: The 3rd triple play of the season was pulled off by F-M during a game against Wausau. With the bases loaded, pitcher Bill Lanier fielded a grounder and threw to home to force a runner (1 out). The catcher then threw to first to catch the batter (2 outs) and the relay from the first baseman to the catcher caught the runner attempting to score from 2nd base (3 outs).
7-19-42: For-hire hall-of-famer Dizzy Dean returned to the league by pitching 2 innings for Superior against Winnipeg. He gave up 5 hits and 3 runs and then played in the outfield. The Maroons won 6-3.
Pitcher Hod Hoeppner (EC) made his last start before being inducted into the Army. His Bears beat Sioux Falls 9-5 as he held the Canaries scoreless until the 8th inning.
7-20-42: Eau Claire (47-20) lengthened their lead to 5 games ahead of Winnipeg (41-24).
Herb Conyers still led the league with a .372 average. In 2nd was Don Wheeler (EC) at .354. Bob Peterson's 7-1 record led pitchers.
Manager Joe Bosse of Sioux Falls resigned and was replaced by Mel Ivy who had recently been obtained from the disbanded Kitty League. Bosse said: "I'm not helping the club and my conscience won't let me take my present salary for running the team." The Canaries had lost 9-straight at the time of Bosse' resignation, but he stayed with the team as a player. .
7-21-42: En route to Fargo, the Superior bus broke down about 100 miles from their destination. Blues' manager Mike Blazo phoned the Twins to state they could not arrive by game time and the contest was postponed.
7-23-42: In the league's All Star game, Winnipeg scored 6 runs in the first inning off Eau Claire pitcher Vern Johnson and never looked back. In the 2nd and 3rd, they got 2 and 4 more off Don Webber (GF). Vern Godfredson went the route for the Maroons as the final score was 12-6. Roland Murphy had 3 RBI with a homer, a double and a single to lead the Stars. Jack Anderson had 5 RBI for Winnipeg.
7-24-42: With the bases loaded and the winning run on 3rd, Eddie Skladany (FM) executed a squeeze play to perfection which scored the winning run. The final score was 3-2.
Dick Hanna (Dul) drove all night from the All Star game, in Winnipeg, and arrived in time to make his start for the Dukes in a game against Sioux Falls. However, he was wild and his defense played poorly. He only allowed 3 hits, but lost the game 6-1. Duluth's second baseman, Norm Richard, committed 4 errors.
7-26-42: Eau C laire (49-22) led Winnipeg (43-25) by 4 ½ games.
It was announced that Duluth's third baseman, Paul Hjort, would be called into the Army on August 10. The Dukes acquired Herschel Held from Hamilton (PONY) as his replacement. Two other Dukes' infielders left the team - shortstop Fred Hensley and Ross Horning. Horning joined the Army Air Corps.
7-28-42: Sioux Falls changed managers again. After Mel Ivy was released, he was replaced by outfielder Lou Frierson who came from the Clovis club (West Texas-New Mex.) after they stopped play recently.
7-29-42: Grand Forks' Howie Schultz went 4-for-4 against Superior's Johnny Hovanec. The Blues' pitcher allowed only one other hit in the game as they won 4-0. Hovanec struck out 8 and walked 4.
Dick Hanna was charged with 2 losses during a double header vs Winnipeg. The Dukes' pitcher pitched a complete game in the opener, but lost 7-2. In game 2, he pitched relief and gave up the winning run in a 6-5 loss.
7-31-42: Bob Hoff (EC) picked up 2 wins on this day. He pitched a shut out in game one and also started game 2 when the Bears hung on to win. Hoff's victory in the night cap was saved by an Eau Claire reliever and went into extra innings.
8-3-42: Eau Claire (57-24) had a 5 ½ games lead over
8-4-42: Ben Tincup became the manager at F-M replacing catcher Mike Blazo. Tincup was a former National League and American Association pitcher, a coach for the Brooklyn Dodgers and a manager at Paducah (Kitty) until that league recently stopped operations.
Jim Cosgrove (EC) was pitching a 2-hit shut out through 8 innings against Sioux Falls. Then, in the 9th, he walked 3 and allowed one more hit for 2 runs. However, he hung on to get the 3rd out and protect his 3-2 win.
8-5-42: Bob Hoff (EC) pitched a 2-hit 6-0 win vs Sioux Falls in the first game of a double header. Don Godfredson (Winn) duplicated his effort in a 10-inning game vs Superior winning 3-2. Hoff also pitched game 2 but allowed 8 hits and lost 3-2.
8-7-42: Last place Grand Forks won their 5th straight victory. The Chiefs defeated the Duluth 5-1 on Dale Heckenberg's 4-hitter.
Eau Claire left-hander Werner Strunk struck out 14 during a 12-inning tie with Sioux Falls. The game was the 2nd contest of a double header. Game one was won by the Canaries 9-8 when Lefty Bosse scored on a wild pitch.
8-11-42: Eau Claire's (61-28) was 3 ½ games ahead of Winnipeg (55-29).
8-13-42: Grand Forks' Dave Webster drove in 6 runs in a game vs Winnipeg. The Chiefs won 8-6.
8-16-42: Eau Claire (68-31) had a 4 games lead over Winnipeg (60-31).
Duluth outfielder Ed Buckley left the team to join the military.
Sioux Falls pitcher Gene Byrd was given a "day" as he was leaving the team soon for military service. Fans, teammates, groundkeepers and batboys all contributed to "generous" cash gifts.
8-17-42: Dick Hanna struck out 15 during a 5-2 win over Sioux Falls.
Eau Claire's Werner Strunk stranded 17 Sioux Falls batters and beat the Canaries 6-1. The bases were loaded in 3 consecutive innings, but only the one run was allowed by Strunk.
8-18-42: Sioux Falls sent 11 men to the plate in the 8th inning of their game against EC. They scored 6 runs on 7 hits, a walk and an error. It was enough to defeat the Bears 10-6.
8-20-42: F-M manager Ben Tincup protested his team's 7-0 loss to Eau Claire. In the 6th inning, he suggested that the umpiring staff had incorrectly allowed a run.
8-23-42: Eau Claire (71-33) led Winnipeg (64-33) by 3 ½ games.
Veteran pitcher Bugs Wehde joined the Sioux Falls club.
Pitcher Hal Kleine was recalled by Cedar Rapids (Three-I) from Wausau. In his last outing for the Lumberjacks, he struck out 13 and drove in the winning run during 5-4 win over Grand Forks.
8-25-42: Ed Brosius, Grand Forks shortstop, hit an inside-the-park home run during a game at Wausau's Athletic Park. The ball hit the outfield fence and took a wild carom into center field. well away from any defender.
Frank Wagner made his 10th pitching appearance in 14 days for Sioux Falls when the submariner pitched a complete game over Superior for a 5-2 victory. The night before, he pitched poorly in 7 2/3 innings of relief allowing 3 walks, a hit batsman and 15 hits.
8-28-42: Frank Laga, Superior pitcher, allowed 2 walks, 2 doubles and a single to the first 5 batters in his start against Eau Claire. During the rest of his 9-inning effort, he did not allow another hit and struck out 10 to gain a 5-4 victory. He also drove in the winning run with an 8th inning triple.
8-42: A news report indicated that former league star pitcher, Don Godfredson, was a coxswain at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station.
8-30-42: Eau Claire (75-36) held a 4 games lead over Winnipeg (66-35).
9-1-42: F-M entered the 9th inning, of a game vs Winnipeg, tied at 8-8. A Maroons' pitcher then walked 5 Twins in-a-row and the score became 10-8. In the bottom of the inning, Winnipeg rallied but fell one run short as F-M outlasted the Canadians 10-9.
F-M lost 3 of their regulars - Orv Minsh joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, Russ Browald received a hitch in the Army Air Corps and Red Congour was sent to Huntington (Mountain State) by the St. Louis Browns.
Vince Plumbo (Superior) ended his 17-game hitting streak as Duluth pitcher Al Cleary threw a one-hit shut out against the Blues. Adolph Buda got the lone hit - a single - in the 4th inning.
9-3-42: Winnipeg pitcher Cliff Carlson struck out 22 Grand Forks batters in 13 innings. The Maroons won 3-2.
9-4-42: Grand Forks committed 13 errors, but also got 12 hits when they beat Winnipeg 7-3.
9-7-42: The game between Duluth and Superior was called a "farce" by reporters as the teams used all of their players at various positions during the 16-3 Dukes win on the last day of the season.
Eau Claire (81-41) won the league's pennant. Winnipeg (74-38) finished second 2 games behind. It was the Bears first regular season league championship and it took until the last day of the season for them to clinch it because both Eau Claire and Winnipeg played double headers.
Herb Conyers won the batting race with a .362 average. Clint Hartung was 2nd at .358.
Bob Peterson (Winn) had the best ERA of 2.33. Hoepner had a 2.49 mark.
The best pitching records belonged to Vern Johnson (18-7), Werner Struck (16-5), Wally Mehrens (16-5) and Bob Peterson (15-4).
Sioux Falls tried to peace together a team for the playoffs after losing Biggs Wehde, Ed Hennessey and John Snyder. Wehde and Hennessey had to return to their regular work and Synder answered his call from the Army. The Canaries had only 11 players available.
In the first round of the playoffs, Wausau defeated Eau Claire 4 games to one. The Lumberjacks then announced it could not field a team in the playoffs finals because 3 to 5 of their players were shortly going to be called into military service.
After 4 games were played in the series between Winnipeg and Sioux Falls (each team had won 2 games), it was decided by the league to increase the series to a best-of-9. That decision was based on Wausau's withdrawal from the playoffs. Winnipeg won the series 5 games to 4 to become the playoff champions.
At the end of the season, League President White was uncertain if operations could continue in 1943. He stated: "The league is in good condition financially, but the lack of playing material, because of the inroads made by Uncle Sam, is serious, as was evidenced at the end of the season."
1943, 1944 and 1945
The World War II player shortages caused the cancellation of these seasons. The National Association calculated that about 4,350 minor league players entered the military during the war. In addition 1,420 players went into voluntary retirement, during those years, with a large number of these being men who worked in defense plants and on farms.
Baseball historians have determined that 41 minor league and 2 major league players lost their lives during the war. There were four who had played in the Northern League:
----- S. Sgt. Herman Bauer played for the Grand Forks Chiefs as a catcher in 1939 and 1940. On July 12, 1944, he died in France due to military action and was buried at the Normandy American Cemetery. . He was born in 1918 at East St. Louis.
----- Pfc. Edward Schohl was with the Eau Claire Bears in 1933, 1934, 1935, the Duluth Dukes in 1936 and the Grand Forks Chiefs in 1938 and 1939 as a shortstop/third baseman. He died on November 1, 1943, from wounds suffered in Italy. Schohl was born in Chicago in 1914.
----- Metro Persoskie pitched for the Superior Blues in 1940. He died over Irthlingborough, England on Feb. 22, 1944, while returning from his 15th bombing mission of Germany. Persoskie was born on Sept. 18, 1921 at Iselin, PA.
----- Pvt. George A. Meyer was an outfielder for the Grand Forks Chiefs in 1942. He was born in Blackduck, MN, and graduated from Elk River high school in the spring of '42. After the end of the season, he enlisted with the paratroopers and took basic training at Camp Toccoa, GA. In May 1944, he was sent overseas and served in Europe with Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion of the 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team.
When the German Army launched its offensive against American positions in the Ardennes on December 16, 1944, the 517th was in France and a week later it was on it's way to Belgium where it was attached to the 82nd Airborne Division. On the bitter cold day of January 13, 1945, the 517th launched an attack and captured various German strongholds. During a brief lull in the fighting near Coulee, Belgium on January 15, 1945, Meyer and a number of men took a five-minute break in a barn. It was a rare opportunity to get a reprieve from the cold weather. When it was time to move on, Meyer was the last one to leave, making sure everyone else was out. Only a few moments later the area was hit with mortar fire and Private Meyer was killed.
Meyer was originally buried at the American Military Cemetery at Henri-Chapelle, Belgium, but in 1947 his body was returned to the United States and rests at St. John's Lutheran Church Cemetery in Twin Lakes, Minnesota. On Memorial Day, May 30, 1999, the Nowthen, MN, ballpark was dedicated in his memory. In 1940-41, George had played on a championship town team there.
The Wausau and Winnipeg franchises did not survive the war. St. Cloud, MN, took over the Wausau slot and Aberdeen, SD, the Winnipeg one.
3-46: On the Brooklyn Dodgers spring training roster was Frank Laga who had struck out 217 batters in 36 games for 1942 Superior. Laga was a right-hander who threw submarine style.
Sioux Falls owner Rex Stucker placed an advertisement in "The Sporting News" for a player-manager ("catcher preferred").
4-46: The league announced that the season would begin May 18 for a 112-game schedule.
Joe Skurski was chosen to manage the Eau Claire club. He had been to spring training with the Milwaukee Brewers but it was determined that he should take the helm of their Bears' farm team. Skurski had recently been released from the service after managing a team at Camp Grant (IL) for the past two years. He wouldl also play in the outfield for Eau Claire.
As of mid-April, managers had not yet been selected for the Aberdeen and Fargo-Moorhead teams. Mike Blazo was shown as the proposed manager at Grand Forks [but Glen Chapman was their manager at the beginning of the year].
The clubs chose the following men as their presidents: Aberdeen - Ben Siebrecht; Duluth - Frank Wade; Eau Claire - G. Otis Linderman; F-M - Steve Gorman; Grand Forks - J.C. Holte; St. Cloud - Frank Murphy; Sioux Falls - Rex Stucker; Superior - J.P. Dugan. Herman White returned as the league president.
The league representatives scheduled a meeting in St. Cloud on April 27 and 28 to finalize the return of the league to professional baseball. The St. Cloud city commission authorized about $40,000 for a new playing field and electric lights. Plans for a new grandstand there were delayed because of problems with local building regulations.
The "parent "of Aberdeen club, the St. Louis Browns, announced that Gus Albright would be the manager of the Pheasants and Joe Flaten would be the business manager. Albright had recently returned from the Army where he was a lieutenant. In 1938 he was one of the youngest managers when he piloted Jonesboro.
The league decided to set the maximum salary limit, for each team, at $2,200 per month including the manager's salary. They also eliminated the 3 cent league fee on any ticket sold for less then 15 cents. In addition, the Aberdeen club would provide a trophy for the city who had the largest opening-day crowd in proportion to their population.
5-46: Superior started pre-season training on May 5. Former U. of Notre Dame star, George Sobec, reported to the team after leaving the military. Earlier in the spring, most of the club had been training in Elgin [?], IL.
It was reported in the May 16 edition of "The Sporting News" that discussions had taken place to limit night games and travel for minor league teams because of a nationwide shortage of coal. Each league was surveyed with Northern League President White being quoted as follows: "Light sources are hydro-electric and coal shortage does not affect league whose clubs use buses [not coal fueled trains]."
League President White was named to the Major-Minor League Agreement Committee. They were preparing to write a new agreement between the major and minor leagues for presentation at baseball's next winter meetings. White also continued to be the president of the Wisc. State League.
Superior secretary Al Eastman and stockholder Art Simonsen were planning to see many of their team's out-of-town games by traveling on an airplane. Both were experienced amateur pilots and Simonsen, who sells candy and tobacco, owned a plane.
There were 4 Kings on the pre-season Sioux Falls roster. In addition to manager Lynn King and his brother Deb, there were pitchers Stan King and Jim King who were no relation.
Dick Wade was the business manager of the Duluth Dukes.
5-20-46: Fargo-Moorhead had the biggest opening day crowd with 4,040. They also won the league trophy for having the highest percentage of fans based on population (9.6%). Grand Forks was 2nd at 8.6 %, Eau Claire had 7.4%, St. Cloud was at 6.4%, Superior had 5.4%, Sioux Falls was with 3.2% and Duluth 2.7%. Aberdeen was not listed.
5-21-46: In his first appearance for Sioux Falls, Arnold "Red" Anderson hit a line drive home run in a pinch hitting appearance. His hit came in the 11thinning of a game against Grand Forks and was the deciding RBI of the 14-13 win for the Canaries.
5-46: Sioux Falls pitcher Stan King held Grand Forks to 4 hits in 6 innings and then the roof fell in. The Chiefs scored 11 runs in the 7th inning and beat the Canaries 14-5.
Fargo-Moorhead manager Bruno Haas was escorted off the playing field in Aberdeen by police following a melee in the 8thinning in which a couple of Aberdeen fans were also involved. Haas had protested a balk call and then, when the umpires refused to allow a hidden ball trick because the ball had not been returned to the pitcher's mound ["pitching circle"], he became uncorked.
Ken Guenther was appointed the business manager of the Sioux Falls club. He was a former sports writer and had recently returned from Japan as a lieutenant colonel in the Army.
5-25-46: Four Aberdeen pitchers gave up 13 walks and hit 2 batters in a game at Barnett Field in Fargo. The Twins won 16-5. F-M pitcher Phil Johnson walked 2 and hit 2.
League umpire Larry Bartelt was assigned to the series between the Twins and the Pheasants in Aberdeen. He arrived, registered and then checked out the next day without notifying either team. Bartelt went home to Oshkosh, WI, and said that he had decided not to umpire because the league had presented him with terms which were "unsatisfactory." He also said he had notified League President White of his action.
5-26-46: Four Fargo-Moorhead pitchers walked 19 Aberdeen batters including 13 by Buck Enger in 4 innings. Pheasants' pitchers walked 4.
5-27-46: St. Cloud had an early lead with a 3-1 record which was percentage points ahead of Sioux Falls (5-2).
Late May, 1946: F-M drew 22,164 in their first home stand which was not too much less then their complete season tally in 1942 of 26,313.
6-7-46: Pete Chapman resigned as manager at Grand Forks. He was, by trade, an outfielder but had been attempting to play second and third base for the Chiefs. Also, he had not been hitting and his club was in last place. The Chiefs' management choose Rae Blaemire as his replacement. Blaemire had formerly been a major league and American Association catcher.
6-10-46: Superior (11-7) led Aberdeen (12-8) by .011 percentage points for first place.
6-16-46: Aberdeen (16-10) held first place by ½ game over Superior (14-9).
6-17-46: Eau Claire turned a triple play in a game against F-M. With the bases loaded, pitcher Jim Daublender picked up a grounder and threw home (one out). The catcher threw to first to retire the batter (2 outs) and then the first baseman fired home to catch the runner who was attempting to score from 2nd base (3 outs). On June 13, the Bears had also turned a triple play during a game vs Aberdeen.
The July 3 edition of "The Sporting News" reported that 60 % of the minor league players who entered the military during World War II had been reinstated to minor league teams. The National Association announced that 2,717 men had applied for reinstatement. In addition, 757 returned to baseball who had voluntary retired during the war [a large number of which worked in defense-type jobs].
6-21-46: Bob Haas (F-M) struck out 18 Sioux Falls batters during a 5-1 win. Twins' outfielders did not have a defensive chance. Haas gave up 7 hits, walked 4 and made 2 wild pitches.
Umpires in Aberdeen forfeited a scheduled game between the Pheasants and Grand Forks to the home team. Grand Forks did not arrive within one hour after the game's scheduled start due to travel delays during their trip from Eau Claire.
6-25-46: St. Cloud (21-11) led F-M (20-12) by one game.
7-2-46: St. Cloud (27-12) held a 3 games lead over F-M (25-16).
7-4-46: A holiday crowd turned violent at Superior during a game between the Blues and Duluth. After 3 straight losses to the Dukes and an adverse decision by an umpire in the 3rd inning, the "fans" began to throw pop bottles and lighted firecrackers on the field and some of the spectators started to climb down from the stands. Police had to form an escort to get the umpires safely out of the ballpark. Even with that protection, there were two instances of assaults on the base umpire.
In the July 10 edition of "The Sporting News" an article appeared regarding minor league transportation safety [in light of a bus accident which killed 9 members of Spokane's Western International League team]. League President White was asked for his assessment of the league teams' bus transportation and TSN reported: "The Northern League is one of the more fortunate circuits, as seven buses, owned by the clubs are new...and the other is leased. In addition, all of them are regularly inspected."
7-11-46: St. Cloud (35-14) led F-M (30-19) by 5 games.
7-15-46: Ernie Davis (GF) led the league in hitting with a .391 average ahead of Jim Delsing (GF) who was at .374. Howard Tucker (St. C) led pitchers with an 8-2 record. He was followed by Will Reightad and Duane Lindgren (both of St. C) who both were at 4-1
7-16-46: The league held their annual All-Star game in St. Cloud. The 10-3 Stars' victory was highlighted by a triple play. In the 9th inning with the bases loaded, a smash by the Rox' Hank Zuriech was knocked down by pitcher Bruno Haas and he threw to the plate for a force out (1 out). Catcher Ray Blaemire threw to first baseman, Lynn King, to get the batter (2 outs) and King then fired home to nail the runner who was attempting to score from 2ndbase (3 outs). Haas, Blaemire and King all were managers that season. The game was witnessed by a crowd of 3,000.
7-18-46: St. Cloud (37-18) led F-M (34-21) by 3 games.
Sioux Falls manager Lynn King was sidelined with an injured back. He had played in the outfield, first base, second base, third base and pitcher during the first half of the season.
F-M third baseman Russ Brovold participated in 2 double steals for the Twins during a game vs Duluth. The first one came in the 7th and resulted in a run. Then, in the 9th, he again was on the front-end of a double steal scoring the winning run from 3rd in the Twins in their 3-2 victory. The victors left 15 runners stranded and their pitcher, Frank Wilkie, struck out 15 Dukes' batters.
7-25-46: St. Cloud (41-22) continued to lead F-M (39-24).
7-30-46: Jim Delsing took over the league lead in hitting with a .377 average. Ken Staples (GF) was 2nd at .370. Jim Cosgrove (St.C) led pitchers with a 8-2 record and Andy Green (EC) had a 9-3 mark..
8-1-46: St. Cloud (47-24) had a 5 games lead over F-M (42-29).
8-4-46: Ted Novak, a Grand Forks pitcher, threw a 3-0 no-hitter over Duluth. Two Dukes reached base on ground ball errors in the 3rd and 4th innings. Novak did not walk anyone, had a 3-ball count on only 3 batters and struck out 3. That season he was one of the league's oldest players in service and years, was a World War II veteran and had been used only sparingly, during the season, because of arm trouble.
8-7-46: In an amazing streak, Grand Forks scored at least one run in 12 consecutive innings stretched over 3 games. On Aug. 5, they scored in each of the last 2 innings and on Aug 6 the Chiefs routed Duluth 17-3 with 20 hits and tallied in each of their 8 batting turns. The streak was capped on Aug. 7 when they scored in the first two innings of their game vs Superior. They had also won 6 straight as they attempted to get into playoff contention.
8-8-46: St. Cloud (51-27) had a 3 ½ games lead over F-M (48-31).
The August 14 edition of "The Sporting News" reported that, based on the latest figures of the National Association, 47 minor league players had been placed on the "Military List" since the end of the war. The list was a new classification for those who joined the military during peace-time.
Ray Oppegard, who was the business manager of the St. Cloud Rox, was promoted to General Manager of the team.
8-12-46: Ken Staples (GF) held the batting lead with a .357 average and Mike Rollins (Aberdeen) was in 2nd at .355. Andy Green (EC) led pitchers with a 10-3 record with Bob Haas (F-M) and Verl Westergard (Superior) in second with 15-5 marks.
8-46: Sioux Falls manager Lynn King resigned. He was replaced by veteran catcher Tony Keonig who had formerly played on Sioux Falls teams in the Western League.
8-17-46: In a memorable game between Aberdeen and F-M, both teams scored 4 runs in the 10th inning and then did not score again until the 18th when they both scored once. At that point, the game was stopped by the curfew rule after 4 hours and 22 minutes.
8-22-46: St. Cloud (63-28) had a 8 games lead over F-M (55-36).
8-46: Fred Hensley resigned as manager at Superior. He had received an "attractive" offer for a full-time job that he could not turn down. George "Red" Treadwell returned to the league to manage the team. He had been the Blues' manager from 1936 through 1939, a manager in the Penn State Assoc. in 1940-41 and had been overseas with the Seebees during the war.
8-23-46: In a game between St. Cloud and Eau Claire, pitchers Stan Kmet (EC) and JimCosgrove (St. C) were engaged in a shutout duel through 5 innings. In the top of the 6th, the Bears scored a run on a triple and a single. Then in the bottom half of the inning, the Rox' Hal Schadt, hit a drive over the left field fence on the first pitch from Kmet. On his next delivery, Ed Gittens drove one over the center field fence. On pitch number 3 of the inning, Tony Jaros slammed a drive over the left right wall. Three pitches, three home runs. On Kmet's 4th pitch, Bruts Welsch singled. The Rox won the game 5-1.
8-25-46: Duluth's Dave Thomas pitched a one-hitter over Sioux Falls. Due to wildness, the Canaries scored 2 off him in the first inning, but did not get a safety until the 6th inning when shortstop John Carach hit a triple. The Dukes barely won 4-3 by scoring a run in the 9th inning.
8-29-46: St. Cloud (67-31) held a nearly insurmountable first place lead of 8 games over F-M (59-39).
8-30-46: Bob Haas (F-M) gave up 12 hits and struck 15 in a game against Duluth. The Twins won 14-2 as Haas kept the safeties scattered. The losing pitcher was Dave Thomas.
8-31-46: Duluth played an exhibition game against a local semi-pro team, the Steelers. Apparently Port City critics had felt the locals would defeat the last-place Dukes. However, the Northern Leaguers easily beat the Steelers 14-1. Pitcher Tom Smith limited them to one hit - a scratch single in the 6thinning - and could have had a shut out if it were not for an error. Smith struck out 14.
9-2-46: St. Cloud won the league' regular season pennant by finishing 73-31 which was 10 games ahead of Fargo-Moorhead (63-41).
The batting championship was won by Ken Staples who hit .382 and in 2nd was Joe Wohciechowski (Superior) who hit .374.
The ERA crown went to Bob Haas with a 2.20 mark. Stan Kmet's 2.76 was 2nd for those pitchers who qualified. Haase also had a 19-5 record. Verl Westergaard (Superior) had a 19-6 mark.
9-46: The league selected it's All Star team: Tony Jaros (1b); Ross Horning (2b); Russ Brovold (3b); John Tayoan (SS); Jim Delsing (LF); Mike Rollins (CF); Ed Gittens (RF); Ken Staples (C); Verl Westergaard (RHP); Bob Haas (LHP); Walt Lakics (util); and Bruno Haas (manager).
Grand Forks drew a record attendance for their franchise with 57,482 paid. It was 22,930 more then the previous record.
In the first round of the playoffs, F-M beat Eau Claire 4 games to 3 and St. Cloud beat Superior 4-2.
During the playoff finals, St. Cloud used a baseball from 1888 for their pre-game infield practice. The ball was won by a St. Cloud team when they played a Fargo team in that year. It was owned by Frank Thielman (brother of former major league pitcher Jake Thielman) and loaned to the Rox.
In their first year as a member of the league, the St. Cloud Rox won the playoff finals 4 games to one over F-M. The Twins won only the 2nd game behind the pitching of Phil Johnson. Good offensive characterized the final series as St. Cloud got 17 hits and 12 walks in the opening game for an 18-1 triumph. The 4th contest was the most thrilling one of the series, going 11 innings to a 4-3 win for the Rox. After the teams battled through 10 innings at one-all, the Twins had a 2-run rally in the top half of the 11th. However, St. Cloud came back with 3 runs in the bottom half to win. Francis Hardy, who had not lost a game since joining St. Cloud, kept his record alive in the playoffs against F-M. He pitched the initial Rox' victory, relieved in the 3rd game and turned in a 6-hit performance in the final game.
League President White fined 3 members of the F-M Twins for actions taken in game 3 of the final playoff series between the Twins and St. Cloud at Fargo. In the 8th inning, umpire Bob Last called a Twins' player out at the plate which would have been the tying run. Twins' players and others surged around the umpires, but, after 5 minutes and 3 ejections, they returned to their dugouts/seats and the game continued. The Rox held on to win 7-6 and the arbiters had to be escorted to their car by police only to find that it's tires had been slashed. President White fined F-M manager Bruno Haas $25 and players Johnny Tayoan and Paul Welsh $10. The home team was also ordered to pay for the damages to umpire Bob Last's automobile.
9-23-46: The directors of the F-M club gave their players a
farewell dinner at the Elks Club. Sports writers and radio announcers
also were guests.
3-47: Dave Bancroft was named manager of St. Cloud Rox. He first played pro ball at Superior in 1909 and spent nearly 30 years in baseball. He was quoted in "TSN": "The game now is not only faster than in those days, but the players, by the time they get into the lowest leagues, now know plenty of the inside of baseball. They learn this from American Legion play, from the various baseball schools and also technical publications. I couldn't make a full comparison of the game in 1909 and now. There is the matter of playing equipment and the fields themselves. You know, I never received a bit of constructive instruction on inside baseball until I reached the Phils in the National League in 1915...I wouldn't say that the fields in the old days were bad. But, at Superior's Hislop Park, the ball used to take some queer hops."
Sioux Falls reached agreement with the Chicago Cubs to be their farm club. They were scheduled to receive a manager and 10 players for the season as they become the Cubs' 19th affiliated minor league club.
The league's schedule was shortened to 128 games. It would open on May 6 and close on Labor Day (September 1). In the past, the seasons had ended about September 9.
St. Cloud scheduled the beginning of their spring training for April 21 at New Ulm, MN.
Jim Oglesby was named manager at Sioux Falls. He was a former first baseman for the Philadelphia A's and AAA's Kansas City and Los Angeles. He had not decided if he would attempt to play at age 42 or just be a bench manager.
Claude Jonnard became manager of the Grand Forks Chiefs. He had pitched for the Tigers, Giants, Browns, A's, Cubs and many minor league teams. He was the twin brother of Bubber Jonnard who was an ex-Giant coach. Claude formerly managed in Shreveport, Joplin and Amarillo and had also scouted for the Giants.
Fargo would share training facilities with other Pirates' farm teams at Bartlesville, OK, starting April 1.
Organized baseball set limits on the radio broadcasts of major league games in minor league cities. There would be no games broadcast by stations located within 10 miles of a minor league team without the affected teams' consent.
4-47: Fargo-Moorhead President Steve Gorman protested the league's proposed schedule for the season which includes 126 games played in 119 days. Dick Wade of Duluth said that there were too many road trips and the schedule was too compact for the May 6-September 1 time frame. The league directors did vote, however, to change the playoffs to best-of-five series. Also, at the league meeting in St. Cloud, the daily meal money was increased to $2.50 and President White asked each club to make sure they would be in compliance with rules regarding "national defense" players, rookies (at least 4 required) and veterans (only 4 allowed).
Presidents of each league club were: Aberdeen - Ben Siebrecht; Duluth - Frank Wade; Eau Claire - Otis Linderman; Fargo-Moorhead - Steve Gorman; Grand Forks - J.C. Holte; St. Cloud - Joe Miller; Sioux Falls - Ken Guenther and Superior - James Dugan
A former World War II veteran and player in the 1946 Army Little World Series was signed to a contract by Fargo-Moorhead. Johnny Moos was in a Fargo hospital for treatment and appeared on the local radio program "Visit With the Vets." During the show he was asked what he would like to do when he left the hospital. His reply was "Play ball with the Fargo-Moorhead Twins."
Former major league and PCL player, Buzz Arlett, assisted St. Cloud manager Dave Bancroft during spring training.
5-8-47: Superior's 2-0 record led the league. Eau Claire and Aberdeen were at 1-0.
5-15-47: Eau Claire was in first place with a 4-1 mark. Aberdeen (4-2) was in 2nd.
5-19-47: F-M won it's 8th straight game by beating Duluth 7-4. The winning pitcher was Tom Laidlow who allowed 8 hits, walked 2 and struck out 6. The Dukes had lost 7 straight.
5-20-47: Aberdeen took over the league lead with a 10-2 record which was one game ahead of F-M (8-2).
5-22-47: In an attempt to end the Dukes' losing streak, Duluth manager Paul Bowa [father of Larry] asked his wife to complete his lineup card. She only made changes in their 2nd and 3rd place hitters and the Dukes' beat F-M 4-3. The next night, with the same batting order, Duluth swept a double header from Grand Forks.
5-47: It was reported that poor weather limited attendance and the quality of play early in the season.
5-23-47: Aberdeen had 13 errors, during a game on this date, for an all-time league mark.
5-25-47: The Northern League was said to have the reputation as a hitter's paradise. On this date, league teams totaled 155 hits and scored 133 runs during 6 games. Superior beat St. Cloud 28-12, Aberdeen defeated Grand Forks 19-7, Sioux Falls outscored F-M 5-4 and then lost 9-5 and the Duluth Dukes swamped Eau Claire 14-6 and 15-9.
The 28-12 Superior victory was called at the end of 5 innings because of high winds. The Blues scored 10 runs in the first inning and 11 in the 3rd. Superior had 20 hits, received 12 walks and had 3 base runners as the result of errors. Despite cold weather, the crowd's temperature was very warm as it was reported that umpire Mike Piantedosi and a fan exchanged punches before police escorted Piantedosi from the Rox' ballpark.
5-28-47: Aberdeen (17-3) led Sioux Falls (15-6) by 2 ½ games.
5-31-47: Duluth and Superior scored 105 runs during a 6-game series over Memorial Day. Included was a 22-15 win by Superior.
Also, during the holiday weekend, Sioux Falls won 5-straight from Aberdeen. They drew 10,526 home fans in the series.
6-1-47: F-M players Tony Hussey, John Ciervan and Bob Ball were overcome by carbon monoxide on the Twins' team bus during their commute to Duluth. The exhaust pipe, on the bus, caused the problem. The game, scheduled for the same day, was postponed as the players were hospitalized briefly.
6-4-47: The Claude Jonnard-led Grand Forks Chiefs lost their 20th game in-a-row. The team was the only independently operated league club in the league for 1947. The Chiefs had only won 3 games and were 10 games behind 7th place St. Cloud which was managed by Dave Bancroft. Dave was a teammate of Jonnard's on New York Giants teams in the early 1920s.
6-5-47: Grand Forks ended their losing streak at 21 games when they beat Eau Claire 8-5. It was the first victory for the Chiefs since May 17. During the streak they had been outscored 231-76.
6-8-47: Sioux Falls (21-7) overtook Aberdeen (18-9) for a 2 ½ games first place lead. Grand Forks had a 3-27 record.
6-12-47: Sioux Falls (23-9) was in first place over Aberdeen (23-10) by ½ game.
6-15-47: Through this date, the league had to postpone 72 games. Duluth led with 12, F-M, Superior and Eau Claire had 10, St Cloud 9, Sioux Falls and Aberdeen 8 and Grand Forks had 5.
Duluth had their first shutout of the season as Frank Smrekar blanked St. Cloud 6-0 in a 7-inning game. He gave up 3 hits in the first game of a double header.
6-18-47: In the June 18 edition of "The Sporting News", an article appeared regarding the minor leagues' day-to-day living conditions. The Northern League entry was: "Several of first-class hotels will not accept clubs because of alleged misconduct of players, forcing use of others with inferior accommodations. Hotels: Cataract - Sioux Falls; Sherman - Aberdeen; Bison - Fargo; Columbia - Grand Forks (but most clubs moved into dorms at U. of No. Dak. during summer); McKay - Duluth; Androy - Superior; Galloway - Eau Claire; St. Cloud - St. Cloud. Travel by bus driven by players or manager. Private room rates reasonable - around $3.50 per week. Meal money - $2.50."
In "TSN", Umpire Mike Piantedosi denied that he had exchanged punches with a St. Cloud "fan" on May 25 when he was being escorted from the park by police. He said he did not hit a fan, nor did a fan hit him. Also, Piantedosi stated that the game was called by the mutual agreement of both managers because of the cold and wind. The gusty winds were carrying short outfield flies against and over the fences.
6-19-47: Aberdeen re-took first place with a 30-10 record which was 4 ½ games ahead of F-M (24-13).
6-26-47: Aberdeen (36-13) held a 5 games lead over Sioux Falls (30-17).
6-47: Eau Claire purchased first baseman Jack Daniels from Fort Lauderdale of the Florida International League. Daniels had been leading his league in batting. Both teams were farm clubs of the Boston Braves.
7-2-47: Aberdeen (41-15) was 5 ½ games ahead of F-M (34-19).
7-3-47: Jacques Jeanneaux, 18-year-old French-Canadian pitcher for St. Cloud, was hit in the head by a pitched ball from Eau Claire's Jim Geske. He suffered a fractured skull that ended his season. Doctors felt that he would make a complete recovery.
7-47: F-M manager Bruno Haas was chosen to lead the League's All Stars against first place Aberdeen on July 14. A poll of managers and sports writers chose the team as follows: Cloyd Boyer, Tom Laidlow and Bob Haas (all pitchers); Bob Ball (C); Hank Ertman (1b); Bill Burda (2b); John Tayoan (SS); Tom Swittel (3b); Andy Piesek, Peck Welch and Dick Triptow (OF); and Jim Schymanski (utility).
Duluth manager Paul Bowa was hospitalized for one week in St. Cloud after he was struck in the head by a pitched ball. The Dukes first baseman, Nick Pole, served as inerium manager during Bowa's absence.
A protest filed by Superior regarding their July 6 game against Duluth was upheld by League President Herman White. In the first inning, Duluth was leading 1-0 with the bases loaded and no outs. The batter hit a fair ball to Bill Simcich at 3rdwho tagged the base for a force out and then threw wildly past first base. The umpires allowed the Duluth runner, who had been at first, to score. Blues' manager Red Treadwell protested that he should have been held up at 3rd. In the original game, Duluth won 7-1, but White ordered it replayed from the point of protest.
7-10-47: Aberdeen's (46-18) lead was 5 games over F-M (40-22).
7-14-47: Aberdeen defeated the league's All Stars 10-4. A crowd of approximately 6,500 saw each team use 4 pitchers with the Pheasants' Bob Kracht getting the win after he pitched shut-out ball during the first 3 innings. Aberdeen had 10 hits with second baseman, Tom Caciavely, getting 3. They had a 10-0 lead before the Stars scored 3 runs in the 7th and one in the 8th.
7-17-47: Aberdeen (49-19) held a 4 games lead ahead of F-M (45-23).
Paul Bowa made his first appearance at second base for Duluth since being seriously hurt by a bean ball on June 29.
7-20-47: Aberdeen center fielder, Bob Okrie, broke a finger on his left hand while attempting to bunt during a game vs Eau Claire. He was out of action for 2 weeks.
Andrew Piesek of Aberdeen led league batters with a .392 average. In 2nd was Walt Kulowiec (Fargo) at .371. In pitching, Don Geehring was 4-0 and Jack Trude (both of Aberdeen) was at 9-1.
7-24-47: Aberdeen (57-19) continued their first place standing over F-M (50-25).
7-26-47: The Duluth Dukes led Aberdeen 16-0 after 2 ½ innings. In the bottom of the 9th, Aberdeen was down only 18-16 with 2 outs and the bases loaded. Don Lenhardt lined a single to left which scored Heinie Mueller from 3rd and teammate Tommy Caciavely was waved in from 2nd by manager Don Heffner. However, Caciavely stumbled over 3rd base and barely got back to the base. Bill Wright then hit a sharp ground ball down the 1st base line which was fielded cleanly by Dukes' first baseman Nick Pole who stepped on 1st for the 3rd out. The stumble cost the Pheasants the one run loss in a 3:15 battle which ended their 13-game winning streak. Aberdeen's Don Larsen pitched the last 6 innings and allowed just 2 runs.
7-27-47: Red Treadwell resigned as manager of Superior after the Blues dropped to 7th place. Al Hanley, a 26-year-old infielder, was named acting manager.
7-31-47: Aberdeen (61-22) held a 9 games lead over F-M (52-31).
8-1-47 Red Treadwell returned as manager of Superior. He quit 6 days previous because he thought his resignation would "help the team." He was induced to reconsider.
8-5-47: Sioux Falls lost their star outfielder, Dick Triptow, when he broke his right arm as he crashed into the fence while making his 7th catch of the game. He was done for the season. Six nights earlier, he had been presented with a watch and baggage, at home plate, by Sioux Falls fans.
8-6-47: Sioux Falls shortstop, Hank Nasternak, set a league record with 5 stolen bases in a game vs St. Cloud. Two of his steals came in the 11th inning when he stole 3rd and home to score the winning run for the Canaries. After 92 games, Nasternak had stolen 41 bases.
8-7-47: Aberdeen (65-25) led. Sioux Falls (58-34) by 8 games.
8-47: Aberdeen manager Don Heffner was suspended for 5 days by League President White. He had failed to leave the field after being thrown out of a game on July 31.
St. Cloud had a 15-year-old stockholder who was also very adept at
retrieving foul balls. Since the price of baseballs was a substantial
expense for the team, they enlisted Dale Jaeger to locate all balls
hit foul. The Rox' business manager, Ron McIntyre, said: "Ever
since I've put Dick in charge of watching foul balls, our losses have
been reduced greatly. He works like a hunting dog and keeps his eye
on the ball until it's returned." Jaeger was paid for the balls
and then used the money to buy shares in the Rox.
8-13-47: Aberdeen's (68-29) lead was 7 games over Sioux Falls (62-27).
8-15 and 16-47: The New York Yankees held a tryout camp at Grand Forks with scout Joe McDermott in attendance.
8-47: F-M manager Bruno Haas was indefinitely suspended by League President White and originally the rest of team's home schedule was cancelled. The penalties were caused by an altercation, on August 19, when Aberdeen defeated the home team 7-5. Haas objected to a decision by base umpire, Bob Allshouse, who ruled that Fargo's Carl Del Grande had missed 3rd base while scoring from 2ndon a single. Fans threw bottles and, after the game, a group milled around and hassled the arbiters. White decided to allow the remaining home games played at Fargo when the club promised to furnish police protection for umpires. Former major league star who was then a scout, Lloyd Waner, filled in as manager for Haas .
8-21-47: Aberdeen (75-32) continued to hold a 7 games lead ahead of Sioux Falls (67-38).
8-28-47: With the season coming to a close, Aberdeen (79-34) had a 5 games lead over Sioux Falls (74-39).
St. Cloud fans voted outfielder Hal Schadt as the team's most valuable player.
9-1-47: In their second year in the Northern League, Aberdeen won their first pennant with an 82-36 record. In 2nd place was Sioux Falls (75-43) 6 ½ games behind.
Aberdeen Pheasant, Andy Piesek won the batting crown with a .375 average. Bob Ball, of F-M, was 2nd at .358.
Frank Smrekear (Duluth) won pitching honors with a 2.21 ERA. He
was followed by Bob Haas (F-M) at 2.38. Haas had a 17-7 record and
Len Perron had a 14-4 mark.
9-47: In the first round of the playoffs, Aberdeen and Fargo-Moorhead were tied at 2 games apiece. The 5th game was forfeited to Aberdeen.
In the other first round games, Sioux Falls defeated Duluth 3 games to one.
After 2 games in the final series, Aberdeen and Sioux Falls were tied at one game each.
9-14-47: The final series ended with Sioux Falls taking 4 games to Aberdeen's 2. The deciding game was won with the 5-hit pitching of Dick Verbic who won 2 games in the series for the Canaries. It was Sioux Falls first playoff victory.
Aberdeen manager Don Heffner was reported to have been offered the manager job at San Antonio of the Texas League for 1948. However, he denied knowledge of the offer: "Naturally, I'd like to move up, but if that's not in the cards, there's nothing I'd rather do than return to Aberdeen."
Dave Bancroft asked for and was granted his release as manager of St. Cloud. He was hoping to devote his full time to business interests in Superior.
The St. Cloud city commission voted to accept bids for a $78,000
municipal ball park. The concrete park would seat 2,100. More then a
year ago, the city voted bonds for the purpose of building the park
and it was hoped that construction would begin in the fall.
3-48: The nephew of former MLB player, Mule Haas, was signed by the Boston Braves. John Haas reported to the Eau Claire club.
Don Mueller's brother, LeRoy was signed by the New York Yankees for Grand Forks. He was a shortstop.
The league will open a 126-game schedule on May 4. The All Star game would be played on July 20 or 21 and the season would end on Labor Day.
Bill Wright, a pitcher with Aberdeen in 1947, was admitted to a tuberculosis sanitarium near Knoxville, TN. It was said he would be out of baseball for an indefinite period.
4-48: Fargo-Moorhead had only 2 players back from their 1947 squad - catcher Ed Comforti and infielder Tony Dercole.
Frank Mancuso Jr,. who played shortstop for the Aberdeen Pheasants had quit baseball to practice dentistry in Atkinson, NE.
Club Presidents for 1948 were: Aberdeen - H.J. Stout; Duluth - Frank Wade; Eau Claire - Otis Linderman; Fargo-Moorhead - Steve Gorman; Grand Forks - J.C. Holte; St. Cloud - Joe Miller; Sioux Falls - Ken Guenthner [co-owner with Mory Levinger] and Superior - James Dugan.
League President Herman White returned as president and was the chairman of the executive committee of the National Association.
Grand Forks trained in Branson, MO, along with 2 other of the New
York Yankees' farm teams. New Chiefs' manager, Gordie Hinkle, got his
team into shape faster then the others because their bus broke down
in Cameron, MO, about 225 miles from Branson. During the 2 days
required to fix the vehicle, he held workouts in Cameron. In Branson,
Yankees Scouts Tom Greenwade, Dutch Zwilling, Shaky Kain and Ward
Lambert aided the managers in instructing the players on 2 fields -
one for batting drills and the other for fielding practice.
5-48: Until the completion of their new ball park in St. Cloud, the Rox played their home games in the park at the Little Falls Fairgrounds, 30 miles north. The new park's construction was delayed by cold weather and flood conditions in the early spring.
Duluth only had one holdover player from last season - center fielder Gerald Peterson.
Five new managers would pilot teams in the league for 1948 - Jim Crandall (Aberdeen), Andy Cohen (Eau Claire), Gordie Hinkle (GF), Charlie Fox (St. C) and Johnny Mostil (Superior). Red Treadwell moved from Superior to Duluth and Jim Oglesby (SF) and Bruno Haas (F-M) returned to their same posts as last year.
Superior held a contest for their bat boys. Dale Correll sold more advance tickets then any of the others, with Ralph Railhola finishing 2nd only one "point" behind.
5-13-48: Grand Forks (6-2) held the early lead in the standings with Duluth and St. Cloud in 2nd place (both 5-3).
5-14-48: Rain caused the early end of a game between Eau Claire and Duluth after 5 innings. Had it not been stopped, scoring records may have been in jeopardy. Seven runs were scored by each team in the 4th inning and the score was 13-13 after 4 ½.. The Bears scored 2 in bottom of the 5th to win 15-13.
5-16-48: Sioux Falls introduced "Ladies Day" to the league. For the windy, unpleasant Sunday afternoon contest, paid admissions totaled 1,473 of which 444 were women.
5-18-48: Sioux Falls manager Jim Oglesby was ejected from a game vs Aberdeen while arguing a called ball. It was only the 3rd time, in his career, that he had been thrown out. His previous ejections came in 1933 (Pacific Coast League) and 1938 (International League).
5-20-48: Grand Forks (11-4) held a one game lead over St. Cloud (10-5).
5-27-48: Grand Forks (15-7) was ½ game ahead of Aberdeen (14-7).
5-28-48: Grand Forks and Superior had an extra inning battle royal. Each team scored twice in the 10th inning and the Chiefs got 2 more in the 11th. Superior only countered with one which gave Grand Forks the victory 17-16. The Chiefs got 19 hits and committed 5 errors and the Blues tallied 20 hits and had 9 miscues.
5-30-48: After 16 games, Bill Polubiatka (SF) led the league in hitting with a .413 average. Dick Bixby (St. C) was 2nd at .403. Pitchers Joe Kunel (SF) and Bob Vogeltanz (Dul) had 4-0 records.
6-3-48: Grand Forks (21-9) had a 2 games lead over Aberdeen (18-10).
National Association President George Trautman reminded all minor leagues that they must provide adequate dressing room facilities for umpires by July 1. In a resolution passed in December 1947, it was decided that there were too many negligent teams/leagues - even in class "A" ball - and they must have properly equipped rooms.
6-4-48: Sioux Falls and St. Cloud concluded 2 days of offensively bashing each other. The Canaries won the first game, on June 3, by the score 22-9 with 21 hits. The next day, the Rox came back to win 20-9 on 19 safeties which made a total of 60 runs for the 2 teams in the 2 games. Game 2 was 9-9 after 8 innings and then St. Cloud scored 11 runs in the 9th. Rox' outfielder Andy Palmero had a homer, double and 3 singles in his 5 at bats.
6-5-48: Bruno Haas was relieved as manager of the Fargo-Moorhead Twins who were struggling to stay out of last place after losing 22 of their last 27 games. The new manager was Ralph DiLullo who was a former catcher and had managed at York (Inter State). Haas was one of the last of the league's pioneers still active with the circuit.
6-10-48: Grand Forks (27-9) was in first place by 4 games ahead of Aberdeen (22-12).
6-17-48: Grand Forks (29-15) had a one game lead over Aberdeen (27-15).
Grand Forks pitcher, Milt Goemer, got his 11thvictory in a row for 1948 with a 9-4 win over Sioux Falls. This was his 4thyear with the Chiefs who finished dead last in 1947.
6-19-48: Billy Hornsby, son of Rogers Hornsby, was transferred to Superior from Hot Springs.
6-48: During the 1948 season Ken Guenthner, who was the president and general manager at Sioux Falls, also broadcast the team's games on radio. An ex-newspaperman, he did the play-by-play of both home and away games on station KIHO. Guenthner claimed that he could keep the broadcasts on an impersonal level - unless the Canaries began a rally.
6-23-48: From the "St. Cloud Daily Times": "Twenty five hundred fans as well as mayors of area towns, baseball dignitaries, Mayor Malisheski and Mayor Hubert Humphry of Minneapolis paid tribute to the people of St. Cloud and to the builders and promoters of the municipal sports field in special dedication ceremonies Friday night. Before a completely filled grandstand, speeches were made and music was played to delight a gala crowd that found everything to their liking except the score, which went 8-3 for Superior over the Rox. The Veterans of Foreign Wars Drum and Bugle corps, let by Genevieve Trundnaki, entertained during pre-game periods and throughout the stadium. Their exhibition of precision marching was accentuated by smart new uniforms which the girls wore. The St. Cloud Municipal band under the direction of Erin A. Mertz played a group of numbers including marches and waltzes and opened their program with 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game.' Rev. Alphonse Krammer gave the invocation followed by an introduction of Herman White of Eau Claire, president of the Northern league and chairman of the executive committee of the National Association of Professional Baseball leagues, who complimented the locals on the new stadium on behalf of the league. Don Merr, master of ceremonies, introduced Rosy Byan, general manager of the Minneapolis Millers who said that the patrons deserved considerable credit for patronizing the Rox team for two years with inadequate seating in the park. He stated that when the St. Cloud Baseball organizers came to Minneapolis for assistance, all they had was a franchise. 'You fans have justified the faith the organizers had in you,' he declared."
6-24-48: Grand Forks (33-14) led Aberdeen (30-18) by 3 ½ games.
Eau Claire starter, Chick Henry, pitched a complete 16-inning game vs F-M. The game was won by the Twins 4-3 on a home run by Walt Wherry in final frame. Henry struck out 18 and gave up 8 hits. Dale Heckenberg became Fargo-Moorhead's pitcher in the 7th inning and pitched the rest of the way for the victory.
7-48: Wayne Pritchard, the sports director of Sioux Falls radio station KIHO, had trouble finding a place to live. A local furniture store, Shriver-Johnson, came to the rescue and offered him space in a display window. A bed and other furniture completed the "home" space. The president of the Canaries, Ken Guenthner, capitalized on the situation and broadcast, with the help of Pritchard, a game re-creation from the bedroom. Goggling spectators saw the two, surrounded by telegraph and radio equipment, reconstruct the game from bed. Both men were the regular radio voices for the team.
7-1-48: Grand Forks (36-18) held a 2 ½ games lead over Aberdeen (34-21).
7-4-48: The president of the St. Cloud Rox, Joe Miller, died in St. Cloud after being hospitalized for several months with heart and kidney problems. He was one of the original organizers of the club.
7-8-48: Grand Forks (39-21) had a 2 ½ games lead over St. Cloud.
7-10-48: Milt Goemer (GF) lost his first game in 15 starts when Duluth shut out the Chiefs 4-0. The Dukes' Joe Svetlick pitched a 4-hitter though 8 innings and Don Gilmore pitched the 9th.
7-15-48: Grand Forks (42-24) was in first place by 1 ½ games over St. Cloud (42-27).
7-22-48: The league All Stars defeated first place Grand Forks 4-3 in 12 innings. The annual All Star game was played in Grand Forks before 5,500 paying customers. The Stars' Bill Polubiatka stole home in the 10th inning to put his team in front, but the Chiefs tied the score in the bottom half on a single by Frank Marcho to drive in Wally Reed. In the 12th, Paul Zubak reached first on an error, was sacrificed to second, went to third on an infield out and scored the winning run on a passed ball.
Fargo-Moorhead President Steve Gorman announced that he would resign at the end of the season because the job took too much of his time.
Grand Forks (48-26) was in first place 1 ½ games ahead of
St. Cloud (47-28). Duluth (40-32) was in 3rd.
7-24-48: Four members of the Duluth Dukes and their manager were killed and thirteen players injured in a bus-truck accident just north of St. Paul, MN. The Dukes 18-passenger bus was traveling from Eau Claire to St. Cloud on highway 36 between Dale Street and Western Avenue. A heavy large truck loaded with dry ice crossed the center line after hitting a rough spot in the road, bounced out of control and collided almost head on with the team's bus smashing it over on its side into the ditch. Both the truck and the bus burst into flames from ruptured gas tanks. Persons working in a nearby field and passing motorists pulled all but 3 of the players from the bus. Both the truck driver and manger Red Treadwell (age 42), who was driving the bus, were also killed. The dead players were Gerald Peterson (age 23) of Proctor, MN; Gilbert Krirdla (age 19) of Duluth and formerly from St. Louis, who played under the name of Gilbert Tribble; Don Schuchman (age 20) of St. Louis and Steve Lazar (age 23) of Olyphant, PA. who died 2 days after the crash.
Seven other players were critically injured and the remaining seven sustained minor injuries: Sam Paitich, of St. Paul who joined the team only one week earlier, had burned hands and legs; Don Gilmore, of Columbus, OH, was burned on his right hand, his right ankle was fractured and his right foot badly cut; Bernie Gerl, of Joliet, IL, was critically burned; Don Vanderwier, of Muskegon, MI, sustained a lacerated lower back; Uell Clark, of Jackson, MI, had head injuries; John Ritonya, of Omaha, had a fractured arm, leg and lip; Joe Svetlick, of Cinderalla, WV, sustained a bruised arm and leg; Mel McGaha, of Fayetteville, AR, had bruises; Elmer Schoendienst, of Germantown, IL, had bruises; Bill Ward, of Chicago, had bruises and was in shock; Joe Becker, of St. Louis, fractured his left leg and had face burns; Bob Vogeltanz, of Evergreen Park, IL, had a fractured left leg and Bud Dubia, of Murray, KS, had face injuries.
A farmer who was working his field, Frank Kurkowski, was credited
with rescuing five of the players: "I was in my field when I
heard a terrible crash. It was 11:20 AM...I could see the flames
shooting into the air and hear the screams of the people in the bus
before I even got to the highway. It was awful. I smashed out the
rear window and began pulling out the victims. I know I got out five.
Others pulled some more out, but then it got too hot and I guess the
rest were dead anyway, because they didn't make any sound. I think
they were killed by the crash. They were up front where the bus caved
Told at the hospital that some of his fellow players had been killed, Vogeltanz cried, "Those guys just can't be dead. They're my buddies." He was asleep in the second seat behind Treadwell when the crash occurred and "the first thing I remember is finding myself lying on the grass about 50 feet from the road. The bus was burning." Schoendienst, McGaha and Ward were released from the hospital the day after the accident and returned to Duluth, but they still were shaken up by the disaster and did not plan to resume playing immediately. They said their habit of riding in the back of the bus saved them.
After Walter Shannon, supervisor of St. Louis Cardinals Class B, C and D affiliates traveled to St. Paul to visit the injured players and plan for the future, other Northern League teams made available the following players to the Dukes: Ossie Wadowitz (GF), Don Groves (Superior), Bill Emery (Aberdeen), George Anthony (EC), Pete Pellizzer (EC, Don Toft (SF), Dick Schattinger (FM), Andy Clausner (Aber), Sam Richesin (GF) and Bill McIlhargy (Aber). A recently signed player, Hunter, and Willard Anderson, who was reinstated from Duluth's retired list, rejoined the team. The Cardinals sent from their own organization: Tom Auger, Pete Donello, Richard Roxburgh, Stuart Reynolds, Ted Madjeski, Bob Kehoe, Harley Beavers, Dick Czaplewski, Don Foreman and Curt Schmidt. In addition, the GM of the Minneapolis Millers, Rosy Ryan, announced that his team would loan Phil Tompkinson.
In Duluth, there were plans for various benefits with the Jr. Chamber of Commerce and Herald and News-Tribune acting as the coordinators. The team was regarded as one of the most popular in the city's history. The funeral service for manager Red Treadwell was held in Duluth on July 27. He was in his first season as pilot of the Dukes and had previously managed in Superior. As a player he was a catcher who broke into pro ball at Rock Island in 1927 and later performed with Moline, the Boston Braves, Nashville, Springfield (MA), Erie and Crookston in 1933. He managed the Blues in 1936-1939 and Johnstown (PA) in 1940-1941. He was not involved in baseball during World War II., but returned to manage Superior for the 1946-1947 seasons.
The funeral of Gerald Peterson was also held in Duluth. He signed with the Dukes in July 1947 and played for them that season. In the winter of 1947-1948, he had become property of Omaha (Western) who optioned him back to Duluth in the spring. Steve Lazar started in the pros in 1942 and after military service in 1943-1945, played at Marion (OH) in 1946 and Johnson City in 1947. He had been sold to the Dukes for the 1948 season. Don Schuchman began with Johnson City in 1944 and played for various Cardinal farm clubs including Lynchburg, Winston-Salem, Columbus (OH), Houston, Fresno and Allentown. Gil Krirdla signed with Pocatello in January 1948 and was sold to Duluth as a bright young prospect.
[Of the14 injured, only four ever played pro baseball again.]
In about a week after the accident, the Dukes were able to resume it's schedule. Pro teams around the country donated proceeds from benefit games to be distributed equally among the injured players and the families who were killed.
8-5-48: Grand Forks (56-31) led the league 2 ½ games over St. Cloud (51-31). Duluth (43-35) was in 3rd .
Milt Goemer won his 18th game as Grand Forks coasted to a 10-1 victory allowing only 6 hits. He also drove in 4 runs with a single and double.
8-7-48: Toby Tobias of Grand Forks pitched a 1-0 no-hitter against Eau Claire in a pitcher's duel with the Bears' Clarence Peters. The winning run scored with 2 out in the bottom of the 9th inning when Charlie Pickett singled in Wally Reed from 2nd base. It was only the 5th hit given up by Peters. Eau Claire got only one ball out of the infield - a 2ndinning fly by Lou Tufano. Tobias struck out 8, walked 6 and, at one point, pitched out of a bases loaded situation.
In was announced by league president White that contributions to the families of the players killed and injured on the Duluth team was at $17,472. Memorial games were played at Superior and Duluth on July 31 and August 1 (with 10,000 fans attending) and other league clubs would hold similar contests. Cities where some of the deceased players had played also announced memorials. In addition, 27 radio stations in MN, WI, SD and ND aided by having an hour-long memorial on the night of July 31 during which contributions were requested.
One of the replacement players sent by the Cardinals to the Dukes was stricken with appendicitis and rushed to a Duluth hospital for an emergency operation. Outfielder Dick Czaplewski, a native of Winona, MN, was not scheduled to play for several weeks. He formerly played for Allentown (Inter-State).
A $250,000 damage suit was filed in the circuit court at St. Louis by Christian Dubia, one of the injured players, against Liquid Carbonic Corp, whose truck was involved in the accident. The petition declared he had "serious and permanent injuries" and it alleged that the accident was caused by the truck driver "negligently crossing the center line" of highway 36. Bill Ward, Uell Clark and Joe Svetlick were recently released from the hospital and returned to their homes. Those players still hospitalized were Dubia (broken right leg, 3 broken ribs, broken jaw); Joe Becker Jr (double break in left leg, severe burns which may cause loss of left hand and severe shock); Bob Vogeltanz (twisted right leg and bruises); Bernie Gerl (severe shoulder, throat, head burns); Johnny Ritonya (broken right arm and jaw, cut and bruised); Bob Gilmore (severe head injuries, deep cuts to head and face, fractured left leg, compound dislocation of right ankle and possible loss of right foot); Sam Paitich (severe burns and left leg fractured) and Don Vanderwier (fractured pelvis, deep cuts and undetermined internal injuries).
In was announced that Ted Madeski would manage the Dukes. He was a former catcher from Houston (Texas) who earlier in 1948 had managed Ft. Lauderdale (FL-International). The team's first game was July 31 at Superior which they lost 5-3.
Some additional players have been added to the Dukes: Howard Boles (from SF), Lou Branca (from So. St. Paul of the Suburban League), Abie McClung (Celenese Rayon of the W. Georgia Textile League) and Stew Reynold (from Fresno of the CA League).
8-48: The August 18 edition of "TSN" reported that over $36,000 has been raised for the Dukes Fund. Joe Svetlick said from his home in Cinderella, WV, that he would soon return to the team. Don Gilmore was making a rapid recovery and would probably not loss his right foot. Bernie Gerl, who required a tracheotomy, was recovering well from burns and it was felt he could go home soon. John Ritonya, who had been in critical condition, was scheduled to be moved to a hospital in Omaha. Sam Paitich was healing slowly and required considerable skin grafts and hope increased for saving his leg. Don Vanderwier had been in critical condition for some time, but was doing better and was expected to recover from his various injuries. It was felt that Bud Dubia would be on his way home soon to Murray, KY, with his wife and a nurse. Bob Vogeltanz was recovering well. Joe Becker was improving daily, but his left arm was still in bad shape with the possibility that he would not have full use of his left hand.
More players were loaned to the Dukes: Jack Custer (from Clinton of the Central Assoc) and Joe Shroba who was a player at Duluth in 1940 (had pitched a no-hitter that year) returned to "help out" even though he originally had decided not to play in 1948.
8-9-48: Frank McArthur (St. C) led the league in batting with a .363 average and Omar Tolson (Aber) was 2nd at .341. George Seeley (Super) had an 8-0 record and Milt Goemer (GF) held an 18-4 mark.
8-12-48: Grand Forks (61-32) led St. Cloud (56-32) by 2 ½ games. Duluth was in 4th place with a 43-40 record.
St. Cloud pitcher Walt Stenberg pitched a 1-0 one-hitter over Aberdeen. The loss all but ended the Pheasants' attempt for a repeat of their 1947 league pennant.
8-17-48: Toby Tobias pitched another no-hitter (10-0) over Duluth. The 22-year-old rookie righthander from Ellsworth, WI, again allowed only one ball to leave the infield when Milt Boyat hit a lazy fly to left field in the 3rd inning. The Dukes had 6 base runners - 3 by walks, 2 from errors and one hit batsman. Tobias struck out 11 and many were from his sharp curve away. It was his 4thshutout of the year and he also had two 3-hitters. He was signed in August 1947 by Yankees' scout Joe McDermott at a tryout camp in Hastings, MN. In high school, he played shortstop until 1941when he became a pitcher for 2 years before entering military service. The no-hitters were not made in consecutive appearances as, in games between the no-nos, he pitched a 14-8 victory and had a brief relief appearance to save a 10-inning 2-1 win for the Chiefs.
8-18-48: Grand Forks' (65-33) lead was down to 2 games over St. Cloud (62-34). Duluth (46-43) was in 4th place.
President White placed an add in "TSN" stating: "The Duluth Northern League Club is badly in need of at least one infielder and two pitchers. Any assistance will be greatly appreciated."
Art Dyck (GF) set a league record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched and tied the mark for consecutive shutouts in a season with a victory over Duluth. The former scoreless innings record was 40 by George Schoenecker of GF in 1939. Dyck had 41 2/3 innings and the shut out was his 4th straight which tied a record that Del Burke (St. C) made earlier in the 1948 season. In the other game played by the Chiefs this day, Milt Goemer won his 20thgame of the year.
8-22-48: Walt Wherry (F-M) broke the league's season outfielder assist record of 26 when he was credited with his 27th during a game against Aberdeen.
8-26-48: Grand Forks (72-36) had a 2 games lead over St. Cloud (69-36). Duluth was in 5th place with a 49-51 mark.
Eau Claire pitcher George Yorke allowed only one hit in a game against Grand Forks. Jack Wilson singled in the 7thinning after errors had put runners on base. The Bears won easily 21-2 by hammering Art Dyck who had recently set the league record for consecutive scoreless innings.
Del Burke (St. C) set the record for shutouts in a season when he beat F-M 10-0 for his 5th. He allowed 6 hits, struck out 5 and walked 3. The previous record was held by several pitchers.
9-48: The fund for the Duluth injured players and the survivors of those killed, totaled $41,632. The amount included $10,000 from baseball commissioner Happy Chandler's office Mel McGaha joined the Winston-Salem (Carolina) team after he recovered from his injuries.
Sioux Falls eclipsed the league's team double plays for a season record of 118. They had 122. Those players responsible were second baseman Roy Hollingshed, who played every inning of every game [to that point], Ray Krupka at first, Don Toft and Clank Baker at short and Bill Chandler at third.
League President White was quoted as saying that all league games, which are stopped with the score tied, are to be continued later in the season from the point of the tie until a victor is determined. There had been some discussion of the subject by other leagues and sportswriters.
9-1-48: Fargo-Moorhead and Aberdeen played a 17-inning game which was won by the visiting Twins 9-8. F-M was held scoreless from the 5ththrough the 16th inning and Aberdeen tied the score with 7 runs in the 7th inning. The Twins' Pete Zollo ended that rally and pitched scoreless baseball the rest of the game.
9-2-48: Grand Forks (76-37) had only a one game lead ahead of St. Cloud (75-38). Duluth was in 5thwith a 52-56 record.
9-48: Contributions to the families of the Dukes' bus accident reached $64,090.54. It was reported that Duluth fans did rally behind the new Dukes even though they fell out of playoff contention. Only one member of the original team returned - pitcher Joe Svetlick. The parent Cardinals continued to send help to strengthen the team, but most of the other clubs in the league recalled their loaned players early on. Only Grand Forks held to its commitment. Bernie Gerl, one of the most seriously injured players, visited the new Dukes team before going home to Joliet, IL.
9-4-48: Ken Vangilder of St. Cloud threw a 1-0 ten-inning no-hitter against Superior. He was the son of Elam Vangilder who was a former pitcher with Detroit and the St. Louis Browns. His feat was the first by any St. Cloud pitcher and placed the Rox in a tie for first place with Grand Forks. Vangilder, who had pitched at class B Trenton in 1947, dueled with the Blues' Joe Demoyan for 9 innings. However, the Rox got 3 of their 10 hits in the 10thwith the final one by Frank McArthur for the game winning RBI. He had 23 strikeouts and walked 4. Only 2 putouts were made in the outfield and one error was committed by each team. The Rox were helped by 3 double plays and 2 Blues reached 2ndbase.
9-6-48: Milt Goemer (GF) ended the season with a record league win-loss mark of 25-4 when he beat F-M 3-1 on the season's last day. He passed the former record of 24 wins held by Lloyd Sterling of the 1935 Winnipeg team.
Grand Forks won the league pennant with an 80-39 record which was 1 ½ games better then St. Cloud (78-40). Entering the last day tied with the Chiefs, the Rox lost an afternoon game to Eau Claire and the Chiefs swept a double header over F-M. St. Cloud's night game was rained out. Duluth finished in 5thwith a 53-61 record. In league history, to that point, there were only 2 pennant finishes that were closer - 1939 and 1942.
9-48: Leo Wolters, the 19-year-old St. Cloud right hander from E. St. Louis, was voted the league's rookie of the year. He received the first annual George Treadwell-Duluth Dukes Memorial Trophy. Clair ("Toby") Tobias was second, in the polling of managers and sports writers, and Walt Wherry was 3rd.
Frank McArthur (St. C) won the batting crown with an average of .379 and Herman Rhodes (Super) was 2nd at .342.
Milt Goemer had the best win-lost record at 25-4 and Leo Wolters had a 15-4 mark. The ERA crown also went to Goemer with a 1.71 and in 2nd was Ken Vangilder at 1.85.
In the first round of the playoffs, Aberdeen swept 3 games from St. Cloud and Grand Forks took all 3 games played against Eau Claire.
In the final playoff series, first place finisher Grand Forks beat the 4th place Aberdeen 4 games to 0. Chiefs' fans called it the "Rags to Riches" season since they finished in last place (55 games out) in 1947 and then won it all in 1948 by gaining the lead the first week of the season and never losing it. The clinching playoff victory, a 3-hit 2-1 win, was pitched by their ace, Milt Goemer.
The league directors meet September 25 to decide how to distribute the Duluth ballplayers fund of $81,502.24 although they had already made partial distributions of $400 to each family of injured or dead players. Most of the funds, $22,500, were raised by the Duluth Jr. Chamber of Commerce. The directors decided that the rest of the funds would be distributed based on need and degree of injury incurred. However, each specific amount would not be released to the public because they believed it might cause embarrassment to the families. However, League President White did say that an accounting of the expenditures would be released. One of the worse injured, Don Gilmore, was able to return home to Columbus, OH, where he will probably spend 2-4 more months in bed recovering from the 6-inch cut on his head, a burned right hand, a broken left thigh and a right foot nearly severed at the ankle. He had planned to be married on September 18, but that all was delayed indefinitely. Several of the other injured players were still hospitalized.
League President Herman White was named Vice President of the National Association and would serve on the boards governing 3 inter-league series.
Charley Fox agreed to manage St. Cloud for 1949. They finished in 2nd place with an attendance of 69,949 compared to 45,000 in 1947 and 57,000 in 1946.
Northern League fans were invited to submit a 1949 schedule. If
one of the submissions were adopted, the author would be awarded with
a $100 prize.
4-49: Some of the league team's presidents were: Duluth - Frank Wade; Grand Forks - J.C. Holte; Sioux Falls - Ken Guenthner.
The first black players to play in the Northern League were in 1949. The players were Robert L. Burns, Samuel Gee, and William Hart with Sioux Falls and William McCrary with Fargo-Moorhead.
5-5-49: Superior held first place with a 2-0 record. Grand Forks and F-M had 1-0 marks.
5-7-49: George Wilson, second baseman for Duluth, broke his wrist in a collusion at second base with a St. Cloud player. Milt Boyer (normally a pitcher) replaced him in the lineup. Milt was the brother of Cloyd, Ken and Clete Boyer.
5-8-49: Fargo-Moorhead pitcher Bill McCrars lost a one-hitter against Sioux Falls 10-8 as he walked 3 in the first inning before getting an out. He is believed to be the league's first black player.
5-11-49: Duluth manager, Ted Madjeski, singled with one out in the 9th inning to ruin Eau Claire's Hal Luddy's no-hitter. Luddy walked 9 batters and the Bears won 6-2.
5-13-49: Duluth righthander Johnny Griggs pitched a 2-hit 25-0 victory over St. Cloud. Charley Weyman, who singled in the 4th, and Billy Fox, who doubled in the 6th, were the only players to hit safely off Griggs. In his previous start, his team won 17-3 and he pitched a 5-hitter - also against the Rox.
5-19-49: Eau Claire and Aberdeen were tied for first place with 8-4 records.
5-23-49: The Duluth Dukes turned a triple play in a game vs Grand Forks. In the 3rd inning, pitcher Joe LaCroix caught a line drive off the bat of Chiefs' manager, Ed Kearse, and flipped to Walt Jeffries at first to double off Jim Arend. Jeffries then threw to shortstop Fred McAlister to get Chuck Fontana who couldn't return to 2nd base in time. Grand Forks won the game 23-10.
5-26-49: Aberdeen and Eau Claire continued to be tied for first place with 12-7 records.
6-2-49: Aberdeen and Eau Claire were neck-and-neck again with 17-9 records.
6-6-49: It was a "wild" finish to the St. Cloud - Grand Forks ball game. The bases were loaded with Rox in the 8th inning and the Chiefs were ahead 5-3. Then new Grand Forks reliever Hal Anderson threw a wild pitch. After retrieving the ball, catcher Al Nordgren threw toward the plate attempting to get Charley Fox trying to score from 3rd. The ball hit Fox on the head and caromed to 3rd base where Dale Walter picked it up and threw home. His throw pounced off Gail Leachman's head allowing him to score from 2nd and it then rolled into the St. Cloud dugout which permitted Frank Turcy to score from first for the winning run in the 6-5 final. .
6-9-49: Eau Claire (22-12) was in first place by ½ game over Aberdeen (21-12).
6-16-49: Aberdeen (25-15) had a ½ game lead over Eau Claire (25-16).
6-18-49: Herm Miller of the Duluth Dukes pitched a 4-0 seven inning no-hitter over St. Cloud.
6-21-49: Bob Turley's (Aber) personal winning streak ended at 17 games when F-M beat the Pheasants 2-1. His streak extended into 1948 when he played for Belleville (Ill. State) and won 6 games. He was now 11-1 for Aberdeen.
6-22-49: Aberdeen starter Jim Post held Grand Forks hitless for 8 2/3 innings. Al Nordgren then singled, Ed Kearse walked and Al Billingsley hit another single to score a run. Post got out of the inning without further damage and completed the 3-1 win.
6-23-49: Eau Claire and Aberdeen were tied for first place with 29-18 records.
6-26-49: Don Harris of Aberdeen lost a 3-1 six inning no-hitter against Fargo-Moorhead. Harris walked 7 and his defense gave up 2 unearned runs in the 6th inning. The game was halted by Fargo's Sunday curfew.
6-30-49: Aberdeen (33-22) led Eau Claire (32-22) by ½ game.
7-49: Baseball Commissioner Happy Chandler fined Aberdeen $500 for violating the rule against signing high school players. Chandler stated that Aberdeen had signed Eugene Menard, from Kankakee, IL, to a 1949 contract on September 24, 1948, when he was still in high school. The rule barred all major league teams and all of their affiliates from signing players before their class graduates. Menard was released by Aberdeen on December 6, 1948.
The league's All Star team was announced. They were: Tom Venn (C), Jim Thompson (1b), Al Billingsley (2b), Whitey Ries (3b), Frank Danyer (SS), Pete Brozovich (OF), Chuck Fontanna (OF), Tom Gott (OF), Niel Lettau (P), Herm Miller (P), Paul Menking (P) and Carl Hosler (util). Andy Cohen would manage the team which was scheduled to meet Aberdeen on July 18.
7-7-49: Aberdeen (37-25) held to first place by ½ game over Eau Claire (36-25).
Bob Turley won his 14th game when he beat Superior 2-1. To that point in the season, he had pitched 15 straight complete games and compiled an ERA of 1.37.
7-14-49: Aberdeen (43-26) led Eau Claire (41-27) by 1 ½ games.
7-18-49: First place Aberdeen easy turned back the league's All Stars 12-6. Attendance at Municipal ball park was 4,393.
7-20-49: Grand Forks manager Ed Kearse resigned. He was replaced by former major league outfielder Wally Berger. Berger had played with the Braves, Red and Giants and had been managing at Manchester (New England) until recently.
7-21-49: Eau Claire (46-29) took over first place by one game over Aberdeen (45-30).
Grand Forks hurler, Niel Lettau, pitched a one-hitter over Duluth with the Chiefs winning 4-0. The only safety earned by the Dukes was a 5th inning single by catcher Len Marinari.
At a game in St. Cloud between the Rox and Aberdeen, police had to escort umpires Paul Burke and Floyd Johnson from the park after the game. The Pheasants won the contest 11-9.
7-23-49: Duluth lost their manager, Ted Madjeski, when he was optioned to the Salisbury (Eastern Shore) club. He was replaced by Russ Rolandson who had been a catcher at Omaha (Western).
7-27-49: Superior fans packed their ball park to watch a double header against port foe Duluth. A crowd of 5,539 saw the Blues split the twin bill with the home team winning the opener 9-3 and losing the night cap 4-2.
7-28-49: Eau Claire (49-31) held a one game lead over Aberdeen (48-32).
8-4-49: Eau Claire (54-34) led Aberdeen (53-36) by 1 ½ games.
8-6-49: Bob Burns, a Sioux Falls RHP, threw a one-hitter beating Fargo-Moorhead 6-0. .
8-7-49: Jim Pavlica (Aberdeen) pitched a one-hitter over Grand Forks 3-0.
8-11-49: Eau Claire and Aberdeen were tied in the standings with identical 58-38 records.
8-13-49: F-M swept a double header from Eau Claire 17-9 and 6-5. All of their runs, except one, were accumulated from home runs. Paul Zubak had 2 two-run home runs in the first game and a 2-run job in the 2nd game. George DePillo hit a grand slam in game one and the other round trippers were hit by Nick Stefano, Al Venditto and Ed Vallone who hit 2.
8-49: Grand Forks left handed pitcher, Frank Simanovsky, was sidelined with broken blood vessels in his throwing hand.
8-14-49: Bob Turley won his 20th game of the season when Aberdeen defeated Duluth 6-3. He was also leading the league with 171 strikeouts.
8-16-49: Dick Criehton of Grand Forks threw a 7-inning one-hitter over Eau Claire winning 6-0.
8-18-49: Eau Claire (62-42) was one game in front of Aberdeen (61-43).
8-25-49: Eau Claire (67-44) held a 3 ½ games lead over Aberdeen (64-48).
Sioux Falls ended a 7-game winning streak when St. Cloud pitcher, Chuck Menke, pitched a 2-hit 11-1 victory over the Canaries.
8-49: In his first 30 appearances for Aberdeen, Bob Turley had never been taken out of a game for a relief pitcher. Twenty-two were starts.
8-27-49: Duluth turned their 140th double play of the season during a game against Grand Forks. Their mark set a league record.
8-30-49: Bob Reis (Eau Claire) added to his league record by going 85 games without striking out. His streak started on June 7 and ended with his next game.
9-1-49: Eau Claire (69-49) held only a ½ game lead over Aberdeen (69-50).
St. Cloud swept a double header from Aberdeen as Wes Rinker pitched a one-hit 1-0 victory in the first game and Chuck Menke allowed only 2 hits in his 8-0 nightcap victory.
9-3-49: Duluth beat Grand Forks 6-5 in 16 innings. It was the same night that their parent club (Cardinals) tied the Reds in a 15-inning game 9-9. In addition, their AAA team at Columbus played 20 innings for a victory over Louisville 4-3.
9-5-49: The Andy Cohen-led Eau Claire (71-52) held on to beat Aberdeen (71-54) for the 1949 pennant by one game. Earl Bass hit a 3-run home run with 2 outs in the 9th inning to beat St. Cloud 3-1 in the clincher. .
Irv Hall won the batting championship with a .342 average which was the lowest percentage in league history. In 2nd place was Bob Ries who hit .338.
George Yorke (EC) had an ERA of 2.06 and he was followed by Bob Turley at 2.31. Turley had a 23-5 record. and Bill Best (Super) was at 15-2. .
9-49: In the first round of the playoffs, Eau Claire defeated St. Cloud 3 games to one. Aberdeen also beat Superior by the same games count.
Aberdeen met Eau Claire in the playoff finals and won 4 games to Eau Claire's one. It was Aberdeen's first playoff championship.
F-M, who was the only league team that operated independently in 1949, agreed to a working agreement for 1950 with the Detroit Tigers.
[Some league notes that appeared in the 1949 editions of "The
Sporting News" were not legible in the digital copies available
on-line. Therefore, those notes could not be included in these
3-50: The Longhorn League sold umpire Tom Murphy to the Northern League.
4-50: Team presidents were as follows: Aberdeen - Ben Siebrecht; Duluth - Frank Wade; Eau Claire - Otis Linderman; F-M - C.T. Tollefson; Grand Forks - J.C. Holte; St. Cloud - Ray Uberecken; Sioux Falls - Ken Guenthner and Superior - Howard Underhill.
In 1950 there were 5 African-American players in the Northern League: Billy Bruton and Roy White with Eau Claire and Joe Atkins, Maurice Peatros, and Willie Tasby with Fargo-Moorhead.
4-11-50: Joseph Becker, Jr. of Duluth, who lost four fingers from his left hand and suffered a fractured leg and other injuries in the Duluth Dukes' bus-truck collision of July 1948, settled a lawsuit out-of-court for $68,000.
F-M obtained Bob Hughes from Charleston (Central). He was 10-9 with the Twins in 1949.
5-50: Opening day was set back from May 2 to May 5 because of cold weather and the fact that snow was covering several of the team's fields a few days before the scheduled season's start. The league schedule was changed to play the games missed from September 5 to 8.
5-6-50: Grand Forks manager Jack Farmer died. It was described as "sudden". Second baseman, Wally Reed, was named temporary manager. The Chiefs had not played any games with Farmer as their skipper.
5-7-50: The season's first game was finally played with Eau Claire defeating Duluth 5-2 in 10 innings on John Jarpinski's 3-run home run.
A storm flooded Rox Park at St. Cloud and partially demolished their outfield fence.
5-9-50: Superior pitcher, Jack Virkstis had a no-hitter dissolve after 8 innings when Eau Claire scored 5 runs in the 9thinning. However, the Blues held on to win 6-5.
5-11-50: Eau Claire led the league with a 2-1 record and Superior was at 1-1. Five of the league's teams had yet to play a game.
Allen Fahringer (Superior) and Alvin Fahringer (Duluth) were twins who played in the league for 1950. They were 21-year-olds from Sanbury, PA.
5-13-50: Grand Forks played their first game of the 1950 season with a contest at Duluth. The Chiefs' ball park was under water because of flooding by the Red River and temporary manager Wally Reed had been replaced by scout Dutch Zwilling who filled in only until permanent manager, Cedric Durst, could join the team. Durst, a former major league outfielder, managed at Omaha in 1949. On their way to Duluth, the team bus broke down at Romer (?). The Dukes' manager Russ Rolandson came to the rescue with their team bus to bring the beleaguered Grand Forks club to Wade Stadium. The Chiefs lost the game 6-5.
At Sioux Falls, umpire Paul Burke forfeited a game to the visiting Eau Claire club. In the 8th inning, Burke called Canaries outfielder, Howie Boles, out on strikes because he had stepped out of the batter's box 3 times. An argument ensued with the umpire, S.F. manager Ike Eilbracht and Boles. After fans began to throw cushions on the playing field, Burke had seen and heard enough and forfeited the game. At the time of the uproar, the Bears were leading 8-1.
5-15-50: Grand Forks first baseman, Nick Ananias, was ejected, by an umpire, from a game vs Duluth
5-17-50: In their home opener, F-M lost to Eau Claire 11-7 in front of a crowd of 4,240 in 50-degree weather.
5-18-50: Superior (6-1) held a ½ game lead over Eau Claire (6-2).
Grand Forks was finally able to stage their home opener. It was the first game for new manager Cedric Durst and they welcomed him by walloping Eau Claire 15-3. Chiefs' pitcher Mike Schultz only allowed 4 hits.
5-25-50: Superior (10-1) held the league lead 3 ½ games ahead of Eau Claire (8-6).
The Blues ended their 9-game winning streak when they lost to Sioux Falls 11-5. At the time, they had 5 players batting over .400 and 2 more hitting higher then .300.
During a game between St. Cloud and Grand Forks, the teams' pitchers allowed 27 walks. Four Rox' hurlers combined for 14 and 2. Chiefs' pitchers gave up 13 free passes, but Grand Forks won 8-6.
5-50: Because of the weather problems, the league delayed the teams' cut down date to June 10. On that date, the clubs had to pear their roster to 17 players.
5-27-50: Eau Claire's 6'5" pitcher Nick Papadenis, who had been recovering from a sore arm, was removed from a game against Grand Forks even though he had not allowed a hit. In the first 4 innings, Papadenis had not allowed a base runner. However, in the 5th, he walked the first 3 batters to face him and was taken out for a relief pitcher.
5-31-50: Aberdeen ended their 7-game losing streak by scoring 11 runs in the 4th inning of a game vs F-M. In the inning, they had 8 hits, gained 2 walks and the Twins committed 3 errors. The final score was 13-6.
6-1-50: Superior (13-5) held a ½ game lead over Sioux Falls (14-7).
6-2-50: Duluth lost outfielder Al Fahringer for about 2 weeks when he suffered a severely sprained ankle in a play at 2ndbase.
6-50: Duluth released relief pitcher Joe Svetlick who was one of the survivors of the Duluth Dukes bus accident in 1948.
6-3-50: Eau Claire catcher Bill Casey hit a grand slam and a triple to lead the Bears to a 12-2 victory over Superior.
6-4-50: Howie Boles led league hitters with a .400 average. and Ken Landenberger (Sup) was 2nd at .375. In pitching, Walt Koehler (SF) had a 4-0 record and Matt Saban (DF) and Ray Kirchoff (St C) had 3-0 marks.
6-7-50: John Andrews' bunt single in the 5th inning was the only hit for Duluth off Eau Claire's Nick Papadenis in the first game of a double header. The Bears won 8-1 with the only Dukes run resulting from 2 walks, a balk and an infield out. Papadenis was a Northwestern U. graduate and had sustained a wound in the war.
6-8-50: Sioux Falls took possession of first place with a 19-9 record. Superior (15-11) was 3 games out.
6-9-50: Duluth lost their outfielder John Andrews for 3 to 4 weeks when he was struck on his arm by a pitched ball in St. Cloud. A week earlier, the Dukes first baseman, Floyd George, ended his season with a broken bone in his left wrist caused by a hard slide into 3rd base.
6-50: Duluth called upon Cardinals' "trouble-shooter" Ollie Vanek to review the fortunes of their club as it has been in 7thor 8th place most of the season. Vanek helped the team right itself in the middle of the 1949 campaign.
Because his pitching staff was populated with sore arms, Eau Claire manager Andy Cohen had to require his shortstop Al Facchini and outfielder John Karpinski to toe the rubber.
6-13-50: Chris (Bud) Dubia, a survivor of the Duluth 1948 bus crash, returned to the Dukes in an attempt to induce some offense into the team. In was reported that he had been given "a thorough test" as a first baseman by Cardinals' scouts in St. Louis. Due to surgery, one of his legs was about one inch shorter than the other. Dubia was the 3rd of the injured players to return to baseball. The others were Bernie Gerl, a catcher who suffered serious facial and body burns and Bud Vanderwier, a pitcher.
6-15-50: Sioux Falls (24-12) led Superior (17-14) by 4 ½ games.
After 2 fly balls fell unseen in the outfield and a relay throw rolled to the wall because infielders could not see it, umpires cancelled the Grand Forks at Duluth contest because of the heavy fog. Only 2 Chiefs' players had batted. At Superior, the fog also cancelled their game after 1 ½ innings.
6-16-50: Aberdeen's Irv Hall singled in the first inning in a game against Duluth. It was the only hit allowed by the Dukes' Andy Schultz as Duluth won 1-0. Schultz also scored the only run after doubling in the 3rd inning.
6-17-50: Superior turned in a triple play in Aberdeen. In the 8th inning, Blues' first baseman Ken Landenberger grabbed a liner off Irv Hall's bat (1st out), touched first (2nd out) and then threw to second (3rd out). Both runners had taken off on a hit-and-run play.
In Fargo, another triple play was turned on the same day. With the bases loaded in the first inning, St Cloud first baseman Ray Rosenkranz caught Frank Noble's drive, tagged first and then threw to 3rd base to catch a runner who thought Rosenkranz had trapped the drive. The Twins argued the call, but to no avail. The triple plays were the 35th and 36th in league history.
6-21-50: Eau Claire outfielder Bill Bruton ended his 13-game hitting streak when he was stopped by Jim Howard of Aberdeen. However, he did steal his 28th base in 47 games.
6-22-50: Sioux Falls (27-15) held a 1 ½ games lead over St. Cloud (25-16).
A section of the outfield fence at Fargo was blown down by winds gusting up to 76 miles per hour.
6-23-50: Grand Forks was finally able to score a run after 22 scoreless innings at the hands of Eau Claire, Superior and Duluth. In the 5th inning of the game vs the Dukes, they scored 4 runs which led to an 11-2 win.
6-29-50: St. Cloud took over the league lead with a 31-17 record which was 2 ½ games better then Sioux Falls.
7-6-50: Sioux Falls re-took first place over St. Cloud.
Grand Forks second baseman, Wally Reed, had problems with various members of Sioux Falls club during a series between the two teams. On July 6, he had a short pushing match with Canaries' catcher Rube Walker and in the 7th, Reed was involved in brief fisticuffs with Howie Boles after he tagged him out on a successful pick off at 2nd base.
7-7-50: Two league pitchers had reached double digit win totals. Ray Kirchoff (St. C) won his 11thgame with a 9-1 win over Superior and Bob Harting (SF) posted his 10th victory on a 3-1 triumph over Grand Forks.
7-13-50: St. Cloud (39-23) was one game ahead of Sioux Falls
Mid-July-50: Red Kress replaced Bennie Huffman as manager at Superior. Kress had been the skipper at Sacramento (PCL) until June 1. Huffman had managed Waterloo (Three-I) in 1949 and left with the Blues in 3rd place.
7-14-50: Bud Dubia was released. He had attempted to return from leg injuries sustained in the 1948 Duluth bus crash. He appeared in 28 games at first and in the outfield, for the Dukes, but only batted .179. In his last game, he hit a home run.
7-15-50: Superior had 22 hits, 20 runs and held Sioux Falls scoreless. The Blues' Jim Paylica had 5 hits.
7-16-50: Richard Chrichton of Grand Forks pitched a 2-0 seven-inning no-hitter over St. Cloud. It was the first game of a double header and, in the 2nd game, Bill Bethel throw a 2-hit 9-2 win for the Chiefs.
7-19-50: John Griggs (Dul) pitched a 7-inning one-hitter over Sioux Falls. In the 2-0 victory, Griggs only allowed a "scratch" single by Bob Hanny in the 3rd inning. The Canaries won the first game, of the double header, 3-1 on Albie Plain's 3-hitter.
7-20-50: St. Cloud (42-28) led Eau Claire (42-30) by one game.
7-27-50: St. Cloud (47-29) had a 3 games lead over Eau Claire (44-32).
Reno Barbisan had not pitched for St. Cloud since June 10 because of a "sore" arm. He appeared in relief in the 9th inning of a game against Sioux Falls and retired the 3 batters he faced.
8-3-50: St. Cloud (51-33) held a one game lead ahead of Eau Claire (50-34).
8-4-50: Jack Virkstis of Superior struck out 14 in a 10-inning 4-3 win over St. Cloud. To that point in the season, he easily led the league's pitchers in strike outs.
8-5-50: Eau Claire's Harry Whitney pitched all 15 innings of a game vs Duluth. The game was stopped with the score tied at 4-4 because of a curfew.
8-10-50: Eau Claire took over first place with a 55-36 record which was 2 ½ games ahead of Sioux Falls and St. Cloud.
8-11-50: Before the Eau Claire-Aberdeen game, a 100-yard race between the Bears' Bill Bruton and the Pheasants' Hank Savage was held. Bruton won by at least 10 feet and was clocked at 10.2 seconds.
8-12-50: Superior second baseman, Pel Austin, suffered a double fracture in a finger after colliding with a base runner during a game with F-M. The Blues then acquired former Indiana U. athlete Del Russell who most recently was the Wisconsin State League's all-star shortstop.
8-50: Eau Claire outfielder Bill Bruton was named the league's
rookie-of-the-year. He received 46 votes from managers and baseball
writers. In 2nd place was his teammate Bob Trowbridge with
42 votes. Bruton, who was 20, had attended A.H. Parker High School in
Biringham, AL. He was signed by the Boston Braves after playing for
the semi-pro San Francisco Sea Lions.
A group of Superior Blues backers gave the team a check for $2,035 to purchase all of the tickets of their home game against Grand Forks. They then allowed any fan into the game free. The promotion drew more then 5,000 people to the game.
8-17-50: Ray Peet, Sioux Falls pitcher, gained 2 victories during a double header vs Sioux Falls. The Canaries won both games 6-3 as Peet pitched all 7 innings of the first game, but needed relief help in the nightcap.
8-20-50: Through this date, all of the infielders and outfielders of the St. Cloud club had played every inning of every game.
.8-24-50: St. Cloud (63-42) had a lead by one game ahead of Eau Claire (62-43). [due to almost illegible print quality of source document, Eau Claire's win-lost record may have been incorrectly stated]
8-31-50: St. Cloud (68-44) led Eau Claire (66-50) by 4 games.
9-1-50: Superior manager and former MLB infielder, Red Kress, became a pitcher when he hurled all 11 innings of a game which the Blues lost 5-3.
9-2-50: Superior pitcher Jack Virkstis pitched his 3rd shut out in-a-row when the Blues beat Duluth 4-0. He struck out 9 and scattered 6 hits.
9-7-50: St. Cloud (71-50) was hanging on to a ½ game lead over Eau Claire (72-52).
9-10-50: St. Cloud (72-51) won the league pennant by only ½ game over Eau Claire (73-53) as they both lost their final game. If Eau Claire would have won the last game with Superior (they lost 7-6), they would have finished first. The Rox had lost their final contest 7-1 to Duluth.
Dick Anderson (Super) won the batting championship with a .345 average and in 2nd was Gordon Bragg (GF) who had .327 mark.
The ERA crown went to Bob Hartig (SF) with a 2.44 mark. In 2nd was Ray Kirchoff (St. C) at 2.48. Kirchoff also had a 19-6 record and Jack Virkstis (Super) and Hartig were at 18-9 .
In round one of the playoffs, Superior beat Eau Claire 3 games to one and Sioux Falls swept St. Cloud 3 games to none.
In the final round of the playoffs, Sioux Falls beat Superior 4 games to one to win their 2nd league playoff championship. .
[Numerous league notes that appeared in the 1950 editions of "The
Sporting News" were not legible in the digital copies available
on-line. Therefore, those notes could not be included in these
There were questions over the winter if Grand Forks would be able
to field a team in 1951 after the Yankees dropped them as an
affiliate. However, in February, the Chiefs were able to sign with
the Philadelphia Phillies. This meant that all of the league clubs
had affiliations: Aberdeen - Browns; Superior - White Sox; Eau Claire
- Braves; St. Cloud - Giants; Sioux Falls - Cubs; Sioux Falls -
Oklahoma City (Texas) and Duluth - Indians.
Due to financial problems in 1949, the Superior franchise was leased by the White Sox in 1950 and they reportly lost about $17,000. Therefore, the White Sox gave the club back to Superior businessman before the 1951 season. The local owners operated the team with the White Sox only supplying player talent.
It was also reported that the Aberdeen franchise lost "heavily" in 1950, but businessmen in the city raised nearly $14,000 in a 2-week fund drive to provide capital to operate in 1951. This induced the Browns to continue their affiliation.
4-51: The league teams trained in the following areas: Aberdeen - Pine Bluff, AR and began training on April 2 (stayed at The Grider Field Hotel); Duluth - Cedar Rapids, IA on April 12 (Montrose Hotel); Eau Claire - Myrtle Beach on April 2 (Myrtle Beach Hotel), SC; Fargo-Moorhead - Lakewood, NJ on April 12 (Rockefeller Mansion Hotel); Grand Forks - Darlington, SC on March 27 (Darlington Hotel); St. Cloud - Sanford, FL on April 1 (Mayfair Inn); Sioux Falls - Carthage, MO on April 8 (Drake Hotel); Superior - Madisonville, KY on April 16 (Grand Hotel).
Former league manager Dave Bancroft entered his 4th year as a manager in the American Girls Baseball League. He had previously managed women teams in South Bend and Chicago. For 1951, he would be the skipper of the Battle Creek, MI club.
Club presidents for 1951 were: Aberdeen - Cy Kasper; Duluth - Frank Wade; Eau Claire - R.B. Bezanson; Fargo-Moorhead - C.T. Tollefson; Grand Forks - J.C. Holte; St. Cloud - F.J. Bernick; Sioux Falls - Ken Guenthner and Superior - Clyde Thomas.
The only 1950 league manager who returned for 1951 was Superior's Lee Eilbracht.
5-3-51: At Fargo, 8,044 paying fans attended their opening game against Aberdeen (another 1,000 children were admitted free). It was a record for a class "C" league and was the product of much work by the new Twins' general manager Jack O'Connor. In the pre-season, a drive spearheaded by Jake Mauer and Cliff Stadium sold 5,000 advance ticket by April 18. The executive vice president of the club, Loren Oliver, also launched a face lift for Barnett Field. They added modern bathroom facilities, a new fence, re-roofed the grandstand and completed many other minor repairs which would have cost an estimated $18,000 to $20,000. Most of the actual work was done by volunteer architects, construction workers, plumbers, painters and just plain fans. Most of the materials were donated. "If a fan couldn't contribute material or money to his campaign, he volunteered his free time and often they worked until late in the night," said O'Connor. Fargo also purchased additional bleachers that seated 3,200 from a local college. Still, over 1,000 fans had to stand during the game.
The Twins' Jack Wilcox pitched a 2-hit 8-0 victory. Opening day, as was the case with all games (except Sundays), were broadcast on one or two of the local F-M radio stations. In 1950 and 1951 that station was KVOX. O'Connor, who in 1950 headed the Bristol, CT, club in the Colonial League, felt that the broadcasts helped attendance. In addition, he correctly predicted the future cooperation between television and baseball: "when the fad wears off, TV will actually help baseball in much the same way as radio does." He said that even though he had lost his job in 1950 when the Bristol team folded as a result of poor attendance which was blamed on the televising of major league games in the area.
5-51: A White Sox farm hand, Luis Garcia, who was paid $10,000 to sign, refused to report to Superior. He had been in the White Sox training camp and returned to his home country of Venezuela because of homesickness. He was then assigned to Colorado Springs (Western) who ordered him to report to the Blues.
5-10-51: Eau Claire was in first place with a 4-1 record and was followed by St. Cloud at 5-2.
Aberdeen hurler, Mike Dillon, suffered a fractured cheek bone and other facial injuries when he was struck in the face by a line drive off the bat of Eau Claire's Horace Garner.
5-11-51: Duluth manager and pitcher, Orie Arntzen was hospitalized with "a coronary condition".
5-15-51: Charlie Saverine (Grand Forks) hit a grand slam during a game with F-M.
5-17-51: St. Cloud ((11-3) led Superior (8-3) by 1 ½ games.
Duluth manager Orie Arnizen returned to his team after being hospitalized.
5-21-51: Bernie Wenitski of Grand Forks hit a grand slam vs Superior.
5-23-51: Bob Murray (SF) hit a grand slam against Duluth.
Paul Mesich (St. C) ruptured a blood vessel in his pitching arm when he slide into home plate. He had a 5-0 record at the time.
In the 8th inning of a game vs St. Cloud, Sioux Falls manager Lee Eilbracht swapped relief pitcher Chuck Jorgensen, who had pitched a scoreless 7th, with left fielder Jowie Banicki who did not record an out after facing 5 batters. Eilbracht then swapped them again returning Jorgenson to the mound and Banicki to left field. Jorgenson finished the game as pitcher, but the Canaries lost to the Rox 16-8.
5-51: Military service took 3 Eau Claire players from their team - pitchers Cliff Statham and Gil Dailey and shortstop Wally Cusack.
Sioux Falls pitcher, Wayne Tjaden, was placed on the disabled list because of a pulled tendon in his right arm.
5-28-51: Bob Harmon (F-M) hit a grand slam vs Sioux Falls.
5-31-51: St. Cloud (23-6) had a 4 games lead over Superior (17-8).
F-M led the league teams in attendance in May with 26,332 for 13 home games. That was an average of more then 2,000 per game.
6-1-51: Ken Blackman resigned as athletic director of Buena Vista College to join Duluth as a pitcher and coach. At that time, he had 9 years of experience as a player and manager.
6-2-51: Duluth's business manager, Duke Zilber, resigned. He had been appointed in January.
Early June, 1951: Superior manager and former Chicago White Sox coach, Buster Mills, who was serving an indefinite suspension for pushing umpire Don Spillman formed a plan to sit in his car, at the ball park, with a "walkie-talkie" and receive game updates from a player on the bench. Mills was then going to give the player strategy and instructions which would be passed on the rest of the team. League President Herman White learned of the scheme and immediately vetoed it. "I don't think it was Mills' idea, though," said White. "I believe Business Manager Bill Berg thought it up. At least, it was original."
6-7-51: St. Cloud's (23-10) lead was down to 1 ½ games over Superior (20-10).
6-51: Superior manager Buster Mills returned to his team after League President White lifted his suspension after 4 games. White did not fine Mills because he felt the suspension would do more to discourage another offense.
6-10-51: Dan Phalen (Super) hit a grand slam in a game against Grand Forks.
6-11-51: Ken Blackman became manager at Duluth. He replaced Orie Arntzen who remained as a pitcher on the team.
6-14-51: Eau Claire (25-12) led the league by percentage points over St. Cloud (26-13) and Superior (24-12).
6-15-51: George Sentementes (EC) hit a grand slam against Grand Forks.
6-17-51: Sioux Falls lost their double play combination due to injuries. On June 16, shortstop Bill Courtney was spiked in the groin and on the 17th, second baseman Roy Hallingshead was spiked on his foot. Hallingshead returned to the lineup one week later but was hit in the head in a game on his 2nd day back.
6-18-51: Baseball clown/comedian Max Patkin performed before a double-header at Fargo. A crowd of 4,367 attended.
In his last game before entering the Army, Sioux Falls third baseman, Bob Murray, hit a home run in a game against Duluth.
6-20-51: Bill Simunek (St. C) hit a grand slam against Aberdeen.
6-21-51: Eau Claire (30-13) led Superior (27-15) by 3 ½ games.
6-25-51: Bud Pfeiffer (EC) hit a grand slam during a game vs Grand Forks.
6-28-51: Eau Claire (36-15) held a 4 games lead ahead of Superior (31-18).
6-29-51: At Sioux Falls, a crowd of 2,700 turned out for the 2nd Annual Shrine Charity Game which was won by F-M 10-4. All of the proceeds were given to the Crippled Children's Hospital in Minneapolis.
6-30-51: Eau Claire hurler, Bob Brown, struck out 15 Duluth hitters during a Bears 9-4 victory. Brown twice got out of no out, bases loaded jams.
7-5-51: Eau Claire (44-16) had an 8 games lead over Superior (34-22).
Eau Claire hosted an exhibition game against the Milwaukee Brewers (Amer. Assoc.) in front of approximately 4,000 fans. The Bears lost to the Brewers 8-2 as Billy Wolfe, a graduate of West Bend High School, allowed EC only one hit in 4 innings.
Early July, 1951: The league All-Star team was chosen to meet Eau Claire on July 17: manager - Buster Mills; C - Ted Forsyth, Chuck Sorber; 1b - Dan Phalen; 2b - Merv Holbeck, Dick Newberry, Frank King; 3b - Dave Rush; SS - Bob Harmon; OF - Terry Thomas, Horace Garner, Jake Crawford, Bob Pascal; P - John Brandreth, Art Webb, Jim Post; Util - Jack Pelosi.
7-8-51: Sioux Falls ended their 13-game losing streak by beating Grand Forks 5-4. Red Gisinger pitched an 8-hitter for the Canaries.
7-9-51: Through this date, F-M had drawn 65,377. If continued at that rate, they would have set a new league franchise attendance record.
7-12-51: Eau Claire (50-17) held a huge 10 ½ games lead ahead of Superior (37-25).
7-17-51: First place Eau Claire defeated the league's All Stars 7-6 in the annual All Star Game played in Eau Claire.
7-19-51: Eau Claire (53-19) led the league by 10 ½ games over Superior (40-27).
7-22-51: Aberdeen's Bud Swartz pitched a one-hitter over Duluth. The only hit was a slow roller to the shortstop by Bill Green, in the 5th inning, which he beat out. The Pheasants won 6-0.
7-26-51: Eau Claire (60-22) widened their lead to 14 ½ games ahead of St. Cloud (43-34).
7-27-51: Aberdeen manager Joe King was fired with the Pheasants in 6th place. His temporary replacement was pitcher Jim Post.
8-2-51: Eau Claire (64-28) had a 14 games lead over Superior (47-37).
Bill Simunek of St. Cloud hit a grand slam in a game vs Superior.
8-3-51: The grandstands, portions of the bleachers and equipment of the Aberdeen Pheasants and of the visiting Grand Forks Chiefs were destroyed by an early morning fire at the Municipal ball park in Aberdeen. The grandstand burned to the ground, but most of the bleachers were saved and the lighting system had only minor damages. The cause was not immediately known. The grandstand held: The Pheasant Inn - a $12,000 concessions stand, a dressing room, an office and rest rooms. Damage was estimated at $100,000 which included all of the Pheasants' baseball equipment except their road uniforms which had been sent to the cleaners just a couple of hours before the fire. Grand Forks lost all of their road uniforms, bats, gloves, shoes and other equipment. Insurance only covered one-half of the damage. Aberdeen catcher Ernie Choukalos and a fireman were hospitalized. Choukalos was burned on his face and hands while attempting to save some of the team's equipment. Just a few hours earlier, the park was filled with 4,636 fans who watched their Pheasants beat Grand Forks 7-6.
It was reported that "The debris were cleared away before the last embers had died." as at 10:00 the next morning, a cleanup party of hundreds showed up and cleared the fire site by 7:00 that night. More then 20 pieces of heavy equipment donated by local contractors assisted in the cleanup. The city offered the airport administration building as a concession stand, Northern State Teachers College furnished it's dressing rooms and showers for the players and Mobridge, SD, loaned their portable outdoor bleachers seating about 2,200 to the club for the reminder of the season. Just 3 days later, the park was the scene of the 16-team Junior State Baseball Tournament for boys under age 15 and the park lights were fully functional. And in just 4 more days, the Pheasants' season resumed at the park. The park was built as a WPA project in 1936 and made completely of wood. Days later, the firemen thanked all of the local people who helped them, especially Mrs. Claude Keeler, who organized a coffee and sandwich line that night for those who fought the fire. After visiting the site, long-time Aberdeen educator, Cy Holgate, said "It made me sick. I couldn't stay to watch."
Dick Mills of F-M, hit a grand slam against Sioux Falls
8-8-51: Eau Claire's (66-30) lead was 13 games over Superior (50-40).
League President Herman White was honored with "a night" at a double header in Eau Claire. Attendance was 1,910.
With two on and no one out, Duluth catcher Duane Sorber caught a pop-up of an attempted bunt by St. Cloud's George Smith. Sorber fired to first for the second out and the first baseman's relay to second completed the triple play.
8-13-51: Ed Anderson of Duluth had a no-hitter going with 2 out in the 9th inning. Aberdeen's Bill Hurst then doubled to drive in 3 runs and tie the score at 3-3. Duluth won in 11 innings with Orie Arntzen getting the win.
8-16-51: Eau Claire (68-34) had a 12 games lead ahead of St. Cloud (55-45).
8-51: Eau Claire's 26-year-old outfielder Horace Garner was named the league's rookie of the year. . In 2nd place was Duluth's Dick Newberry.
Joe Holte, who was president of the Grand Forks team since 1938, announced that he would not continue in that post for 1952. He had also "retired" in 1942 but was called back in 1946 when the league resumed operations after the war.
8-18-51: A double steal, in the 11th inning, by Grand Forks' Sam McCain (from 3rd) and John Gallis (from first) broke up a scoreless duel between the Chiefs' Ed Zinker and St. Cloud's Paul Mesich. The Chiefs won 1-0.
8-23-51: Eau Claire (72-37) held a 15 games lead over Superior (55-50). The lead was suffienct to crown the Bears the 1951 Northern League Champs.
Bruce Ogrodowski was named manager at Aberdeen. He was a former Cardinals catcher and, until recently, was manager at Wichita Falls (Big State). He took over from Jim Post.
8-24-51: Fargo-Moorhead's attendance topped 100,000 for the 2nd time in club history.
8-27-51: Duluth's Murph Murszewski pitched his 3rdstraight league shutout. He beat F-M 3-0.
8-30-51: League champ Eau Claire (75-41) led St. Cloud (60-53) by 13 ½ games.
8-31-51: Murph Murszewski came within 5 innings of matching the league record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched. He gave up a run in the 12th inning of a game vs St. Cloud to end the streak at 39 2/3 innings. Art Dyck had the league record which was set in 1948.
9-3-51: At the close of the season, Eau Claire (77-44) had won the pennant by 12 games ahead of St. Cloud (64-55).
Horace Garner won the batting championship with a .359 average and in 2nd was Dan Phalen (Super) at .335.
Orie Arntzen had the best record of 12-3, but Don Jordan (EC) was at 16-6 and Art Vicital (F_M) had a 20-8 mark.
James Brown (GF) had the best ERA of 2.54. In 2nd was GF's Jim Brown with a 2.54 mark.
In the first round of the playoffs, Grand Forks beat St. Cloud in a best-of-5 by a count of 3 games to 2. In game 2, the Rox' Paul Mesich pitched a one-hitter as a single in the 9th inning was the only safety he allowed.
Superior forfeited their series to Eau Claire after they split the first 2 games because rain had postponed 5 consecutive games. Apparently, the decision was made because Eau Claire had won the regular season pennant.
Grand Forks won it's 3rd league playoffs crown by winning 2 straight over Eau Claire 21-1 and 24-10.
11-16-51: League President Herman White announced at a league
directors meeting of his intention to resign his post after the 1952
3-14-52: Fred Tschudin, who had caught and pitched in 30 games for the 1946 Grand Forks Chiefs, died in an Air Force training plane accident. He was born on May 19, 1922.
The league teams' training sites were as follows: Aberdeen - in Thomasville GA, roomed at the St. Louis Browns camp, training began March 24; Duluth - Pittsburg KS, at Broadway Hotel, on April 9; Eau Claire - Myrtle Beach SC, at Boston Braves camp, on April 7; Fargo-Moorhead - Cannellton IN, at Sunset Hotel, on March 29; Grand Forks - Laurinburg NC, at Colonial Court Hotel, on March 25; St. Cloud - Melbourne FL, at New York Giants camp, on April 1; Sioux Falls - Carthage MO, at Drake Hotel, on April 4; Superior - Madisonville KY, at Travelers Hotel, on April 14.
4-52: President White reiterated his intention to resign after the season. However, it was reported that he might agree to stay if some of the president's responsibilities were removed. It was suggested he could be chairman of the board with a vice president or handle some of the league's administrative details during a season. He had also planned to end his stay on Minor League Baseball's executive committee. However, it was said he had agreed to run for re-election because he felt loyalty to friends who urged him not to retire at such a critical time for the minor leagues.
The club presidents for 1952 were: Aberdeen - Cy Kasper ; Duluth - Frank Wade; Eau Claire - R.B. Bezanson; Fargo-Moorhead - Loren Oliver ; Grand Forks - W.A. Holt (?) ; St. Cloud - Frank Murphy; Sioux Falls - Ken Guenthner; Superior - Clyde Thomas
5-4-52: Herb Fleischer, pitcher for Fargo-Moorhead, allowed 6 home runs during a game with Aberdeen. It remained a league record. Aberdeen had 62 total bases for another record (9 singles, 1 doubles, 1 triples and 12 home runs). Finally, Aberdeen hit 12 home runs for yet another league mark.
5-9-52: Bob Myers (GF) hit 2 home runs and had 7 RBI in a game that ended in a 19-19 tie with Aberdeen. It was called after 8 innings because of "the curfew".
5-10-52: All of the home openers at Duluth, Superior, F-M and GF were rained out.
5-12-52: F-M's Frank Gravino hit a grand slam in the 8th inning of a game vs Eau Claire to give the Twins a 4-3 victory.
5-15-52: Superior (6-2) held a ½ game lead for first place over St. Cloud (6-3).
5-14-52: F-M drew 5,674 fans for their game against St. Cloud. It was the 2nd largest crowd in league history.
5-16-52: Superior scored 11 runs in the 6th inning on 5 walks, a hit batter, 2 wild pitches and 4 hits during a game with Sioux Falls. They beat the Canaries 14-9.
5-52: Grand Forks won the Jim Stout Trophy which was awarded to the city that had the largest crowd per capita on opening day. Grand Forks drew 2,864. Superior had 2,867 and F-M drew only 1,916.
5-17-52: Aberdeen held their home opener in the Pheasants' partially-refurbished ball park. They defeated Duluth 6-5.
5-18-52: Gideon Applegate pitched a 3-0 no-hitter for Superior over Sioux Falls. The righthander faced only 29 batters, walked 5 and struck out 6. One of the Canaries' base runners was thrown out attempting to steal, another was picked off first and a double play erased another. The crowd held their collective breath when George Beck's fly ball to right fielder Bob Bennett backed him up to the fence. Applegate, from Rumford, RI, was in his 4th pro season having played at Kingston (Border) in 1949-1950 and Waterloo (Three-I) in 1951.
5-22-52: Superior (12-3) held a 1 ½ games lead over St. Cloud (11-5).
5-23-52: Sioux Falls lost their first player to the armed services in 1952 when first baseman George Beck left the team to be inducted at Des Moines.
Gideon Applegate, in his first start after his no-hitter, struck out 11 Eau Claire hitters and allowed 8 hits in a 12-3 Blues' win.
5-26-52: Grand Forks completed an unconventional triple play during a game against Sioux Falls. In the 9th inning with 3 Canaries on base, shortstop Bob Myers fielded a ground ball and started a double play. After the 2nd out at first base, his teammates started trotting off the field thinking there were 3 outs. Runner Len Bourdet joined them and was caught in a run-down between third and home for the actual 3rd out.
5-28-52: Jim Trew quit as manager of Duluth after a 6-13 start. The third baseman/outfielder was succeeded by club business manager, Ken Blackman, who had managed the team during the latter part of the 1951 season. Blackman was slated to be the bench manager with catcher Carlton Nebel acting as "field captain".
5-29-52: Superior (16-4) had a one game lead over St. Cloud (16-6).
5-30-52: The league game between Aberdeen and Grand Forks was played at Bismarck, ND. It was held under the auspices of the Bismarck Quarterback Club and drew more then 2,000. Aberdeen, who was the home team, won 4-2.
5-30-52: Sioux Falls beat Aberdeen 24-0 in the largest shutout in league history.
Superior outfielder, Bob Bennett, was hit in the head by a pitched ball from Duluth's Ed Staab in the 4thinning. He sustained a broken jaw.
5-31-52: Fargo-Moorhead manager Nick Cullup resigned. He had managed in the minors since 1941 at places such as Columbus, Milwaukee and Baltimore. The Twins were in a 3-way tie for 6th when he quit. It was reported that he drew his full year's salary at the time of his resignation. He was replaced by shortstop Bob Harmon.
6-1-52: Duluth outfielder, Dick Getter, hit a grand slam in the 2nd inning and a 2-run homer in the 8th during a 14-9 Dukes win over F-M.
The starting catchers for both Duluth and St. Cloud were ejected from a game by the umpires for excessive arguing. The Rox' catcher/manager Charley Fox got the thump on ball and strike discussions and the Canaries' catcher, Don Biebel, was thrown out for disputing a play at 2nd base.
6-2-52: Sioux Falls' Johnny Mudd had one out in the 9th inning of a game against Aberdeen and had not allowed a hit. Joe Mieres then singled, but the Canaries won easily in a blow-out 24-0. Mudd did not allow another hit, walked only one and the Sioux Falls defense did not commit an error.
6-3-52: Two Duluth infielders made cardinal errors in the bottom half of the 9th inning of a game vs Grand Forks. They forgot to call time before arguing with an umpire after a play. While shortstop Lowell Lay and second baseman Dick Newberry argued with the base umpire, the Chiefs' Stan Homer scored the winning run from 2nd base. The final score was 5-4.
6-4-52: John (Wes) Covington of Eau Claire hit a grand slam to help defeat Sioux Falls 6-4. He also had homered the previous night.
The governors of South Dakota and Minnesota had a bet regarding the result of the Aberdeen at St Cloud game. Sigurd Anderson (SD) bet a wild buffalo and C. Elmer Anderson (MN) wagered a bear cub. The wild buffalo became Minnesota state property as the Rox' Art Rosser pitched a 4-hitter to beat the Pheasants. The Minnesota governor was in attendance and the South Dakota governor was represented by General L.G. (Phil) Saunders. Both the buffalo and the bear were also present at the game.
6-5-52: Superior (22-5) held first place by 4 ½ games ahead of Sioux Falls (16-9).
Bruno Haas, one of the league's prime original organizers died in Sarasota, FL, at age 56.
6-6-52: As of this date, Superior had not lost a road game. They were 17-0 as visitors.
6-52: League President White upheld a protest by Superior regarding a game the Blues played vs Sioux Falls in May. The Canaries used a player, Walter Babcock, during the game but had not included his name on the list of eligible players exchanged by the team managers and umpires before the game. White ordered the game replayed from the start of the 9thinning (the point when Babcock came into the game). In the original finish, Sioux Falls had won in the 9th 7-6.
6-8-52: Ray Oppegard, who had a number of league connections over the years, died in Omaha at age 58. He had three brothers, two of which lived in Crookston and a 3rd was publisher of the Grand Forks newspaper. Oppegard graduated from Hamline U. in St. Paul, was a Northern League umpire in 1941-1942 and the business manager of the St. Cloud club in 1946. He died of coronary occlusion.
Fargo-Moorhead ended their 10-game losing streak by beating Duluth 4-3. In the 10th inning, former Duke and now Twin Bob Borchering, doubled to drive in the winning run.
6-12-52: Superior (29-5) led the league by 5 games over Sioux Falls (23-9).
Superior ended their 12-game winning streak when Duluth beat them 8-4.
New Duluth shortstop Keith Engstrom left the Dukes after leaving a note stating that he was done with baseball and moving to Miami.
6-13-52: Duluth stopped Superior's 18-game road winning streak by defeating the Blues 2-1 in a game called after 6 innings and 4 interruptions due to dense fog.
6-16-52: Gideon Applegate pitched a no-hitter (this one a 7-inning 9-0 win) against St. Cloud. On May 18, he had pitched a no-no against Sioux Falls. Applegate, who was African-American, struck out 11, walked 3 and contributed at the plate with 2 doubles. He was on option to Superior from Colorado Springs (Western).
6-17-52: Wes Covington (EC) hit a 2-run home run in the 2nd inning and a grand slam in the 6th to lead the Bears over Duluth 9-7.
Don Rosburg (Aber) pitched a one-hitter against Grand Forks. The only safety was a "fluke single" by pitcher Bob McGhee in the 3rd inning. The Pheasants won 8-0.
6-18-52: Dick Wright, an outfielder with Sioux Falls, sprained his ankle severely and pulled a tendon while scoring a run. He was expected to be out of action for a least 2 weeks.
6-19-52: Superior (33-8) had a 3 ½ games lead over Sioux Falls (29-11).
F-M turned a triple play in a game vs Sioux Falls. Shortstop Bob Borchering picked off a low liner in the first inning, stepped on 2nd base and then threw to first to get the runner there.
6-20-52: Superior catcher Chuck Wiles suffered a severe concussion when he was struck by a ball thrown by Eau Claire shortstop Henry Aaron. Aaron was attempting to complete a double play after Wiles had been forced at 2nd.
6-22-52: Grand Forks' Johnny Miller had 6 RBI in a game against St. Cloud which the Chiefs won 11-8. He hit a grand slam and a 2-run single.
6-23-52: Gideon Applegate threw a 2-hitter against Sioux Falls for a 4-0 victory. He struck out 11.
6-26-52: Superior (36-11) was leading Sioux Falls (32-14) by 3 ½ games.
6-29-52: Playing before 5,052 fans, which was the largest crowd in Sioux Falls since 1947, the Canaries won the continuation of the May 17 protested game by beating Superior 8-7 in 17 innings. In a 2nd game, they beat the Blues 2-0 in a 7-inning affair.
6-30-52: Les Vandeney (SF) homered in the 13th inning of a game against Superior to beat the Blues 2-1. The victory moved the Canaries into first place for a short time.
7-3-52: Superior's (38-16) lead was at 1 ½ games over Sioux Falls (37-18).
In a league meeting, the teams turned down a proposal to play the rest of the year under a split season. Aberdeen, Sioux Falls, St. Cloud and Superior said "no" and Duluth, Grand Forks and F-M, voted "yes". Eau Claire abstained. The idea was made in an attempt to increase sagging attendance, however, the gate totals had actually increased over last year.
7-4-52: Hank Aaron hit a grand slam for Eau Claire during a game vs St. Cloud.
League attendance stood at 257,120 compared to 252,413 last season. All teams improved their gates except Superior and F-M.
7-6-52: Gideon Applegate had another no-hitter going until the 8th inning of a game vs St. Cloud. However, Wayne Heim singled for the only safety allowed by Applegate during the 10-1 Blues victory. He walked 3 in the first inning and a passed ball later in the frame scored the only Rox' run.
Sioux Falls' Don Biebel hit a grand slam in a game against Grand Forks.
7-7-52: The Duluth pitching staff recorded their first shut out of the year when Ed Anderson beat Eau Claire 1-0.
7-10-52: Superior (43-19) held first place by 1 ½ games over Sioux Falls (42-22).
7-11-52: St. Cloud lost to Aberdeen 11-1 for their 9th straight loss.
Sioux Falls lost to Eau Claire 5-3 for their 5th straight defeat.
Superior lost to F-M 8-5 for the Blues 5th straight losing game and it was the Twins 5th straight win.
7-12-52: Superior ended their losing streak at 6 by defeating F-M 5-4
7-13-52: Carl Holser (Duluth) had a perfect day at the plate in the 2nd game of a double header against Grand Forks. In the first inning, he hit a 2-run home run against pitcher Tex McGhee; in the 4th he homered with no one on base against Dan Katulka and also doubled; in the 6th he hit a 3rd home run (one on) against Chiefs' manager Ed Murphy. The Dukes won the game 19-2.
St. Cloud ended their losing streak at 10 by beating Aberdeen 9-1.
7-14-52: Hank Aaron hit his 7th home run, of the season, in a game in Aberdeen which is won by the Bears 7-2. He was hitting .374 at the time.
7-15-52: Bernie Gerl, who was seriously burned in the 1948 Duluth bus crash, went on the Dukes active list and caught his first game on July 18.
7-16-52: Superior beat the league All Stars in the annual All Star game. Before a Blues' crowd of 5,318, they won 8-6 even though they were out hit 15-8 by the Stars. Defense was the All Stars' achilles heal as they committed 7 errors which accounted for 5 unearned runs. Jose Bustamente's 6th inning triple drove in the winning run for Superior.
7-17-52: Superior (48-21) still hung on to first place by 4 games over Sioux Falls (45-26).
7-21-52: Sioux Falls turned a triple play in the 9th inning to maintain an 8-0 shut out for starter Pat Randall. With St. Cloud runners on first and second, shortstop Len Bourdet leaped and snared a line drive off the bat of Mickey McBride. He tossed to second baseman George Holland who tagged 2nd and then relayed a throw to first to catch the runner attempting to return to base.
Eau Claire's Collins Morgan hit 2 home runs during a game vs Aberdeen. The 2nd was a grand slam which brought a 9-4 victory to the Bears.
After both teams had not scored since the 6th inning, Eau Claire tallied 4 times in the 15th inning to defeat Aberdeen 9-5.
7-23-52: Sioux Falls infielder, George Holland, suffered a torn ligament in his right shoulder when he slide into 2nd base. It was felt that he would not play for an "indefinite period"
7-24-52: Superior (52-22) had a 5 games lead over Sioux Falls (49-29).
Gib McGlothlin (Super) pitched a one-hitter over Duluth. The only Dukes' hit in the 6-0 game was by Joe Caffie in the 3rdinning.
Eau Claire's Bobby Brown pitched two 7-inning games and won them both over St. Cloud 6-2 and 5-0. He became the first Bear to accomplish that feat since 1946.
7-27-52: Jack Landis lost his 3-run home run and Aberdeen a game-winner when confusion reined on the Pheasants' base paths. With Bill Hurst on 2nd and Ray Murawski on first with 2 outs in the 4th inning, Landis launched a long drive toward center field. Murawski took off full tilt, but Hurst thought there was one out and held up. Murawski passed Hurst and was called out while the drive cleared the fence which nullified the 3 runs and the Pheasants lost the game 3-1.
7-28-52: Eau Claire had 20 hits with 5 of them home runs, received 11 walks from Grand Forks pitchers and drubbed the Chiefs 26-3. Catcher Julie Bowers hit 2 homers.
7-28-52: pfc. Walt Koehler, who had pitched in 26 games for Sioux Falls during the 1950 season, died in action in Korea. He was born in 1928.
7-29-52: Aberdeen scored 6 runs in the 3rd inning which led to an 11-3 win. Ray Murawski had a grand slam.
7-30-52: Frank Gravino (F-M) drove in his 100th run of the season in a game against Eau Claire.
Superior turned a triple play during a game vs Sioux Falls. In the first inning, Blues pitchers walked the first 6 batters to face them. Then SF shortstop Len Bourdet lined to Superior shortstop Bill Forrest who stepped on 2nd base and threw to first to nail the runner there.
Whenever Superior had played at Sioux Falls in 1952, attendance was good. To date, the two teams had played before 20,647 Canary fans for an average of 3,441. One of the 3-game series drew 12,204.
7-31-52: Superior (57-26) held a 3 ½ games lead over Sioux Falls (54-32).
George Holland (SF) dislocated his left shoulder when he ran into Superior catcher Chuck Walsh while trying to score a run from 2nd base on a single. It was felt that he was done for the season.
8-5-52: While attempting to catch a fly ball, Superior's Hal Wallace fell and suffered a fractured left shoulder.
8-7-52: Superior (64-28) had a 8 games lead ahead of Eau Claire (58-38).
8-8-52: A bloop single by Grand Forks catcher Jerry Keaneman was the only hit off Duluth's Jim Snow. The Dukes won 10-1.
8-10-52: With the score tied at 9-9, Duluth's Duane Zimmer tripled and then stole home to win the game for the Dukes over F-M 10-9.
John Mudd (SF) threw a one-hitter, but lost 4-1 to St. Cloud. An infield single by Bob Schultz in the 7th inning was the Rox only safety. St. Cloud scored their 4 runs in that inning on a hit batter, 4 walks, an error and the Schultz hit.
8-11-52: Eau Claire lost two of their regular players when first baseman Dick Engquist was struck in the face by a bat during pre-game drills and outfielder Collins Morgan suffered an injury to his "side" in the 5th inning.
8-12-52: Superior's only catcher, Chuck Walsh, sustained a hand injury in the 2nd inning and had to leave the game. Third baseman Jose Bustamente had to take over behind the plate.
8-13-52: Don Elston of Sioux Falls threw a 5-0 seven-inning no-hitter over Grand Forks. Elston struck out 16 batters and completed his 18th game in 1952. He was 15-6.
8-14-52: Superior's (68-33) lead became 8 games over Sioux Falls (60-41).
Rube Stehs (F-M) allowed only one hit while pitching a 2-0 victory over Aberdeen. The lone safety was an infield single in the 2nd inning by Al Mieres. Stehs did not walk anyone and struck out 6.
St. Cloud's Bobby Beier stole home in the 3rd inning of the Rox game against Superior. However, the Blues won 7-2.
8-16-52: Howard Simmons (F-M) and Walt Babcock (St.C) dueled for 16 innings to a 1-1 tie. Then the Twins' Carmen Cozza tripled and scored on an error giving F-M a 2-1 win.
8-19-52: Hank Aaron was leading the league in hitting with a .350 average. Joe Caffie was 2nd at .342.
Alfredo Ibanez (Super) had the best record in the league at 16-3. Don Jordan (EC) was 2nd at 10-3 and Gordon Roach (EC) and Walt Yowell (Super) were at 12-4.
8-20-52: Tony DeLaurentis (Aber) gave up only one hit to Grand Forks during a 5-0 win. Frank Major's safety in the 6thinning was the only blemish.
8-21-52: Superior (73-36) had a 8 ½ games lead over Sioux Falls (64-44).
8-24-52: Third baseman Earl Birnel was given the award for the most valuable player on the Sioux Falls Club ("The Horwitz Award").
8-26-52: Aberdeen set a club single-game attendance record as 2,671 fans paid for their final home game of the season. They also broke their season record that had been set in 1948.
8-29-52: Gordon Roach of Eau Claire pitched a 10-1 seven inning no-hitter against Aberdeen. The 6'6" 220-pounder from Toronto struck out 8 and walked 8. His wildness was the cause of the one run the Pheasants scored in the 3rd inning.
Superior's (76-40) lead was an unsurmountable 8 games over Sioux Falls (67-47) and Eau Claire (69-49).
Joe Caffie paced Duluth to a 6-0 win over Grand Forks with a grand slam in the 4th inning.
8-31-52: St. Cloud pitcher Jim Covello, who was playing second base in place of the service-bound Rollie Thomas, hit a grand slam in the 6th inning of a game vs Aberdeen. His homer drove in the only runs in the game for either team.
Superior's Gene Collins who had been playing outfield for the Blues after an injury caused him to stop pitching, returned to the mound and pitched a one-hitter against Grand Forks. The Blues won the 7-inning game 4-0.
9-1-52: League umpires Pete Jaworsky and Ted Groves were presented with inscribed billfolds containing $25 each by a committee of Sioux Falls fans for their service as the "forgotten men of the game".
Joe Caffie was named the league's Most Valuable Players by the writers in the league cities ("The Skeets Ebnet Momorial Trophy"). Hank Aaron was chosen as the league's Rookie of the Year.
Norm Johnson, who had left the Duluth team to take a brief one week vacation before reporting for duty in the military, flew back to Duluth at the request of Dukes' manager Ken Blackman in order to pitch a game which could place his team in the playoffs. He accomplished his goal with a 3-hit 4-1 victory over Superior. Johnson returned home and entered the Army the next day.
Duluth's Eddie Staab won 3 games during the last week of the season which ended his season with 12 consecutive wins.
Superior won the league pennant with a 81-42 record which was 7 games better then 2nd place Sioux Falls (73-48).
The batting championship went to Joe Caffie with a .342 average. In 2nd was Hank Aaron at .336.
Alfredo Ibanez had the league's best record at 18-4 Don Elston had an 18-6 mark. The ERA crown went to Elston with a 1.85 mark and in 2nd was Ibanez at 2.26.
In the first rounds of the playoffs, Superior defeated Eau Claire 2 games to one and Sioux Falls beat Duluth by the identical games count of 2-1.
Superior won the playoff championship by defeating Sioux Falls 3
games to none. It was the first time since 1948 that a team had won
both the regular season and playoff titles.
"The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball" - 2nd Ed., edited by Lloyd Johnson and Miles Wolff, pub: Baseball America, Inc.
Northern League Records - 1971 Edition, compiled and edited by Howe News Bureau, Chicago
The Professional Baseball Players Database 4.0, pub: Old Time Data, Inc.
"The Sporting News"
"Spartan Seasons" by Richard Goldstein
"Hits 'Plentiful as Grasshoppers' " by Tom Hawthorn [
www.tomhawthorn.com ]; from
2005 SABR publication "Dominionball - Baseball Above the 49th"
Stearns History Museum
"Aberdeen American News"