The Racine Journal-Times Sunday Bulletin from Racine, Wisconsin on October 21, 1956 · Page 66
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The Racine Journal-Times Sunday Bulletin from Racine, Wisconsin · Page 66

Racine, Wisconsin
Issue Date:
Sunday, October 21, 1956
Page 66
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FIRST BASEBALL GAME PLAYED HEREIN WO Third Ward Club Had Best Team in Town In 1880; Plenty of Support in Those Days First recorded baseball In Racine was played in 1870 and in the years since then this city has been represented by numerous clubs—often with noteworthy success on the playing field but seldom with any sustained support at the box office. To trace Racine baseball step by step through the years would require many columns of space but let's hit some of the high spots: Abbut the first team on the Racine baseball scene was the Actives, organized in 1870. The lineup included fellows like Frank Mitchell, Fred Coe, W. E. Duncomb, S. H. Washburn, W. G. Barker. E. E. Cahoon, George F. Bull, and Horace Weeks . . . Ten years later the best team in town was the Third Ward club with Arthur Pugh, Charlie and George Ganzil (who later did well in organized baseball, Charlie with the Boston Nationals and George with Minneapolis of the American Association), Chester F i t e, George Harris, Chris Mack, Ted Cullen, George Hetzel and George and William Holbome. The Third Warders played at Holbome's Grove near Sixteenth and Racine streets... Two Teami in 1882 There were the Maple Leafs, who began playing in 1882 and had such home town talent as Frank Bassinget, Charlie Tabbert, Mike and Paul Bohn. Herman Sheffield, Jack Niesen and Dave Williams—and then Ra cine Blues, .who played for about a dozen years (starting in 1882), at the old brick yard grounds on the Northside and featured such players as Harry Miller, George Herzog, Pete Kohlman, and Duke Herchen ... The Excelsiors fielded a strong team in 1876, with young players like Frank Mack, Elihu Wilson, Charles Tappling and William Larson . . . And then there were the topnotch Racine College teams of the 1880's who competed against Northwestern, Beloit College, University of Wisconsin and others in the Academic League. Around 1890 a group of young players banded to form a co-operative type baseball team which played at Reiser's Park, north of Rapids Drive and east of the Chicago and Northwestern tracks. Each player chipped in $10 to help pay for the fence around the park and a contractor built the stands in return for an interest in the club. Surprisingly, after the first six games the team was out of debt as the fans turned out in large numbers. John Sieb managed that team and its players included John McCue, George Herzog and Jimmy Blatz . . . Players imported Belle City Club was organized in 1891 and fielded a baseball team at a new ball park located on Seventeenth street. Jack Olle, a pitcher, and Frank Bassinger were among the Ra cine youths on the team and TOE CHAMPS—The amateur ball team champions of 1910 were Klinkerts Colts, managed by John Carls. Members were, first row, left to right. Otto Wernicke, catcher: Edward Larsen, mascot; Louis Wascher, pitcher; second row, Adolph Larsen, scorekeeper; Ben Peterson, first base­ man and captain; Carls, manager; Edward Peil, pitcher; George Eckert, second base; top row, Frank Hayek, right field; Frank Harrigan, third base; John Roeschen, center field; Frank Patton, president; Frank Groeling, short stop; Albert Larsen, left field. 45 Years of Expert Motoring Service to the Racine Public In 1921 Michael and August Kupper built the original service station at 1234 Douglas Avenue. It was the first two pump station on the west side of Douglas Avenue . . . and the only station on that side of the street from Racine to Cudahy. In 1928, the present station, a new and modern building, was erected at 1304 Douglas Avenue . . . where today "Al" and "Ed" are still giving Racine motorists the finest in Motoring Service and Expert Repairs. AUTOMOTIVE REPAIRS Large Selection of FISHING EQUIPMENT, GUNS and SHELLS AI Jacob Partner Distributors for the Complete Line of U. S. ROYAL TRUCK and PASSENGER TIRES Ed Menosky Partner KUPPER riRE and MOTOR SERVICE "Where You Con Buy PUGH Clipper Gatoline 1304 Douglot Avt. Diol ME 2-2007 there were imports like Ed Shamberg, Doug Young and Bill Reynolds, who were brought in from Milwaukee. This team was disbanded in 1893, leaving the field to the Racines at the brickyard. The latter club then joined a league with Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Kenosha, Jefferson and three Chicago clubs — the Marquette, Spaldings and Gunthers. The lineup included Jack Olle, George Herzog, Jimmy Blatz, George Chriss, Bill Larson, John McCue and Jack Niesen. Ironically, Clarence (Ginger) Beaumont of Honey Creek sought a tryout with the Racine team and was turned down. Later Ginger became a baseball immortal with Pittsburgh in the National League. In 1900 the American League was organized and Connie Mack managed the Milwaukee club. Mack's team won the pennant that year and decided to pick up some extra money barnstorming. Racine had a pretty good semi-pro team and challenged Mack's nine to a game. The game was played on the diamond located in the center of the bicycle racing track on the southwest side (Washington Avenue, Taylor and Sixteenth street). Fred Sugden, manager of the Racine team, brought in Ade Joss, one of the highest rated pitchers in the majors, to hurl for Racine. Peter Herman was his catcher that day. To Mack's chagrin Racine beat Milwaukee — though Connie asked and got a return game in which Milwaukee won handily. Joss Beat Waddell This game set the pattern for a number of outstanding baseball exhibitions with imported pitching talent. For instance, there was the game some time later, when Joss pitched for Racine against Rube Waddell, who was hurling for Kenosha. Racine and Joss beat Kenosha 4-2 though the great Waddell struck out 19 Racine batters. Around 1908 a factory league was formed in Racine and it played some good baseball. Ed Hilker and Guy Dixon were among the standout players ... A year later Racine took a franchise in the Wisconsin-Il­ linois League, which included teams in Green Bay, Appleton, Oshkosh, Fond du Lac, Rockford and Freeport. Casey Stengel, now manager of the New York Yankees, competed in that league. So did such well known players as Ray Eberle, Artie Bues and Fred Luderus. The W-I league club disbanded in 1914 and in 1916 there was an unsuccessful attempt to keep a Racine team going in the Wisconsin State League. Bad weather, which hurt attendance in the latter part of the season, downed this one . . . In 1920, Harry Cohen, a successful operator of semi-pro baseball teams in Chicago, was brought here to run the Racine Belles men's team. Cohen lined up a topnotch club to play such teams as KenOsha Simmons, Beloit Fairies, Madison Blues and the strong Chicago semipro clubs. Cohen's success prompted Racine to join the famed Midwest League, the famous outlaw circuit which lured players from the majors in 1923. In the league with Racine were Canton, Kenosha, Sheboygan, Beloit and Massilon. High Powered Baseball They played high powered baseball and Racine was represented in those days by such fellows as Roy Keating, a former Yankee pitcher; Bert Gallia, of the Washington Senators; Rube Erhardt, a southpaw pitcher who went up to Brooklyn and Cincinnati; Joe Doyle, Bud S i 1 c o 11 and Big Ed Sweeney. High salaries and low gate receipts caught up with the Belles, though, and the Racine team disbanded in 1922. Then Cohen entered the Wisconsin State League with Kenosha, Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Madison and Two Rivers and he continued in the State League through 1930. In 1929 Harry brought Dazzy Vance and the Brooklyn Dodgers to Racine for an exhibition game and in 1930 he arranged a game here with Connie Mack's champion Philadelphia Athletics. Cohen's 1930 Belles were one of the greatest baseball clubs in Racine baseball history and also the last strong team of "imports" to represent this city. Its lineup was made up almost entirely of players who had been in the major leagues or the high, minors. The pitchers were Doug McWeeney, Pittsburgh Pirates; Gob Buckeye, Cleveland Indians; and a youngster named Clarence Pocan. On the infield were Roger Kilby; OUie O'Mara, Brooklyn Dodgers; Freddie Walter; and Rube Lutzke, a product of the American League. The outfield had Eddie Corey, Oscar I (Lefty) Edwards and Goose- Neck Murphy. Murphy also lielped George Dobbins with The Racine Journal-TimeB Sunday Bulletin the catching. That Belles team won the Wisconsin State League title and walloped Wisconsirt Rapids, Central State League winner, in a state championship series. Then the club disbanded. Thoroughly skilled in the art of moving . . . with all the equipment for safe packing ond hauling . . . Sorensen Movers have been serving Racine since 1911. • Local and Long Distance Moving • Packing • Shipping • Crofing • Modern Warehouse • General Trucking • We haul all loads to and from Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Missouri on our own vans and are agents for Trans-American Van Service, Inc., in all other states. Our lov/ interstate rates will save you money. FOR FREE ESTIMATES DIAL ME 3-7759 SORENSEN 1111 Lockwood Ave. nllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllillllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllilllillililllllllr over 40 years of cycling service to the citizens of Racine! I 101A Maxon started his career in Ml IT IV the bicycle business when he secured a position with Leon R. Rice, owner and operator of the L. R. Rice Cycle Co., 1024 State Street. They sold and repaired motorcycles and bicycles. In 1939 Mr. Maxon bought the business from Mr. Rice and in 1941 his son Jerry Maxon joined him in the venture. In 1949 a completely new and modern show room and repair shop was built at the present location, 912 Stote Street. • RUDGE BICYCLES "irilain't Btst Bicycle" Y J John Maxon and his son Jerry have lOQQy built the Rice Cycle shop into a headquarters for bike riders. Here the finest repairs are guaranteed and the latest news and developments on new cycling trends are received and passed on to Rocines avid bicycling fans. Racine's Largest Selection of QUALITY BICYCLES • SCHWINN BICYCLES "Tht World's Finest — Made in America" Racine's Leading Bicycle Shop Since 7976 RICE CYCLE "WE SERVICE WHAT WE SELL" TAYLOR VELOCIPEDES 912-914 STATE ST. AMERICAN WHEEL CHAIRS DIAL ME 4-4554

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