Semipro baseball's golden era (1935-1941): a tale of two cities.
As Oklahoma did not obtain statehood until 1907, the first baseball teams formed by white merchants in Duncan and Enid in the early 1890s were within Oklahoma Territory, the domain of various Plains Indian tribes. (2)
The first account of diamond doings in Duncan date to 1894 when druggist Coke Williams helped establish the city's first baseball team. (3) The first professional baseball player to develop on Duncan's sandlots was Ned Pettigrew, one of at least twelve pre-1941 Duncan semipros who also played in the Major Leagues. (4) In his half century in baseball, Pettigrew pitched for the Boston Bloomers as "Miss Maude Nelson" in 1902; had a cup-of-coffee appearance for the 1914 Buffalo Blues of the Federal League; was Carl Hubbell's first professional manager during 1923-1924 at Cushing, Oklahoma in the Oklahoma State League; and was a baseball scout until his death in Duncan in 1952 at age seventy. (5)
Up north in Enid, the six Frantz brothers were the backbone of the Enid teams that claimed the Oklahoma Territorial baseball championship in 1895. Frank Frantz, appointed territorial governor by his former Rough Rider Colonel Teddy Roosevelt, was the last territorial executive before statehood. His brother, Walter "Homerun" Frantz, was the leading hitter on Harvard University's Ivy League champions in 1901. (6)
Before their golden years of semipro baseball, both Duncan and Enid fielded lower division Minor League teams. Most of the leagues they joined were short-lived. However, the Enid Harvesters of the 1922 Class C Western Association arguably had the best win-loss percentage of any long season Minor League team in professional baseball history with 104 wins and 27 losses, .794. (7)
By 1927 Minor League baseball was on a steep decline in Oklahoma. From a peak of twenty-one teams in 1923, only four cities fielded teams in 1927. However, Oklahoma was a very active baseball state with hundreds of adult sandlot teams. John Holland Sr., president of Oklahoma City's Western League club, agreed to loan his ballpark to entice the state's top sandlot teams for a season-ending tournament. The local newspapers, the Daily Oklahoman and the Oklahoma City Times, were the initial sponsors. It became an annual tournament that ran until 1948. A similar arrangement had worked well in Denver, where the Denver Post had sponsored an annual tournament since 1915. It ended in 1947. (8)
The most significant sporting event in the history of Oklahoma unfolded September 12-18, 1927, the first state championship baseball tournament. The twenty-four invited teams included those from Duncan and Enid. Neither team placed in the money. Pitching for Duncan's Halliburton Cementers, who were sponsored by the company that is now the world's largest oil well servicing company, was twenty-two-year-old Roy "Peaches" Davis. He earned a 6-1 decision over the Fletcher team. Oklahoma City's Cook Lumber eliminated Duncan before Peaches could pitch again. But Peaches had taken a giant step toward being a professional baseball player. In the Minor Leagues in 1930, he would room with another southern Oklahoman--cottonpickin' farmboy "Dizzy" Dean of Spaulding, Oklahoma. In 1937 the two Oklahoma buddies faced off in a ten-inning, opening-day pitching duel. Peaches pitched for the Cincinnati Reds and lost, 2-0, to Dizzy and his Cardinals. (9)
Enid did not win its first Oklahoma state tournament championship until 1934. Behind fireballer, Milt Perry, Enid defeated Oklahoma City's Wilcox Refiners, 1-0, in the championship game. (10) Earlier in the tournament, Enid defeated Purcell, 7-0. Sharing mound duties with Perry was Harry "The Cat" Brecheen, the nineteen-year-old left hander of future St. Louis Cardinals fame. (11)
1935: GOLDEN ERA OPENER
When the Oklahoma state tournament began on August 9, 1935, in Oklahoma City, the state's defending champion Enid Eason Oilers were playing by invitation in the Denver Post "Little World Series" in Denver, Colorado. Enid finished in the money in the tournament won by Denver's United Fuel team. (12) Upon their return to Oklahoma, Enid lost their first round game in the Oklahoma state tournament to the Seminole Redbirds, 7-6. Seminole quickly exited the double elimination tournament with 2 losses. (13)
After an opening-round 8-2 win over Oklahoma City's Anderson Prichard Oilers, Duncan suffered a 4-1 loss to the Perry team and a 14-2 loss to El Reno squad, sadly sending them on their way to the initial National Semipro Baseball Congress' national tournament in Wichita, Kansas. Meanwhile in the Oklahoma City tournament, the Enid Eason Oilers sailed through the loser's bracket and easily defeated Perry twice, 10-5 and 19-3, to become the first team to be a repeat winner of the state championship. (14)
Enid joined Duncan as two of the thirty-two teams from twenty-four states in the historic Wichita national tournament to crown the first national semipro champion. The brainchild of Wichita promoter Ray "Hap" Dumont, the tournament has been held annually in Wichita since 1935 with the same double-elimination format. More than seven hundred future Major Leaguers--including such notables as Satchel Paige, Allie Reynolds, Johnny Pesky, Billy Martin, Whitey Herzog, Tom Seaver, Ron Guidry, Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, and Roger Clemens--have played in the tournament. For the past half-century, most of the teams have been comprised of nonprofessional collegians playing on summer teams. (15)
Oklahoma state champion Enid lost two of its first three games and were eliminated by a Shelby, North Carolina team. (16) Duncan was the surprise team of the tournament as it won 6 of their first 7 games to reach the tournament finals. Their only loss was 3-1 to a team from Bismarck, North Dakota whose pitcher was Satchel Paige. In addition to Paige, the Bismarck team also held Negro League stars pitcher Chet Brewer and center fielder Quincy Troupe--all of whom integrated with the otherwise white team. With Paige, Bismarck won 4 games in the tournament, including the 5-2 championship game victory over Duncan. In thirty-nine tournament innings, Paige struck out 66 batters and allowed only 29 hits. (17) After the final game, Duncan shortstop Joe Hassler, who had earlier played in the American League for the Athletics and the Browns, was asked to evaluate Satchel Paige. He replied:
I never faced a pitcher as fast as he is. I think only Lefty Grove in his prime could come up with Paige in sheer speed. Satchel is not only a speedball pitcher, he's as smart as they make 'em in the box.... Paige would certainly make a great pitcher right now in the big leagues. (18)
1936: DUNCAN'S FIRST NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
The Enid Eason Oilers and the Duncan Halliburton Cementers split 20 games during the 1936 season. This increased competition was deemed to give them an unfair advantage over most of the other Oklahoma sandlot or semipro teams who played a much easier schedule. Officials of the Oklahoma state tournament decided that something had to be done to level the playing field. Their answer was to split the 1936 state tournament into an "amateur" division with sixteen teams and a "semipro" division with eight teams. To accommodate conflicts with the Denver and Wichita tournaments, a split tournament schedule was adopted. (19)
The 1936 Oklahoma state tournament got underway with Enid winning its first three tournament games before departing for Denver. (20) Led by Satchel Paige, the Negro League All-Stars breezed through the Denver Post tournament with 7 consecutive victories. Paige's All-Stars won the championship game by defeating Enid with a 7-0 win, while allowing only 2 hits with 18 strikeouts. (21)
At the Wichita national tournament, Enid defeated Bismarck, North Dakota, the defending champion, 8-2. Satchel Paige and his black teammates were not on the Bismarck roster as they were in 1935. (22) Then the Buford, Georgia Bona Allens dropped Enid into the losers bracket with a 5-4 victory. (23) Duncan eliminated archrival Enid, 15-4, and then won its first national championship when they defeated Buford in the finals, 4-1. (24)
Halliburton's owner, Earle P. Halliburton, superstitiously stayed away from the national championship game "because it looks like I'm a jinx to the team." (25) After the team returned to Duncan, all office and shop work was suspended for an hour while Halliburton employees congratulated the players and awed at the championship trophy that was nearly three feet high and weighed forty pounds. That afternoon Mr. Halliburton might have made baseball history when he dispatched the company's seven-passenger airplane on two round trips south two hundred miles along the old Chisholm Trail to Ft. Worth, Texas so that his team could board a special Pullman train car for Houston, Texas. Major League baseball teams traveling by air was still more than a decade away. (26)
After winning the national championship, Duncan had been invited as the only non-Texas team to participate in the Houston Post tournament. After two easy wins, the Cementers lost to Grand Prize Brewers, 5-2, and then were eliminated by Thompson Gulf Oil to end their successful 1936 season. (27)
Returning to Oklahoma City on September 6 for the resumption of the semipro division of the Oklahoma state tournament, Enid won its third straight state championship by twice defeating the Shawnee Blackwell Oilers, 10-2 and 6-0. (28)
1937: DUNCAN AND SATCHEL CLASH AGAIN
What played out in the 1937 Denver Post tournament may be the all-time highlight of semipro baseball. Duncan and Enid joined fourteen other teams from six states, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Grover Cleveland Alexander made his final tournament appearance as the manager of Denver's McVittes Restaurant team. Enid was eliminated after their 4-1 loss to Alexander's team, but Duncan would reach the finals and play a key role in making baseball history. (29)
Other notables in the tournament included "Slinging" Sammy Baugh of later professional football fame who played well for the Pampa, Texas Oilers. Also, Rogers Hornsby, the recently deposed St. Louis Browns manager, hit the first home run of the tournament in his first at-bat for Denver's Bay Refiners. (30) Allie Reynolds was suited up but was not called upon to pitch due to the early elimination of his Colorado state champion Leyden Miners. (31)
In the spring of 1937, Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo gave Satchel Paige $30,000 to recruit as many Negro League players as it would take to assure that Ciudad Trujillo's team would win the Caribbean championship. Notable players on the team with Paige included Josh Gibson, Chet Williams, Bob Griffith, Leroy Matlock, Cy Perkins, and Cool Papa Bell. During the championship series, won by Trujillo's team, Trujillo's army encircled the baseball field. After returning to the states, the team barnstormed its way from the east coast to Denver in August. Before Satchel Paige finally arrived in Denver, his teammates had won their first 6 games and were awaiting the final game to eliminate the loser's bracket team. (32)
Duncan advanced through the loser's bracket and surprisingly defeated Satchel Paige and his team, 6-4. In the second game of an unanticipated double-header, Negro lefty Leroy Matlock won an 11-2 victory. For being the winning pitcher of the championship game, Matlock received a $1,000 bonus check from the Denver Post. Fifty years after the game, an unidentified member of the championship team told a writer that several of Satchel's teammates purposely made fielding errors in the Duncan win so that Satchel would not earn the $1,000 bonus. (33)
On January 12, 2004, in the Stephens County Museum in Duncan, Oklahoma, I interviewed ninety-five-year-old Jesse Welch, Duncan's shortstop in the 1937 Denver Post tournament. Also adding his comments about the tournament was the team's batboy, J. D. Carter. Welch scoffed at the story about the purposeful errors. Welch, who was awarded a pair of Florsheim shoes for being the tournament's best infielder, regarded lefty Leroy Matlock as a better pitcher than Satchel Paige. The toughest pitcher ever for Welch to hit was Oklahoman Carl Hubbell, whom Welch batted against in exhibition games in Oklahoma. Welch and Carter also recalled the epic brawl in the tournament game when Cool Papa Bell slid into and spiked Sammy Hale--the Pampa, Texas third baseman and former Major Leaguer. Because of Bell's running speed, Welch said that he always played Bell "two steps in." (34)
Prior to both teams playing in the Denver Post tournament, Duncan and Enid played a 9-game series to determine the Oklahoma state semipro champion. With the series tied at four games each, Duncan won its first state title by defeating Enid with a 10-4 victory in the final game. The winning pitcher in the championship game was Les Munns, a former pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals who would become the nation's most outstanding semipro tournament pitcher during the next few seasons. (35)
After not winning a tournament championship in 1937 in either Oklahoma or Denver, Enid surprisingly swept 7 straight games in the Wichita national tournament. After Buford, Georgia, eliminated defending champion Duncan, 2-1, to prevent an all-Oklahoma final, Enid won its first national championship behind former House of David pitcher Bus Talley beating Buford with a 7-4 victory. (36)
With pitcher Les Munns earning four tournament victories, Duncan won the 1937 Houston Post tournament. As in its initial entry in 1936, Duncan was the only non-Texas team entered. (37)
1938: TRIPLE TOURNAMENT CHAMPION DUNCAN
Although Enid's Eason Oilers were the reigning national semipro champions as the 1938 tournament season got underway, Duncan's Halliburton Cementers won all three of the tournaments that they entered. After touring on their team bus throughout the southwest United States during the early season, the red-uniformed Cementers from Duncan made their first tournament stop in Enid. There they won their second straight Oklahoma state semipro championship in a six-team field. In the tournament finals, Duncan vanquished the hometown Eason Oilers, 7-5 and 13-2. Former House of David pitcher Bus Talley recorded the last victory that earned the Cementers top prize money of $562.27. (38)
The team buses for Duncan and for Enid then brought the players six hundred miles northwest to the Denver Post tournament, where fourteen teams from five states competed for the championship. With no team comprised of Negro League veterans, the competition was much more even than that in 1937. Enid's manager, Nick Urban, was back in the tournament for the fifth time, hoping for his first tournament championship. Urban's team beat the Colorado Springs Orioles in the opening round, but this was not to be Enid's year. Archrival Duncan went undefeated, ending with the Denver Lakesiders in a one-sided championship game and a 13-2 final victory. Leading players for Duncan were catcher Otto Utt, outfielder Bruce Sloan, second baseman Joe Hassler, and pitcher Les Munns. (39)
In August of 1938, the Enid Eason Oilers were the defending champions of the Wichita national tournament. After losing a second round game by 7-4 to a North Carolina team, Enid battled through the losers bracket to meet Buford, Georgia's Bona Allens, who were also once defeated. The Georgians prevailed in the championship game, 5-4. (40) The tournament's All-American team included Johnny Pesky, the flashy shortstop for Silverton, Oregon, and Eddie Waitkus, the first baseman for Lisbon Falls, Maine. (41)
Skipping the national semipro tournament in Wichita, Duncan was successful in defending their Houston Post tournament title of 1937. The Cementers entered the tournament with a season record of 34-12. They made a trip to south Texas earlier in the season and had a relatively disappointing 5-4 record against the area's best teams. (42) After being defeated, 2-1, earlier in the tournament by the Conroe Wildcats, the Cementers clinched the title by defeating the Wildcats twice in the tournament's final games, 6-4 and 4-3. The Cementers right fielder Frank Clift was the tournament's leading hitter at .571. Pitcher Les Munns won 3 games with his sole loss being to Conroe. (43)
1939: PUERTO RICO WORLD SERIES
On July 17, 1939, Enid defeated Duncan, 6-3, in the title game of the semipro division of the Oklahoma state tournament to halt a run of two straight state titles by Duncan. (44) The Enid team landed a new sponsor, the Champlin Refinery of Enid and its oil baron owner, H. H. Champlin. Now known as the Enid Champlin Refiners, they joined defending champion Duncan in the Denver Post tournament. Enid rolled to their only Denver Post championship with 7 straight wins, including the clincher over the defending national semipro champion Buford, Georgia Bona Allens, 8-7. Earlier in the tournament, Enid had significant victories over contenders Duncan, 16-10, and a traveling Negro team, the Ethiopian Clowns, 13-8. (45)
Upon their triumphant return to Enid, the Champlin Refinery team was honored at a banquet. Their twenty-year-old second baseman Vernon "Jeep" Gilchrist received the Most Valuable Player Award, as picked by the fans. Left fielder Dallas Patton was presented with the Most Valuable Player Award from the Oklahoma state tournament's semipro division. Third baseman Ernie Holman was presented with the Denver Post tournament's Most Valuable Player Award. These three players were having their baseball days in the sun. None of them would ever play in the Major Leagues. (46)
In preparation for the Wichita national tournament, Enid scheduled 3 games at home against the Buford, Georgia Bona Allens who had defeated Enid in the national championship game in 1938. On their home field, Enid was swept by Buford. Enid did not play Buford in Wichita. After losing their opener to Mount Pleasant, Texas, Enid was eliminated by Duncan, 5-3. Until that game Enid had defeated Duncan eight out of nine times in 1939. (47)
Behind the timely hitting of former Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillie, Hugh Willingham, and the relief pitching of Jim Parker, Duncan defeated Mount Pleasant, Texas for their second national championship. (48) Accompanying the national championship trophy was $5,000 for the Duncan players and an all-expense-paid trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to play a scheduled 7-game series in the "first Semipro World Series" against Guayama, Puerto Rico. The Guayama team's most renowned player was shortstop Pedro "Bull" Cepeda, the father of future Baseball Hall of Fame member Orlando "Baby Bull" Cepeda, who turned two years of age during the series. (49)
Duncan won the first game of the series, 3-1, behind Jim Parker's hurling, giving up only two hits. A triple by Cepeda in the final inning prevented a shutout by scoring a pinch hitter. The Guayamans battled back and won a double header, 5-2 and 2-0. Former Major League pitcher Lil Stoner, with relief help from Parker, then defeated Guayama, 5-3, to even the series. Parker was defeated, 2-0, in the fifth game as Duncan failed to score Hugh Willingham after he hit two long doubles. Guayama prevailed, 5-3, in the sixth game on September 16,1939, to win the world's first semipro championship, 4 games to 2. The Guayama team won a cash prize of $5,000 and a diamond-studded, gold trophy. In addition to their expenses being paid, the Duncan players split a check for $1,500. (50) Interviewed in Duncan on January 12, 2004, Duncan shortstop Jesse Welch lamented about his team not hitting during the series. But he brightened up considerably when recalling that he had been lucky at cards on the long trip back to Duncan and had won most of the prize money from his teammates. (51)
1940: WORLD CHAMPION ENID
In late May 1940, the 1939 Oklahoma state semipro champion Enid Champlin Refiners announced a heavy schedule for the month of June with top-flight opponents from four states. These opponents, most of whom were defeated by Enid, included the Memphis Red Sox of the Negro Major League; the Stearman Aircraft of Wichita, Kansas; the 1939 national semipro tournament runner-up Mount Pleasant, Texas; the Grand Prize winner of Houston, Texas; and several top Oklahoma semipro teams, including Duncan. The team was also featured in advertising materials, including highway billboards of its sponsor, Champlin, who was a leading gasoline marketer in the Great Plains. (52)
In 1940 the silver anniversary of the Denver Post tournament had eighteen entrants from nine states, including Duncan and defending champion Enid. One of Enid's pitchers, George Milstead, had pitched a one-hitter for the 1924 Chicago Cubs. He was still making his left-handed magic for Enid when he defeated the Ethiopian Clowns, 9-1. Les Munns was once again the Denver Post tournament's leading pitcher as he had been in 1938 when he led Duncan to the championship. In 1940 he pitched for the Buford, Georgia Bona Allens, who defeated Duncan in the final championship game, 15-14. Earlier in the tournament, Duncan eliminated Enid, 10-2. (53)
Neither Duncan nor Enid played in the Oklahoma state tournament in 1940. However, Enid qualified for the Wichita national tournament by defeating the Stillwater Boomers, 7-6. Duncan had automatically qualified as the defending national champion. (54) In 1940 Enid won its second national title at Wichita. They won in large part because Enid's manager, Nick Urban, had lured Mount Pleasant, Texas' star pitcher, Vance Cauble, to Enid. Cauble won 4 games in the tournament to tie Satchel Paige's figure for the 1935 champion Bismarck, North Dakota. (55)
After losing their final tournament game, 4-3, in a bitter ten-inning battle to the Sanford Spinners of South Carolina, Duncan finished a disappointing fifth at Wichita with a 5-2 record. (56) On September 7 and 8, 1940, the national champion Enid Champlin Refiners played the Duncan Halliburton Cementers as a farewell to their fans in Enid before departing for Puerto Rico. It would be the last 2 baseball games ever played by the Duncan Halliburton Cementers who prevailed 7-2 and 12-8. In the final Sunday evening game, the Cementers center fielder Doc Graves hammered 4 home runs in four consecutive trips to the plate. (57)
The rumor persists in Duncan today that a telephone conversation between Earle P. Halliburton and President Franklin D. Roosevelt convinced Mr. Halliburton that he didn't want his team gallivanting around playing baseball as the nation and his company prepared for war. (58) In early September of 1940, Roosevelt had requested War Department officials to induct 60,600 guardsmen, including those of the Oklahoma National Guard, for one year of training. (59)
Enid's national champions journeyed to Puerto Rico and defeated the island champion Guayama team in a 7-game World Series. In the seventh game, Enid staged a 4-run rally in the ninth inning to defeat, 7-5, the club that won the 1939 title from Duncan. Pinch hitter George Milstead, as relief for Vance Cauble, won his own game at bat in the ninth inning when he singled to score Dallas Patton and Cecil McClung with the winning runs. (60)
When the world semipro champion Enid Champlin Refiners team returned from Puerto Rico, a seventy-five-car caravan met the team bus in Wichita, Kansas. Booster stops were made in the eight small towns on the 120-mile return from Wichita to Enid on Highway 81, the Chisholm Trail Highway. On October 10, 1940, three hundred baseball fans packed the banquet hall in Enid's Oxford Hotel to honor the team. The world semipro championship trophy was presented to oil baron and team sponsor, H. H. Champlin. (61)
1941: GOLDEN ERA END
As baseball season began in 1941, a world war was at the United States' doorstep. The Denver Post tournament also felt the effects of change with fewer semipro teams and the initial appearance of teams from military bases. Having played their last games at the end of the 1940 season, the Duncan Halliburton Cementers were noticeably absent. One of Duncan's veteran players, outfielder Bruce Sloan, joined the Buford, Georgia Bona Allens. On their march to the championship in the Denver Post tournament, Buford eliminated Enid, 8-2. (62)
For the first time, a national semipro champion successfully defended their title in the Wichita national tournament. The Enid Champlins won all 7 of their games. Their only scare was in the quarterfinals against Buford before Enid scored 7 runs in the ninth inning to win, 8-3. Enid defeated the Waco, Texas Dons in the championship game, 9-3. Playing right field for Enid during the tournament was Duncan's veteran outfielder, Frank Clift. Enid's shortstop Red Barkley was declared the tournament Most Valuable Player. Enid pitcher, Jugs Thesenga, was voted the leading hurler of the tournament. Both Barkley and Thesenga would make cup-of-coffee appearances in the Major Leagues during World War II. (63) Another future Major Leaguer on the Enid roster was second baseman Monty Basgall, who played three seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates after World War II. (64) In May of 1998, I interviewed separately by telephone Red Barkley of Waco, Texas, and Monty Basgall of Sierra Vista, Arizona, who reminisced to a stranger about a summer of baseball so long ago.
Enid declined to defend their international title in a 7-game series that had been scheduled in Puerto Rico. The reason given was that four key Enid players were unable to make the trip because of winter jobs. Any job was important in those pre-World War II days, particularly if the job was in an industry that could lead to a deferment from military duty. (65)
Then unknown to those watching the final games at the end of the 1941 season, semipro baseball's golden era quietly ended. Throughout the nation after World War II, new avenues of entertainment diminished the fan appeal that semipro baseball once possessed. Spring and summer baseball nights in Duncan and Enid along the old Chisholm Trail have never been the same.
1. John W. Morris and Edwin C. McReynolds, Historical Atlas of Oklahoma (Norman OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1965), p. 40.
3. Jay C. Upchurch, "Baseball Was Here First and It Is Here to Stay," Duncan Banner, undated newspaper article in the Stephens County Museum, Duncan, Oklahoma.
4. In addition to Ned Pettigrew, pre-World War II Duncan Halliburton Cementers semipro players who also played in the Major Leagues were pitchers Roy "Peaches" Davis, Augustus Francis "Lefty" Johns, John Paul "Admiral" Jones, Les "Big Ed" Munns, Richard "Dick" Stone, Clarence "Steamboat" Struss, Lil Stoner, and Jim "Lefty" Walkup and position players Joe Hassler, Bruce Sloan, and Hugh Willingham.
5. "Baseball Wasn't a Hobby, It Was Pettigrew's Life," Duncan Banner, undated newspaper article in the Stephens County Museum, Duncan, Oklahoma.
6. Charles Saulsberry, "The Frantzes, Gentlemen and Ball-Players!" Daily Oklahoman, undated newspaper article in the Oklahoma Heritage Association archives, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
7. Lloyd Johnson and Miles Wolff, The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 2nd. ed. (Durham NC: Baseball America, 1997), p. 229.
8. Bob Burke, Kenny Franks, and Royse Parr, Glory Days of Summer: The History of Baseball in Oklahoma (Oklahoma City OK: Oklahoma Heritage Association, 1999), pp. 26-27.
9. Burke, Glory Days of Summer, pp. 27-29.
10. Burke, Glory Days of Summer, p. 34.
11. Daily Oklahoman, August 25, 1934.
12. Jay Sanford, The Denver Post Tournament (Cleveland OH: Society for American Baseball Research, 2003), pp. 54-55.
13. Burke, Glory Days of Summer, p. 34.
14. Burke, Glory Days of Summer, p. 34.
15. Brandi Patak and Derek Dukes, 67th Annual National Baseball Congress World Series Information Guide (Wichita KS: Deb Scheer, 2001), pp. 29-32.
16. Burke, Glory Days of Summer, p. 34.
17. Dean A. Sullivan, Middle Innings: A Documentary History of Baseball, 1900-1948 (Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998), pp. 157-160.
18. Pete Lightner, "Just in Sport with 'Pal'," Wichita Eagle, August 28, 1935.
19. Burke, Glory Days of Summer, pp. 34-35.
20. Burke, Glory Days of Summer, p. 35.
21. Sanford, The Denver Post Tournament, p. 58.
22. Wichita Eagle, August 20, 1936.
23. Wichita Eagle, August 23, 1936.
24. Wichita Eagle, August 27 and 31, 1936.
25. Duncan Banner, August 31, 1936.
26. Royse Parr and Bob Burke, Allie Reynolds: Super Chief (Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Heritage Association, 2001), p. 137. The New York Yankees were Major League pioneers in converting from travel by rail to air beginning with spring training in 1947.
27. Duncan Banner, August 31, September 6 and 9, 1936.
28. Burke, Glory Days of Summer, p. 35.
29. Daily Oklahoman, August 7, 1937.
30. Sanford, The Denver Post Tournament, pp. 60-63.
31. Parr, Allie Reynolds, p. 72-73.
32. Sanford, The Denver Post Tournament, p. 60-61.
33. Sanford, The Denver Post Tournament, p. 64.
34. J. D. Carter and Jesse Welch, interview by the author, Duncan, Oklahoma, January 12, 2004.
35. Burke, Glory Days of Summer, p. 35.
36. Official Guide National Semi-Pro Baseball for 1938 (Wichita KS: National Semi-Pro Baseball Congress, 1938), p. 14.
37. Houston Post, August 7, 1938. The article is about Duncan defending its 1937 championship.
38. Burke, Glory Days of Summer, p. 38.
39. Sanford, The Denver Post Tournament, p. 66.
40. Official Guide National Semi-Pro Baseball for 1939 (Wichita KS: National Semi-Pro Baseball Congress, 1939) pp. 19-23.
41. Official Guide National Semi-Pro Baseball for 1939, p. 14.
42. Houston Post, August 7, 1938.
43. Houston Post, August 24, 1938.
44. Daily Oklahoman, July 18, 1939.
45. Burke, Glory Days of Summer, p. 40.
46. Although Duncan could claim eleven semipro players in the pre-World War II era who played in the Major Leagues, Enid had only five. These were pitcher George Milstead and infielders Jim Keesey, Red Barkley, Monty Basgall, and Hugh Willingham. Willingham also played for Duncan.
47. Burke, Glory Days of Summer, pp. 40-41.
48. Burke, Glory Days of Summer, p. 41.
49. Official Guide National Semi-Pro Baseball for 1940 (Wichita KS: National Semi-Pro Baseball Congress, 1940), p. 33-40.
50. Ibid., pp. 33-40.
51. Carter and Welch interview.
52. Daily Oklahoman, May 30, 1940.
53. Sanford, The Denver Post Tournament, pp. 73-75.
54. Official Guide National Semi-Pro Baseball for 1941 (Wichita KS: National Semi-Pro Baseball Congress, 1941), p. 120.
55. Bob Broeg, Baseball's Barnum (Wichita KS: Wichita State University, 1989), p. 87.
56. Duncan Banner, September 1, 1940.
57. Duncan Banner, September 9, 1940.
58. J. D. Carter, Pee Wee Cary, Gail Davis, and Jesse Welch, interview by the author, Duncan, Oklahoma, January 12, 2004. These former employees of Halliburton, discussed the rumor with the author at the Stephens County Historical Museum.
59. Duncan Banner, September 2, 2004.
60. Official Guide National Semi-Pro Baseball 1941, pp. 33-40.
61. Enid Daily Eagle, October 8 and 11, 1940.
62. Sanford, The Denver Post Tournament, pp. 76-80.
63. Joseph L. Reichler, The Baseball Encyclopedia, 10th ed. (New York NY: Macmillan, 1996), pp. 760 and 2426. Barkley played in 20 games for the 1943 Brooklyn Dodgers. Thesenga had a o-o record in 5 games for the 1944 Washington Senators.
64. Reichler, The Baseball Encyclopedia, p. 765. In 200 games during the 1948, 1949, and 1951 seasons, second baseman Monty Basgall batted .215 for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
65. Burke, Glory Days of Summer, p. 49.
TABLE 1. Duncan and Enid Semipro Tournament Championships and Runner-Ups (1935-1941) TOURNAMENTS DUNCAN ENID Oklahoma State Champion 1937, 1938 Champions 1935, 1936, 1939 Runner-Up 1939 Runner-Up 1937, 1938 Denver Post Champion 1938 Champion 1939 Runner-Up 1937 Runner-up 1940 Wichita National Champion 1936, 1939 Champion 1937, 1940, 1941 Runner-Up 1935 Runner-Up 1938 Houston Post Champion 1937, 1938 Did not enter Puerto Rico World Series Runner-Up Champion 1940 1939
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|Date:||Sep 22, 2006|
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