Today is the 71st anniversary of the Japanese Empire
Today is the 71st
anniversary of the Japanese Empire's attack on Pearl Harbor. The
attack took place about three months after the end of the second season of the
Flashback Friday takes a look back at
the 1942 Wisconsin State League home opener for the Papermakers at Spencer
Street Field and the first game in wartime for the Papermakers.
Very little mention is made of the war in the sports pages.
Save for a bit about the pregame ceremony that included an appearance by
a certain historical figure with ties to Appleton.
Eddie Dancisak's crew was scheduled to have Opening Day at home on May 14, but
that game and a home game on May 15 were rained out.
They went on the road for three games before returning to Appleton for a
game on May 19 against the La Crosse Blackhawks.
This week, we have the game story and Following
Through, a column by Post-Crescent
sports writer Dick Davis. Both
articles appeared on the May 20, 1942.
Papers Begin Home Season
Bonness Winning Hurler in 12-8 Triumph; Meet Hawks Again Tonight
The Appleton Papermakers got off on the
right foot in their home Wisconsin State League debut at Spencer street field
last night by trimming the La Crosse Blackhawks, 12 to 8.
Manager Eddie Dancisak's 1942 Class D edition took a big lead early in
the game to make it rather uninteresting but still nearly 600 enthusiastic fans
stuck it out for 2-3/4 hours in weather more suited to football and got their
money's worth by seeing everything in the books.
And a few things that aren't.
The Papermakers drummed out 15 hits off two La Crosse pitchers with every
Appleton player getting at least one safety.
Bob Munshower, centerfielder and leadoff man, set the pace with three for
five, including a double. Freddy
Turner, shortstop; big Bill Bonnes, winning pitcher; Pete Mish, outfielder, and
Russ Adams, first baseman, also smacked doubles.
Bonness was as erratic as he was effective.
The 6-foot 4-inch southpaw gave up five hits, struck out seven, and
walked seven before getting into trouble after one out in the sixth and leaving
the mound. Bonness had plenty of
steam and a good assortment of slants but gave catcher Jim Squier quite a
workout. Squier looked like a
grasshopper as he went after wild ones. Edwin
Opelach turned in an admirable relief job.
Error Is Costly
on the mound for the invaders and was blasted for 10 safeties in four innings.
He walked one and struck out four. Vaglin
went the rest of the way, giving seven walks and fanning one.
La Crosse presented a team of young but good-sized boys.
Only one error was charged against the Hawks but it was costly.
LaValley muffed a fly which would have meant the third out in the second
inning. Appleton then going on to
score five unearned runs.
The Papers were a little shaky at the outset with Adams letting the first hit
ball go scooting between his legs and Squier overthrowing second in the first
frame. But after that they settled
down to play heads up ball, completing three double plays en route.
In four games played, the Papers have executed seven twin killings.
"Romeo" O'Karski made a hit with the crowd when he stole home in
The only thing the fans didn't see last night was a triple play.
And La Crosse nearly got one of those.
It doesn't show in the box score but Pete Mish hit a triple.
He arrived at third in plenty of time but rolled off the base and was
Mish chocked off a LaCrosse tally in the first inning with a beautiful throw to
the plate after catching a high fly. But
the Blackhawks rang up a run with Ellison scoring as Squier tried to catch Brang
Papers Take Lead
Appleton took a
lead which it never relinquished in the last half of the first.
Munshower hit to short, Ken Manarik fanned and Munshower scored on
Turner's sharp double to center. Turner
went to third on a passed ball. O'Karski
struck out and Turner scored on Squier's hit through the pitcher's box.
Squier made amends in the second inning by catching Wolden stealing second.
Appleton made it 7 to 1 when Adams was safe at first on a slow grounder
and went to second on a dribble along the first base line by Bonness.
Adams came home as Munshower's fly was bobbled.
Munshower gained third on a wild pitch and scored on Manarik's solid
single to center. Munshower plated
as Turner shot a hard single to left. O'Karski
drew a walk and then Red Squier hit the first pitch to drive in two runs.
It was here that O'Karski snuck in with a marker, much to the disgust
of the La Crosse battery.
Appleton added another marker in the third when Santo Filippo sent a nice
blooper into center field. Filippo
went to third as Adams grounded out. He
scored as Bonness doubled down the first base line.
The Papermakers went ahead, 9 to 1, in the fourth when O'Karski was
safe at first on a roller, stole second, took third on Squier's grounder and
plated on a muffed pitch.
Hits Home Run
Crosse outfielder, enlivened proceedings by smashing a home run directly over
the center field fence in the fifth. The
Blackhawks got two more runs in the sixth but these were nullified as the Papers
countered with two in the same frame. Munshower
got a double when four men went after his high fly and took a vote as to who was
going to catch it, the ball meanwhile dropping with a thud.
Manarik walked and Turner layed down a bunt.
Munshower was ruled out on a close play, giving manager Dancisak his
first chance to do a bit of jawing with the umpire.
Squier walked to load the bases and Manarik came in on a wild pitch.
Mish and Filippo walked to force in Turner.
Adams was called out with the third strike being of a questionable
Things went awry for Bonness in the seventh.
He walked the first man, hit the opposing pitcher Vaglin and Erickson was
given a hit when two Appleton players couldn't get together on a fly.
Thus loading the bases. Bonness
walked the next two men, forcing in two runs, and then motioned "take me out,
coach." Opelach issued a walk to
force in the third run in that fashion and the fourth tally for that inning was
registered as Camp grounded out, making the score 11 to 8.
Appleton added another for good measure in the eighth when O'Karski
walked and plated on a long pole into wide right field by Mish.
looked like they were going to burn the lights out the first night.
I expected to see the sun rise most any minute as the opening Wisconsin
State league game between Appleton and La Crosse at Spencer street field last
night dragged along at an average rate of 3 innings per hour.
It was a long, drawn-out affair. But
we won. And I guess that's what
counts. Next time, though, if it's
anything like last night, I'm going to bring my cribbage board.
And a couple of blankets. 'Course,
there were 21 hits and 17 time consuming walks in all last night with Appleton
getting 15 of the safeties. Either
the Papermakers are terrific at the plate or else the Blackhawk pitching was
weak. It probably was a little of
There is general criticism of the Wisconsin State league that games run too darn
long. Last night's 2-3/4 hour
affair was an A-No. 1 example. They're
going to have to something about this. And
do it pronto lest they scare off the fans at the outset.
Many's the person I've heard say would go out to the games if he
could get home at a reasonable hour. The
players can sleep late the next morning. But
the spectators can't. Beginning
the games at 7 o'clock the balance of this week will get the people home
earlier bus still anything over 2 hours is a long ball game and I think the
clubs should make every effort to keep within that limit.
I can hear the managers saying,
"Don't pay any attention to that stuff, fellas.
Take your time. You got all
night." Sure, take your time,
WHENEVER NECESSARY. Don't mess
things up by hurrying. But the
pitchers don't have to practice every time the teams change sides.
And they don't have to make goo-goo eyes at men on base.
And the boys can snap it up when taking their positions.
And there's no use protesting ball and strike decisions.
And they might's well wave a man to first instead of going through the
motions of an intentional pass. And
there are a lot of other ways to save seconds which would shorten the game
considerably and make it more enjoyable for the fans.
They like to see good baseball and good baseball means fast baseball.
As official scorer H.J. Weller would say, "They can take a lesson from
the Outagamie County League." P.S.
Weller is county league prexy.
considered, the Appleton Baseball club was more than pleased at the turnout of
about 600 fans last night. William
J. Van Dyck, president, said "What with the threatening, cold weather, we were
lucky to have that many." If the
temperature gets over the 45-degree mark, a much larger crowd is expected to be
on hand tonight.
The Appleton Junior Chamber of Commerce
put on a right nice opening ceremony. The
principal speaker, Judge Joseph R. McCarthy, appropriately read from President
Roosevelt's letter to Judge Kenesaw M. Landis, ruler of baseball, which urged
the continuance of baseball in wartime. Van
Dyck greeted the fans and Wilmer Kruger, chairman of the program, presented
Manager Eddie Dancisal with a blanket emblazoned with a large A and three
service stars, representing his years of tenure here.
Lee Rosholt, president of the Jacees, pinch-pitched the first ball in the
absence of Mayor Goodland, who was presiding at a council meeting.
It was a perfect strike. Well,
it was a strike, anyway. The
Appleton home guard staged a drill and posted the colors.
The Sons of the American Legion Bugle and Drum corps also was on hand.
Messages from Pat Seerey, Gus Gregory and Jim McDonnell, members of last
year's team now with Cedar Rapids, and Lieutenant Gordon R. McIntyre, official
scorer last year and former sports editor of the Post-Crescent, were read.
Roy McNeil was master of ceremonies.
Getting to bat first proved profitable
for Bob Munshower, outfielder. He
bagged the lion's share of prizes for first this and first that.
Des Schade assisted Mark Almli with umpiring chores and did a good job in
his first appearance as a State league arbiter.
Home town talent is being used throughout the circuit because the league
has been able to engage six regular umps. The
scoreboard acted up a bit so please bear with operator Al Stoegbauer.
Last night's 12 to 8 win over La Crosse gives Appleton undisputed possession
of second place. The two teams will
meet again at 7 o'clock this evening at Spencer street field with Rudy Okleson
scheduled to take the mound for the Papermakers for the first time.
Games with Oshkosh Friday and Saturday nights will also start at 7
o'clock. The team worked out at
the field this forenoon. Monday
nights will be Ladies night, it was announced today.
The alternating paragraphs of bolded and unbolded text in Following Through is how the original column was formatted. I left
almost everything else the same - Even that odd use of the phrase "Turner
layed down a bunt" when it should be "Turner laid down a bunt".
Also, the capitalization of Spencer
street field and Wisconsin State
league is apparently in the 1942 Style Guide.
The one thing I did change was the spelling for La Crosse that was used in the
paper at the time. It was written as
LaCrosse. It almost broke my spell
They complained about a game that took 2-hours and 45-minutes?
They wrote about bringing a cribbage board to the next game?
They used "We won" when writing about a team they were covering?
18 years old as the starting pitcher for the Papermakers in their home opener.
He went 2-4 in ten games with Appleton.
He also pitched for the Logan
Indians of the Mountain State League and the
Senators of the Middle Atlantic League in 1942.
He would serve in World War II and make a brief appearance in the major
leagues in 1944 with the Cleveland Indians.
Here is the Baseball Reference page for the 1942
Flashback Friday will revisit the 1942 Papermakers in January with their
playoff series against the Green Bay Bluejays.
Yes. The Judge McCarthy from the
ceremony before the game is THAT
The letter that he read is known as the Green
It reads as follows:
My dear Judge:
Thank you for yours of January
fourteenth. As you will, of course, realize the final decision about the
baseball season must rest with you and the Baseball club owners - so what I am
going to say is solely a personal and not an official point of view.
I honestly feel that it would
be best for the country to keep baseball going. There will be fewer people
unemployed and everybody will work longer hours and harder than ever before.
And that means that they ought
to have a chance for recreation and for taking their minds off their work even
more than before.
Baseball provides a recreation
which does not last over two hours or two hours and a half, and which can be got
for very little cost. And, incidentally, I hope that night games can be extended
because it gives an opportunity to the day shift to see a game occasionally.
As to the players themselves,
I know you agree with me that the individual players who are active military or
naval age should go, without question, into the services. Even if the actual
quality to the teams is lowered by the greater use of older players, this will
not dampen the popularity of the sport. Of course, if an individual has some
particular aptitude in a trade or profession, he ought to serve the Government.
That, however, is a matter which I know you can handle with complete justice.
Here is another way of looking
at it - if 300 teams use 5,000 or 6,000 players, these players are a definite
recreational asset to at least 20,000,000 of the fellow citizens - and that in
my judgment is thoroughly worthwhile.
With every best wish,
Very sincerely yours,
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Saga Part II (1987)
Saga Part III (1987)
Saga Part IV (1987)
Rivals in Beloit (1996)
& a Ballgame (1985)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.