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Timber Rattlers won the 2012 Midwest League Championship.
Seventy years earlier, the Appleton Papermakers had qualified for the
1942 Wisconsin State League playoffs.
The 1942 Papermakers faced the Green Bay Bluejays in the best-of-five first
Flashback Friday will take a look at
that series with the neighbors to the north over the next few editions.
Game One in Green Bay was played on Thursday, September 3 ends in heartbreak and
a true "homer" report from Dick Davis in the September 4 edition of The
Credit Chapman With
Win as Bays Nip Papers
Opalach Strikes Out Three in Ninth but Ump Has Other Ideas
probably have a "Chapman night" when Appleton returns to Green Bay this
evening for the second game in the Wisconsin State league Shaugnessy playoff
series. Because to the Windy City
umpire more than anybody else do the Bluejays owe their 2 to 1 ninth inning win
over the Papermakers last night. To
say that "we wuz robbed" is putting it mildly.
If ever a pitcher deserved to win it was Eddie Opalach last night.
The slight Papermaker hurler had Green Bay handcuffed in a stirring
pitcher's duel with Milo Johnson. It
was marred only by Chapman's foggy umpiring.
Until the ninth, neither pitcher had allowed more than one hit in any one
inning. Eddie, throwing curves which
came in from all over the place and occasionally steaming in a fast one, had
given only four hits in eight frames and two of those went between the mound and
the second baseman with Ken Manarik being a little slow on the draw.
With a 1-0 lead in his back pocket, Opalach came up to the last of the ninth and
in a magnificent exhibition of control poured six straight strikes at two
batters. He was throwing his heart
out. Bobbie Perthel laced a single
over third base and then old man Deacon Delmore pinched hit for Johnson.
Delmore planked one into right and Perthel went to third.
"Opie" had two strikes and two balls on Tommy Swittel and then sent
in a perfect strike that cute across the heart of the plate and easily was at
least knee high. The most rabid
Green Bay fans attest to this.
Opalach Gets Mad
Eddie heaved a
sigh of relief and began walking happily to the dugout only to hear Chapman bawl
'ball.' Now Eddie isn't the
kind that flares up without provocation. He's
one of Appleton's coolest mound performers.
He knew that Swittle was out and ran in to tell Chapman just that.
Opalach was ready to chew Chapman's ears off.
And might have if the other boys hadn't pulled him away.
Going back to work, Opalach then walked Swittel to load the bases.
The heavy-hitting Earl Gillespie came to bat and whaled one into left
field just out of Fritz Romple's reach which fell for a double and the ball
be back at Green Bay for a game at 8 o' clock tonight and it's a safe bet
that they'll make the Bluejays pay through the nose for that one.
They played swell ball and only the vagaries of Umpire Chapman turned the
tide. Opalach's nine strikeouts
against the heavy-hitting Bluejays were worth just as much if not more than
Johnson's 13 off our team.
The "crowd' was something to behold. It
really rattled Green Bay's spacious stands.
Estimates ranged from 100 to 200 with the official figure being buried
under the box office. And well over
half of those on hand were from Appleton at that.
Play Here Saturday
The third game
in the 3-out-of-5 series is slated for 8 o'clock Saturday night at Spencer
park and no doubt a packed ouse will greet the up and coming Papermakers.
A fourth game would be played here also Sunday night. Sheboygan,
league pennant winner, polished off Fond du Lac, 10 to 2, in their first game
last night in the first round of the playoff.
The winners of the initial series will meet in a best 4-out-of-7 for the
Mike Garcia will do the pitching tonight while Ernie Groth is ticketed for the
game here Saturday night. The
Appleton pitchers have had plenty of rest and more of the topnotch twirling as
shown by Opalach last evening can be expected the balance of the series.
Manager Dutch Zwilling said today there was no doubt but what Chapman
missed the third strike on Swittel and the only thing Appleton could do is step
out and get enough runs to cushion any such unfavorable decisions.
"It was a great game, though," Dutch said, "you won't see any one
better. The heck of it is, it always
has to be that Green Bay bunch that wriggles out from under.
It would have been a swell one to win but we'll make up for it," he
With the pitchers spacing the hits and the fielders giving sterling support, the
first four innings clicked off beautifully.
Appleton broke through in the fifth for two runs but one was disallowed
because Romple failed to touch third. Russ
Adams poled a long one to left-center but Perthel pulled it down.
Opalach walked and Romple grounded to the pitcher, who threw to Delsing
at second in an attempted double play. Delsing
took his foot off the bag too soon to make Opalach sage and then threw badly to
first, both runners advancing. There
was a play on Opalach going to third and the throw from first went through the
third baseman with Opalach scooting for home.
For some reason or other, however, Chapman waved him back to third.
Bill Elliott then hit past first to drive in the two runners but Romple
breezed over the sack at third to make it only one run and two out.
Pardon Swats Triple
lofted a ball in the sixth which went over the center fielder's head for a
triple the would have gone for a home run in the Appleton park because it was a
clout of about 370 feet. There were
some monkeyshines in the seventh when Allendorf got to second after hitting to
right and proceeding when Pardon's throw caromed off the runner.
Delsing grounded to Opalach and Eddie fired it to second.
Dunlap blocked the base and put the ball on Allendorf as he tried to get
back but La Fond ruled him sage. Allendorf
then attempted to steal third and a perfect throw from Kapust gave Anderson
worlds of time to nip him. La Fond
again ruled Allendorf safe but Chapman, believe it or not, reversed the decision
and called him out.
SCORE: SEPTEMBER 3, 1942 - GAME ONE WSL PLAYOFFS
- 1 AB
Romple, lf 4 0
Elliott, cf 4 0
Anderson, 3b 3 0
Dunlap, ss 4 0
Pardon, rf 4 0
Manarik, 2b 4 0
Kapusta, c 4 0
Adams, 1b 3 0
Opalach, p 3 1
Green Bay - 2 AB R H
Swittel, 3b 4 0
Gillespie, 1b 4 0
Raddant, c 3 0
Henrichs, lf 4 0
Allendorf, rf 4 0
Delsing, ss 4 0
Perthel, cf 3 1
Johnson, p 2 0
Delmore, ph 1 1
PAPERMAKERS 000 010 000 - 1
000 002 - 2
Errors - Manarik, Delsin, Pardon. Runs batted in - Elliott, Gillespie.
Two base hits - Gillespie. Three
base hits - Pardon. Sacrifices Johnson. Left
on bases - Appleton 8, Green Bay 10. Bases
on balls - off Opalach 2, off Johnson 3. Struck
out - by Opalach 9, by Johnson 13. Hits
- off Opalach, 7 in 9 innings for 2 runs; off Johnson, 6 in 9 innings for one
run. Hit by pitcher - by Opalach (Perthel,
Raddant). Winning pitcher -
Johnson. Losing pitcher - Opalach.
Umpires - Chapman, La Fond. Time
of game - 1:54
Remember the words of Dick Davis in this article.
Let's just say that the Papermakers fans in Appleton were riled up for
Chapman when the series got to Appleton for Game Three.
Gillespie who had the "walkoff" double is
Gillespie who went on to become the radio voice
of the Milwaukee Braves, a sportscaster for Channel 6 in Milwaukee from 1963
until 1985, and a member of the Wisconsin
Athletic Hall of Fame.
Delsing would play ten seasons in the Major
Leagues with the White Sox, Yankees, Browns, Tigers, and Athletics.
page at baseball-reference has some interesting
notes about his career - he pinch ran for Eddie Gaedel, was replaced as
Detroit's centerfielder by Al Kaline - and his son and grandson.
Flashback Friday returns on January 11 with Game Two of the Shaugnessy
playoff series between the Papermakers and the Bluejays.
Will Mike Garcia, an Appleton Professional Baseball Hall of Famer,
deliver the goods and even the series? Wait
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.