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Part one of a two part Flashback
Friday this week because we are flashing all the way back to the first
Opening Day of the Appleton Papermakers. Next
week, the Flashback will be the Gordon McIntyre game story from the May 9, 1940
opener at Goodland Field. This
week's Flashback is the story from the May 10, 1940 Post-Crescent on
the pomp and circumstance of the day.
Baseball Back In Appleton With All the Trimmings and Fanfare
Organized baseball returned to
Appleton yesterday with all the trimmings.
It was hard to believe that the city hadn't had the pastime or anything
similar to it for 26 years, because the response was much more enthusiastic than
had been expected. And that included
everything from the dinner at the Conway hotel to the capacity crowd at the
game, and down to the fact folks remained until the winning run was scored in
the last of the ninth, a few minutes after  o'clock.
Shortly after noon 85 persons sat down to a baseball booster dinner at the
Conway hotel, a gratifying turnout in view of the fact arrangements got started
rather late. William Van Dyke was
chairman of the event and Dr. George T. Hefner the toastmaster.
The first speakers were the managers of the competing teams, Eddie Dancisak for
Appleton and Otto Bluege for Green Bay. Both
were rather short because they had their minds on other things.
Dancisak thanked everyone for the interest already shown in the team and
promised that if it continued Appleton would have a good club.
Bluege had only to say that Green Bay was ready for the game.
Percy Moore, baseball coach at
Lane Tech high school in Chicago, which houses 8,900 boys was the principal
speaker. He immediately set the
crowd down with the comment that he was surprised to see so many fine things in
Appleton but no supervised recreation program.
Keeping boys busy in organized play will cut your crime among youth 75 per cent
he told the group. "Maybe you feel
you have a crime problem among young people," he followed, "but youth is
youth and the slack rope must be taken up somewhere by some kind of program."
He commented that the season's baseball ticket plan in Appleton, 25 cents for
children to ninth grade and $1 for high school students, was the first step in
such a recreation venture. Baseball
is definitely an outlet for young people, he added.
"Be patient" was his keynote when he came to discussing the opening of the
Class D season. Some of the boys
will strike out, he said, they'll make errors and lose games but the city that
has a good team will be a patient city. "Stand
back of the team," he pleaded reminding the audience that many of the boys are
just out of high school, out of college, or have just come from the sandlot and
need to learn to work together.
He cited Joe McCarthy of the Yankees as one who has gotten far by words of
praise for his boys. "Nice
going." Will go farther to making a winning team than anything else, he said.
Moore added a word for Legion
baseball such as Appleton has each year. He
handles a team in Chicago and while discussing his squads recalled how he picked
Phil Cavaretta of the Cubs "out of a gutter in Little Italy" and got him
interested in baseball.
Other speakers were Gerald
Hopkins, president of the Green Bay Baseball Club, Mayor John Goodland of
Appleton, C.O. Baetz, president of the Appleton team, Vern Lewellen, one of the
promoters for the Bay club, Gordon McIntyre, sports editor of the Appleton
Post-Crescent, and William Van Dyke, the dinner chairman.
John Buchman of Lawrence college added a touch to the program with a
With the dinner and program
over at 2 o'clock, the group left the hotel with the two ball teams and took
places in cars to form the parade to the field.
It was led by the Sons of the Legion drum and bugle corps.
The arrival of the parade at
the field was the signal for the center section of the new stands to start
filling up. The wing sections still
are being worked on and won't be ready for another ten days or two weeks.
The center section is minus the plank seats and the fans sat on the cold,
The program at the park
featured a flag raising from one of the light poles in centerfield, talks over
the loud speaker by Mayor John Goodland of Appleton and Mayor Alex Biemert of
Green Bay, presentation of a basket of flowers to Manager Eddie Dancisak of the
Appleton team, introduction of Percy Moore and another plea to "be patient"
and then pitching of the first ball with Goodland hurling - er, beg pardon,
tossing - and Biemert catching.
First lesson in giving a speech to this type of crowd: Don't insult them.
Percy Moore sounds like about the worst possible choice for a keynote
speaker. "Hey, nice place you got
here. I'm just surprised you rubes don't have any organized sports to keep
your rampant youth crime rate in check." At
least he wasn't lying about pulling Phil Cavaretta "out of a gutter in
I wonder if I can get away with
saying something similar at the 2011 Leadoff Experience...probably not.
The reason for the 
o'clock in the game ending time: There is a blotch on the microfilm over the
number. Since the first pitch was a
3pm, I am guessing that the game wrapped in two hours instead of three hours.
Other headlines from this page
of the paper: Yanks Get More Boos At Home
Than on Road; Daniel Cahill, No. 1 Cub
Fan, Succumbs; Ambers Is Expected to
Hold Lightweight Title; Springfield
Still In Unbeaten Class In Three Eye Loop; Gantenbein,
Herber Sign. Wow! Even in 1940, the Packers got coverage in May.
There is also an ad for Marvel Cigarettes: Now I know why they call them
MARVELS, the cigarette of quality for less money. The mascot is a rooster and
his motto is: Worth CROWING about! Oh,
1940, just stop.
out this post at Rattler Radio to
see a picture of Eddie Dancisak in uniform and one of those vintage Marvel
Here is a link to Eddie
Dancisak's baseball-reference bullpen page. This is a link
to his baseball-reference page.
8: In fair territory (1994)
15: Fans flock to see Foxes (1987)
22: New Park (1995)
29: Logo Decision (1994)
5: Ed Sedar, Pitcher (1985)
12: Abarbanel no-hitter (1966)
19: McCauley no-hitter (1972)
26: Monroe no-hitter (1975)
3: Conner, Smith no-hitter (1990)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.