Flashback Friday: Game five, 1942 playoffs

The news wasn't good for the home team on the day after Game Five of the 1942 playoff series between the Appleton Papermakers and the Green Bay Bluejays. (Appleton Post-Crescent)

By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | January 25, 2013 5:22 AM ET

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Flashback Friday wraps up the look at the 1942 Wisconsin State League playoff series between the Appleton Papermakers and the Green Bay Bluejays with a look at Game Five.

The best-of-five series was tied and Game Five, scheduled for Labor Day, had been rained out once.  The game would be played on Tuesday, September 8 at Spencer Street Field.  Dick Davis has the details from the September 9, 1942 edition of the Appleton Post-Crescent.  

Season Ends as Papers Bow to Green Bay, 1-0
Bluejays Win Right to Meet Sheboygan After Thrilling Tilt

The 1942 Appleton baseball season came to a close last night as the Papermakers bowed to Green Bay in a thrilling 1 to 0 game at Spencer park.  The victory put the Bluejays into the finals of the Shaughnessy playoff system after an elimination series which went the full five games.  The Sheboygan Indians, champions of the Wisconsin State league, won their way into the 4-out-of-7 title series by disposing of Fond du Lac, 7 to 1, in another "rubber" battle last night.  The one-two teams of the regular season will begin the deciding playoff games at Sheboygan tonight.

Appleton, which finished fourth in a last-minute drive, did very well in extending Green Bay to five games and only the failure to capitalize on breaks last night kept the Papermakers out of the championship series.  It was a dandy ball game.  Probably the best one of an interesting season which saw the Papers start like a house afire and then crumple into a losing slump in which they dropped 12 out of 13 games.  Manager Eddie Dancisak resigned and Dutch Zwilling took over the reins.

Dutch pulled the boys out of it and fashioned a winner out of a young, inexperienced squad.  Zwilling left town this morning but not without some kind words for the team, the baseball club and the fans.  He enjoyed himself immensely and thinks that all from the bat boy to the most casual of fans were "just swell."

The series came as an unexpected windfall for the Appleton Baseball club because it shaved to some extent a large deficit confronting the Appleton Baseball club.  Appleton fans were red hot and 2,800 paid to see the three games here.  About 800 saw the two games at Green Bay for a total of 3,600.  Five per cent of the gate receipts went to the league while Appleton and Green Bay divided the rest equally.  

Hurling Duel  

The Papermakers were up against a tough pitcher in Milo Johnson last night who bested Mike Garcia in a tight hurling duel despite shaky support.  Appleton's popular Mexican hurler had perfect fielding behind him but at times had trouble with his control.  Both pitchers game only five hits, keeping them well spaced, while the Green Bay ace fanned 11 and walked 3 and Garcia whiffed 8 and issued 5 walks.

The only tally of the game came in the eighth when Gillespie walked, stole second and came in on a clean hit to center by Raddant.  Catcher Red Squier was about a foot short of becoming an Appleton hero in the ninth when he connected for what looked like a circuit clout.  It was just below the top of the snow fence, however, and he was left stranded on second.

The air was electric before the game because it was not known whether Pepper Chapman, who was nearly mobbed Sunday night, would again umpire.  The appearance of several policemen indicated that Chapman would work the council game and an announcement over the public address system citing heavy penalties for crowd disturbances confirmed it.  The announcement, incidentally, was prepared by Chapman and was read only at his insistence.  He threatened to forfeit the game unless directors of the baseball club gave their consent.  Needless to say, Chapman was booed lustily when he finally did walk out onto the diamond.  Chapman handled the game unusually well and there could be little criticism.  

Miss Opportunity  

Both pitchers walked the first man up and then got two strikeouts in the first inning.  Appleton had a golden opportunity in the second inning when Bill Pardon doubled and Ken Manarik singled to center to put two men on base with nobody out.  Pardon got to third but couldn't score on Manarik's safety because of a "slow track."  Squier then popped foul to first while Russ Adams and Garcia went down swinging.

Squier slid into the concrete base of the stands going after a foul fly in the third but after anxious moments was found to be unhurt.  A double play slowed up Green Bay in the fourth.  Appleton loaded the bases on two Green Bay errors in the fifth but failed to cash in as Dick Bixby, shortstop recruited from Oshkosh, batted into a double play.  Bixby's fielding during the evening was little short of sensational.

Grant Dunlap got a life in the sixth when he hit a long, high one to Perthel in center field and the stellar Green Bay player dropped it for what is probably his first error this season.  Dunlap got to second on the miscue but Pardon and Manarik both struck out.  

Questionable Call  

Appleton pulled another twin killing in the seventh.  With two away, Gillespie walked in the eighth and stole second.  Garcia then had two strikes on Raddant and put one in which looked pretty good and could have been called for either the third strike or a ball.  Chapman chose to call it a ball and Raddant hit instead of becoming the third out.

The Papermakers threatened in both the eighth and ninth innings but it just wasn't their night.  Romple led off with a double in the eighth and Bixby layed down a beautiful sacrifice down the third base line.  Appleton fans then saw the unusual sight of a runner being called out with the first baseman practically standing in the coaching box.  Romple was whisked to third and was held there as Anderson grounded to short.  Dunlap drew an intentional walk to give Appleton position for a double steal but they didn't attempt it and Pardon grounded out.

A mild argument developed in the ninth when Dunlap made a diving catch of a liner by Hendrichs to center.  Base umpire Smogolesky was letting the play go but Chapman ruled that it was a fair catch.

After Manarik flied to short right in the ninth, Squier smacked his near home run.  Adams ran the string out to 3-2 but then went down swinging.  Ed Kowalski pinched hit for Garcia and grounded out to ring down the curtain on the 1942 season.


APPLETON - 0         AB     R      H      PO     A
Romple, lf           2      0      1      2      0
Bixby, ss            3      0      1      2      3
Anderson, 3b         4      0      0      1      3
Dunlap, cf           3      0      0      2      0
Pardon, rf           4      0      1      1      0
Manarik, 2b          4      0      1      2      2
Squier, c            4      0      1      7      1
Adams, 1b            4      0      0      9      1
Garcia, p            3      0      0      1      2
*Kowalski            1      0      0      0      0

GREEN BAY - 1        AB     R      H      PO     A
Swittel, 3b          3      0      0      1      3
Gillespie, 1b        3      1      0      9      0
Raddant, c           4      0      2      12     1
Timm, lf             3      0      1      0      0
Oddo, 2b             4      0      0      0      2
Hendrichs, rf        2      0      1      1      0
Delsing, ss          4      0      1      3      2
Perthel, cf          4      0      0      1      0
Johnson, p           3      0      0      0      2

*Batted for Garcia in ninth

GREEN BAY     000    000    010 -  1
APPLETON      000    000    000 -  0

Errors - Raddant, Delsing, Perthe. Runs batted in - Raddant.  Two base hits - Pardon, Romple, Squier. Stolen bases - Romple, Timm, Gillespie.  Sacrifices - Bixby. Double plays - Manarik to Bixby to Adams, Oddo to Delsing to Gillespie, Anderson to Manarik to Adams.  Left on bases - Appleton 9, Green Bay 7.  Base on balls - off Garcia 5, off Johnson 3.  Struck out - by Garcia 8, by Johnson 11.  Hits off Garcia, 5 in 9 innings for 1 run; off Johnson, 5 in 9 innings for 0 runs.  Wild pitches - Johnson.  Winning pitcher - Johnson.  Losing pitcher - Garcia.  Umpires - Chapman, Smogoleski.  Time of game - 1:59.

Green Bay would lose to Sheboygan in the 1942 Wisconsin State League Championship Series.  Sheboygan won the series in six games.

It would seem that Appleton fans got riled up over umpire Pepper Chapman and he bristled at them throughout the series.

The Wisconsin State League halted play for World War II after the 1942 playoffs.  The league resumed play in 1946.

The Papermakers did not make the playoffs again.  Their best season after 1942 was a 63-60 record in 1952.

There are many things that I have enjoyed about this look back at this 1942 playoff series.  But my favorite is that the Papermakers were allowed to recruit shortstop Richard Bixby from Oshkosh to fill in for injured Appleton players.  Imagine if a team could do that now.

In the words of Dutch Zwilling, that's "just swell".

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Subsidy Saga Part II (1987)

Subsidy Saga Part III (1987)

Subsidy Saga Part IV (1987)

Our Rivals in Beloit (1996)

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1942 Home Opener  

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Game One 1942 Playoffs

Game Two 1942 Playoffs

Games Three & Four 1942 Playoffs

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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