Flashback Friday: Games 3 & 4, 1942 playoffs

The headline in The Post-Crescent on the day of Game Five in the 1942 Wisconsin State League Playoffs between the Papermakers and the Green Bay Bluejays. (Appleton Post-Crescent)

By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | January 18, 2013 6:40 AM ET

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Flashback Friday continues to look back at the 1942 Wisconsin State League playoff series between the Appleton Papermakers and the Green Bay Bluejays.

Game Three and Game Four were on a Saturday and Sunday night, but The Post-Crescent did not publish on Sundays or on Labor Day in 1942.  Game Five was to be played on Labor Day, but weather and wet grounds forced a postponement.

So, we pick up the series with the Tuesday, September 8 edition of The Post-Crescent.  Dick Davis has the details and his Following Through column.  

Appleton, Green Bay in Deciding Battle Tonight
Garcia to Hurl in Bid for Berth in Championship Series

Weather permitting, Appleton and Green Bay will square off at 8 o'clock tonight at Spencer park for the right to meet either Sheboygan or Fond du Lac in a series for the Wisconsin State league championship, and a ding-dong affair can be expected.  The games stand at 2-all in the elimination series between the Papermakers and the Bluejays, two of the deadliest league rivals after two weekend contests.  The fifth and deciding battle was carded for last night but wet grounds forced postponement to tonight.  Appleton won handily, 8 to 2, Saturday night and lost out, 13-12, in a 12-inning hummer Sunday night.

A similar situation exists in the Sheboygan-Fond du Lac series where both teams have won two games.  Sheboygan won Saturday night, 7 to 4, in 12 innings while the Panthers came back for a 3-2 win Sunday evening.  They were to play again last night but couldn't get on the Fond du Lac diamond.  The tilt has been re-scheduled for tonight but it was problematical this morning whether the diamond would be in condition.  The weather is reminiscent of last year when rain stalled the playoffs with Appleton finally forfeiting to Green Bay and the Bluejays forefeiting the title to Sheboygan.

The night off gave the Appleton pitching staff a needed rest.  It's Mike Garcia's turn to take the mound tonight and Manager Dutch Zwilling looks for the popular Mexican hurler to turn the trick.  Large crowds turned out over the weekend and fans are expected to be back in full force tonight.  Barring further rain, the game will be played.

Sunday night's game was a thriller-diller which packed more action of all sorts than any played this season.  There was a little bit of everything with three extra innings thrown in.  There were moments of uncontrolled frenzy and others of utter dejection as the complexion of the game changed rapidly time and again.  The Bluejays finally shoved over the deciding marker on a hit, an error and a hit in the twelfth inning for a wild 13-12 win.

The fans were kept on the edges of their seats as the Bays clouted three Appleton pitchers for 19 hits and Appleton took picks on two Bluejay hurlers for 13.  Included were nine doubles and two home runs.  Jimmy Delsing got a home for the visitors with two on in a 6-run second inning spurt for Green Bay.  In the same inning, Fritz Romple banged one into the right field corner with the bases loaded and sped around the diamond for a 4-bagger inside the park, giving Appleton a 10 to 8 edged and making a total of 18 runs scored in the first three innings.  

Bluejays Creep Up  

Green Bay crept up with single tallies in the next three innings to take an 11-10 lead and then Appleton got one in the seventh to even matters.  The next three innings were scoreless and both teams tallied once in the eleventh frame.

As if this wasn't enough excitement, the fans were down on Umpire Chapman from the start and he provoked their anger with a close decision that went against Appleton in the eleventh.  Police protection was required to take him off the field and again from the dressing room to his car as most of the 1,200 fans hung around.  His car developed motor trouble and he finally was spirited away in the Appleton team's bus.

Ed Kowalski started for Appleton by retired in favor of Ken Duncan, who in turn gave way to Eddie Opalach.  Both Kowalski and Duncan gave up five hits in 2-1/3 innings apiece for a total of 10 runs.  Opalach did some nice relief work in giving only three runs on nine safeties.  He took over in the fifth and fanned Timm for the third out with the bases filled.  Deacon Delmore started for the Bays but took himself out in the third after being touched for eight hits and nine markers.  Daublender went to work for the Jays and turned in a swell 10-inning performance of five hits for three runs and 11 strikeouts.

A bad throw by Anderson in trying to double Swittel off second after catching a liner led to two Green Bay tallies in the opening stanza.  Appleton came back with five runs on four hits and an error in the first frame.  Each nine had two doubles in the initial inning.  The Papermakers added another in the second on two hits and an error.  

Elliott Is Injured  

Bill Elliott spiked himself severely sliding into third base Saturday night and probably will be out for the rest of the season.  In the centerfielder's absence, Appleton recruited Dick Bixby, Oshkosh shortstop, and Grant Dunlap was shifted to the outfield.  Bixby made a weak debut, however, for he hit safely but once out of seven times at the plate and had a couple of errors to his discredit.  He's capable of much better ball and will be back tonight in an effort to help the Papermaker cause.

Ernie Groth pitched himself a ball game Saturday night as Appleton scored an 8 to 2 win over Green Bay.  Groth started fast.  He retired the first 16 men in order and whiffed 13 out of 15 batters in five innings.  The stocky hurler had the Bays shut out until the seventh when, with two out, Adams dropped a high infield fly which allowed a run to score.  Groth came back for three strikeouts in the eighth, although the Bluejays scored on a double and a single, and two more in the ninth for a total of 18, tying the State league record held by Giles Knowles of Sheboygan.  The mark will not go into the books, however, because it was not a league contest.

Groth limited the Bluejay sluggers to seven hits while the Papermakers rapped two Green Bay hurlers for 15 and capitalized on some weak Green Bay at short and behind the plate.  Appleton had 15 men stranded on the bags.  Fritz Romple got two doubles while Grant Dunlap and Ken Manarik each hit safely three times in five chances.  

Dick Davis  

Be he right or wrong, there never is any excuse for the kind of treatment which umpire Pepper Chapman got after the game Sunday night.  And that goes double for the abuse heaped upon his wife and the utter disregard for their small daughter.  It is one thing to give vent to one's feelings but it is quite another to menace the life and property of another individual - no matter who he may be or what he may have done.  It was the second time that Appleton fans have boiled over this season, and I can't say as I blame them, but no good can come of such demonstrations.  If Papermaker followers are really sincere in their plaint, then they'll go to the seat of the trouble.  They'll write Herman D. White, president of the Wisconsin State league at Eau Claire, and tell him how lousy the umpiring has been.  The regular season is over and the playoffs are well along so there's not much that can be done about it this year.  But there's always another season coming up, be it next year or after the war, and there's no reason why the fans should not take action to forestall a similar condition in the future.  No doubt White has had difficulty in securing qualified officials but other leagues have had the same problems and apparently have solved them.  The umpiring as a whole has not bee of organized baseball caliber.  And that goes from Dolly Ross on down.  As pointed out before, they call 'em better in the County league.

Appleton is a funny sports town.  It slumbers most of the season and all of a sudden wakes up to find it has a ball team and some darn good entertainment out at Spencer park.  They packed over 1,800 paid admissions in for the two playoff games Saturday and Sunday and with a break in the weather probably will have an overflow crowd for the fifth and deciding battle against Green Bay tonight.  The team has responded and will be out for a triumph tonight so that the 4-out-of-7 playoff championship series will be brought here.  Whether Chapman will be there has not been ascertained.  Efforts were being made to have him relieved of the assignment.  This is not in his behalf because he's anxious and willing to get out there and face his persecutors.  The guy's got guts.  There were a good many, however, who made known they wouldn't come out to the park if he umpired and the Appleton Baseball club doesn't want that kind of a feeling to exist.  So, it will be a case of some coming out in the hope he doesn't umpire and others coming out hoping he does.  There was many a threat that he'd never get on the field if he took another whirl at it.

As for Mr. Chapman and that decision on whether in the eleventh inning the man trapped between first and second was tagged out - it was a crucial moment but it didn't win or lose the game.  Not like that bad call at Green Bay which would have meant the final out and a 1-0 win for the Papermakers.  Sunday night the boys won and lost that game about three times.  There were moments of brilliance and there were some of the screwiest things you've ever seen.  Many claim that Chapman didn't see the play.  It went fast but Chapman says he did see it.  Most say that Bixby tagged the runner.  Chapman says he didn't.  Bixby did make a quick motion of putting the ball on him but whether he actually touched him was difficult to tell from the stands.  It was very close and provided the spark for a general explosion.  That Chapman is very unpopular here is apparent from the boos which he draws at every turn.  And this decision gave the fans an opportunity to really give it to him.  This is not written in defense of Chapman.   Let him answer for his own actions.  It is only a plea not to get too rough.  Such things and mobbing an ump, throwing stones and damaging a man's car put Appleton in a bad light.  There's a biblical passage about letting he who is without sin cast the first stone.  It may be applicable.  It is a thrill, however, to see Appleton folk get steamed up about anything.  And I hope it will carry over constructively in the way of interest and support tonight, through the championship series if Appleton takes part and continue into the Appleton High school and Lawrence college football and basketball seasons.  End of sermon.



APPLETON - 8         AB     R      H      PO     A
Romple, lf           5      1      2      2      0
Elliott, cf          4      2      2      1      0
Anderson, 3b         3      1      1      0      1
Dunlap, ss           5      1      3      0      1
Pardon, rf, cf       5      1      1      0      0
Manarik, 2b          5      0      3      0      3
Squier, c            4      0      1      19     0
Adams, 1b            5      1      2      5      0
Groth, p             3      1      0      0      0
Opalach, rf          1      0      0      0      0

GREEN BAY - 2        AB     R      H      PO     A
Swittel, 3b          5      0      1      0      1
Gillespie, 1b        4      1      1      4      2
Raddant, c           4      0      1      10     0
Timm, lf             3      0      0      2      0
Oddo, 2b             4      1      1      3      0
Hendricks, rf        3      0      0      1      0
Delsing, ss          4      0      1      3      1
Perthel, cf          4      0      2      1      0
Linde, p             2      0      0      0      1
Allendorf, rf        2      0      0      0      0

GREEN BAY     000    000    110 -  2
APPLETON      002    101    40x -  8

Errors - Delsin 3, Adams, Allendorf, Raddant.  Runs batted in - Dunlap 2, Manarik 3, Raddant.  Two base hits - Anderson, Romple 2, swittel, Gillespie. Stolen bases - Pardon, Elliott, Anderson, Dunlap, Manarik.  Sacrifices - Groth.  Left on bases - Appleton 15, Green Bay 6.  Base on balls - off Groth 2, off Linde 3, Hendricks 2.  Struck out - by Groth 18, by Linde 7, by Hendricks 3.  Hits - off Gorth 7 in 9 innings for 2 runs; off Linde, 11 in 6 innings for 4 runs; off Hendricks, 4 in 2 innings for 4 runs.  Wild Pitches - Linde, Groth.  Winning pitcher - Groth.  Losing pitcher - Linde.  Umpires - Chapman, LaFond. Time of Game - 2:25.


APPLETON - 12        AB     R      H      PO     A
Romple, lf           7      3      3      2      0
Bixby, ss            7      0      1      3      3
Anderson, 3b         5      1      1      5      3
Dunlap, cf           6      2      2      2      0
Pardon, rf           4      2      1      0      0
Manarik, 2b          5      3      2      2      3
Kapusta, c           4      1      2      7      0
Adams, 1b            6      0      0      9      2
Kowalski, p          1      0      0      1      1
Duncan, p            1      0      0      0      0
Opalach, p           2      0      0      0      0
*Squier, c           2      0      1      5      2

GREEN BAY - 13       AB     R      H      PO     A
Swittel, 3b          8      2      4      0      3
Gillespie, 1b        5      3      3      11     1
Raddant, c           7      1      3      14     1
Timm, lf             5      1      1      2      0
Oddo, 2b             5      2      1      5      3
Henrichs, rf         6      1      1      1      0
Delsing, ss          7      1      2      1      3
Perthel, cf          7      1      2      1      0
Delmore, p           2      0      1      0      1
Daublender, p        5      1      1      1      2
Allendorff, lf^      1      0      0      0      0

*Ran for Kapusta in seventh
^Ran for Timm in eleventh

Green Bay     260 111 000 011 -    13
Appleton      514 000 000 010 -    12

Errors - Anderson 2, Oddo, Delsing 2, Timm, Kowalski, Kapusta, Adams, Bixby 2, Perthel.  Runs batted in - Oddo 2, Pardon 2, Timm 2, Bixby, Manarik 2, Adams, Delsing 4, Hendrichs 2, Romple 4, Kapusta, Squier, Swittel.  Two base hits - Swittel 2, Oddo, Romple, Manarik, Raddant, Anderson, Kapusta, Dunlap.  Home runs - Delsing, Romple.  Stolen bases - Dunlap, Pardon, Oddo, Gillespie.  Sacrifices - Raddant, Pardon.  Left on bases - Apleton 8, Green Bay 18.  Base on balls - off Kowalksi 2, off Duncan 1, off Opalah 3, off Delmore 2, off Daublender 2.  Stuck out - by Kowalski 2, by Duncan 0, by Opalach 6, by Delmore 0, by Daublender 11.  Hits - off Kowalski, 5 in 2-1/3 innings for 7 runs; off Delmore, 8 in 2 innings and 3 men in third for 9 runs; off Duncan, 5 in 2-1/3 innings for 3 runs; off Daublender, 5 in 10 innings for 3 runs; off Opalach, 9 in 7 innings for 3 runs.  Wild Pitches - Kowalski.  Winning Pitcher - Daublender.  Losing Pitcher - Opalach.  Umpires - LaFond, Chapman.  Time of game - 3:00.

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Game Two 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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