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- DescriptionFrom the 1800's to its demise in the 1950's, the game of base ball played a major role in small town society in West Central Wisconsin. This book traces the introduction of the game in one such community - Independence, Wisconsin - and chrologically follows its development through to its concluding year, 1957. The reader will be introduced to the teams, players, and events surrounding the rivalries between neighboring communities through season game reviews, numerous box scores and newspaper quotes, and 115 photos of teams and players from t only Independence, but also of those they competed against, half of the time in Independence, On the Field West of Town. The early days featured players such as Frank Kiddo Mish, Valentine Young Pole Tomazsewski, Melvin Mouse Elstad, and Theodore Big T Olson, and was a time of heavy wagering on games and a battle, at times, with religious people of the area who demanded the game t be played on the Sabbath. The era also featured a player named Louis Runkel, who t only played On the Field West of Town, but also captained the Wisconsin Badgers team of 1896, earned a law degree from the University, and played professionally for several years. An entire chapter is devoted to the biography of this interesting man who had such a great impact on the game and his community. One of the primary features of this early history is the numerous quoted words, phrases, sentences, and sometimes entire paragraphs taken from newspaper game summaries that lend an interesting and sometimes humorous sense of the times. It often is these quotes of long ago, written in a style longer seen in sports journalism, that give the story its flavor. Following World War II and the Korean Conflict, however, television's The Game of the Week and the success of the Milwaukee Braves spelled the end of small-town baseball, but t before terrific players such as the Pampuch and Sobota brothers, Rudy Gamroth, Jim Sendelbach, Willie Smieja, and Al Kulig all plied their trade on the local diamond, simply because of their love of the game. The final chapter includes highlighted comments and remembrances of eight former players who describe how they learned to play the game, the players they played with and against, games they played in, and how the local fans embraced their team. Finally, though this story of small-town baseball focus on one community, it should be remembered that the teams and players of neighboring communities played an equal role in its development. Teams from Whitehall, Arcadia, Blair, Mondovi, Ettrick, and other small towns are well represented in game summaries, box scores, and photos.
- Author BiographyMichael Lyga is a native of Independence, Wisconsin, and retired high school science teacher in the Green Bay area. He has had a deep interest in history since childhood, fueled by his father's participation in World War II, but also enjoys fishing, music, reading, and sports. He lives in De Pere, Wisconsin, but retains his ties to the Independence area.
- Author(s)Michael E Lyga
- Date of Publication29/09/2011
- FormatPaperback / softback
- SubjectBall Games: Field & Outdoor
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight513 g
- Width156 mm
- Height234 mm
- Spine19 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US),Unsewn / adhesive bound
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