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RECORD OF DARRTOWN BASEBALL GAMES AND SCORES
FROM 1919 AND BEYOND
Darrtown and baseball
go way back...
...at least, as far back 1919.
That point in time has been verified by the daily journals that were maintained by former Darrtown resident, Mr. L.A. Miller.
Mr. Miller's diaries, which range from 1910 to 1936 provide a record of games played by Darrtown's local nine.
Research of Mr. Miller's diaries continues. If additional scores are reported in later diaries, then those scores will be added to the record that appears below/left.
RECORD OF GAMES PLAYED*
1919= 7 wins / 3 losses
1920 = 10 wins / 3 losses
1921 = 15 wins / 9 losses
1922 = 4 wins / 5 losses
1923 = 6 wins / 4 losses
TOTAL = 42 wins / 24 losses
* FOOTNOTES TO "RECORD OF GAMES PLAYED"
This summary should NOT be considered as a final, all-inclusive record, because there may have been games played by organized teams from Darrtown that:
(a) occurred during the seasons reported by Mr. L.A. Miller – but, were omitted.
(b) occurred prior to the seasons reported by Mr. L.A. Miller.
(c) occurred after the seasons reported by Mr. L.A. Miller.
The search continues for additional records regarding amateur baseball played by organized teams from Darrtown. If you can contribute information on this subject, please contact the Darrtown webmaster.
1920 DARRTOWN BASEBALL
The following photo and accompanying story appeared in a Hamilton Journal “Remember When” story (date unknown).
“There’s quite a baseball story in this ‘Remember When?’ picture that shows the Darrtown baseball team of 1920, since ‘Hod’ Eller, famous ‘shine’ ball pitcher of the Cincinnati Reds is in the photograph (second from the right, standing). Team members include: (seated) Frank Stump, Butch Schafer, team captain Cliff Sheard, Linden Street, True Ward, Matt Foy, and Kay Schmeer; (standing) team manager John Kyger, Swack Teckman, Ike Seers, Waldo Stumpf, Luther Lauderman, Stanley ‘Doc’ Alston, Harry Wilke, Dewey Wynn, ‘Hod’ Eller, and Fritz Erlewein.
This picture recalls to Mr. Kyger, now secretary of Hamilton Lodge 36, Loyal Order of Moose, the series of three games played in October 1920 between his Darrtown team and the Hooven traveling team of Hamilton, managed by Carl Link.
Eller, who was one of the all-time greats of Cincinnati baseball pitching, was hot stuff in those days and had his last big season in 1920, the year after he sparked the Reds to their National League pennant and World Series victory, in the tainted series with the Chicago White Sox in 1919.
Eller was signed by Kyger to pitch the second game of the series, and Kyger remembers that he paid the Reds star $110 for the exhibition game. Eller won his game, Kyger recalls either 2 to 1 or 1 to 0, defeating Charley Root, the Middletown boy who was to go on and win a lot of baseball fame with the Chicago Cubs.
As Kyger recalls the series, ‘Doc’ Alston, Darrtown pitcher, won the first game, Eller the second, while in the third game, Charley Root was victorious for Hooven’s defeating Darrtown, which had Hamilton’s famous and late Carl Weilenmann as pitcher. Weilenmann was an established major league star with the St. Louis Browns, and Root showed so much stuff in defeating him in the final game that Root was recommended to the Browns by Weilenmann.”
SPECIAL NOTATION ABOUT A LAND FORMATION
IN THE ABOVE PHOTOGRAPH OF THE 1920 DARRTOWN BASEBALL TEAM
In the upper left corner of the photo above, people are seen standing in the background on an elevated land formation. From other accounts, this is the levee that was built in the belief that a railroad line would be constructed from Hamilton to Darrtown and on to Richmond Indiana. That land formation still exists (2009) in the field south of Darrtown, behind the houses that are situated on the east side of State Route 177.
1935 Clark’s Sporting Goods Basketball Team
The following caption and the photograph at the right appeared in the “Remember When” section of the Hamilton Journal News (1965).
“This is the Clark’s Sporting Goods basketball team of 1935, including some notable figures of today in the baseball world.
Standing left to right in the back row are Alvin Alford, A. R. Schmidt, Walter 'Smokey' Alston (now managing the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team), Robert Iwig, John Bradbury, Fred Grothaus, and Wilbur Pierson.
Seated, same order, Clifford Alexander (brother-in-law to 'Smokey' Alston and scout for the Dodgers teams), Leroy Brown, George Hansel, and 'Cotton' Simpson.”
Parades Honor Walter "Smokey" Alston
Twice, during the 1960's, Darrtown citizens arranged parades, through the community, to celebrate the success of its native son, Walter "Smokey" Alston, after he led the Los Angeles Dodgers to the World Series Championships.
Nearly fifty years later, the Darrtown community engaged in a third celebratory parade to honor the memory of "Smokey." On May 5, 2012, an entourage of cars traveled from Darrtown to Oxford, when Miami University sponsored a "Walter Alston Night," at McKie Field.
To read about the career of Walter Alston and to see photos of the parades of 1965, 1967, and 2012, visit the Walter Alston's biography page.
The image above captures a moment following the 1965 parade. Left to right: Walter Alston, Emmons Alston (Walter's father), John "Jack" Daniels, and Fred Lindley.
Hot Stove League in Darrtown
(RIGHT) This image was part of an undated news clipping contributed by Kirk Mee III. From the reference to Walter Alston being in his 23rd year as the Dodger manager, we infer that this article was printed in 1977.
"Once Upon A Time (In Darrtown)
Baseball's in season now and headed toward the Series, but for Darrtown's "Hot Stove League," the subject was as topical in the winter as in summer, with fans and friends shown with Dodger manager Walter "Smokey" Alston in the mid-fifties, probably about how the 'Brooklyn Dodgers' won the Series in 1955."
(Caption from the news clipping): "Pictured left to right are: Kirk Mee II, Harry Teckman, the late Harry Shockey, Dodger Manager Alston, James 'Hoot' Fowler (seated), and Homer Bacon of Camden. Alston, Miami U. graduate who received an Honorary Doctor of Athletics degree in 1960, began coaching the Dodgers in 1954 and is now in his 23rd year with the team."
Opinions on 1956 National League Pennant Race...
The accompanying photos and captions appeared in an undated Hamilton Journal. Given the history of the Brooklyn Dodgers, this probably appeared in the summer of 1956. (Photos by Dick Burns; text by Jim Newton)
"The major league baseball season has passed the half-way mark and five teams are involved in one of the hottest races in the history of the National League. One of the five teams is the Brooklyn Dodgers, managed by Walter "Smokey" Alston, a life-long resident of Darrtown, a red-hot baseball town. For the opinions of Darrtown residents on the outcome of the National League race, see the comments below the photos."
ABOVE: (Left to Right)
Luther McVicker, garage owner: "I don't know. I don't pay a whole lot of attention. I'd like to see Brooklyn win it."
B. M. Wykoff, retired: "I don't think it's going to be the Reds. I'm rooting for St. Louis. Just so it's a western team."
Mrs. Paul Weiss, housewife: "I don't know. My husband keeps up with ball games. He's for Cincy and watches Brooklyn."
Mrs. Edward Menke, housewife: "I'm going to say Brooklyn. I'll bet they're going to come up. Cincy doesn't have a chance."
Mrs. Ludley Durrough Jr., housewife: "I still think the Brooklyn Dodgers will win. We have high hopes that they'll come through."
Danny Ferguson, Oxford Stewart pupil: "I don't like to listen to the games, but I like to play shortstop or pitcher."
Don Beckett Inducted into
Butler County Softball Hall of Honor
The following is an excerpt from an article that appeared in the Hamilton Journal and Oxford Press on September 9, 2010
"34 to be inducted into Butler County Softball Hall of Honor
Among the inductees: Don Beckett of Don’s Carryout"
DEDICATION OF THE WALTER “SMOKEY” ALSTON MEMORIAL - October 15, 2000
On October 15, 2000, about 300 townspeople and baseball fans attended dedication ceremonies that unveiled a Walter “Smokey” Alston monument in the southwest quadrant of the village square.
The printed program (see cover at the right) included the following:
"1st Inning: Welcome: Mike Lindley, Master of Ceremonies
2nd Inning: History of Dedication: Pastor Bob Heilinger
3rd Inning: Proclamation of Highway: Ann Foust
4th Inning: Memories: Kim Ogle
5th Inning: Memories: Rob Ogle
6th Inning: Keynote Speakers:
- Richard Shrider, former Miami University Athletic Director
- Darrell Hedric, former Miami University Basketball Coach and current
Cleveland Caveliers scout
- Tom Holmes, Talawanda High School Athletic Director
- Carl Loewenstine, Major League scout, Los Angeles Dodgers
7th Inning: Dodgers Thoughts and Comments (7th inning stretch)
> 8th Inning: Dedication and Unveiling of Monument: - Bob Young
> 9th Inning: Closing and Refreshments"
LEFT: The Walter Alston monument bears the following inscription:
Darrtown, Ohio Home of
Walter “Smokey” Alston
Manager of the
Brooklyn Dodgers 1954-1957
Los Angeles Dodgers 1958-1976
World Championships in 55, 59, 63, 65
National Baseball Hall of Fame
The printed program carried the following
“Special Thanks” message.
Special thanks to all the individuals and organizations
that made donations to help us achieve our goal.
Church Street Printing — Ken Menke (Programs and Invitations)
Oxford Farm Service / Whistle Stop Drive Thru
Village West Framing & Gallery
Darrtown United Methodist Church
St. Matthew Lutheran Church
Moonshine Printing — Dodgers Unveiling Cloth
J & D Printing — Jay Hartleb — Memorabilia
Ogle Family — Pictures and History
Los Angeles Dodgers
Shademakers Nursery — Doug & Rob Drake
Volunteer Firemen — Darrtown and Collinsville
Corby Hansel — Sound System
Oxford Monuments-Oxford, Ohio — Monument
Somerville National Bank of Oxford, Ohio
Milford Township — Setting Foundation (The Base Phillip Bunger)
Larry Brock — Singing
State Department (Ohio) House of Representatives
Governor Robert Taft & Senate for Approval of Highway
Laidlaw Education Services — Judy Brown — Shirley Miller, Driver
Dean Foster — Butler County Engineer Highway Signs
Mark Langill — Los Angeles Dodgers
The Hitching Post
All those who provided refreshments
Shawn & Donna Gallagher
Pastor Bob Heilinger
Ken & Carolyn Russell
Bob & Fran Young
The following letter appeared in the Oxford Press, on the Thursday, following the Alston monument ceremony.
"Smokey Alston Memorial Committee Says Thanks
The Committee for the Walter “Smokey” Alston Memorial Dedication would like to express their appreciation for all who attended the ceremony this past Sunday, in Darrtown. A special thanks goes to all the Milford Township Fire Department members who diligently worked to keep traffic at a minimum, while the program was going on. Thanks, also, to Richard Shrider, Tom Holmes, Kirk Mee, Darrell Hedric, and Carl Loewenstine for their wonderful tributes to “Smokey” Alston. Mike Lindley did a great job, as Master of Ceremonies, and kept the program moving.
Thanks, also, to Larry Brock for the beautiful rendition of the National Anthem and leading the crowd in “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” A special thanks to Laidlaw Transportation for allowing us to have a shuttle bus, driven by Shirley Miller. Thanks, also, to Judy Brown, the Laidlaw Transportation director, for giving her time. The children really enjoyed the bus ride. A big thanks to all who provided cookies for the event.
The programs were printed by Church Street Printing and we really want to thank Ken Menke for the beautiful job he did in printing them. J & D Printing helped provide the cups and pencils, with the Dodgers logo, which were given away. The Dodgers office sent the Dodger bags to us, also to be given away to the people of Darrtown.
A big thanks to the newspaper coverage we have had to get the word out about the ceremony. The Oxford Press, the Hamilton Journal, and the Middletown Journal did a super job.
It was a beautiful day, for the event, and we, the committee, would like to thank everyone who participated in any way.
DARRTOWN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE
FOR ALSTON MEMORIAL
The photo at the right and the following news article appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer (circa summer, 2000).
"Road Might Sport Name of Legend
Darrtown had Hall of Famer
'Smokey was good to this community. He stayed here.'
By Randy McNutt ~ The Cincinnati Enquirer
DARRTOWN - This small Butler County town has one claim to immorality; It was the home of Walter 'Smokey' Alston, longtime manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers and nemesis of the Big Red Machine.
But, Mr. Alston was true to his town. He kept his home here all the while he was in baseball and brought big-league players home for an annual Christmas party and autograph sessions.
Now a committee of townspeople (see photo below) is trying to change the name of Main Street (Ohio 177) to the Walter 'Smokey' Alston Memorial Highway and erect a historical marker devoted to the baseball man. He died in 1984.
State Rep. Gene Krebs, R-Camden, has introduced a bill to make the change.It will need approval from the House and Gov. Bob Taft.
'The idea has been floating around town for many years,' said Bob Ison, a Milford Township trustee and highway committee member. 'We got a committee together to push for the highway, and then I thought, why not go for a historical marker, too?'
The marker would be partly paid for by the state's Bi-centennial Commission highway marker program. If the marker is selected by the commission, spokesman Brian Newbacher said, the commission would pay one third, a private firm another third, and local people the remainder. Each marker costs about $1,500.
Mr. Ison said the committee would compose some words for the marker, then ask the Ohio Historical Society to verify the information. He said he hopes that the action on the name change will come by September.
Mr. Alston graduated from Milford Township High School in 1929, married a Darrtown woman, and graduated from Miami University in nearby Oxford in 1935. He then started a life in baseball. Mr. Alston began managing the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1953. He made the move to Los Angeles and through the decades won 2,000 games, 18 divisional championships, seven pennants, and four World Series. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983.
The highway committee plans to ask the Ohio Bicentennial Committee to help pay for a historical marker in town, on property owned by the township.
'It's the least we can do,' Mr. Ison said. 'Smokey was good to this community. He stayed here. When he was named the Dodgers' manager, a New York newspaper ran the headline: 'Walter Who?' "