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Sunday, February 1, 2009

What's All the Fuss About the Super Bowl?

Today is Super Bowl Sunday. It is a day in the year that everything seems to come to a stop for a few hours, as tens of millions of Americans sit around their television sets watching the pinnacle of America sports.

Well, a few generations ago, in New Gretna, the big question would be, "What's all the fuss about the Super Bowl?" You see, back in the 30's, 40's and early 50's baseball was king, and New Gretna had its share of baseball stars. No one much cared about football.

Baseball uniforms in the 1930's through the 1950's were what we would call "babe magnets" today. Newman Mathis entertains Ann Carr (r) and Georgia Cramer. Year unknown. Perhaps the car can give us a clue.

The old timers passed on their love of the game and baseball knowledge to the younger generation at an early age.

Clarence Mathis giving a few baseball pointers to his grandson, Skip. Wonder if that's an out house or club house out back? My money's on an out house and, from its size, looks like it might be a two seater.  (Photo courtesy of Norman and Ann Mathis.)

The following baseball box score from 1939 shows well recognized New Gretna family surnames. I'm sure they were elated in defeating their arch enemy, Tuckerton. I feel confident in saying that the word "bingles" in the news story is probably a typo for "singles." I don't think that baseball terminology has changed over the years.

Tuckerton Beacon - May 25, 1939

The news article identifies only two first names of the New Gretna players, Tal (short for Talbert) Loveland and Foster Lamson. I could use some assistance identifying the first names of the other players. Can anyone out there help? That is, if I can tear you away from Super Bowl Sunday for a few minutes.

Pete S


  1. Pete

    Here's my guess for some of the New Gretna team not listed in the article.

    Kenneth Mathis (Neuman's brother)
    Richard Hickman
    Stan Cranmer
    Orval Mathis
    Neuman Mathis
    Don Cramer (Stan's Brother)
    Harvey LeMunyon
    Harold Gerew
    Hubert Adams

  2. Orval's older brother, Norman Mathis (born 1914), also played baseball, so he might also be the N. Mathis listed in the box score playing 2nd base. Does anyone know what position Newman and/or Norman usually played? That might help.

    Pete S

  3. Pete - I'll take a swing on the Tuckerton team.
    Ed Mathis, Bob Reeves, Dick Grayson, Cal Falkinburg,??? Potter,Al Brown, Henry Kruse, Ropie Mott and Paul Steinhower. I'll even sign my name. Clif Brown Norman Mathis usually played 2nd base on NG team and John Bozarth or John Barnes were the Managers

  4. Pete - Scrub Cal and insert Ernie. Senior moment.
    Cal was the short one who usually umpired the games. One thing more -'GO CARDINALS'

  5. Pete,

    I'm presently in Florida and have been off line for 3 or 4 weeks. I happened to turn on computer this a.m. and saw your request for first names of New Gretna roster of ball team. I was there at that game when New Gretna beat Tuckerton. It was a great day as they usually beat us. The first names were: Ken Mathis commomly know as Pud, Richie Hickman always catcher, Stanley Cramer known as tater, Orville Mathis, Newman Mathis usually a pitcher, Foster Lamsomn known as Curly, both pitcher and team manager, Don Cramer who was Stanley Cramer's brother, Harvey LeMunyon, Harold or Huddle Gerew, Hubert Adams known as Hubie, Arthur Loveland known as Cooney. Now the Loveland could be Talbert Loveland, although I can't remember him ever playing that much. I do know Cooney who was probably one of the youngest members of the team always playing. He and Pud Mathis were probably the youngest.

    Don Maxwell

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