Looking back to 1938: St Paul Packers Beat Minneapolis Jerseys, 7 to 1, for D-Ball Title

Written by Bob on December 6th, 2018

SUPERIOR PACKERS win 1938 Twin Cities Diamondball League with a 7 to 1 victory over the Jerseys. Left to right first row: Sonny Wrisky, Al Treichel, Don Fehrman and Shorty Mathes; second row: Gordy Johnson, Leo Tschida, John Vollmer and Earl Braun; third row: Charles Flaherty, Knut Hunt, Charles Kreyer, Bobby Tricker, Dwight Reed and Manager Tom Cunningham. – Tribune Staff photo

As a young fastpitch pitcher back in the early 1960s, I heard of this legendary pitcher from the Twin Cities who many considered the greatest of all-time Minnesota hurlers. Of course, each era has its outstanding pitchers. But from the 1930s into the 1950s, none were any better than JOHNNY VOLLMER.

Three-year record crowd of
6,000 sees St. Paul ace
win despite injury.

Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Minn.
Aug. 17, 1938

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Disposing of their last remaining threat, the Superior Packers won the Twin City diamondball league championship Tuesday night by defeating the Minneapolis Jerseys, 7 to 1, before a capacity crowd of 6,000 which set a three-year record at Minneapolis Parade Stadium.

Despite an ankle injury, JOHNNY VOLMER, the Packers pitching ace, allowed only four hits, DWIGHT REED, former Minnesota football star, hit a home run, triple and double to lead the St. Paul team’s attack.


The Packers counted two in the first inning to start the Jerseys off on the wrong foot. Reed walked and scored ahead of BOB TRICKER, saintly second baseman, when he homered over the left field fence.

While RED ANDERSON permitted six hits and was charged with the defeat, loose support cost him at least one run. A homer by Reed in the third inning, however, was no fluke. The Negro centerfielder poling one way out over the right field fence.


In the fifth, the Packers got two more, with SHORTY MATHES walking and scoring when Vollmer smacked a double to left center. Reed banged out another double and scored Vollmer. Braun walked, advanced on a fly ball and scored on an error for another Packer marker in the sixth, and Mathes counted run No. 7 in the seventh on Reed’s triple.

Aside from Vollmer, whose four-hit effort was slightly over his “par” for the seven-inning course, Reed was the standout. Vollmer fanned 12 Jerseys, while Red Anderson victimized but three Packers.


The lone Jersey marker came in the seventh when JOHNNY RAINES bounced a single into the infield. He stole second, took third on a wild pitch and scored on WALLY HERKAL’s ground ball.

Superior 7
Reed, cf, 3-for-3
Tricker, 2b, 2-4
Kreyer, ss, 0-3
Tschida, 1b, 0-3
Braun, 3b, 0-2
Wrisky, lf, 0-3
Hunt, rf, 0-3
Flaherty, ut, 0-2
Mathes, c, 0-2,
Vollmer, p, 1-3

Jerseys 1
Marren, ss, 0-2
Dahlin, cf, 0-3
Cady, cf, 0-0
Gibo, c, 1-3
Anderson, p, 1-3
Raine, 3b, 1-2
Robison, 1b, 0-3
Herkal, rf, 0-3
Pelton, ph, 1-1
Ginsberg, lf, 0-2
Sorlie, lf, 0-1
Swederg, 2b, 0-2

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