By Parnell Dumiller.
Stanley Byrd, Toledo Blade District manager and part-time Chicago White Sox scout, is today’s contributor to The Times series of "outstanding sports memories".
Between 1929 and 1935 I played on various teams of the Southern Athletic Club in Bowling Green – baseball, basketball, track and football. In 1930 my team enjoyed a standout baseball record, losing only to the Bowling Green Yorkmen and Walbridge Juniors. We turned avidly to football – and thereby was spawned my thrill and chill game.
Our manager, Herman Kander (deceased), booked a game with Portage, O. We boarded the old Bowling Green & Southern trolley for the game. Attired in every conceivable type of uniform we had passengers guessing as to our allegiance.
We arrived at the Portage ball park where we found the home team in baseball uniforms, taking infield practice. Portage’s manager evidently thought a baseball game had been scheduled.
We were a baffled squad, keyed as we were for a rugged football game we were dismayed to find Portage bent on baseball.
Kander finally convinced the Portage manager that it was to be a football game or none. We had to explain the rules to the Portagers and stake out a football field.
After two hours delay, Portage kicked off to us – a team in baseball uniforms vs. one in razz-ma-tazz gridiron gear. The field was full of rocks, holes and cows. Those handicaps were rough on my team yet we were fired up for an opening victory and intended to make it a lopsided score.
But those husky farmer boys of Portage literally plowed the field with us. Somehow we managed to win by about two touchdowns, only because we had plays and Portage didn’t – the home team aped us as the game progressed.
In those days the term "moral victory" was much current and such a victory was Portage’s. Our foe had wrecked us physically and we ended our season then and there, one win, no losses – yet 11 losses. Players that is.