This will be the last post on this page. I am resigning as Chairman and also as a member of the Board of Directors effective immediately.
The El Dorado Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. is a not-for-profit educational institution located in El Dorado, Kansas.
This will be the last post on this page. I am resigning as Chairman and also as a member of the Board of Directors effective immediately.
I posted that last week was the anniversary of the first American Legion World Series and El Dorado was one of the 4 teams. I found some additional details. El Dorado played the first game of the first World Series on October 11, 1926, I knew El Dorado lost to Pocatello, ID 7-5. What I didn't know is that Post 81 gave up 2 runs in the top of the 9th. The World Series ran from October 11th-15th in Philadelphia.
They used Major League umpires and Connie Mack threw out the first pitch. What I don't know is in which stadium it was played. I thought it was Shibe Park, but an article in the Philadelphia Enquirer from 2019 says it was Sesquicentennial Stadium shown below in a picture from the Dallin Aerial Survey Collection. That stadium opened April 15, 1926 and was later known as Municipal Stadium and JFK Stadium.
The first American Legion World Series was held this week in 1926 in Philadelphia and El Dorado was one of the 4 teams. El Dorado lost to Yonkers, NY 18-1 and Pocatello, ID 9-5. Yonkers won the championship beating Pocatello just as badly in the championship game. Yonkers population in 1920 was 100,176 and 134,646 by 1930. At that time, El Dorado was a little over 10,000. For more perspective, Wichita was just over 72,000 in 1920 and 111,000 in 1930. Of course, El Dorado High School did compete with Wichita High School as members of the Ark Valley League starting in the 1925-26 school year.
50 years ago, El Dorado American Legion took a postseason trip to St. Louis to see the Cardinals play the Montreal Expos. Highlight of the trip was eating at Stan Musial's restaurant and getting to meet Stan and Stan signed pictures for all.
The team also got to see a number of MLB Hall of Famers. Lou Brock was 6-14 for the weekend with 3 stolen bases, Joe Torre was 5-8 with a triple and a home run and HOF pitcher Bob Gibson was used as a pinch runner for Torre.
Newly elected Hall of Famer, Ted Simmons caught the second game of a Sunday doubleheader which was a 2 hit shutout by Jerry Reuss. HOF pitcher Steve Carlton didn't fare as well in the first game losing 7-6. He allowed 11 hits and 4 walks in 6 1/3 innings but only 3 runs were earned thanks to 2 Mike Shannon errors. Carlton also fanned 4. Famous, long-time NL umpire Ed Vargo was behind the plate.
The Cards won the Saturday afternoon game 11-10. After giving up the lead with 3 runs in the top of the 9th, the Cards came back with 4 in the bottom of the 9th.
The other excitement for those who rode to dinner with Coach Bill Klein, was Klein getting on going the wrong direction on a 6 lane divided highway in a driving rain storm after dinner.
50 years ago, Pittsburg won the Kansas American Legion State Tournament at Salina to advance to the National Regional in Billings, MT. The win advanced Pittsburg's record to 26-8.
One of those losses came to El Dorado American Legion. In June, El Dorado took a road trip and won a single afternoon game at Joplin on Saturday and spent the night at the Mickey Mantle Holiday Inn. They drove to Pittsburg on Sunday and downed the eventual State Champs behind an outstanding pitching performance by Hall of Famer, Dave Beckner.
40 years ago, for his 17th birthday, John Scanlon, got to start on the mound for El Dorado American Legion in an elimination game of the State Tournament against Manhattan. He allowed 6 runs (2 earned) in 1 1/3 innings to start the game and came back in the 7th inning to get the final 2 outs.
The game started well with a ground out and a fly out but a walk and then an infield error were followed by a full count walk, a balk and a 3 run home run before a fly out to end the inning.
The second also started with a ground out followed by hitting the 9th place batter with the first pitch and then another home run. Chuck Vaught came on in relief and got out of the inning. He allowed a run in the 3rd and only allowed one walk in the 4th and El Dorado was within 3 at 7-4.
However, the 5th started with a rare error by outfielder Jeff Long followed by another home run, a single and a hit batter and Vaught was replaced by Dan Milner.
El Dorado was again within 3 at 13-10 going into the top of the 7th. However, Post 81's nemesis struck again with an infield error to start the 7th followed by a home run on an 0-2 pitch. Milner got a ground out but then gave up a single and a 4 pitch walk and Scanlon came back to finish the game. Another error at shortstop scored a 3rd run and a sacrifice fly made the final tally 17 runs.
Post 81 scored their 10 runs on 7 hits, 8 walks and 6 Manhattan errors. Steve Gahagan was 2-4. Long reached base 4 times and had a 3 run home run in the 6th. Milner had a 2 RBI single. Derek White had the other RBI on a double and brother Doug White also had a double. Vaught had the other El Dorado hit with a single.
Vincent Lara was not available to pitch for El Dorado in the State Tournament. Legion rules allow players to play for other teams during the regular season. However, once District starts, they can't play for another team until the State Tournament is over or they are ineligible.
40 years ago, El Dorado American Legion opened play in the State Tournament at McPherson against the powerhouse Kansas City Armourdale team. Kansas City had already hit over 50 home runs entering the tournament, an unheard of number in Legion baseball.
Armourdale's pitching was pretty good, too as they held Post 81 to 2 singles, winning 13-2 in 5 innings. El Dorado got a 1st inning single by Steve Gahagan and an RBI single by Doug White in the 4th.
El Dorado was only down 3-0 after 2 innings but fell apart in the 3rd with 3 errors and Ketley issued 3 of his 5 walks. Post 81 finished the game with 7 errors. Ketley struck out 6 in 3 innings pitched and allowed 7 hits. However, he did not allow an extra base hit until he gave up a home run following an error to start the 4th.
Dan Milner pitched the final 2 frames, striking out 3 and walking none while allowing 4 hits. Milner also only allowed one extra base hit, a home run to lead off the 5th.
El Dorado American Legion played at the highest level of competition from the first year in 1926 (now called AAA) until dropping to a lower class (AA) in 1987. Below are the coaches, season record (if known), district championships and place in state from 1949-53 and 1964-1987.
1949 Coe Orndorff 24-4 District 1st State 6th
1950 Coe Orndorff 21-5
1951 Coe Orndorff
1952 Coe Orndorff
1953 Coe Orndorff
1964 Bob Long 12-21
1965 Ray Houser 17-9 District 1st State 7th
1966 Ray Houser 29-9 District 1st State 1st
1967 Bill Klein 30-8 District 1st State 4th
1968 Bill Klein 16-17
1969 Gary Smith 16-12 District 3rd
1970 Bill Klein 15-18
1971 Oral Taylor 16-18
1972 Oral Taylor 31-15 District 1st State 2nd
1973 Brad Long 33-15 District 1st State 2nd
1974 Brad Long 36-8 District 1st State 4th
1975 Oral Taylor 27-19
1976 Oral Taylor State Host State 7th
1977 Oral Taylor District 1st State 7th
1978 Max Honeyman
1979 Richard Cooley
1980 Sam Leben 16-22 District 1st State 7th
1981 Sam Leben 29-20 District 1st State 7th
1982 Joe Palmer District 1st Lost Bi-District to
1983 Joe Palmer District 2nd
1984 Joe Palmer
1985 Joe Palmer 12-37
1986 Dale Ball
1987 Dale Ball
40 years ago, El Dorado American Legion got rained out at McPherson with the hosts leading 1-0 in the top of the 3rd. With a 10 day gap between the 5th District Championship game and the start of the State Tournament, the game had been scheduled as a tuneup. It was also a chance for Post 81 to play at Light Capitol Field where State would be held.
The rain spoiled a pitcher's duel between McPherson lefty Brad Hill and El Dorado right hander John Scanlon. Hill had a perfect game going, having retired the first 7 batters including 2 strikeouts.
Scanlon had fanned 4 through 2 innings. In the Scanlon had a 9 pitch strikeout of his mound opponent followed by a full count walk. But Scanlon picked off the runner and then got another K.
The second started with a pop out and another strikeout. Then, El Dorado's biggest weakness struck, an infield error followed by another error by Scanlon trying to pick off the runner. McPherson then got the game's only hit, a single to left before Scanlon got his 4th strikeout.
Hill went on to be a 4-time NAIA All-American at Emporia State and then played 4 years as a first baseman in the Texas Rangers organization, his last season in AA with the Tulsa Drillers. Hill then became a successful college baseball coach including being head coach at K-State from 2004-2018.
It may seem strange to post a football picture here, but there are 3 future Hall of Famers in the picture of the 1969 El Dorado Little League 7-8 year old team. Pitcher Vincent Lara, catcher Dane Whiteside and coach Kenny Fowler. Also, Raymond Lara, Eddie Fagg and John Schwindt are team inductees as members of the 1979 EHS team that took 3rd in State Tournament.
40 years ago, El Dorado American Legion came from behind in the bottom of the 7th to edge Newton 3-2 and win the 5th District Tournament Championship at Wellington. Post 81 scored 2 runs in the inning without a hit.
The second inning had been the only inning that El Dorado managed more than a single base runner against Newton starter, Tony Griffie. RF Chuck Vaught led off the 7th with a walk. After retiring Derek White, Griffie hit CF John Scanlon and walked SS Vincent Lara to load the bases.
Newton manager Jake Klein brought Dan St. Clair out of the bullpen and he walked Ed Ketley on a full count to drive in Vaught and tie the game. That prompted Klein to move SS Bernie Pierson to the mound.
Pierson got LF Jeff Long to pop out and had a 2-2 count on 2B Steve Gahagan when Gahagan hit a ball to Pierson's replacement at shortstop and Gahagan reached on an error scoring Scanlon with the winning run.
El Dorado had taken a 1-0 lead in the 3rd when Griffie also had a bout of control problems. He issued a one out walk to 3B Derek White who stole second and advanced to third and scored on consecutive wild pitches. Scanlon flew out for the 2nd out, then Lara tripled and Ketley and Long walked to load the bases before a strikeout ended the threat.
Newton took the lead in the next half inning on a one out double, and a triple by Griffie. An error in the outfield allowed Griffie to score. Griffie would go on to be teammates with Scanlon, Ketley, Vaught and Doug White at Butler County.
Dan Milner went the distance on the mound for El Dorado scattering 5 hits, walking 1 and striking out 7. Post 81 was held to 4 hits by Griffie. Doug White was 2-3, both doubles and Ed Ketley had a single in the first in addition to Lara's triple.
This was El Dorado's first district championship since 1974 after having won the title 6 out of 10 years from 1965-1974. The win moved El Dorado's record for the month of July to 13-7 after going 3-15 in June.
We have never had a breakdown of our Hall of Fame players by position. In attempting to do so, I quickly realized that it is much more difficult for high school and American Legion than for college and semi-pro.
There are no players who have been inducted at 1st Base although several pitchers played 1st and were excellent hitters. Steve Gillies was 1st Team All AVL at 1B in 1974 and was 1st Team 3B the year before, but his best position and the position he played in college was OF.
There is only one second baseman, the late Tony Butler. Brad Long was an outstanding second baseman and might have been inducted strictly for his play, but he was inducted primarily for his achievements as a coach.
Below is a breakdown of El Dorado High School and El Dorado American Legion players by position:
1B - None
2B - Tony Butler
SS - Don Prigmore, Wayne Morton, Jason Patty
3B - Gary Bolin, Rick Scott
3B-SS - Max Honeyman, Jerry Williams
3B-1B-OF-P Steve Gillies
OF - Barry Cross, Scott Mann, Brad Seusy, Brian Morrow
OF-IF-P - Dave Beckner, Steve Gahagan
C - Bill Bolin, Bob Johnston, Jim Jackson, Dane Whiteside,
C-3B-OF - Jason Patty
P - Ben Dalton, Vern Orndorff, Bobby Douglass, Parry Owen,
Jerry Higgins, Wes Blanton, John Wallace, Chris Martinez,
Vincent Lara, Jeremy Shipman, Todd Hinnenkamp,
40 years ago, El Dorado American Legion downed Newton 9-2 in the semi-finals of the 5th District Tournament at Wellington. Vincent Lara went the distance on the mound allowing 4 hits and 3 walks while striking out 8. Bernie Pierson (who would later coach basketball at Butler) pitched the final 3 2/3 for Newton.
El Dorado got 12 hits off a total of 3 Newton hurlers and 8 players had at least 1 hit. Steve Gahagan was 3-3 with a home run; Jeff Long was 2-4 with a double and a homer; and Chuck Vaught was 2-3 with a triple. The other extra base hit was a 2 RBI double by John Scanlon.
Newton protested that Lara was a professional since he spent most of the season pitching for a Wichita 18 and under team that played against several semi-pro teams. The protest was denied but led to another El Dorado rule in the Kansas Legion rule book that players could not play with or against players who were paid to play.
The previous El Dorado rule came after the 1973 State Tournament after some El Dorado players had a water fight in the dorm at McPherson College.
I am very sad to report that former El Dorado American Legion player, Rex Irwin has passed away. Rex was a 1970 graduate of Circle High School.
40 years ago El Dorado American Legion opened 5th District Tournament play at Wellington with a 10-5 win over the hosts. Ed Ketley was the winning pitcher with 3 1/3 innings of no-hit shutout relief. Ketley only allowed one base runner, a leadoff walk in the 7th, and struck out 4.
Ketley relieved John Scanlon who allowed 2 earned runs on 5 hits and 2 walks while fanning 5. Post 81 was held to 7 hits but took advantage of 8 walks, a hit batter and 3 Wellington errors.
Jeff Long was 2-4 with a triple and Derek White was 2-3. Steve Gahagan and Mike Hooten each went 1-2 with RBI singles and Doug White also had a single in 4 at bats.
40 years ago, El Dorado American Legion closed out the regular season with a 6-4 win over Ark City at McDonald Stadium. John Scanlon went the distance on the mound allowing 7 hits while striking out 8 and walking 4.
The first 8 batters in the lineup each had one hit for Post 81. Extra base hits were RBI dooubles by Scanlon and shortstop Dan Milner.
The win brought the record for July to 10-7, 8-4 at home.
40 years ago, El Dorado American Legion traveled to Ponca City and were victims of a 2 hit shutout. The only hits were a 2 RBI triple by Jeff Long and an RBI single by Doug White.
El Dorado pitching allowed 9 runs (7 earned) in the first 2 innings, but Ed Ketley came in and only allowed 2 runs on 3 hits the rest of the way in an 11-3 loss.
40 years ago, El Dorado American Legion dominated the 2nd game of a doubleheader with Wellington at McDonald Stadium after an embarrassing performance in the opener. Post 81 took the nightcap 10-2 in a game called after 5 due to run rule after allowing 17 runs on 14 hits and 12 errors in the opener, falling 17-11.
In the second game, Ed Ketley went the distance on the mound allowing 3 hits and 5 walks while fanning 8. El Dorado added 2 more errors in that game making one Wellington tally unearned.
Ketley was also the leader at the plate going 3-3 with 2 RBI's. Steve Gahagan was 2-3 with a triple.
40 years ago, Darrell Howry's Circle summer team visited McDonald Stadium to face El Dorado American Legion. Post 81 won 8-0 in a game called with 2 outs in the bottom of the 6th due to the run rule.
Dan Milner went the distance on the mound for El Dorado hurling a 3 hit shutout (all singles), striking out 9 and walking 3. Kelly Glock went the distance for Circle only allowing 2 earned runs on 9 hits and 3 walks while also striking out 9. However, he allowed 3 doubles and a triple and his defense made 7 errors.
Mike Clark went 2-2 for Post 81 with one of the doubles. Doug White was 2-3 and Steve Gahagan 2-4. Milner and Derek White added doubles and Chuck Vaught had a triple.
40 years ago, El Dorado American Legion lost a close game at Olathe, 7-6 to close out a weekend trip to Kansas City. The locals lost to Gladstone MO (North Kansas City) on Saturday and also dropped the first game of the DH at Olathe.
Both days were blistering hot with the high both days in Wichita reaching 110. It was so hot at Gladstone that metal spikes were sinking into the asphalt parking lot.
Olathe started their ace pitcher in the second game and he lasted 1/3 of an inning after giving up 3 walks and a triple by El Dorado pitcher Ed Ketley. Ketley went the distance allowing 1 earned run on 7 hits and 2 walks while fanning 7.
El Dorado made the most of their opportunities scoring 6 runs on only 3 hits, 4 walks and 2 Olathe errors.
210 N Griffith St
El Dorado, KS
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