1925 Game Reports     

John Donaldson, Swede Risberg, Happy Felsch

John DonaldsonDonaldson, 33 years of age, and with his best years behind him, signed for his second season with the Bertha, MN, Fishermen. He and his wife, Eleanor, both appreciated the small town rural life that Bertha afforded them and were especially thankful for the respect and treatment they received while there the previous summer.

The schedule began on April 26th and the Bertha team played 33 games, finishing with a record of 24 wins and 9 losses. Donaldson's record was 20 - 5.

The schedule, not being particularly heavy, allowed the big lefthander to work as a hired gun for a few other teams. In all, he pitched in 10 additional games. One of the teams he played for as a mercenary, the 1925 Plentywood, MT, club, tried to lure him away from Bertha for the rest of the season with offers of a better salary. Swede RisbergHappy FelschPlentywood had an intense baseball rivalry with Scobey, MT, 40 miles to the west on the Great Northern Railway. Swede Risberg (left) and Happy Felsch (right) had been hired as ringers for the Scobey Outlaws, receiving $600 per month plus expenses.

In an effort to upscale their bitter rivals, the Plentywoods offered Donaldson $650 per month plus expenses if he could get his release from Bertha. He refused to abandon the Fishermen but did fulfill his commitment to pitch three games for Plentywood against the rowdy, undisciplined Outlaws over a four-day span.

With hard-throwing Risberg, a great-glove, no-hit shortstop during his days in the show, taking the mound for Scobey in the opener, Donaldson went down to defeat 4 - 1 in a 10-inning thriller and then split the two follow-up contests, one against Felsch, to end with a not-so-impressive record of one win and two losses against Scobey.

Both the Plentywood and Scobey teams, being only a scant few miles from the Saskatchewan border, frequently travelled into the wheat province. Scobey had entered the July 1925 Kiwanis tournament in Moose Jaw while Donaldson, with a few days remaining on his leave-of-absence from Bertha, was picked up by Radville, a small Saskatchewan town not too far from the border.

Donaldson had a younger brother, James, who also played in MN with Minneota. The younger Donaldson died in August, 1925 from meningitis. John suited up for his brother's team on August 6th just before James' sudden passing and again on September 6th as a tribute to his fallen sibling. A pair of games with the Linsmore, MN, Gophers in September and a single pitching start in October for Clarkfield, MN, brought his season to an end.

Risberg preceded his ex-teammate Felsch to Scobey but, once they hooked up together, they guided the Outlaws to a 30 - 3 record, including the two wins against Donaldson.

The bitter, ever-sarcastic Risberg and the jocular Felsch really hit it off well with the Scobey fans, Felsch for his mammoth home runs and Risberg for his prowess on the mound, a position he had abandoned in the low minors as the White Sox organization converted him to a middle infielder. All of this went on in an environment of heavy gambling and drinking, which characterized Scobey at the time. Discipline was loose and the two feisty players were taunted unmercifully on the road. Arguments with fans, opposition players and officials commonly marked games and brawls were not uncommon. After one heated exchange between Felsch and a Moose Jaw fan, the fan was ejected from the ballpark but Felsch spotted him after the game and drilled him with a haymaker. Needless to say, the Scobey team had to leave the Mill City in a hurry.

Risberg left the Scobey team following the 1925 season but Felsch was lured back for one more campaign. Then, in 1927, he took over as playing-manager of the Regina Balmorals and guided the independent semi-pro squad to an exciting and successful season including games against Risberg's Lignite, ND, club.

The John Donaldson research project. This is Peter Gorton's labour of love.


Southern Saskatchewan

 

Southern Saskatchewan, Northern Montana - note Scobey and Plentywood just below the USA-Canada border.  Regina and Moose Jaw were the larger Saskatchewan centres, with other teams representing Gravelbourg, Radville, Milestone and Weyburn among other communities.


(May 21)  The Weyburn senior baseball nine took the invading Radville aggregation into camp by a 5 to 3 score in front of a good crowd of fans at the Exhibition grounds diamond. “Casey” Moroschan pitched a steady game for the winners, allowing only four hits while breezing a half dozen. Losing pitcher Waldo “Wally” Shupe, the Radville playing-manager, sent 13 batters down on strikes but was nicked for five of the seven Weyburn hits before being derricked for reliever Saddler. Catcher Pat McNeally led the winners at the dish with a triple and double while shortstop “Babe” Brossard stroked a brace of singles.

Shupe (L), Saddler and Frumerie
Moroschan (W) and McNeally

(May 28)  Radville again tasted defeat at the hands of Weyburn, falling 7 to 5 to their Soo Line hosts. Each squad stroked nine base hits. “Babe” Brossard, with three safe swats including a triple, topped the victors with the lumber. Losing slabman Frumerie also had a triad of safeties, all singles. “Casey” Moroschan belted a solo four-ply clout in the sixth panel for Weyburn. 

Frumerie (L) and xxx
Tschida (W) and McNeally

(June 9)  The touring Scobey, Montana, club pounded out 20 hits to whip the Regina All-Stars 14-6 before a record crowd of 2,500 at Park de Young in Regina.  Del Cottingham, former Milestone pitcher, held Regina to four hits, one of them a homer by Chuck Milne. Cottingham also helped the offense with four hits.  Outfielders Wally Hilden and Honey Guyer and second baseman Porky Dallas each had three hits. Swede Risberg, one of the principals of the 1919 White Sox scandal, played first base for Scobey and had a double in four tries.  Third baseman Johnny Meyers connected for a homer and double.  Johnny Herauf, who started for Regina, took the loss.  Shortstop George Hay had two hits for Regina.

Cottingham (W) and McIntyre
Herauf (L), Bateman (2), Young (8) and Leigh

(June 10)   The Moose Jaw Stars upset Scobey Outlaws 3-1 in an exhibition game at Moose Jaw. George Haigh fired a four-hitter for the win.  He fanned five without issuing any free passes.  Hughie Craigen was outstanding in left field making a half-dozen putouts, some on difficult running catches.  The locals scored all their runs in the 5th inning with Craigen leading off the frame with a single.  Eddie Scott reached on a base on balls and, with two outs, an error allowed both Craigen and Scott to cross the plate.  A third run scored on a sacrifice fly. Scobey has scored in the top of the 5th as Johnny Myers tripled and came around to notch the game's first marker. Myers handled mound duties for the visitors allowing just five hits. He had nine strikeouts and walked three.

Myers (L) and Hilden
Haigh (W) and Mills

(June 18)  The invading Regina All-Stars and the Weyburn baseballers split a double-bill at the Exhibition grounds, the Capital City’s crack contingent rallying in the ninth inning to take the afternoon encounter 11 to 10 while Weyburn had a 6 to 1 walkaway in the evening tilt.  After trailing throughout the first eight innings, the Reginans exploded for three runs in their final turn at bat to capture the opener. Third baseman Heinie Rogers picked up three of the 15 Queen City hits. 

Bateman, Brundage (W) (4) and Snell
Tschida, Moroschan (L) (8) and McNeally

Al “Lefty” Hartman tossed a three-hitter for the Soo-Liners in the wrap-up fracas, whiffing nine en route to the hillock decision over Tommy Green. Shortpatcher “Babe” Brossard and fly chaser Tschida stroked a pair of hits each for the winners.

Green (L) and Snell
Hartman (W) and McNeally

(June 25)  The snappy Plentywood MT baseball club, augmented with the services of Oscar “Hap” Felsch and Charles “Swede” Risberg from the arch-rival Scobey MT squad, two former major leaguers tainted by the 1919 Black Sox scandal, locked horns with the Weyburn senior squad in doubleheader action at the Exhibition grounds. Weyburn copped the afternoon fixture 3 to 2 and the two combatants failed to decide a winner in the evening tussle, being deadlocked at 2 – 2 after ten innings when darkness ended the proceedings. Steve Chekaluk, star twirler for the visitors, pitched both games, allowing only 10 hits in 19 innings, four in the opener and six in ten-inning finale. Over the course of the double-dip, Felsch went three for seven while the Risberg had just one hit in nine at-bats.

Import moundsman Tschida heaved a five-hitter for the Soo-Liners in the matinee event. Revere “Babe” Brossard’s run-scoring single in the bottom-of-the-sixth inning drove in Weyburn’s winning run. He also ripped a double and was the lone swatsmith in the contest with two base knocks. “Swede” Risberg’s double was the sole extra-base swat the Montanans acquired off Tschida.    

Chekaluk (L) and Weinberger
Tschida (W) and McNeally

Both Chekaluk and Weyburn complete-game chucker Al “Lefty” Hartman fanned nine in the late affair as both were nicked for a half dozen safeties. A single by “Hap” Felsch drove in Plentywood’s first run in the top-of-the-opening panel. The Soo-Liners promptly knotted the count in their half of the frame on “Babe” Brossard’s RBI one-bagger. “Gizzy” Hart plated the second Weyburn counter in the third stanza when Pat McNeally singled him home. The final, and tying, tally of the contest occurred in the sixth when “Hap” Felsch doubled home Plentywood outfielder Smith who had reached base after being hit by a Hartman pitch. Felsch had a single earlier in the game to go along with his two-bagger while McNeally and Hart both ripped a brace of singles for the victors.

Chekaluk and Weinberger
Hartman and McNeally

(June 27)  The hosting Moose Jaw All-Stars and invading Weyburn nine provided double-barrelled entertainment for the Mill City fans, playing to a 0 – 0 nine-inning scoreless draw in the curtain-raiser while the Stars prevailed 9 to 4 in the sunset fixture. Moose Jaw’s Jim MacDonald yielded seven scattered hits in the opener while portsider Al Hartman of the Soo Line squad was teasing the homesters on five safeties with his assortment of floaters, hooks and spitters. 

Hartman and McNeally
MacDonald and xxx

Weyburn held a 2 to 0 lead after five-and-a-half innings of the nightcap before the roof fell in on them as they began to boot the pellet too frequently behind losing flinger Tschida. Cliff Armstrong’s critical base blow put the Moose Javians ahead to stay in the bottom-of-that frame as George Haigh went on to cop the complete-game hillock victory.

Tschida (L) and McNeally
Haigh (W) and xxx 

(July 9)  In a double-dip played at Weyburn’s Exhibition grounds, the Soo-Liners disposed of the Regina All-Stars twice, scoring 10 to 5 and 7 to 3 decisions.  Weyburn slammed 15 base hits in the opener as winning pitcher Tschida led the way with the baton, nailing a triple and three singles in four at-bats. Contributing a trio of one-baggers was his batterymate, catcher Pat McNeally. Outfielder Jack Cranstoun had three of the eleven Capital City base knocks, one of which was a double.

Randolph (L) and Spence
Tschida (W) and McNeally

Weyburn portsider Al Hartman was in control all the way as he successfully scattered six Regina bingles while fanning a dozen in the follow-up match. Shortstop “Babe” Brossard of the winners, with a brace of one-baggers, was the only swatter in the joust to accumulate plural hit figures.

Herauf (L), Green and McNichol
Hartman (W) and McNeally

(July 11)  Winning their third and fourth games in succession, Weyburn knocked off visiting Radville 6 to 4 and 12 to 5 in doubleheader action. The Soo Line aggregation came from behind to annex the matinee contest, making reliever “Casey” Moroschan the mound winner. Les Dow of Radville, with a pair of doubles, was the game’s best willow wielder.

Shupe (L), Armstrong and Frumerie
Tschida, Moroschan (W) and McNeally

Rocking losing slab artist “Lefty” Armstrong for 16 base blows, Weyburn breezed to the sweep with their second-game triumph. Winning tosser Al “Lefty” Hartman rang up eight punchouts in going the route with a nine-hit mound effort. Regulars in the Weyburn pitching rotation, Tschida and “Casey” Moroschan patrolled the outer pasture in this fixture for the Soo-Liners, both pasting the pill for three safeties with a home run and double included in Tschida’s sum of swats.

Armstrong (L) and Frumerie
Hartman (W) and McNeally

(July 14)  Oxbow tournament - The Weyburn senior baseball team won second-place money of $200, losing out 5 to 3 to the All-Nations team in the final game of the Oxbow tourney. The All-Nations nine pocketed $300 as a result of the triumph. Earlier, the Soo-Liners had disposed of Flaxton ND 7 to 1 and Oak River MB 2 to 1. Sherwood ND took third money of $100 in the single-knockout event. 

(July 16)  The All-Stars of Moose Jaw, considered one of the star aggregations of baseballers within the Wheat Province, suffered an 11 to 6 defeat at the hands of the hosting Weyburn pastimers in the opening game of a twin-bill. A second encounter between the rival nines lasted ten innings without a winner being declared and was called with the score tied at 3 – 3.

Hitters from both squads hand the upper hand in the early clash, each accumulating 14 base hits. Weyburn’s “Casey” Moroschan, although receiving ragged support from his mates at times, was far more adept than losing tosser Jim MacDonald at minimizing scoring damage by more effectively scattering the Mill City blows. Every batter in the line-up of the Soo Line contingent had at least one base knock with Moroschan, Al Hartman, Pat McNeally and infielders Kennefick and Tschida all clipping the orb for a pair. MacDonald and shortstop Ted Johanson stroked three safeties apiece for the vanquished nine. 

MacDonald (L) and Mills
Moroschan (W) and McNeally

Pitcher’s Alvy Ball of the Stars and Weyburn’s “Lefty” Hartman were the preeminent players in the sunset encounter in which darkened skies ended things after one session of overtime. Ball surrendered eight hits and breezed four while Hartman whiffed six and was nicked for seven safeties. Top baton swinger in the affair was “Casey” Moroschan of the Soo-Liners who lambasted the spheroid for a double and two one-baggers.

Ball and Mills
Hartman and McNeally

(July 20)  In opening action at the Moose Jaw Kiwanis Tournament Radville topped Climax 5-3 behind the pitching of John Donaldson and Scobey and whipped Gravelbourg 20-1.

Donaldson held Climax to 8 hits while compiling 11 strikeouts without a base on balls. His two-run double in the 3rd inning was a key hit for the winners.  Elmer Leifer gave up just seven hits in taking the loss.

Leifer (L) and Comartin
Donaldson (W) and McNeally

Scobey amassed 24 hits, five by Swede Risberg, in trouncing Gravelbourg. Marshall and Johnny Myers each had a homer for the winners. Honey Guyer chipped in with four hits.

Seiffert, Myers (W) (3), Felsch (9), and Marshall
Terrien (L), Bealtie (6), Wilson (7) and Dakin

(July 22)   Scobey, Montana captured top money of $600 at the Moose Jaw Kiwanis Tournament trouncing Radville 14-0 in the final behind a three-hit pitching performance by Swede Risberg. The former White Sox major leaguer fanned ten and walked none. The American visitors had 15 hits, including a homer by Happy Felsch. Walker and Honey Guyer each had three hits.  Scobey scored three runs in the first inning and had a 9-0 lead in the 3rd. 

Risberg (W) and Marshall
Saddler (L), Shupe (4) and McNeally

(July 22)  John Donaldson had a perfect game as Radville moved into the Kiwanis Tournament final downing Moose Jaw 2-0.  Donaldson struck out 19 in his 27-up, 27-down performance. At the plate, Donaldson had two of Radville's five hits, one a double. George Haigh was the hard-luck loser, as both runs against him were unearned.  Radville got one in the 3rd inning as Ashton scored after reaching base when hit by a pitch and an error led to the second run in the 7th.

Haigh (L) and Kerr
Donaldson (W) and McNeally

(July 22)   Scobey had no trouble advancing to the tourney final cruising to a 15-1 triumph over Hodgeville as former major leaguers Swede Risberg and Happy Felsch combined for five hits and six runs. Felsch belted a homer and Risberg pounded out a pair of triples. 

Guyer, Dallas (7) and Marshall
Vold, Borthwick (7), Walkinshaw (9) and Dixon

(July 24)  Taking full advantage of their scoring opportunities, the Weyburn senior baseball club travelled to Plentywood MT and came away with a 7 to 3 decision over their American counterparts. Both teams stung the horsehide for nine safeties but the Soo Line aggregation was better able to connect when bingles meant bacon. Al “Lefty” Hartman struck out seven in earning the mound decision. Tschida paced the Weyburnites with the lumber, cuffing a triple and a brace of one-baggers. Shortstop Taylor was best with the baton for Plentywood, stroking three singles.

Hartman (W) and McNeally
Galvin (L) and Weinberger

(July 24)  The touring Scobey, Montana nine took a pair from the Regina All-Stars 8-5 and 6-2.  Swede Risberg and Happy Felsch provided much of the offense.  Felsch had two homers and two doubles while Risberg contributed a home run and three singles. Johnny Myers pitched complete game victories in both games.

Myers (W) and Marshall
Randolph (L) and Leigh

Myers (W) and Marshall
xxx (L) and xxx

(July 25)  A see-saw slugfest at Weyburn’s Exhibition grounds resulted in the hosts narrowly edging the Regina All-Stars 13 to 12 in a game limited to seven innings because of darkness. The Soo-Liners erased a 12 to 8 deficit by scoring five times in their final turn at bat. Both teams stung the apple with authority, each registering 14 base blows. Leading the Queen City nine with the stick were Moran and Jack Rowand who both singled on three occasions. Pamfil “Casey” Moroschan doubled twice and singled for the victors.

Armstrong (L), Moran (7) and Leigh
Moroschan, Tschida (W) (7) and McNeally

(August 7)  Weyburn swept a season-ending doubleheader from the Radville troop of diamondeers, capturing the seven-inning opener 9 to 5 and annexing the late encounter 9 to 4 in a skirmish limited by dark skies to six frames.
With offensive support evident from all parts of the line-up, the Weyburnites put up a five-spot in the bottom-of-the-first spasm and rolled to a comfortable victory behind import tosser Tschida who won the matinee fracas on a six-hitter. Al Hartman, Pat McNealy and middle pasture patroller Mergens all chipped in with a pair of bingles for the winners.

Westegard (L) and Frumerie
Tschida (W) and McNeally

Weyburn’s Al “Lefty” Hartman earned his tenth mound decision of the campaign in the shortened finale and also led all swatsmiths, pounding out three hits off the slants of losing flinger Waldo “Wally” Shupe.

Hartman (W) and McNeally
Shupe (L) and Frumerie

(August 11)  Lefty Hartman fired a four-hitter with 16 strikeouts to lead Weyburn to a 3-1 win over Osage Auctioneers and a spot in the final of the Northside Baseball League Tournament.  Hartman's effort bested Swede Risberg who tossed a five-hitter with 13 strikeouts.  A triple steal by Hartman, McKenna and McNeally, resulted in Weyburn's first run.

Hartman (W) and McNeally
Risberg (L) and Wayne Lafoie                  

Regina moved to the final with a 5-1 victory over Moose Jaw.

A six-run 2nd inning carried Moose Jaw to an 11-6 win over Osage. George Haigh scattered 11 hits to hold on for the win.  Dawson had three hits, one a double, and three runs for the winners.

" ... Manager Crabbe, of Osage, showed a lamentable lack of judgment by letting "Specs" White pitch of nearly five long innings. The southpaw, who wears glasses, was away off his game, and his control would have done credit to an inebriated lumberjack driving a second-hand Ford truck through the woods of Maine.  It was too late to save the day when Crabbe finally sent Wylie Lafoie out on the mound;  and the Osage magnate will probably regret for many a day that he did not "pitch" Lafoie from the start. Wylie turned in a sterling game, fanning seven and allowing one hit and one run. The other ten counters were all scored off White, two of them being forged in when "Specs" issued four walks in the second stanza." (Regina Leader Post, August 13, 1925) 

Haigh (W) and Mills
Elmer White (L), Wylie Lafoie (4) and Wayne Lafoie

(August 12)   The Regina All-Stars whipped Weyburn 14-4 to take first prize money of $400 at the Northside League Tournament.  The Capital City nine pounded out 14 hits including home runs by George Hay and Happy HepburnLeo Seiffert went the distance for the Stars allowing eight hits. Lefty Hartman, going to the mound less than 24 hours after his outstanding effort against Osage, was the loser.

Seiffert (W) and Leigh
Hartman (L), Moroschan (5), Tscheda (9) and McNeally

FINAL  BATTING & PITCHING STATISTICS FOR THE 1925 WEYBURN BASEBALL CLUB  
(source – August 19, 1925 edition of the Weyburn Review)
TEAM   STATS
Games played – 30
Innings played – 245
Games won – 21
Games lost - 6
Games tied - 3
Batting average – .288
INDIVIDUAL   STATS 
BATTING           AB       H      SO     BB    SAC     AVE
Hartman           93      38       6     12     13     .409
Hay               31      12       5      0      0     .387
McNeally          98      33      14     11      3     .337 
Tschida           95      31      23      8      2     .326
Mergens           56      17      10      1      0     .304 
Brossard          60      18       4      1      3     .300
Marlow            25       7       4      0      0     .280    
Moroschan        105      29      12      1      1     .276
Kennefick         59      16       9      2      1     .271
Hart             104      28      16      8      2     .269
Smith             49       8      15      1      2     .163
Muirhead          57       8      18      0      4     .140             
PITCHING          GP      IP       W      L      T      SO      BB      PCT.        
Hartman           15     121      10      2      3     122       5      .833
Tschida            8      72       6      2      0      30      21      .750
Moroschan          7      52       5      2      0      24      13      .714
    

(September 24)   The Helena Daily Independent, September 24, 1925, carried a story on the
end of the season for the Scobey team, named the Sensation of the Year.

After triumphing in more than 85 per cent of the games played this season in four states and one Canadian province, the Scobey ball club disbanded last Sunday at Milbank, S.D., where the final game was played.

The boys had just completed a tour on which they played 27 games in 27 days, winning 20 and losing 7. They met the best that Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota had to offer in the way of independent ball clubs . . . It won 65 games and lost nine during the season. Two well known former White Sox players "Swede" Risberg and "Happy" Felsch were with the team all season.  (The Helena Daily Independent, September 24, 1925)