Page 78

having the largest and heaviest shoes, for these would slide the best and bounce the least.
     In 1909 the promoter of a colt show somewhere in Kansas, conceived the idea of staging a world's championship horseshoe pitching tournament in connection with the show. An Iowa farmer, Frank E. Jackson, of Kellerton, won the title and a championship belt.
     Jackson, in 1909, was 39 years old, and had been tossing cast-off horseshoes since a boy. His method was like all others, to spin the shoe with one finger and pray for an open shoe. At that time he was fortunate if he could hook 20 per cent ringers. Jackson claims to have kept his title until 1919, and that he gradually improved and finally regulated his shoe to turn 1 3/4 times.
     In 1920 Jackson induced the Iowa State Fair Board to put up some cash prizes for a two-man team tournament. This competition was held in front of the race track and Jackson and his oldest son Carrol, won first prize. The contest was changed to singles competition in 1921 and Jackson won the "bacon."
     The two state tournaments had been successful enough in drawing entries and in entertaining the State Fair visitors that the Fair Board made a successful bid in 1922 for both World and State Tournaments. Frank Jackson held both titles, and he was an overwhelming favorite to defeat all rivals. For these tournaments new courts were installed directly north of the brick horse barn. A small section of bleachers were set up, but there was no fence to keep spectators from getting too near the pitchers. Model T Ford axles were used as stakes.
     Frank Jackson was considered to be so skillful that he was barred from the State Tournament, but a $50 prize was set aside for a two-out-of-three contest between the winner of the tournament and Jackson for the Iowa championship.
     A newcomer to the State Fair contests was a rather thick- lipped 20-year-old shabbily dressed boy from New London, Iowa. His name was Frank Lundin. He never said much, just pitched, and with every pitch he bit his lips, so that while he was in a game it was a common sight to see his lips bleeding.
     The state meet was held before the national, and Lundin easily won. He was said to be absolutely nerveless. After disposing of his rivals, Lundin cracked Frank Jackson in two straight games, 50-13, 50-17, averaging 61 per cent ringers and starting the first game with seven consecutive double ringers. Sixty-one per cent would be poor today, but Lundin was using horseshoes, although made especially for pitching, were greatly inferior to the best of today.