Page 89

     In spite of my efforts to boost fan interest in the tournament, the spectators were dwindling. I concluded that new blood was needed among the contestants, so I was successful in getting the meet opened to adjoining states in 1933. This tournament was called the "Mid-West." C. C. Davis came here and went away with the title, but not until he had to beat Jackson two out of three games, winning the last 50-49 with 79 ringers apiece. That year a Davis-Zimmerman game was broadcast, play by play, over the radio.
     In 1933, Mossman, Jackson and Lyle Brown all entered a Chicago National meet, and all failed to qualify among the best 24 pitchers.
     Davis repeated his victory in 1934, but Jackson had now left the state, and to date he has not returned. In order to defeat Guy Zimmerman in a game which was to decide the 1934 championship, Davis used clever tactics. With Zimmerman leading 30-17, Davis started an argument with the announcer, and then with the crowd, with the simple purpose of rattling his opponent. It worked. Guy became nervous and Davis walked out 50-37. This tournament had among its entries little Charles "Casey" Jones, of Waukesha, Wis., then 15 years old, who took third place.
     Frank Jackson and Zimmerman both entered a National meet in California in 1934. Jackson tied for third, Zimmerman was fifth.
     The Mid-West Tournament had been an improvement over the State, but I was not satisfied, and induced the Fair Board to put up $500 in prizes for a Mid-West National Tournament in 1935, and since then it has been the same each year, and each year since the courts have been enclosed with a five-foot fence.
     In 1935 Ted Allen, 27-year-old world's champion from California, dethroned Davis, and in 1936 he defeated "Casey" Jones in a play-off of a tie. In 1936 we secured a first-class public address system and have had one each year since. Leroy Page, a young man from Des Moines, who had helped me several times before in conducting the tournament, handled it exceptionally well, and has done so since.
     In 1937 Fernando Isais, 22 years old, and from Mexico City, Mexico, dethroned Allen and won every game he played in the finals. In that tournament, Isais was the coolest pitching machine I have ever seen. He averaged 83.5 per cent ringers in 15 games on new iron stakes put in by John Gordon, a California enthusiast. Isais in his final game against Allen that year appeared to consider his time as a boring waste, and Allen as a beginner. He looked exceedingly bored as he proceeded to pitch