The 1955 Convention

The 1955 Convention

This issue we are going to look back at the 1955 Convention. No matter what year we may revisit, there always seems to be something of interest. Looking back to 1955 brings many points of interest into view. Most significant, this is the meeting that brought the concept of Regional Directors into being.

There were only seven initial regions - seven regional directors. What a trivia question - name any of the original NHPA Regional Directors. This program has certainly grown and succeeded and is probably the source of the strongest efforts the NHPA makes in promotion.

There should be no surprise, as we learn the father of this program is none other than our good friend Don Titcomb. Just kind of makes sense as we look at the years and decades of promotion effort made by Mr. Titcomb, that it was his idea to establish the regional director concept. Adding to that trivia question, how many of the original regional directors are now Hall of Fame inductees?

How interesting to note that only 22 delegates were seated. By today's standards, that is a very small number of members that controlled the destiny of the NHPA and had all the power in their hands. Just 12 states (13 charters) represented. This had to be a direct effect of the qualifying process (where only 36 players qualified for the tournament). For the states not represented, if they had pitchers that did not qualify, the player drove home rather than remain on to be a delegate. If that player had qualified, that state was more apt to seat a delegate.

It is not that this small group couldn't get the job done, as compared to today's much larger conventions. Actually, the group may have been even more efficient and effective. Just strange, knowing the power driving our entire sport lie in the hands of so few.

The treasurer's report is startling. We live in an age where Hall of Fame buildings have been built. More than the treasury balance of $1,400.39 is being granted in Junior scholarships and World Tournament Junior prizes each year. The NHPA was indeed smaller in 1955.

When did the rule on having names in lettering on one's shirt begin - 1955.

One last point; in an earlier article, we heard that the 1951 World Tournament was the first to include a second Class, Class B. In the 1955 convention, there was effort to expand the competition to four classes. That did not happen in 1955, and obviously not in 1956 either.

It is not shown in these records, but the Junior Boys Champion was from Utah. This was Bryon Bowman's second world title, during a stretch where three Utah boys won five consecutive boys championships. Having the World Tournament in Murray, Utah for so many years had an impact in promoting the sport to the youth in Utah. Donnie Roberts broke the mold in 1959 and Utah has not had a Junior World Champion ever since.

Now as printed in the August 1955 THE HORSESHOE PITCHER.

Unapproved Minutes - 1955 Convention

The 1955 convention of the N.H.P.A. met Wednesday morning, July 27, 1955 at 9:15 A.M. The meeting was called to order by the President, Dale Dixon.

Minutes of the 1954 convention were read and approved as read. Financial report through July 17, 1955 showed a balance of $1,400.39

The following number of delegates were seated:

No. California, 1; So. California, 2; Colorado, 2; Illinois, 1; Indiana, 2; Iowa Hawkeye, 1; New York, 2; Ohio, 2; Kansas, 2; Utah, 3; Washington, 2; West Virginia, 1; Wyoming, 1.

Gandy (Kansas) made a motion regarding acquiring a quorum for convention: In order to assure a quorum in convention - if a man has a paid up card and the state does not have a charter one man should be seated and be allowed to vote in convention. Seconded by K. Gregson (Calif.). Motion lost.

Motion by Standard, seconded by McNeeley (Wash.): That we use the previous year's membership or the membership of the present year (whichever is greater) to decide the number of delegates for convention. Motion carried.

Motion by McNeeley, seconded by Fishel (Wash.): That all shirts have letters at least 2 inches high so that they would be readable from the stands. Motion lost.

Motion by Gandy, seconded by Funk (Utah): That during qualifying and tournament play in a world's tournament, all contestants must wear shirts having bold legible letters, giving name, Town and state, so that they can be readable at 50 feet. Motion carried.

C. Steinfeldt (New York) moved, Titcomb (No. Calif.) seconded; That the meeting of the convention shall be held on the morning after the close of the scheduled day for qualifying during the tournament instead of the morning of the last day. Motion carried.

Mr. Paul Rose, chairman of the Salt Lake County Recreation Commission said he was authorized to make the same bid of $4000 for the 1956 tournament. He stated also that the sponsors would make name plates or numbers to be worn by the contestants next year - if so desired.

Titcomb (No. Calif.) talked on the subject of creating committees in various sections of the country to help publicize the horseshoe game. Said committees would gather information on players and events and send articles to papers and magazines in their area for publication. He moved: That the delegates in convention elect a committee of regional directors under the direction of the Executive Officers of the N.H.P.A. for the interest and furtherance of horseshoes. Motion carried.

The following regions were created and regional directors elected by a unanimous ballot by the Secretary:
California, Oregon and Washington - Don Titcomb, Sunnydale, Calif.
Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Mississippi, Louisiana - Alvin Dahlene, Kansas.
Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia, Florida - Arner Lindquist, Morgan Town, West Virginia.
Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana - Ray Ohms, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, No. Dakota, So. Dakota, Wisconsin - Charley Hopkins, Ottumwa, Iowa.
Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts - Charles Gerrish, Kitty Point, Maine.
New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania - George Hart, New York, New York.

Motion by Albin (Wyo.), seconded by Steinfeldt (N.Y.): That each regional director will have a maximum of $50 for necessary expenditures. Motion carried.

Motion by Standard (Ill.), seconded by Gregson (Calif.): That we spend whatever is necessary to take moving pictures of the play-off. Carried

Methods of play were then discussed. Motion by Steinfeldt, seconded by Gregson: That after qualifying, there be a championship flight of 16 men and a second flight of 16 men - both groups to play a double round robin (5 games per night - 6 nights). That there also be a third flight of 16 men and a fourth flight of 16 men - these two groups to play a single round robin (5 games per night for 3 nights). Motion lost.

Motion by Standard, seconded by Gregson: That we have 32 men in championship play - 20 men in second flight and a six-man play-off of the first flight for the championship. Motion lost.

Ted Allen suggested we have two flights of 18 men each to play a round robin and the top man in each flight play off for the championship. No action was taken on the above suggestion.

Motion by Gandy, seconded by Manker (Ohio): That we use the same method in 1956 as we use this year. (36-man round robin - top four play for championship). Motion carried.

Steinfeldt moved, Hart (N.Y.) seconded the motion to raise the entry fee for the World's Tournament to $10.00. Motion carried.

Motion by Manker, seconded by Brownell (N.Y.): That we change Sec. 2 of Article V of the constitution to read: A state can at the discretion of the Executive Council of the National Association be granted a second charter; if there is a second charter issued, they should show membership of 50 members, by sending in the membership money. (Continuing - But if, at any time, etc.). Motion carried.

A letter from Walter N. Haring of New Jersey was read suggesting a plaque be given to the state with the largest membership each year.

Motion by Gandy, seconded by Brownell: That the N.H.P.A. give a plaque to the charter having the largest percent of increase in membership during the fiscal year - the plaque not to exceed $10 in cost. Motion lost.

Motion by Standard, seconded by Maker: That qualifying shall end by midnight of the first scheduled day of the tournament. Motion carried.

Steinfeldt moved, Titcomb seconded: That rule 4 of the constitution be amended to read: That the pitcher who is not pitching must stand 3 feet or more behind the peg on the opposite side of the pitcher's box - when facilities are available. Motion carried.

Gregson moved, regularly seconded, that the office of Secretary-Treasurer be combined. Motion carried. ELECTION OF OFFICERS: Steinfeldt nominated Dale Dixon, Dahlene nominated Arch Stokes, for President. Titcomb moved that nominations cease, seconded, carried.

Arch Stokes was elected president.
First Vice President: Sam Somerhalder (Neb.), elected by an unanimous ballot.
Second Vice President: George Hart (N.Y.), K elected by an unanimous ballot.
Third Vice President: Ray Ohms elected by unanimous ballot.
Fourth Vice President: Mrs. Truman Standard (Ill.) elected by unanimous ballot.
Secretary-Treasurer: Elmer Beller (So. Calif.) elected by unanimous ballot.

Archie Gregson had resigned as Secretary and since there was one year left in his term, Mr. Beller was elected to serve the remainder of the Secretary's term. On one year. There being no further business, the meeting was declared adjourned by the President, Dale Dixon, at 2 P.M.

Qual. W.L.Pct.
1. Ted Allen Boulder, Colo. 570 35 0 86.4
2. Don Titcomb Sunnyvale, Cal. 517 31 4 80.7
3. Fernando Isais Los Angeles, Cal. 520 30 5 80.3
4. Tommy Brownell Amsterdam, N.Y. 504 28 7 77.6
5. Carl Steinfeldt Rochester, N.Y. 500 27 8 77.5
6. Glenn Anderson Moline, Ill. 521 26 9 76.0
7. Milton Tate Peoria, Ill. 476 25 10 73.7
8. Dean Brown South Gate, Cal. 484 24 11 78.2
9. Marines Tamboer Wichita Kansas 482 23 12 73.8
10. Roland Kraft LeCompton, Kansas 514 22 13 73.9
11. Ed Sharp Mulberry, Ind. 503 21 14 73.2
12. Ed Fishel Neilton, Wash. 502 21 14 72.8
13. Harold Shaw What Cheer, Iowa 514 21 14 71.8
14. Truman Standard Canton, Ill. 489 21 14 69.9
15. Cletus Chapelle Portland, Ore. 512 20 15 71.7
16. Louis Dean Pomona, Cal. 497 19 16 70.8
17. Alvin Gandy Topeka, Kansas 489 18 17 68.2
18. Sam Somerhalder Ruskin, Neb. 466 17 18 72.4
19. Wellington Taylor Grand River, Iowa 468 17 1868.2
20. Arner Lindquist Morgantown, W. Va. 478 17 1867.9
21. John Paxton Ottumwa, Iowa 481 17 18 67.0
22. Ray Ohms Salt Lake City, Utah 486 15 20 64.2
23. Jim Weeks Norwalk, Cal. 471 13 22 72.2
24. Billy Crick Los Angeles, Cal. 461 12 23 64.6
25. Dale Dixon Des Moines, Iowa 506 11 24 70.0
26. Harold Wolfe Cedarville, Ohio 451 11 24 67.6
27. Stanley Manker Martinsville, Ohio 453 11 24 65.3
28. Nelson Vogel Manito, Ill. 474 10 25 66.7
29. Howard Robinson Nebraska City, Neb. 448 10 2563.8
30. E.J. Wiley Nampa, Idaho 468 10 25 63.4
31. Harry Russell Denver, Colo. 477 10 25 63.2
32. Ervin Hosier South Gate, Cal. 454 9 26 66.1
33. Clive Wahlin Salt Lake City, Utah 464 9 26 63.5
34. David Baker Wentworth, Mo. 449 8 27 64.9
35. Ed Babush Hollywood, Cal. 478 6 29 66.4
36. Leighton Edmondson Midvale, Utah 457 5 30 64.4

Championship Playoff
1.Ted AllenBoulder, Colo.3088.1
2.Fernando IsaisLos Angeles, Cal.1282.5
3.Tom BrownellAmsterdam, N.Y.1282.7
4.Don TitcombSunnyvale, Cal.1279.2