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THE CHARLES ROY COX STORY



Again we can thank Gary Kline, NHPA Historian, for providing this most unusual story and the unbelievable cover page and photo from a 1926 Horseshoe World magazine. The story of a pitcher with one leg, is unusual, a state champion at that is incredible. But also a feature theme in the story is the fact of an Ohio State Championship held in 1915. I doubt there is any state that precedes that or even matches it for that matter. Several states can claim a state championship in 1919 and most others followed by 1924. And now, our story...


THE CHARLES ROY COX STORY


As reprinted from the Horseshoe World
Written by Art Headlough

First Ohio Champ, Just Out of Hospital
Warns Tossers to Look Out For "Has-Been"

Charles Roy Cox, of 995 E. Rich Street, Columbus, Ohio, whose articles have frequently appeared in the Horseshoe World, and one of the greatest boosters of the sport that horseshoe pitchers has ever known, suffered a re-amputation on his left leg at University Hospital on June 17th. "Governor" as he is known by his many friends, and by most of the horseshoe pitchers of the country, originally lost his leg in 1909, but in spite of this handicap was a winner of the first horseshoe championship of Ohio, sponsored by the Scripps-McRae League of Ohio newspapers in 1915. Many fans and even many pitchers wondered why he was seeded in the draw as a "Class A" player when he appeared in the National Tournament at Cleveland in 1923, after the miserable showing that he made, and the truth of the matter has probably never been told - that he was suffering from a skin abrasion on the leg at the time, which has steadily grown worse since then, finally necessitating the re-amputation and making it possible for him to pitch since that time.

Mr. Cox has taught the game to many youngsters and has won several pennants with his teams in the Columbus leagues. He has never laid down but two rules for his players to follow, these being: First, always remember that the game is never over until one of the pitchers has 50 points; Second, never ask for or take a point that you would not willingly concede to the other fellow if the shoes were reversed.

Three of his youngsters have won championships - Art Meier winning the State Amateur Championship, and Paul Ryan, another of the Governor's young stars, finishing second, and the only player in the tournament to win a game from Meier. Dave Bender, picked by Cox for his pennant-winning Whistle team when ho was only 13 years old, came through and won the Columbus and Franklin county championship; Bill Jones, the sixth man on the Governor's team, finished fourth in the same tournament and winning the only game that West lost.

His friends everywhere - and they are legion among the horseshoe pitchers - will be glad to know that the operation has apparently been successful and the Governor say's tell 'em, "Look out for the old has-been champ of Ohio. When I get back to walking, which I should about November 1st, I expect to start a comeback that will again place my in Class A-1. And I still claim to be the champion of all pitchers who walk on crutches or an artificial leg."

Cox's best records are: While walking on his artificial limb, 48 ringers and 15 doubles out of 72 shoes, for a long game, and a perfect game pitched against Louis Lehman at the courts of No. 11 Engine House in Columbus, in the summer of 1922. Cox dropped on 10 straight doubles, Lehman getting three ringers and no points. Walking on crutches, the Governor put on 30 ringers and 9 doubles in a league game.


Folklore Jottings


By Bob Dunn
Okay, history buffs, lets hear about your first state championship, no matter what year it was in. Those prior to 1921 are always interesting as the NHPA was not in existence yet, and the sport was split under the tutelage of two different organizations, with different scoring methods and two different set of rules, including pitching distances. Great variance and some wild formats were used and the events were generally sponsored by some commercial company as a promotion. Send your story to Bob Dunn, 6417 Georgia Ave No, Brooklyn Park, MN 55428