The longest Game Ever Played

I am aware of the days of the 50-point game and when the tournament game was reduced to 40-point games. Long before that period in time there was a seriously long game played. There is record of that game that started out to be a 5,000 points contest and then was extended to 25,000 points. The site was Hayward, a small town in southern Minnesota, and in 1930 the Postmaster and the depot agent had what might be the longest game ever played. The record below is from the Albert Lea Evening Tribune of August 11, 1930 and the accounts of this unusual event is extremely interesting, including what type of shoes the players used.


Big Duel Between Railroad Department Won By
Post Office Department - Final Score 25,000 to 24,949

On March 6, J. C. Hanson, station agent, and R. E. Dewey, postmaster, agreed to play a game of horseshoe to 5,000 points: score Dewey 5,000; Hanson 4,972.

The game being so nearly even, by mutual agreement it was extended to 10,000 points. This time Hanson winning by the score 10,000 to 9,978.

Again the score being so even it was agreed by both parties to extend the game to 25,000 points and on August 9 the games was finished, the score being - Dewey 25,000, Hanson 24,949.

Number of games played - 586
Won by Hanson - 293
Won by Dewey - 293

An average of five 50-point games were played daily and record of each day's play. Time required to play the series was five months and four days. The largest margin of victory in any one game was won by Dewey on July 15, by a score of 52 to 3. The game with the most ringers went to Hanson on August 7, Hanson throwing forty-one ringers and Dewey thirty-six ringers, Hanson winning the game 52 to 45.

Many queer things happened during the series, at the end of the 208th game, each contestant had won 104 games and exactly 9,000 points. On August 6 at the end of the 362nd game, Hanson had 181 games and 23,961 points to his credit and Dewey exactly the same figure.

Dewey reached 21,000 just one point ahead of Hanson and at the 24,000 mark, Hanson got there seven points ahead of Dewey, so both contestants feel that no decision has been reached by playing so long a series and each feels confident he has met his match in the other fellow.

During the entire 25,000 points, no argument of any kind ever arose over a ringer or points and perhaps next spring when the horseshoe season open up again, Hanson and Dewey may play a 50,000 point series to see who really is the better player.

Hanson used a pair of Mossman shoes the entire series while Dewey used a pair of Ohio shoes, until the last 1,000 points, when he too switched to a pair of Mossman shoes.

Folklore Jottings

By Bob Dunn

This new series has already received a lot of positive response. Individuals have sent in interesting accounts from their own experience and fitting articles that have been handed down from veteran pitchers to them. If you have a favorite horseshoe pitching story from yesteryear, write it up and send it in. There still needs to be more folks writing in as to the origin of the term “Four Dead.” Send your information to Bob Dunn, 6417 Georgia Ave No., Brooklyn Park, MN 55428