1919 World Tournament
St. Petersburg, Fla - Feb. 22-26, 1919

Permission granted by author, Gary T. Kline of
"The Official N.H.P.A. History of the World Tournament 1909-1980", Reflection Press, Dayton, Ohio
Gary T. Kline's book on past world tournament (before 1980) is recommended reading for any horseshoe pitching enthusiast. With his kind permission, we bring excerpts from his fabulous collection of data, to wit:

The year 1919 will be remembered for several innovative occurences and many firsts in the history of horseshoe pitching. Except for 1909 when our very first World Championships began, every tournament prior to this one was held in Kansas City, Missouri. This was the first ever in the South. The first ever in the winter. The first to receive media attention nationwide. The first to be pitched at a distance of 40 feet, and the first and only time each contestant in the round robin field was required to battle each other in a three game set. This was to be the last time an official match was to be 21 points. This was to be the only time in World Tournament history no man in the field had prior experience in the event.

On Saturday morning, Feb. 22, at 10 o'clock with over 1,000 people jammed around the courts noisily cheering on their favorites, Tournament Director E. C. Beach, ably assisted by Art L. Headlough, let play begin. Among the renowned participants in the field were Fred Brust, of Columbus, Ohio, future N.H.P.A. Hall of Famer and designer of the Ohio pitching shoe which still exists today; Dr. F. M. Robinson, New York's finest and one of the earliest credited with pitching the open shoe; ancient great Hughie Palmer, National Industrial and 1918 Ohio State Champion; New Jersey's best Henry Born, still the leader of New Jersey in World Tournament victories; William H. Weis, who one year later along with Art L. Headlough was to write the Official Horseshoe Pitching rules; Robert A. Harton, Michigan champion; millionaire oil tycoon, C. A. GIant, concurrent state champion of Pennsylvania and Alabama; and dark horse G. W. Gunkle, champion of Illinois.

There were 21 entrants at the start of the event with two withdrawals, Joseph Royer of Akron with 5-4 record and H. H. Chadwick of Buffalo with a 2-10 record. These forfeited games were stricken from the records as if they had never been pitched.

Fred Brust was the heavy favorite of the wagering crowd with Palmer and Robinson having the majority of play of other bettors. Fred Brust so dominated play he won 48 in a row before losing his first game to Hughie Palmer in the first of their three game set before 3,000 people. The Ohio capitol city of Columbus tolled bells city wide celebrating the victory of their World Champion.

Dr. Robinson maintained second place from start to finish. Hughie Palmer won 11 of his last 15 to overtake Henry Born who lost six of his last nine, for third place honors by one game. William Weis lost seven of his last eleven to fall to fifth.

Dr. E. C. Beach, possibly the greatest tournament director of all time, had the now missing power to schedule matches as he saw fit to build the tournament to a climax. This great power will come into focus at future World Tournaments he conducted. This tournament caused the Sunshine Club to expand to 350 members!

1919 World Tournament St. Petersburg, Fla - Feb. 22-26, 1919
Won Lost Ring's
1. Fred M. Brust Columbus, Ohio 53 1 367
2. Dr. Frank M. Robinson Poughkeepsie, N.Y. 47 7 321
3. Hughie Palmer Akron, Ohio 42 12 249
4. Henry Born Atlantic City, N. J. 41 13 251
5. Wm. H. Weis Akron, Ohio 40 14 264
6. B. Hayes St. Petersburg, Fla. 32 22 193
7. Robert A. Harton Lansing, Mich. 31 23 195
8. C. A. Grant Huntsville, Ala. 30 24 185
9. George J. Tucker Detroit, Mich. 29 25 250
10. J. W. Ogden Kansas City, Mo. 29 25 230
11. George W. Gunkle Sheffield, Ill. 27 27 144
12. F. T. Hall Detroit, Mich. 23 31 122
13. George Vignoe Detroit, Mich. 23 31 135
14. Robert Coen Bellair, Ohio 17 37 116
15. Burt C. Snedeker Asbury Park, N.J. 13 41 88
16. W. H. Baker Westfield, N.J. 11 43 16
17. A. D. Morgan Philadelphia, Pa. 10 44 101
18. Frank Priscoe Wilmington, Del. 9 45 54
19. J. R. Bryan Detroit, Mich. 6 48 76
Totals 513 513 3337
The games were played on sandy loam courts, stakes 40 feet apart, standing 8 inches above level ground, and leaning toward each other one inch. At the close of this tournament the National League of Horseshoe and Quoit Pitchers was organized by representatives from 25 states.