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1920 World Tournament (Summer)
Akron, Ohio - Aug. 8-14, 1920

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:

1920 World Tournament (Summer)
The year 1920 will always remain as a tribute to Art L. Headlough, the founding father of the N.H.P.A. It was he who spearheaded the charge that brought this tournament to the Rubber City. Among Art's many accomplishments was the publication of the N.H.P.A.'s first magazine named Barnyard Golf. Twenty-four issues were published but only four issues have survived the ravages of time.

That same year, in time for World Tournament distribution, Art wrote the first book on the history of the sport. This 60-page book was titled The Official Horseshoe Pitching Guide and Blueprint to which all future history books would allude in any attempt to describe the genesis of our great sport. There is only one copy of this great book known to exist. (The N.H.P.A. also published later books, now all out of print.) Perhaps in the near future they will republish these editions so the people of today can read the precious history of our great sport as should be their right and privilege. Now without further delay, on with the tournament! Beyond a doubt, at this particular time juncture, Akron was known as the Horseshoe Pitching Capitol of the World. St. Petersburg traditionally gave the spectators oranges, Akron in turn distributed lucky rubber horseshoes to those in attendance.

Horseshoe pitching had finally arrived nationally with an illustrious field. From the West came Dennis Wilkinson of California. From the South came C. A. GIant of Alabama. The greatest challenge to the World Title came from the Midwest in the persons of Frank Jackson, a legend in his own time, the first World Champion; the extremely dreaded C. C. Davis, State Champion of Kansas, whose trip was sponsored by the International Harvester Company where he was employed and Robert Comfort, also of Kansas.

Ohio was prepared for this onslaught. Lancaster sent a terrific trio headed by Stevens, his pupil Bobbit, and Bobbit's pupil Yenrick. Akron contributed four top ten finishers of the Winter meet: 73-year-old Hughie Palmer, James Rowan, Joe Wilkinson and defending World Champion George May.

A hearty throng gathered at Seiberling Field for the opening ceremonies. Mayor Carl F. Beck gave a welcoming address to those assembled. C. W. Seiberling tossed out the first shoe. Tournament Director E. C. Beach gave the signal for play to begin. The Lancaster trio showed their mettle immediately: Bobbit in an easy victory over Joe Boley, likewise Stevens over Palmer, and in a colossal opening round upset, young Yenrick defeated May 50-33. Also in the first round, Davis defeated J. C. Robey of New Philadelphia 50-1 causing Robey to pick up his shoes and withdraw from the tournament. Other big matches were Jackson 50- Yenrick 37 and Stevens 50-Bobbit 48. Major undefeated's were Jackson, Stevens and Davis.

Rain cancelled play for the next two days causing many withdrawals, the most prominent being C. C. Davis who was to be much heard from later. Gathered in facilities kindly provided by Goodyear, the N.H.P.A. used this rainy time for its convention. Much discussion centered on having clay courts in the future. C. A. GIant proposed chartering a special car and touring the country with a half dozen or more of the nation's leading pitchers. During this rain delay, a tour was also conducted around the Goodyear plant.

Second day big matches had Jackson over his doubles partner Crick, 50-48; Jackson over Stevens, 50-31; and Yenrick over Crick, 50-27. In the battle of the Wilkinsons, Dennis won out 50-49. In the upset of the day, Noggle beat Stevens, 50-38. After this round it was a three-way battle between unbeaten Jackson, Bobbit (two points behind) and Yenrick (trailing by 13). The major match in day three was Yenrick getting by Stevens, 50-48. Day four benefitted Jackson with key wins over D. Wilkinson, 50-47 and Palmer, 50-36. Meanwhile May continued his dominance over Bobbit, 50-37. After losing to Jackson, D. Wilkinson jolted Yenrick, 50-39. Further helping Jackson was J. Wilkinson's upset of Crick, 50-46. Bobbit put away Crick, 50-42.

Once again E. C. Beach scheduled the best for the last day. In the struggle for fourth place, Crick overcame Stevens, 50-40. In the next to last round, Bobbit eliminated Yenrick, 50-37 while Jackson was handling May, 50-38 in their long awaited match.

This set the stage for the final showdown between Jackson, trying to prove he was capable of competing against these new, young wizards of scientific pitching while mastering the concept of the open shoe, and young Charles Bobbit, under the able tutelage of Vincent Stevens, proving to the world that he could stand up to the pressure of squaring away, toe to toe, with one of the greatest of all time in his first World Tournament.

By the standards of this tournament, Bobbit had to win by 15 or more points or all was lost. Bobbit snapped Jackson's 35 game winning streak scoring 50 points while Jackson gamely fought for 40 points, giving him another well-deserved title, adding to his ever-growing legend. Lester Yenrick won a coin flip for third place as he and William Crick finished dead even in total points. This was Akron's one and only time to host a World Tournament. Akron had 10 pitchers in the 37 man field, a record that will probably never be broken.


1920 World Tournament (Summer) Akron, Ohio - Aug. 8-14, 1920
MENS CHAMPIONSHIP
PTS. R. DR.
1. FRANK JACKSON KELLERTON, IOWA 1790 850 101
2. CHARLES BOBBITT LANCASTER, OHIO 1785 799 121
3. LESTER YENRICK LANCASTER, OHIO 1763 740 111
4. WILLIAM CRICK INDEPENDENCE, MO. 1763 756 103
5. VINCENT STEVENS LANCASTER, OHIO 1757 870 93
6. DENNIS W. WILKINSON DINUBA. CAL. 1712 812 106
7. JOE C. WILKINSON AKRON, OHIO 1696 652 83
8. GEORGE MAY AKRON, OHIO 1677 689 76
9. GEORGE FEATHEROLF LOGAN, OHIO 1670 783 84
10. JACK IRWIN KANSAS CITY, MO. 1656 687 109
11. FRANK BONIFANT KENMORE, OHIO 1636 752 52
12. CLARK WALLIS AKRON, OHIO 1626 710 72
13. RUSSELL LEISEY MARSHVILLE, OHIO 1625 606 66
14. O. W. ANDERSON KANSAS CITY, KAN. 1616 724 65
15. HUGHIE PALMER AKRON, OHIO 1588 594 63
16.JAMES ROWAN AKRON, OHIO 1560 631 71
17. WILLIAM COOK COLUMBUS, OHIO 1538 531 50
18. DAVE LIVENGOOD AKRON, OHIO 1535 588 60
19. ROBERT COMFORT MINNEAPOLIS, KAN. 1320 454 31
20. O. L. NOGGLE KENMORE, OHIO 1314 500 51
21. W. L. DONOVAN KANSAS CITY, MO. 1305 542 46
22. OTTO SCHMIDER CHICAGO, ILL. 1299 375 33
23. C. A. GIANT HUNTSVILLE, ALA. 1291 460 31
24. JOE BOLEY BARBERTON, OHIO 1262 512 45
25. LLOYD WHITE AKRON, OHIO 1245 435 30
26. LAWRENCE E. MACKEYSTANWOOD, IOWA 1232 396 34
27. WILLIE WITT AKRON, OHIO 1206 518 39
28. L. W. FOGGIE AKRON, OHIO 1157 395 22
29. MARK HUNT MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. 1132 434 27
30. JOHN HOGAN CHICAGO, ILL. 1128 514 35
31. F. W. NEWCOMER UNIONTOWN, PA. 1086 356 23
32. GEORGE BOLEY BARBERTON, OHIO 1035 456 31
33. FRANK EACHUS GALLIPOLIS, OHIO 1002 332 24
34. JOHN L. DAHL MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. 988 387 7
35. C. S. MILLER KANSAS CITY, KAN. 987 479 30
36. A. J. CLIFTON MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. 982 328 25
37. H. S. PORTER AKRON, OHIO 885 308 14
World's championship and all places decided on number of points made. This tournament was sanctioned by the National League of Horseshoe and Quoit Pitchers. Official Referee - William Weiss; Official Scorer - Harvey J. Kryder, both of Akron.