EXERCISEºRECREATIONºSPORT


1921 WORLD TOURNAMENT
ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. - FEB. 21-27, 1921

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:

1921 World Tournament (Winter)
By the conspicuous absence of defending World Champion Frank Jackson and 1920 winter World Champion George May, and only one pitcher present who finished in the top ten of the Akron meet, 1921 could have been considered a down year. But as in all sports, horseshoe pitching proved that no man or men are bigger than the sport itself as new heroes always step forward.

Half of the field had prior World Tournament experience. The strongest favorites of these 11 were Akron runner up Charles Bobbit, 1920 Ohio State Champion, and Robert Harton, the Michigan State Champion. Of the newcomers, Shannon W. Bonifant quickly assumed the favorite role.

Gomer Milford and Lee Toot were dark horses. Also present was George Snyder, the dominant force of New York. The hottest sensation, and darling of the crowd, was young Harold Falor, who at 13 years of age became the youngest player in the history of the sport. Dr. E. C. Beach, using these ingredients and his skillful power of scheduling, made this one of the most dramatic tournaments of all time.

At 10 o'clock, Tuesday, Feb. 22, Mayor Noel A. Mitchell threw the first shoe and this classic began. Present as interested spectators were Bob "Tiny" Maxwell, famous Sports Editor of the Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, and H. K. Raymond, vice president of the B. F. Goodrich Rubber Company.

Fred Brust, the only former champion in the race, was practically finished by the 50-17 hammering administered by Henry Born. Crowd pleaser Harold Falor was defeated twice, being beaten 50-14 by merciless Charles Bobbit and by Vincent Grady. After the first day action, only Bobbit and Harton with six wins and Bonifant with five wins were undefeated. At the end of the second day, these three remained tied with perfect 11-0 marks. For the interest of fans the pegs were kept chalked white, ushers located seats for viewers, a large blackboard posted scores, and the crowd was provided with score books. All this initiated for spectator convenience by Dr. Beach.

When the smoke cleared, third day action found Bobbit and Harton still unblemished after 16 games. Bonifant went down in defeat 50-46 to Vincent Grady, which prompted the jubilant delegation from Illinois to carry their State Champion around and about the arena. Fourth day action found Grady at it again, this time upsetting Harton 50-32. Again he was carried around the arena. Meanwhile on Court 4, George Snyder, wearing his white felt hat with the many horseshoes drawn on, tumbled Bobbit from the ranks of undefeated by a 50-40 score. This put Bonifant back in control. Grady fell to fifth as Born sneaked into third. Bonifant dumped Harton 50-22 driving him down to fourth place.

The last day, Bobbit got by Born 50-19 and Harton 50-39 setting up the final showdown with Bonifant. As for the third consecutive tournament, points scored was to be the deciding factor in determining the new World Champion, Bonifant only needed 45 points to win the title. This was the last tournament in history to be decided in this manner.

Favorite Bonifant immediately threw a ringer and leaner to take a 4-0 lead. After 54 shoes, Bonifant led 36-30 and only needed 9 more points to be World Champion. He was to never score another World Tournament point as Bobbit scored in each of the next seven innings, winning 50-36!

Shannon W. Bonifant never pitched again in a World Tournament.

As for Charles Bobbit, a laster in the N.A. Goodman Shoe company and protege of Vincent Stevens, this was to be his last match also. The new World Champion never pitched again in the World Tournament. As if it was meant to be, after filling the void created by the absence of the other great stars, these two crossed the stage together to be remembered forever in the annals of horseshoe pitching for their everlasting contribution to the 1921 Winter World Tournament.


1921 WORLD TOURNAMENT ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. - FEB. 21-27, 1921
MEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP
PTS. R. DR.
1. CHAS. BOBBITT LANCASTER, OHIO 1040 439 90
2. SHANNON W. BONIFANT KENMORE, OHIO 1032 400 59
3. ROBERT HARTON LANSING, MICHIGAN 993 424 53
4. VINCENT GRADY MARO, ILL. 982 412 55
5. HENRY HORN ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. 974 346 38
6. GOMER MILFORD AKRON, OHIO 948 347 41
7. LEE TOOT YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO 946 363 50
8. HAROLD FALOR AKRON, OHIO 942 366 44
9. FRED BRUST COLUMBUS, OHIO 911 355 47
10. C. S. FAUBLE CLEVELAND, OHIO 886 344 39
11. HUGHIE PALMER AKRON, OHIO 881 338 43
12. GEORGE E. SNYDER ALBION, N.Y. 868 295 31
13. C. E. MALLORY WADSWORTH, OHIO 846 280 23
14. J. R. OGDEN KANSAS CITY, MO. 797 295 20
15. C. A. GIANT HUNTSVILLE, ALA. 754 292 23
16. GEORGE VIGNOE DETROIT, MICH. 742 280 27
17. GEORGE W. CONKLIN ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. 727 238 24
18. F. S. GEORGE FAYETTE, OHIO 687 243 23
19. JOHN MILLER ROCK VALLEY, IOWA 686 190 9
20. CHAS. SANDERS AKRON, OHIO 681 257 20
21. H. S. PORTER AKRON, OHIO 612 240 23
22. TOM MILLER AKRON, OHIO 511 158 11
TOTALS 18446 6942 792
22 entries. No games played Feb. 21, because of rain. Each man played every other man one 50-point game. Total average of number of ringers per game, made by both players, 30. No record of number of shoes pitched or games won and lost by each player. Tournament held under the auspices of the local Board of Trade on the sandy loam courts of the Sunshine Pleasure Club in Williams Park, St. Petersburg, Fla., and sanctioned by the National League of Horseshoe and Quoit Pitchers.