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1923 WORLD TOURNAMENT
CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPT. 19-23, 1923

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:

1923 World Tournament (Summer)

Detailed pitching records for this tournament are virtually nonexistent. This presents a wonderful opportunity for the reader to learn what goes on behind the scenes in selecting a World Tournament site. At each World, the N.H.P.A. meets in full convention to decide such important issues. Delegates from each State association vote to select sites one and usually two years in advance.

Omaha, Nebraska, whose proposal was steered by Mr. McCarthy of the Omaha Chamber of Commerce, seemed to have the inside track for the 1923 event. Omaha had strong delegate support, especially from the state of Minnesota. Two Ohioans, Stanley Hixson and Art L. Headlough, kept in close telegraph contact with Mr. Rice, a Cleveland recreation booster.

Rice informed the convention that Cleveland would outbid any other city and did so. The Fifth City would now host its only World Tournament. Rice had promised movies, parties, sightseeing, boxing and entertainment for the ladies to be provided by the Women's Club of Cleveland which had a membership of over 5,000. It appeared Brookside Stadium would not be the only site filled with fun and action. (The preceding historical account was provided by the October, 1922 issue of Barnyard Golf, created by Art L. Headlough.)

The great city of Cleveland more than lived up to the promise of being a super host. The Cleveland Plain Dealer, one of the largest newspapers in the land, gave the sport of horseshoe pitching a tremendous boost with feature stories on the front page three times! Also written was a beautiful editorial which gave every horseshoe pitcher in the land a feeling of pride for their beloved sport.

The very able D. D. Cottrell was Tournament Director of this meet. In convention, Mr. Cottrell was officially appointed N.H.P.A. Statistician in recognition of his many contributions in the upgrading of maintaining tournament records. He lost his proposal to have the championship decided by ringer percentage, but won his proposal that no pitching would be done on the Sabbath beginning in 1924.

Due to the large number of participants, it was decided that an elimination format would be used in narrowing the field to a final 16 men. It was also decided that wins and losses would not be carried over to each succeeding advancement. In essence, each survivor would have a beginning 0-0 record in each level of elimination play.

The veterans of this field are too numerous to mention. Defending World Champion Harold Falor did not compete. It should be noted that 33 Ohioans began in the field of 50!

After the first day the following were undefeated: Frank Jackson (60, 56.7 percent), Davis (6-0, 55.3 percent), Loren May (6-0, 55.2 percent), Spencer (6-0, 48.8 percent), Buchman (6-0, 48.7 percent), Witt (6-0, 48.2 percent), and Alvin May (7-0, 43.3 percent). With one loss were George May (53.6 percent), Todd (44.3 percent), and Doyle (41.5 percent). Ousted from the tournament in order of ringer percentage were Jastraub, Denzier, Oliver, Tretor, Cummings, Flint, Jackman and Bane. Succeeding in advancing, but withdrawing, were Werner, Eachus and Higgins which left a field of 39.

Second day casualties were Lux, Shrewsbury, Feasel, both Johnsons, Pickens, former World Champion Brust, Fogarty, Centoben, Reed and Cox. This now left 28 to battle it out. The survivors of the third day were guaranteed a spot in the finals where every position earned a piece of the purse.

The third day of competition proved the saying about being in the right place at the right time. Some pitchers who had better overall win-loss records and higher ringer percentages were not. Those who fell by the wayside were Livengood, Morris, youngster Zeinstein, Todd, Dull, Dahl, Dr. Ramsdell, Avery, Steindorf, Wilks, and Newman.

Three day overall preliminary records of those still in the hunt were Carroll Jackson (8-9); Fred Brundige (9-8); Jack Doyle (9-7); past World runner up, Joe Wilkinson (10-8); Charles Heimbaugh (11-6); Charles Brundige (11-6); George May's protege, Blair Nunamaker (116); 1921 State playoff loser, Willie Witt (12-4); past World runner up, Ralph Spencer (13-3); 1922 and 1923 (held in Columbus) State Champion, William P. Yocum (14-4); 1920 World Champion, George May (14-2); George Buchman (15-2); Alvin May, nephew of George and holder of the Ohio Amateur State title (16-2); his brother, Loren May, 1922 and 1923 State Champion (held in Canton), unsurprisingly (16-0) even though this was his first World Tournament; Charles Clyde Davis, 1922 Winter World Champion (16-0); and the incomparable Frank Jackson (17-0). (This magnificent "Grand Old Man" had copped the title in 1909, 1915, 1920 Summer, and 1921 Summer. When titles are verified for the missing years of 1910 thru 1919, it will strongly attest to the awesome force he was in the sport of horseshoe pitching.) In the preliminaries seven men averaged 50 percent or better: Yocum (50.0 percent), Buchman (50.7 percent), Spencer (50.9 percent), G. May (54.8 percent), with L. May (55.5 percent), F. Jackson (55.7 percent), and Davis (57.3 percent) all at a pace exceeding Falor's 1923 Winter World record of 55.34 percent. In the finals, C. C. Davis defeated G. May, Loren May, and Frank Jackson and still finished second!

The year 1933 was the first in which shoes with hooked caulks were used in a World Tournament so these World Records established in 1923 are quite an accomplishment. William Yocum in a match with Carroll Jackson set a new percentage record of 77.7 percent. Shortly afterward, Frank Jackson pitched 32 ringers in 40 shoes for 80 percent, overwhelming Nunamaker. In a 92 shoe match, Davis had 60 ringers and 20 doubles to Loren May's 56 ringers and 14 doubles in a close 5048 Davis victory. This set a record for two man total in ringers and doubles. In Davis' very next match with Frank Jackson, this record was shattered again. In 94 shoes, Davis threw 63 ringers and 18 doubles while Jackson tossed 59 ringers and 18 doubles in a bitterly contested match with Davis in triumph, 50-45.

This author is grateful to the Ohio Historical Society, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and especially to D. D. Cottrell for making the reproduction of 1923 possible. I also humbly solicit your aid and assistance in relocating that which is lost; Horseshoe World by Raymond Howard, published in Wilmington and then later London, Ohio prior to the year 1929 and Barnyard Golf by Art L. Headlough, published in Akron, Ohio in the very early twenties. Also lost is a copy of the Official Horseshoe Pitching Guide and Blueprint by Art L. Headlough in 1920. The publications would cast further light on our almost irretrievable past. 53 entries, 50 started, divided into seven groups for first elimination, of 10 players. These 40 players not eliminated were then divided into eight groups of five men each, and 12 men were eliminated the second time, leaving 28 players. These 28 were again divided into four groups of seven men each, and the four men standing highest in each group made up the 16 men who played in the finals. Eliminations were decided on the number of games won and lost in each group.

World's Records for this Tournament First, Yocum pitched .777 percent ringers in his game with C. Jackson; then F. Jackson made .800 percent ringers in winning his game with Nunemaker, pitching 32 ringers, 22 doubles in 40 shoes. In total number of ringers and double ringers, Davis made 50 points, 60 ringers and 20 double ringers in winning his game from L. May, who made 48 points, 56 ringers 14 doubles in 92 shoes. This was a world's record in number of ringers and doubles, and for both players in total number of ringers and doubles. The next game Davis played he broke this record with F. Jackson: Davis, 50 points, 63 ringers, 18 doubles; Frank Jackson, 45 points, 59 ringers, 18 doubles, 94 shoes pitched. This game, at the end of this tournament stood as a world's record in the largest number of ringers and doubles for both players in a 50 point game. Davis, George May and Loren May each broke the previous record of Harold Falor at St. Petersburg, Fla., in Feb. 1923, of .5534 percent ringers for the whole tournament.

1923 WORLD TOURNAMENT CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPT. 19-23, 1923
MEN'S CHAMPIONSHIPS
W. L. R. SP. PET.
1. C. C. DAVISCOLUMBUS, OHIO29210551784.591
2. GEO. MAYAKRON, OHIO2839321630.572
3. LOREN MAYAKRON, OHIO2839511696.561
4. FRANK JACKSONKELLERTON, IOWA28410221860.549
5. RALPH SPENCERPICHER, OKLA.2389431812.520
6. J. H. BUCHMANFREMONT, OHIO2399331862.501
7. WM. YOCUMZANESVILLE, OHIO23109411881.500
8. ALVIN MAYAKRON, OHIO23109722030.479
9. CHARLES BRUNDIGECOLUMBUS, OHIO19139341988.470
10. DAVID E. LIVENGOOD AKRON, OHIO89429928.462
11. JOE WILKINSONKENMORE, OHIO14199272012.461
12. WILLIE WITTAKRON, OHIO15167801772.440
13. BLAIR NUNAMAKERCLEVELAND, OHIO16168642028.426
14. DERELLA MORRISCOLUMBUS, OHIO610394932.423
15. CHAS. HEIMBAUGHAKRON, OHIO15178221946.422
16. WM. ZEINSTEINYOUNGSTOWN, OHIO88412988.417
17. FRED BRUNDIGECOLUMBUS, OHIO15178091942.418
18. CLIFFORD TODDZANESVILLE, OHIO98403968.416
19. CARROLL JACKSONKELLERTON, IOWA12207161726.415
20. BENJAMIN DULLGLENMORE, OHIO984091024.399
21. JOHN DAHLMINNEAPOLIS, MINN.893971012.392
22. DR. R. M. RAMSDELLMINNEAPOLIS, MINN.1084111060.388
23. JACK DOYLECLEVELAND,OHIO11206751794.376
24. WILLIAM AVERYYOUNGSTOWN, OHIO511326880.370
25. JOHN LUXCANTON, OHIO47215606.355
26. ED B. STEINDORFSTILLWATER, MINN.79339982.345
27. L. M. WILKSBATTLE CREEK, MICH.7103661076.340
28. R. L. SHREWSBURYMINNEAPOLIS, MINN.57240718.333
29. BERT M. NEWMANCLEVELAND,OHIO1083561098.324
30. JOHN W. FEASELCOLUMBUS, OHIO28212674.315
31. EDWIN WERNERINDIANAPOLIS, IND.33120394.305
32. L. B. JOHNSONGRAMPIAN, PA.19180605.298
33. JOS. JASTRAUBKENMORE, OHIO15106558.296
34. CLYDE PICKENSKINGSVILLE, OHIO19162552.293
35. H. R. JOHNSONYOUNGSTOWN, OHIO47194672.289
36. FRED BRUSTCOLUMBUS, OHIO110180638.282
37. TOM H. FOGARTYDES MOINES, IOWA47185672.275
38. H. E. CENTOBENCLEVELAND, OHIO38180646.279
39. FRANK EACHUSGALLIPOLIS, OHIO34121440.275
40. H. E. DENZIERINDIANAPOLIS, IND.15108396.273
41. T. C. REEDMCKEESPORT, PA.210208766.272
42. H. OLIVEREAST LIVERPOOL, OHIO0683324.256
43. EMIL TRETORCLEVELAND, OHIO0693376.247
44. ALEX CUMMINGMINNEAPOLIS, MINN.0678328.238
45. E. L. COLEGRAND RAPIDS, MICH.313209890.235
46. FRED FLINTCLEARFIELD, PA.0782380.216
47. GROVER JACKMANEAST LIVERPOOL, OHIO0789414.215
48. CHAS. R. COXCOLUMBUS, OHIO29143674.212
49. FRANK HIGGINSLAKEWOOD, OHIO1569336.205
50. DAVID E. BANEUNIONTOWN, PA.1680406.197
TOTALS44944921855 52976.413


FINALS - 1923 WORLD TOURNAMENT CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPT. 19-23, 1923
W.L. R.SP. PET.
1. GEO. MAYAKRON, OHIO141450750.60
2. C. C. DAVISCOLUMBUS, OHIO132542888.610
3. LOREN MAYAKRON, OHIO123480848.566
4. FRANK JACKSONKELLERTON, IOWA114507936.54
5. RALPH SPENCERPICHER, OKLA.105468878.53
6. WM. YOCUMZANESVILLE, OHIO96439872.50
7. J. H. BUCKMANFREMONT, OHIO87477962.49
8. CHARLES BRUNDIGECOLUMBUS, OHIO87418926.45
9. ALVIN MAYAKRON, OHIO78437896.48
10. FRED BRUNDIGECOLUMBUS, OHIO69396894.44
11. BLAIR NUNAMAKERCLEVELAND, OHIO510409958.427
12. CARROLL JACKSONKELLERTON, IOWA411327766.427
13. CHAS. HEIMBAUGHAKRON, OHIO411414920.45
14. JOS. WILKINSONKENMORE, OHIO411439942.46
15. WILLIE WITTAKRON, OHIO312365880.41
16. JACK DOYLECLEVELAND, OHIO213295812.36
TOTALS120120686314128.48
All games in both the eliminations and the finals were 50 points. Buckman and C. Brundige pitched a 50-point game to decide a tie. C. Jackson, Heimbaugh and Wilkinson played off a tie, each playing the other one 50-point game. Each won one game and then drew for place.