ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. - FEB. 19-24, 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

Youth and experience were the key characteristics of this talented field. Nineteen men had prior experience in the title chase. Three newcomers should be especially noted: Michigan Champion L. M. Wilks, the only rookie to crack the top ten, plus D. T. Leonard and C. R. Thompson, both now on the all time victory list, who began their climb to greatness at this tournament. In this event there was no clear cut favorite, play being divided evenly amongst the three World Champions and Harold Falor, who had beaten C. C. Davis in some Orlando exhibition matches.

E. C. Beach promised spectators, in the newspaper, that there would be a feature match each day in the morning and afternoon sessions. John Lodwick did the newspaper coverage. A scorecard, invented by D. D. Cottrell was used for the first time in this tournament. The scorecard, which kept track of shoes pitched, was the latest brilliant innovation to the sport, creating the known ringer percentage of the contestants.

In the feature opening day match, Falor thumped Spencer 50-16, throwing 11 doubles in the 23 inning game. Jackson got by Plagman 50-35. The undefeated were Falor, 6-0; Davis and Jackson, 5-0; Lundin, 4-0; and Wilks, 3-0. Davis, 62.3 percent and Falor, 55.6 percent were the only pitchers over 50 percent.

Second day results found Davis 11-0, Falor and Lundin 10-0, and Jackson 9-0. Wilks was upset by, you guessed it, George Snyder 50-20 and was later punished by Lundin 50-17. Lundin registered the first shutout in World Tournament history, blanking R. J. Ritchey 50-0. Spencer was upset by Toot. For those spectators not having week-long ducats, tickets were being sold each session for $1.00 and war taxes. Receipts for the first two days were $1,600.

Day three saw Falor lead Brust 45-0 before Brust got his single point. The only two averaging over 50 percent, Davis (57.5) and Falor (55.3), each stood 16-0; while Jackson and Lundin were 14-0. Day four saw Jackson pitch 75.0 percent in 28 shoes against Willman, later in the tournament being exactly equalled by Falor vs. Leonard. Spencer won all his games. The leaders were Jackson, 22-0 and Davis, Falor and Lundin, all 21-0. Spencer, with games scheduled with the remaining three of the big four, was quoted as saying, "I'm going to lick some of'em."

Day five saw Spencer keep his word, beating Frank Jackson 50-40 in a World Tournament record breaking performance. In the 80 shoe game, Spencer had 46 ringers, 13 doubles to Jackson's 43 ringers, 12 doubles. The total of 89 ringers, 25 doubles were records as well as the 13 doubles Spencer threw. In one feature match, Falor beat Davis. In the other, Lundin beat Jackson. This set up the final showdown between Falor and Lundin.

The final day, Falor topped Jackson 50-46 while Lundin trimmed Davis. Falor beat Lundin 50-21 and Davis 50-18. Jackson beat Davis creating a tie for third place. Davis got revenge against Jackson by beating him in the playoff game. Falor, the protege of George May and pitching the style of Hughie Palmer, became the youngest World Champion - a record that still stands today. Harold Falor, at the insistence of his parents who believed horseshoe pitching interfered with his education, was not to pitch again in the World Tournament for five years.

Frank Lundin, due to an injury in his pitching hand which dulled the sensitivity in his fingers, was never to pitch again! In the eyes of many Iowans, this New London cobbler was the greatest of all time. One can only speculate, by his two-year record, what a dominant force he would have been if fate had not intervened to curtail his horseshoe pitching career, imparting the wisdom of just how fragile and uncertain our own destinies are.

Harold Falor, only 15 years old, who won the world's championship, pitched 75 percent ringers in the game with Leonard, making 21 ringers, 8 double ringers, in 28 shoes pitched. Spencer pitched 50 points, 46 ringers, 13 doubles in 80 shoes in his game with Jackson, who only made 40 points, 43 ringers, 12 doubles. The total of 89 ringers and 25 double ringers was a world's record, as was also 13 doubles for Spencer. There were only four games of more than 40 ringers by either player, two pitched by Jackson and one each by Plagman and Spencer. All games were 50 points. All ties were played off in both men's and women's tournaments.

This was the first tournament ever held in which a score card was used that recorded the number of shoes pitched by each player. This score card was arranged just before the tournament began by D. D. Cottrell, North Cohocton, N.Y., who had charge of the official records, assisted by W. S. Bicknell and Clyde Anderson. W. J. Godfrey was tournament manager.

W. L. R. SP. PET.
1. HAROLD FALORAKRON,OHIO290 7151292.553
2. FRANK LUNDINNEW LONDON, IOWA 28 1 681 1322 .515
3. CHAS. C. DAVIS263 685 1238 .553
5. RALPH SPENCER PITCHER, OKLA.24 5 682 1476 .462
6. E. R. PLAGMAN CONROY, IOWA21 8 663 1580 .420
7. L. M. WILKS BATTLE CREEK, MICH. 21 8 628 1702 .369
8. JOHN FEASEL COLUMBUS, OHIO21 8 635 1792 .354
9. LEE TOOT CAMFIELD, OHIO19 10 631 1726 .366
11. C. R. THOMPSONTAMPA, FLA.17 12 5761732 .333
12. R. F. RICHEY ERIE, PA.1514 585 1838 .318
13. C. M. NICHOLASPATASKALA, OHIO15 14 5921816 .326
14. CHAS. L. JARVISMARION, IND.15 14 5181690 .307
15. C. E. MALLORY WADSWORTH, OHIO14 15 5811832 .317
16. HENRY BORNATLANTIC CITY, N.J.14 15 4881702 .287
17. GEO. CONKLIN ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. 13 16 510 1764 .289
18. E. L. COLEGRAND RAPIDS, MICH. 13 16 507 1768 .287
19. C. E. SNYDER ALBION, N.Y.11 18 501 1766 .281
20. T. C. REEDMCKEESPORT, PA.10 19 469 1728 .271
21. D. T. LEONARD ADAMS BASIN, N.Y. 10 19 461 1674 .275
22. F. W. NUSSBAUM CLEVELAND, OHIO10 19 488 1682 .290
23. FRED BRUSTCOLUMBUS, OHIO10 19 518 1780 .291
24. O. J. HAWKINS NEWARK, OHIO10 19 491 1754 .280
25. I. R. GORDON VICTORIA, ILL.8 21 507 1840 .276
26. J. F. FRANCISCO COLUMBUS, OHIO7 22 432 1710 .253
27. W. H. RUSSELL ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. 6 23 412 1750 .235
28. D. E. EUBANK PITCHER, OKLA.4 25 350 1664 .210
29. GEO. H. WILLMAN CLEVELAND, OHIO 1 28 246 1504 .164
30. E. R. GREGORY SAVANNAH, MO.0 29 220 1624 .135
TOTALS 435 435 15990 49960 .320