1933 World Tournament
Chicago, Ill. - July 28-31, 1933

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 following article is reprinted from the July, 1933 edition of Horseshoe World.


Horseshoe pitching, like all other sports, needs to have champions. It is the champions who furnish the incentive to thousands of us, who pitch with more or less capability, to improve our game and to hope that we, too, may hold a championship of some kind some day.

There are those who argue that too much stress is placed upon the champion - the better players. There are those who declare that we would do better to give more time to the amateur players, instead of holding tournaments and offering inducements for the champions to show their wares.

This humble servant of the greatest game on earth believes that the amateur side of horseshoe pitching has been sadly neglected and that the indictment that we have spent too much time with the professionals is probably true, yet we would not for one minute lessen our activities in a professional way. If we are to change our course, we must do more for the amateurs - and do as much as usual, and more if possible, for the professionals!

Horseshoe pitching has come into its own in the United States and in Canada, as well as some of the Latin American countries. It is our prediction that the World's tournament at the World's Fair this year will do much to spread the game into other countries.

Champions have their place in the sun. They set the pace that we all strive to follow. They are the idols of amateur pitchers, trying to make higher ringer percentages. Champions furnish the "show" that the public likes to see. Champions demonstrate the great skill that has been developed in the game during the past two decades.

There are more than two million horseshoe pitchers - maybe three million - in the United States and they can't all be Blair Nunamakers or Mayme Franciscos, but they can follow the winnings of these champions, sit at their feet and learn.
There will be hundreds of persons seated in Soldiers Field stadium watching the tons of iron flung from peg to peg during the 1933 classic, who will recall how the game was played in their youth. In those days "dobbin" shoes were used and pitchers placed their fingers around the calks, without thinking of controlling the number of turns the shoe would make in the air or whether it would open at the stake.

During the tournament they will see that pitchers use various holds, control their shoes and make them deliver to the clay, open and many, times around the stakes.

These people, curious at the development made in the game, may be interested in a brief history about some of our national champions.

Several years ago the world was introduced to the "grand old man of the horseshoe game," Frank E. Jackson, of Kellerton, Ia., who won his first national championship at Bronson, Kansas.

He successfully defended his title yearly until the World's championship tournament held in St. Petersburg, Fla., Feb. 22-26, 1919, when he did not defend his title. In September, 1921, in a World's Championship tournament, held in Minneapolis, Minn., he again won the world's championship and for the second time failed to defend his title at the next world's championship meet.

At the World's championship tournament in St. Petersburg, Fla., Feb. 8-18, 1926, Mr. Jackson again won the world's championship from a field of 32 other contestants, pitching an average of .614 percent ringers in the finals. He and Putt Mossman tied in games won and lost in the finals, and agreed to play off the tie for the championship in a series of three 50-point games. Each won one game, Jackson winning the third game by two points. Mr. Jackson is a farmer.

    With 18 other contestants in the field, Fred M. Brust won the world's championship at St. Petersburg in February, 1919. He lost only one game in 54. While he has never held the title but once, Mr. Brust, who is a Columbus, Ohio, business man and the owner of the Ohio Horseshoe Co., is still a mighty good pitcher.

And then we come in contact with another good pitcher, who won his title at St. Petersburg in February, 1920. George W. May, Akron fireman. George proved to the world that he could manage the Dobbins as well as a fire hose and he knocked off the entire tournament with 24 entrants, without losing a game.

May failed to defend his title in the next tournament, but again became world's champion at Cleveland in the fall of 1923. We saw him pitch in this tournament and have always classed him as one of the top-notchers.

Charles Bobbitt, Lancaster, 0., copped the title in a tournament held in Williams Park, St. Petersburg, on February 21-27, 1921. Bobbitt has not competed in a National tournament since. Bobbitt pitched a wicked shoe while he was in the public eye, however, and his name is well remembered in horseshoe history.

One of the most colorful figures in the horseshoe realm has been Charles Clyde Davis, Columbus, 0h, carpenter, who won his first championship at St. Petersburg in February, 1922. There were 22 entered.

Davis has traveled into almost every corner of the United States giving exhibition matches, doing fancy pitching, and now makes Kansas City his headquarters.

He became champion again in February, 1924, and again in February, 1927. He defended his title successfully in the summer meet at Duluth, August, 1927, and in February, 1928, refused to give up the crown, thus making five national victories to his credit.

Out in New London, Iowa, a boy took a notion in 1922 that Ohio had had enough champions and that the crown should go to the state made famous by Jackson. And that's what happened - Frank Lundin, a shoemaker lad, entered the national events at Des Moines, August 28- September 1, 1922, and won the championship. He was unable to keep the title in the winter meeting at St. Petersburg the following year, losing to Harold Falor, who, then, was a 15-year-old school boy in Akron, 0h.

The writer witnessed the tournament in St. Petersburg in 1923 and saw this lad take 29 other contestants, including such noted personages as Lundin, defending his title, and Davis, Jackson, "Kelly" Spencer and others, into camp.

What a tournament! What crowds and what interest! Florida was in her prime then and the Sunshine Pleasure Club boys and the St. Pete Chamber of Commerce did things up in great fashion.

Imagine young Falor's eyes when he was handed a bag of gold containing $500, in addition to a diamond studded world's championship gold medal and a cartload of merchandise given by "Sunshine City" business houses.

Falor's parents thought his education came first and he wasn't allowed in any more tournaments until the Florida classic of 1928, in which he did not fare so well.

Now let us introduce one Orren "Putt" Mossman. This Iowa youth's career reads like an Alger book and has been every bit as colorful as that of Charles Davis.

Putt goes in for all kinds of sports - boxing, baseball, etc., and spends much time in Hollywood. He fills theater engagements and thrills crowds at the state fairs and expositions with his daredevil motorcycle stunts and his trick and fancy horseshoe pitching.

Mossman, whose home town is Eldora, Ia., won his first national horseshoe honors at Minneapolis, Minn., in September, 1924. He successfully defended his title at Lake Worth, Fla., the following winter. He lost his title to Frank Jackson at St. Petersburg in February, 1926.

The present champion is a likeable youth - Blair Nunamaker, of Cleveland, Ohio - who, in February defended his title successfully in a match game, as provided under the national rules, against Alphonse Beillergon, a Canadian tosser, who sought the crown. This match was held in Florida.

Nunamaker won his first world's championship honors at Waterfront Park, St. Petersburg, Fla., in the tournament held February 4-0, 1929, although he has been a contender for this title in a number of previous tournaments. He lost only one game and that to Bert Duryee, and made a ringer percentage of .605.

The first time we hear of Nunamaker in a world's championship tournament is in September, 1923, in Cleveland, Ohio, where he won 16 games and lost 16 in the preliminaries with a total percentage of ringers of .426. He was successful in getting into the finals in which he won the eleventh place, although he lost 15 of the 20 games. His ringer percentage in the finals was the same as in the preliminaries.

His next trial to win the highest honors was at the Lake Worth, Fla., world's championship tournament in February, 1925, in which he made the eighth place in the preliminaries, winning 22 and losing nine games with a total ringer percentage of .499. In the finals he made a total ringer percentage of .551, losing 30 games and winning only 25, which gave him the seventh place.

In the world's championship tournament held in St. Petersburg, Fla., in February, 1926, he again competed, winning third place in the preliminaries with 30 games won and only two lost, and a total ringer percentage of .552. In the finals, however, he was able to get only fourth place by winning 21 of his 30 games with a total ringer percent-age of .574.

In February, 1927, he was again a competitor in the world's championship tournament held in St. Petersburg, Fla. In the preliminaries he won 23 of his 25 games, making a total ringer percentage of .600, and stood in the second place. In the finals, however, he lost six of his 33 games and had to be content with third place, although he made a .625 total ringer percentage.

He did not compete in the tournament held in Duluth, Minn., in August, 1927, but he again entered the world's championship tournament held in St. Petersburg, in February, 1928. Here he won 27 of his 29 games in the preliminaries, with a total ringer percentage of .628, which gave him second place. In the finals, however, although he pitched a total of .662 percentage of ringers, he was able to win only 23 of his 33 games, which put him in the third place.

(This article was graciously permitted and encouraged to be reprinted by Mrs. Raymond B. Howard. It is a great honor and privilege to present these words from the brilliant and knowledgeable mind of the late Mr. Howard. Thank you, Mrs. Howard, for the wisdom you have imparted and the monumental help you have bestowed on me in this endeavor.)

1933 World Tournament
The year 1933 should be remembered and dedicated to the heart and spirit of the determined men of the N.H.P.A. who were fighting for the survival of the grand old sport of horseshoe pitching on an organized level. Foremost of these men was Raymond B. Howard who engaged in delicate negotiations to ensure this tournament at the World's Fair being possible.

By his power of logical persuasion, he overcame two main obstacles. The first of these was convincing the N.H.P.A. to accept a lesser amount of prize money than demanded, arguing that holding the world tournament was more important to the N.H.P.A. than the money involved.

The second was convincing the Illinois State Organization that a State Charter was mandatory for them to hold the event. Thus, through the efforts of Raymond B. Howard, horseshoe pitching survived the Great Depression and for the first time since 1929 a world tournament was held.

For the first time in the history of the world tournaments, 100 shoe qualifying was the determining factor in deciding which 24 men would form the Championship Class. Some of the notables among the 46 men who failed to qualify were shoe manufacturers Bob Brown (215), Leo Lattore (215), and John Gordon (172).

Men who would make future tournaments were Howard Robinson (210), Glen Rust (107), Alvin Dahlene (194), Ellis Griggs (194), and Clayton C. Henson (169). Those who had pitched in past tournaments were Lyle Brown (213), Gaylord Peterson (218), Lee Rose Jacobs (189), and Harry Reese (193).

Pitchers on the All Time 100 Victory List were C. R. Thompson from Chicago (208), Harvey Elmerson (189), past World Champion Putt Mossman from Hollywood, Cal. (199), and most tragic of all, the "Grand Old Man" himself, Frank Jackson from Blue Mound, Kan. (216) missing this classic by one ringer. Due to a motion in regard to Section 1, Article 4, Guy H. Marshbanks (150) became the first black to enter the World Tournament, but he failed to qualify.

The ten seasoned veterans to make the Championship Class were past World Champion C. C. Davis (81 percent), Vyril Jackson (73 percent), Collier (70 percent), Risk (71 percent), Duryee (69 percent), Hansford Jackson (66 percent), Licht (65 percent), Carroll Jackson (65 percent), Tate (66 percent), and defending World Champion Blair Nunamaker (67 percent). Blair had to get hot his last 50 shoes to make the class, almost leaving the tournament without its defending champion. This prompted a 1935 rule change stipulating that the defending champion was automatically allotted a spot in the field at future tournaments.

Talented newcomers were Allen (74 percent), Walls (74 percent), Sheets (75 percent), Hawley (72 percent), Isais (72 percent), and Lecky (74 percent). Of the shoes used by the 24, seven were Gordons, six were Ohio, four were Lattore, three were Mossman, two were Diamond, and two were Davis. Of the various pitching styles used, 15 were the 1-¾ turn, eight were the 1~1/4 turn and one was the ¾ turn.

Key match-ups and personal achievements will now be presented round by round for the 1933 World Tournament which was pitched on Soldier's Field, home of the Bears.
Round 1: Allen-SO, Isais-35; Hawley-SO, Duryee-43; and Lecky-50, Davis-3O.
Round 2: Nunamaker (77 percent) over Steinmann, 50-14.
Round 3: Nunamaker-50, Duryee-39; and Risk-SO, Lecky-28.
Round 4: Allen (77.5 percent) over Colao, 50-18; Davis-SO, Duryee-37; and Walls upsetting Nunamaker, 50-45.
Round 5: Davis (85.6 percent) over Walls, 50-6; and in 102 shoes Lecky upsetting Allen, SO-48.
Round 6: Hawley-SO, Isais-48; V. Jackson in an upset over Davis, SO-48; and Duryee-50, Risk-34.
Round 7: Isais (84 percent) over Tate, 50-9.
Round 8: Nunamaker-50, Isais-47, each tossing 72.2 percent; and Bert Duryee in his habit of beating every past or future World Champion that he encountered except one, threw 73.8 percent defeating Ted Allen 50-37. Allen pitched 71.5 percent.
Round 9: Davis-SO, Isais-37.
Round 10: Sigler-SO, Duryee-24; Lecky-SO, Hawley-43; Isais (75 per-cent) over H. Jackson, 50-10; and Davis (81.2 percent) over Licht, 50-6.
Round 11: Duryee (75.5 percent) over C. Jackson, 50-34; and Isais-50, Risk-39.
Round 12: Steinmann-5O, Hawley-47; Nunamaker-SO, Lecky-25; Isais (75 percent) over Sheets, 50-29; and Allen (80 percent) over Harris, 50-16.
Round 13: C. Jackson (82.3 percent) over Sigler, 50-7.
Round 14: C. Jackson-SO, Hawley-36; Allen (83.3 percent) over Sigler, 50-10; and in a feature match Risk pitched 75 percent, Nunamaker 71.8 percent with Risk winning, 50-39.
Round 15: Sigler-5O, Hawley-30; and Davis-SO, Risk 35.
Round 16: Lecky (75 percent) over Woodard, 50-12; and Nunamaker-SO, Hawley-48.
Round 17: Some rounds produce great matches for thrills and excitement. This particular round stands out as one of the greatest of all time. Sigler upset Risk 50-46 in 106 shoes, Russell pitching 68.6 per-cent to Jimmy's 69.6 percent. Grover Hawley upset Ted Allen 50-42, Grover-67.5 percent and Ted-66.2 percent. In a feature match, Davis pitched 74.1 percent beating Nunamaker in their crucial encounter, 50-32. Meanwhile Fernando Isais, the only man to later become World Champion that Duryee never beat, was setting the new World Record for ringer percentage. Fernando pitched 41 of 44 for a 93.2 percent while decimating Bert, 50-1!
Round 18: Calao upsetting Duryee, 50-43; Allen (77.7 percent) over Sheets, 50-16; Isais (82 percent) over Lecky, 50-25; and Jimmy Risk threw 40 of 44 for 90.9 percent bombing Tate, 50-2.
Round 19: Risk-50, Hawley-48.
Round 20: Davis (81 percent) over Wood, 50-6; Isais (82.8 percent) over Collier, 50-26; and Allen (88 percent) over H. Jackson, 50-6.
Round 21: Allen (75 percent), over Risk (71 percent), 50-39. The 1933 records show a mathematical impossibility in the Steinmann-Duryee match. Steinmann won 50-47. Each supposedly had 61 ringers in 78 shoes for 78.2 percent. Seventeen Duryee misses x 3 points would equal 51 points for Steinmann. For Duryee to have 47 points, it would re-quire Lefty to have 17 misses (15 x 3 points equals 45 plus 2 points by each having a ringer and close shoe with Duryee the closer shoe, twice). If this happened, Lefty could have only counted on 15 of Bert's misses which would not be a possibility for 50 points. In conclusion, either the ringer count was wrong, shoes pitched wrong, or somewhere during the game the scorekeeper inadvertently added six points to Lefty's score. This World Tournament mystery will probably remain forever unsolved!
Round 22: Davis went into this round with a one game lead over Allen and Nunamaker with Allen his scheduled foe. Allen in a pressure situation threw 77.9 percent to Davis' 74.4 percent with Allen winning 50-45 in 86 shoes. This created a deadlock with one game to go. Sigler upset Blair, 50-41.
Round 23: Allen (19-3), Davis (19-3), and Nunamaker (18-4) were the only men that could win the tournament. Nunamaker needed fellow Ohioan Hawley to upset Davis while Blair was upending Allen. History said no to a defending World Champion again as Davis pitched 75.9 percent, defeating Hawley 50-38. To compound this misfortune, Allen pitched 80.2 percent to beat Blair in his final World Tournament appearance, 50-23. Blair once again losing in 86 shoes, mustering up but 61 ringers to Ted's 69. This left Allen and Davis each with 20-3 marks with a playoff forthcoming.

This was to be the second time in World Tournament history that two remained tied after all rounds were completed. It brought to mind the 1926 battle between Frank Jackson and Putt Mossman, but with even greater anticipation.

Ted Allen averaged 73.6 percent in his 23 games. This broke the complete tournament ringer percentage average then held by Davis (70.2 percent in 1928). Isais in his 23 games, averaged 72.4 percent also breaking the old record. The final day, Davis pitched 11 consecutive double ringers for a new World Tournament record, breaking the old record of 10 established by Mossman in 1925 and tied by Davis in 1928. With both men obviously feeling the pressure, first year man Allen won the first game 50-27 throwing 41 of 58 for 70.6 percent to Davis' 35 of 58 for 60.3 percent. Game two had Allen defeating the five- time World Champion 50-28; Ted 64 of 90 for 71.0 percent and Davis 59 of 90 for 65.5 percent.

The legendary Ted Allen had finally arrived to leave his everlasting impression on the sport of horseshoe pitching at the tender age of 24.

1933 World Tournament Chicago, Ill. - July 28-31, 1933
        Qual W L  R.  Sp.   Pct.
1 Ted Allen Alhambra, Cal 244 20 3 1127 1532 .736
2 C. C. Davis Kansas City, Mo 256 20 3   937 1382 .678
3 Fernando Isais Los Angeles, Cal 241 18 5 1087 1502 .724
4 James Risk Montpelier, Ind 235 18 5 1016 1580 .709
5 Blair Nunamaker Cleveland, Ohio 223 18 5 1034 1504 .643
6 James Lecky Phoenix, Ariz 239 16 7 1004 1516 .662
7 Russel Sigler Pittsfield, Ill 233 16 7   947 1488 .636
8 Bert Duryee Wichita, Kansas 233 15 8 1003 1538 .652
9 Grover Hawley Bridgeport, Ohio 242 14 9   932 1472 .633
10 Edward Walls Detroit, Mich 244 13 10 938 1574 .596
11 Harold Sheets Waukesha, Wis 242 12 11  946 1492 .634
12 Howard Collier Fiatt, Ill 237 12 12  869 1414 .615
13 Lloyd Woodard Columbus, Kansas 219 10 13  832 1388 .599
14 John Calao Chicago, Ill 219 10 13  805 1384 .582
15 Hansford Jackson Blue Mound, Kans 229 10 13  781 1410 .554
16 Vyril Jackson Kellerton, Iowa 243   9 14  852 1456 .585
17 Lefty Steinmann St. Louis, Missouri 228   9 14  808 1424 .567
18 Carroll Jackson La Grange, Ill 227   9 14  786 1280 .614
19 Verne Licht Lodi, Wis. 228   8 15  990 1654 .599
20 Orville Harris Indianapolis, Ind. 220  6 17   813 1466 .555
21 Clarence Pfeiffer Dubuque, Iowa 229  5 18  928 1540 .603
22 Alton Wood Chicago, Ill 225    4 19  738 1378 .536
23 Jack Hoeksema Grand Rapids, Mich 231   2 21  504  942 .535
24 Milton Tate Knoxville, Ill 226   0 23  446  850 .525

Allen and Davis pitched a two game playoff to decide 1st and 2nd place. Allen won both games, 50-27 and 50-28.