1934 World Tournament
Los Angeles, Calif. - Oct. 20-28, 1934

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:

1934 World Tournament

This tournament has to be the wackiest event in the history of the sport. It is the World Tournament that was, then wasn't, then later was. Although billed and advertised as a World Tournament, the N.H.P.A. did not sanction it! (The latter occurred in a N.H.P.A. convention proposal made by Ted Allen in 1954 or 1955 that 1934 be considered as a World Tournament and was so adopted by the delegates.) This meet was arranged, conducted, and promoted by John Gordon, a horseshoe manufacturing magnate, now a member of the N.H.P.A. Hall of Fame.

A very small report of this tournament appeared in a December, 1934 issue of the Horseshoe World. Very few first names were mentioned. There was no mention of the city or state of the participants and no qualifying scores at all! This is the only time 150 shoe qualifying has ever been used in world tournament history.

Top qualifier Frank Jackson pitched 125 ringers for 83.3 percent, a new world tournament record. Defending World Champion Ted Allen was not informed of the meet until three days prior to the tournament according to his letter to the Horseshoe World. The Los Angeles Times, which had just proudly moved into a beautiful new building, gave the only known media coverage of the event.

Opening day matches at Goodyear Athletic Field were filled with some fine performances. Frank Jackson set a record of eleven consecutive doubles only to have Isais break that with an even dozen. With pitching for the day completed after three games, the undefeated leaders were Frank Jackson, Allen, Brown, Thomas, Lecky, Zimmerman and Isais. There were only seven veterans in the field and here were four of these rolling along without a loss. The veterans were Allen, Lecky and Isais, all in their second World Tournament, plus all four Jackson's. Carroll and Vyril were pitching in their last World. Frank and Hansford were making their next to last appearances. The Jackson family era was coming to a close. Of the rookie crop, six were headed for exciting careers. Ira Allen and Byrnes would pitch in other tournaments. Headed for the 100 of All Time were Brown and the lefty Dean, then a student at USC, and future president of the N.H.P.A.

After five more games the second day, only five stood perfect at 8-0. Zimmerman fell to 7-1 and Thomas to 5-3. Allen set a new doubles record of 13 straight. Percentage leaders were Lecky (74.9), Isais (74.4) and Allen (73.4). After the third day, things remained much the same with the five leaders now log jammed at 13-0. Lecky still had the leading percentage, 74.4. Jackson had to make two furious rallies to avoid defeat.

On the fourth day, the undefeated leaders dwindled to three with Lecky, Allen and Jackson all 18-0. The most exciting match of the day had World Champion Allen, after trailing Dean Brown 36-7, come back and win 50-49. Isais faltered twice and Brown dropped four of his five games.

The final day Allen won them all. In a record setting battle, Isais had 89 ringers to Lecky's 87; Fernando winning 50-42. This broke the record of the Isais-Allen confrontation the year before.

Can anything cause more excitement amongst horseshoe pitchers than the final day matches between contenders? Most definitely! When sundown came, the tournament was over and everyone was waiting to collect their share of the $1,600 purse. It was at this time that Gordon confessed to the fact that gate receipts were only $319 and expenses were $400. Not getting their share of the $1,600 was bad enough, but the pitchers got even madder when John suggested they divide the scant $319 on a percentage basis. The police, in two squad cars, had to come quiet this noisy and near riotous crowd. The players elected to form a committee to seek legal means to obtain that which they had been promised. Results of this action are not known to the author. Perhaps Ted Allen will someday expound on this occurrence.

This commotion finally got the World Tournament on the first page of the sports section instead of buried in the back as had been happening. At least this did not make Page 1 news as a 1923 fist fight in the stands between George Brouillette and E. L. Cole during the Women's portion of the tournament. Thank goodness the World Tournament has been embarrassed like this only twice since its beginning.

Poor Ted Allen, who worked like a dog to win the tournament, ended up not getting his money; then had to wait until the '50's to get official credit for defending his championship. What a way to end the World Tournament that was, then wasn't, and then later was.

After an extensive interview, Ted revealed the outcome of the ensuing court decision. Ted stated that the presiding judge ruled in his favor, but still did not have Ted paid as he also ruled that John Gordon did not have the means to pay. Incidentally, thus far this is the only World Tournament to be sponsored by an individual.

1934 World Tournament Los Angeles, Calif. - Oct. 20-28, 1934
Qual. W.L.R.Sp. Pet.
1. Ted Allen Alhambra, Cal. 380 23 0 1072 1450 73.9
2. James Lecky Phoenix, Ariz. 396 21 2 1190 1608 74.0
3. Fernando Isais Los Angeles, Cal. 361 20 3 1138 1526 74.6
4. Frank Jackson Blue Mound, Kansas 399 20 3 1146 1586 72.3
5. Dean Brown Riverside, Cal. 362 18 5 1209 1688 71.6
6. Guy Zimmerman Sac City, Iowa 385 17 6 1067 1584 67.4
7. Frankie Burns San Jose, Cal. 303 15 8 1066 1602 66.5
8. Frank Beal Alhambra, Cal. - 14 9 1039 1554 66.9
9. Carroll Jackson Palermo, Cal. 353 14 9 1008 1560 64.6
10. Vyril Jackson Los Angeles, Cal. 381 12 11 1016 1478 68.7
11. Arthur Thomas Salt Lake City, Utah 393 12 11 996 1602 62.2
12. J. E. Buress Covina, Cal. 371 12 11 901 1550 58.1
13. Williard Anderson Salt Lake City, Utah 376 11 12 1046 1626 64.3
14. Ira Allen Fresno, Cal. 325 11 12 988 1572 62.8
15. Henry Harper Los Angeles, Cal. 355 10 13 918 1524 60.2
16. Hansford Jackson Blue Mound, Kansas 356 9 14 918 1486 61.8
17. A. Jay Byrnes Alhambra, Cal. 336 9 14 883 1518 58.2
18. Louis Dean Culver City, Cal. 355 8 15 873 1540 56.7
19. W. W. Whitton San Francisco, Cal. 295 5 18 673 1316 51.1
20. Carl Seggebruch Buckley, Iowa 321 4 19 635 1286 49.4
21. Sam Pipe Salinas, Cal. 303 4 19 619 1306 47.4
22. Dystart L. Brooks Los Angeles, Cal. - 3 20 653 1320 49.5
23. George Greener Salt Lake City, Utah 351 3 20 633 1310 48.3
24. Lyle Swallow Culver City, Cal. - 1 22 718 1396 51.4
Qualifying scores not available in some cases. 150 Shoe Qualifying.