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1952 World Tournament
Murray Utah - Aug 5-11, 1952

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 N.H.P.A., at the request of the Murray, Utah, sponsors, was determined to have a more climactic finish for this year's event. This problem still plagues the N.H.P.A. and hampers it from getting T.V. coverage as there is still no assurance that the final game will be the one that decides the title.

The only way this could be guaranteed is to allow the tournament director the right to schedule matches at his discretion, as E. C. Beach had done in the 20's. Denied this power, the N.H.P.A. decided that the high qualifiers would play the champion the final day, doing away with the blind luck of the draw.

As usual, the Murray field was loaded with experience. Once again past and future championship performers stumbled in qualifications and ended up in Class B, and once more 29 past masters made the top 36. Of the rookies, Hugh Rogers was beginning his climb to the all time top 100 as was Earl Winston, who in 1979 was finally replaced in this elite group. (Earl has served in many official and unofficial capacities in promoting the advancement of the N.H.P.A. and horseshoe pitching. This sport has had a major impact on his life. He married Vicki Chapelle, a great women's pitcher whose father was to be a N.H.P.A. President. Earl is also a devoted follower of the game's past history.) Ralph Dykes, another rookie, would become a future N.H.P.A. President and a member of the N.H.P.A. Hall of Fame, and to this day helps with the running of the World Tournament.

This meet was expected to be won by Isais or Allen. Allen had won 27 straight while Isais had won 37 in a row. After seven games, the undefeated were Jones, Tamboer, Titcomb, Elkins, Allen (winning his 34th straight), and Isais (extending his string to 44). At 6-1 were Johnson, and Anderson. Casey Jones was back in full stride averaging 86.9 percent, the leader in this category.

Some highlights were Lindquist (92 percent) murdering Terry, 50-3; Isais (90.8 percent) thumping Dolan, 50-5; and Fernando hitting 92.6 percent on Ohms while winning 50-9 . Allen's day was like a roller coaster, firing 90 percent every other game. First it was 94.1 percent against Bennett, then 91.3 percent on Gatewood,and 91.1 percent on his nephew Richard who tossed 77.7 percent. Jones had 91.6 percent on Dykes, an even 90 percent on Cherrier and 92.8 percent while flogging Knauft, 50-1. Isais had 17 straight doubles for the day's longest string. After 14 games, the leaders were Isais and Allen both 14-0, Jones and Tamboer each 13-1, Titcomb (12-2), and Johnson and Elkins (11- 3). Some highlights were Allen winning his 41st in a row and Isais with 51 straight! Ted Allen had a 92.2 percent against Brown, the only 0 percent of the day. Jones' lone loss was to Titcomb, 50-37. Tamboer's only loss was also to Titcomb, 50-42. Titcomb went down to Brown, 50-30, and Gandy, 50-49.

After 21 games, Isais and Allen remained deadlocked with perfect 21-0 records. Allen had tied Brust at 48 straight while Isais extended his new record to 58 consecutive World Tournament victories. Others still in contention were Jones and Tamboer (19-2) and Titcomb (18-3). Casey lost to Ted, 50-43. Marines also lost to Ted, 50-27. Isais shot a 91.7 percent against Dixon, Casey hit 92.5 percent against Hopkins, and Johnson had 92.7 percent against Rogers.

Meanwhile, this Friday, August 8th, Ted Allen became hotter than fire. He burned Dykes, 50-0 with a 97.6 percent, Ted's highest percentage in his 31 World Tournaments. The next game Ted scorched Dolan, 50-0 with a 94.4 percent game. This is the only time in World Tournament history that anyone has held two straight opponents scoreless!

After 28 games, Isais stood alone at 28-0. His record streak was now 65! Ted Allen had a 90 percent game with Knauft and a 90.4 percent against Maxwell, but his victory string had ended at 51 in a row by losing a close 50-48 decision to Lindemeier. Ted was now 27-1, Jones and Tamboer remained tied with identical 26-2 records.

Sunday there was no pitching as the N.H.P.A. held its annual party. This event is open to the general public and gives the tournament fans a chance to meet and party with the people of the N.H.P.A.

The final seven games Monday were the dramatic ending all had hoped for. In the 29th games, Isais pitched 91.2 percent against upset minded Titcomb. Tamboer fell to Brown, 50-40. In the 30th game, Tamboer was upset 50-38 by Gandy. In the 32nd game, Isais eliminated Tamboer 50-43 in a match of 116 shoes.

In the 33rd game, the longest winning streak in the history of the World Tournament was brought to a halt by James "Pop Johnson at 69 consecutive victories. In a 108 shoe thriller, Johnson edged Isais,

50-47. Prior to this match, Pop made a five dollar wager with a friend that he would stop the streak. Showing the class of a champion, Fernando Isais, the reigning king, signed his autograph on this five dollar bill which Johnson framed.

At the 1979 Ohio State Tournament "Pop , through Gary Roberts, donated this memento to Gary's brother Donnie, N.H.P.A. secretary, stating that his old age and lack of a family prompted this gesture. His long, warm association with the Roberts family made this his logical choice. Donnie now proudly displays this prize in his indoor facilities in Lucasville, Ohio.

Isais, now tied with Allen, had to play Jones, whom he led by one game, and Allen in his last two games! In a marathon game of 132

shoes, Isais tossed 87.1 percent to Casey's 84.8 percent, winning 50-41. Meanwhile Johnson was beating the odds, recording a 50-42 victory over Allen. Never, since 1933 when Allen and Isais began their strangle hold on the World Title, had any man beaten them in consecutive games!

With Jones out of the picture, Isais with a one game lead, met Ted Allen in the final game of the tournament. In this 116 shoe match, Fernando out dueled Ted 82.7 percent to 81 percent, winning 50-45. In his final game, Johnson hurled 90.6 percent against Palm. In an earlier match of the day, Fernando was tied with Anderson, 15-15. Then Isais ripped off 26 straight doubles to win it. His percentage this game was 91.6 percent.

Only the Yankees of baseball, the Canadians of hockey, Au of boxing, U.C.L.A. of basketball, and the Celtics of pro basketball can claim such total dominance of any sport by being the undisputed perennial champion!

Fernando's record of six straight championships will probably never be broken and his string of 69 consecutive World Tournament victories is something for future great pitchers to shoot at.


1952 World Tournament Murray, Utah - Aug. 5-11,1952
Qual W.L.R.Sp. Pet.
1. Fernando Isais Los Angeles, Cal. D.C. 34 1 2205 2638 83.6
2. Ted Allen Boulder, Co. 543 32 3 2136 2536 84.2
3. "Casey" Jones Waukesha, Wis. 532 32 3 2025 2446 82.8
4. Marines Tamboer Wichita, Kansas 527 29 6 1911 2490 76.7
5. Don Titcomb San Jose, Cal. 504 28 7 2070 2672 77.4
6. James Johnson Covington, Ky. 531 28 7 1968 2544 77.4
7. Dean Brown South Gate, Cal. 501 27 8 1950 2638 73.9
8. Roy Getchell Tigard, Ore. 479 25 10 2936 2718 71.2
9. Louis Dean Pomona, Cal. 503 23 12 1801 2480 72.6
10. Alvin Gandy Topeka, Kansas 503 23 12 1876 2628 71.4
11. Glen Anderson Moline, Ill. 513 22 13 1821 2536 71.7
12. John Lindmeier Broadview, Ill. 480 21 14 1913 2536 75.4
13. Merle Palmer Cheyenne, Wyo. 493 20 15 1832 2590 70.7
14. Lowell Gray San Gabriel, Cal. 499 19 16 1892 2656 71.2
15. John Elkins Stella, Mo. 505 19 16 1859 1622 70.9
16. Ray Gatewood Los Angeles, Cal. 460 19 16 1783 2564 69.5
17. Tommy Bartlin Milwaukee, Wis. 493 19 16 1583 2442 64.8
18. Dale Dixon Des Moines, Iowa 484 17 18 1630 2418 67.4
19. Henry Harper Los Angeles, Cal. 472 17 18 1596 2418 66.0
20. Cletus Chapelle Portland, Ore. 487 16 19 1829 2694 67.9
21. W. O. Maxwell Hicksville, Ohio 487 16 19 1573 2420 65.0
22. Arner Lindquist Morgantown, W. VA. 497 15 20 1796 2604 70.0
23. Ervin Hosier South Gate, Cal. 496 14 21 1721 2576 66.8
24. Richard Allen Boulder, Colo. 473 14 21 1665 2524 66.0
25. Harold Darnold Burlington, Iowa 467 13 22 1757 2628 66.9
26. Dale Terry East Moline, Ill. 487 13 22 1617 2488 65.0
27. Ray Ohms Salt Lake City, Utah 459 13 22 1459 2314 63.1
28. Earl Winston LaMonte, Mo. 493 12 23 1493 2336 63.9
29. Ralph Dykes Chicago, Ill. 454 10 25 1468 2308 63.6
30. Hugh Rogers Cedar Falls, Iowa 451 8 27 1518 2408 63.0
31. Henry Knauft Spokane, Wash. 476 7 28 1556 2454 63.4
32. Charlie Hopkins Ottumwa, Iowa 459 7 28 1298 2190 59.3
33. Cherry Bennett Kaysville, Utah 456 6 19 1510 2412 63.6
34. Ron Cherrier Hopkins, Minn. 462 6 29 1435 2380 60.3
35. Harry Dolan Fontana, Cal. 458 4 31 1280 2232 57.3
36. C. W. Palm Cheyenne, Wyo. 451 2 33 938 1958 50.2