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1955 World Tournament
Murray, Utah - July 20-27, 1955

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:

1955 World Tournament

The N.H.P.A. gathered once again in Murray for this event. Once more in convention much time was devoted to what format should be used. A lost motion by Steinfeldt was to have a 16 man group playa double round robin for the title. This was seconded by Gregson. A lost motion of Standard's was to have 32 men in a round robin with the top six in a playoff. This was also seconded by Gregson. Ted Allen now wanted two 18 man groups in round robin with the two winners in a final. No action was taken on this idea. A motion by Gandy and seconded by Manker that 1956 use the same method as 1955 passed.

This year 30 veterans qualified. The six newcomers were Ed Sharp, an Indiana champion; Ed Fishel, a Washington champion; young David Baker on the way to top 100 greatness; Harry Russell; Harold Wolfe; and Stan Manker. These last two were constant companions and life long friends. They would do much for the resurrection of Ohio's lost history. Both rank in the all time top 10 for Ohio State victories. Manker has been State Champion, as well as many time World Champion in the Senior Division and is a member of the N.H.P.A. Hall of Fame. "Stan the Man" has also chaired the Ohio Hall of Fame Committee and for many years has been the sales representative for the Ohio Horseshoe Company founded by Fred Brust.

Detailed accounts of the '40's and '50's were provided by Frank Stinson; N.H.P.A. historian, Robert Pence; past New Jersey State champion, Dr. Sol Berman, who has also chaired the N.H.P.A. Publicity and Promotion Committee (Dr. Berman has devoted much of his own time and money to the advancement of this sport); and the late Kenny Dawes of Good Hope, Ohio, a fine pitcher and gentleman who,suddenly passed away in 1979 and now will not get to read the book he helped to create. My many thanks to these kind and generous men for making this dream come true.

Going into the opening game, the most feared contestant had to be Ted Allen. Ted had just broken his own World Tournament qualifying record with a phenomenal 570 points! Isais and Titcomb were also getting much attention. Leaders after seven games were Allen, Titcomb and Isais all 7-0, Anderson and Kraft each 6-1, and a large multiple tie at 5-2. Allen (95.2 percent) drilled Manker 50-3. Crick forced Allen to pitch 85.2 percent for 102 shoes before succumbing, 50-32. Isais (92.1 percent) stung Hosier, 50-3. Titcomb went 100 shoes downing Wahlin, 50-29. Tate blasted Anderson, 50-21 for Glen's lone loss. Kraft's single setback was to Crick, 50-42.

Leaders after 14 games were Allen (14-0), Isais and Titcomb (13-1), Tate (11-3), Steinfeldt, Anderson, Kraft, and Crick all tied at 10-4. Allen (92.8 percent) dominated Wiley, 50-5. Isais suffered his first loss, 50-48, to Sharp in 110 shoes. Brown stroked 88 percent while thumping Titcomb, 50-24 in 100 shoes. The longest match so far was 122 shoes with Kraft defeating Tamboer, 50-47.

After 21 games, the leaders were Allen (21-0), Titcomb (20-1), and Isais (19-2). The main contenders for the coveted fourth playoff spot were Steinfeldt (17-4), Tate (16-5), Brownell (15-6) and Anderson (156). Allen was having another great day. With a 95.2 percent, he destroyed fellow Colorado pitcher Russell, 50-6; with a 94 percent wiped out Babush, 50-3. Still, Ted was extended to 132 shoes with Brown before winning, 50-49. Isais took it on the chin from Titcomb, 50-29 in the day's biggest match.

After 28 games, the leaders were Allen (28-0), Titcomb (27-1), and Isais (25-3). The battle for fourth continued with the most involved being Steinfeldt (22-6), Brownell (21-7), Tate and Anderson each (20-8). Brownell's 95.2 percent fried Lindquist, 50-3. Lindquist later upset Isais, 50-41. Isais (90.4 percent) beat Brown, 50-20. Titcomb finished with two great games: 92.4 percent taking Ohms, 50-8 and 92.8 percent while brushing aside Standard, 50-9. Allen's 90 percent worked over Standard, 50-11. Ted, with a 95.5 percent stormed through Dean, 50-2.

Brownell won the last seven games to make the final four. Steinfeldt went down to Titcomb, 50-34 and wilted under the heat to Anderson, 55-43 in 132 shoes. Titcomb lost to Shaw, Allen and Anderson all in a row. Isais fell to Brownell, 50-36. Fernando locked up with Allen in the greatest game of the round robin. Allen remained unbeaten by winning a heart stopper, 50-47 in 152 shoes. Allen averaged 86.1 percent with Isais at 85.5 percent! The old Ted Allen was back, now winning the close games. In a match with Cletus Chapelle, Allen pitched the greatest game of his life! After 20 shoes, the score was tied at nine. Then Allen proceeded to finish the game with 36 straight double ringers! This tied his 1948 record which was accomplished in two games. Poor Cletus averaged 82.6 percent and only scored nine points!

In the four man playoffs, Allen stayed on this unbeatable plateau. Allen (85.7 percent) took Isais (83.3 percent) again, 50-41. In the other opening match, Titcomb (88.6 percent) was an easy winner over Brownell (77.2 percent), 50-23. In the second game, Isais (86.0 percent) massacred Titcomb (72.1 percent), 50-15. In an unforgettable duel which lasted 158 shoes, Brownell pitched 138 ringers for 87.3 percent and scored only 35 points because Allen, in a world of his own, spun 144 ringers for 91.1 percent. To people unfamiliar with the talented stars this sport has had the pleasure of knowing, this would seem like a fairy tale! In the third game, Isais (77.7 percent) fell before Brownell's 80 percent, 50-47. Ted (86.0 percent) put away Don (76.7 percent), 5024. In the playoffs, Ted averaged a whopping 88.1 percent! .

This was Ted's seventh World Championship, the same as Isais. Of the seven, only three were seemingly won with ease. This had to be his most convincing by far. For this meet, Allen had seven 90 percent games, four of these were 95 percent or better. Ted had 12 other games over 85 percent. The years 1934 and 1953 paled In comparison. The Allen legend continued to grow. Allen eventually would be nicknamed "The Babe Ruth of Horseshoes". Although short in height, Ted in stature stood like a giant!


Semi-Finals
Qual. W.L.R.Sp. Pet.
1. Ted Allen Boulder, Colo. 570 35 0 2261 2618 86.4
2. Don Titcomb Sunnyvale, Cal. 517 31 4 2117 2622 80.7
3. Fernando Isais Los Angeles, Cal. 520 30 5 2144 2670 80.3
4. Tommy Brownell Amsterdam, N.Y. 504 28 7 2135 2750 77.6
5. Carl Steinfeldt Rochester, N.Y. 500 27 8 2202 2842 77.5
6. Glenn Anderson Moline, Ill. 521 26 9 2113 2780 76.0
7. Milton Tate Peoria, Ill. 476 25 10 1957 2654 73.7
8. Dean Brown South Gate, Cal. 484 24 11 2165 2768 78.2
9. Marines Tamboer Wichita Kansas 482 23 12 2002 2710 73.8
10. Roland Kraft LeCompton, Kansas 514 22 13 2019 2732 73.9
11. Ed Sharp Mulberry, Ind. 503 21 14 2102 2872 73.2
12. Ed Fishel Neilton, Wash. 502 21 14 1991 2734 72.8
13. Harold Shaw What Cheer, Iowa 514 21 14 1850 2578 71.8
14. Truman Standard Canton, Ill. 489 21 14 1856 2656 69.9
15. Cletus Chapelle Portland, Ore. 512 20 15 1864 2598 71.7
16. Louis Dean Pomona, Cal. 497 19 16 1961 2768 70.8
17. Alvin Gandy Topeka, Kansas 489 18 17 1823 2672 68.2
18. Sam Somerhalder Ruskin, Neb. 466 17 18 1863 2754 72.4
19. Wellington Taylor Grand River, Iowa 468 17 18 1796 2632 68.2
20. Arner Lindquist Morgantown, W. Va. 478 17 18 1708 2516 67.9
21. John Paxton Ottumwa, Iowa 481 17 18 1710 2552 67.0
22. Ray Ohms Salt Lake City, Utah 486 15 20 1543 2404 64.2
23. Jim Weeks Norwalk, Cal. 471 13 22 2009 2784 72.2
24. Billy Crick Los Angeles, Cal. 461 12 23 1632 2526 64.6
25. Dale Dixon Des Moines, Iowa 506 11 24 1869 2670 70.0
26. Harold Wolfe Cedarville, Ohio 451 11 24 1882 2782 67.6
27. Stanley Manker Martinsville, Ohio 453 11 24 1611 2466 65.3
28. Nelson Vogel Manito, Ill. 474 10 25 1680 2520 66.7
29. Howard Robinson Nebraska City, Neb. 448 10 25 1522 2386 63.8
30. E.J. Wiley Nampa, Idaho 468 10 25 1569 2476 63.4
31. Harry Russell Denver, Colo. 477 10 25 1557 2464 63.2
32. Ervin Hosier South Gate, Cal. 454 9 26 1732 2620 66.1
33. Clive Wahlin Salt Lake City, Utah 464 9 26 1560 2458 63.5
34. David Baker Wentworth, Mo. 449 8 27 1589 2448 64.9
35. Ed Babush Hollywood, Cal. 478 6 29 1716 2584 66.4
36. Leighton Edmondson Midvale, Utah 457 5 30 1586 2464 64.4

Championship Playoff
1.Ted AllenBoulder, Colo.3032637088.1
2.Fernando IsaisLos Angeles, Cal.1224930282.5
3.Tom BrownellAmsterdam, N.Y.1227833682.7
4.Don TitcombSunnyvale, Cal.1220626079.2