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1956 World Tournament
Murray, Utah - July 18-25, 1956

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:

1956 World Tournament

Virtually all the current stars gathered for this great spectacular, once again held in Murray. Twenty-eight familiar veterans and some very promising rookies would compete. One of the eight rookies was an excellent pitcher named Virgil Taylor. Three of these rookies would begin their rush to gain admittance to the all time 100 in career victories. They were Floyd Fowler, a later winner of the Greenville, Ohio Open second only to the World Tournament in prestige; Jerry Schneider, a protege of Isais and future state champion; and the greatest pitcher in the history of Indiana, Curt Day, who was making his initial try for the championship. The three dominant men were the legends, Allen and Isais, with the ever improving Titcomb a definite threat. Without further introductions, let the recorded history begin.

After seven games there was a tremendous log jam at the top. Allen, Isais, Titcomb, Standard, and rookie Taylor were all 7-0. Others in the thick of it at 6-1 were Anderson, Dean, Lindmeier and Hook. The longest game was Weeks' upset victory over Dean, 52-39. Louis Dean, with a sizzling 93.4 percent while swamping Russell, 50-3, had the high percentage game of the day.

After 14 games only Allen and Titcomb were 14-0. Other leaders were Isais (13-1), Standard and Taylor (12-2), with Day, Dean and Lindmeier (10-4). In a colossal shocker, Wiley convincingly walloped Isais, 50-27! Taylor lost to Lindmeier, 50-16 and Anderson, 50-48. Titcomb took care of Day, 53-25 and Lindmeier, 52-19. Even tossing 91.0 percent, it took Standard 100 shoes to dispose of Lindmeier, 52-20. Truman lost to Isais, 50-37. Wolfe shipwrecked Hook, 50-43. After 21 matches Allen was still perfect at 21-0, extending his round robin victory string to 56, only 13 behind Isais' 69, the longest of all time. This also surpassed the Allen streak of 51 games which had been the third longest of all time. Next were Isais and Titcomb (20-1), Standard (18-3), and Day (17-4) in the battle for the four playoff spots. Don's first defeat came at the hands of Isais, 50-35. Don had 95.4 percent in a 51-1 pasting of Wolfe. Allen threw 90.4 percent while thumping Robinson, 52-6. Standard's lone loss was to Isais, 50-37. Day (94.4 percent) trounced Giles, 51-1.

After 28 games Allen was 28-0 and upped his unbeaten string to 63 straight. Right behind at 27-1 were Isais and Titcomb. These three were playoff bound. The battle for fourth spot was hot and heavy. Leading this parade was Standard (23-5), in relentless pursuit were Day and Anderson (22-6), with Dean and Taylor chasing at 21-7. Baker won six games in a row. Gandy surprised Dean, 52-36. Day lost to Allen, 50-37 and Anderson, 50-33. Standard was upended by Wahlin, 50-49 in 144 shoes, and by Allen, 50-41. Anderson had a 10-game streak stopped by the great Canadian McLaughlin, 50-23, then won his next four. Sharp had a nine-game streak halted by McLaughlin, 50-23 just the game before. Titcomb elevated his game to a serious level with 94.4 percent, erasing Hook 52-3, and came right back his next match with 94.1 percent, demolishing Ohms 51-4. Isais stayed steadily in the 80's all day. Allen (91.6 percent) exploded on Wiley for an easy 55-4 win and hummed 92.4 percent on Brown, casting him aside 51-10. It seemed Brown brought out the best in Ted.

The final day had people licking their lips in anticipation. Who would win the fourth playoff position? Would Allen break Isais' record with Fernando scheduled in what would be the 70th game? Would Ted get by Titcomb? Dahl's one win of the day was unexpectedly over Curt Day, 50-43. Page ambushed Standard, 54-46 in the final game. Weeks finished with six straight wins. McLaughlin won his last nine and 24 of his final 28. Right before his loss to Dahl, Day sneaked by Isais, 51-48. Curt fired 92.8 percent while thrashing Wolfe, 52-10 and almost puckered in a 50-47 score over fellow Frankforter Harshman in his last match. Standard was taken by Titcomb, 50-43 and whomped by Dean, 50-32. Taylor fell from contention, losing straight games to Standard, Titcomb, Allen, and Dean. Hardly a shame, especially for a rookie. Anderson's demise came at the hands of Schneider, 50-46 and Isais, 50-26.

Allen hit Titcomb with 84.9 percent in a 146 shoe struggle but it wasn't enough as Don pulled out a 85.6 percent for the 51-46 victory. This ended Ted's victory streak at 64 straight (67 if the 1955 three playoff victories are counted)! The next game, Ted just wasn't with it as Anderson played cobra in the basket and struck down Ted, 50-49! Dean fell before Titcomb, 52-25. The final game matched up Allen and Isais. These two superstars battled for 168 shoes, the longest of the tournament. Ted pitched 86.3 percent but Fernando was waiting in the bushes with 88.0 percent and conquered Ted, 52-37, in a terrific match. There was a tie for fourth between Standard and Day. Though a playoff is not mentioned, it is obvious Day won to round out the final four.

Allen and Titcomb, each 2-1, would now have to play two of three for the title. Allen, seeking his eighth crown, had never lost a playoff. Ted seemed to thrive in this situation. Remember 1933 with Davis? Remember 1940 with Zimmerman and Isais? Remember 1955?

In the first match, Allen (84.0 percent) topped Titcomb, 51-45 in 94 shoes. In the second, Titcomb (85.5 percent) rallied against Ted (81.3 percent) for a 52-40 victory. In the tense deciding game, Allen with a lesser percentage of 81.0 to Don's 81.6 for 116 shoes won the World Championship by a single point, 50-49! Any other year Titcomb, the round robin winner at 34-1, would have been champion but the 1954 Allen format change proposal caused this! Titcomb, not present in 1954, would feel the full impact! To the hard luck Don's chagrin, this format would never be used again!

To the regret of all, The Horseshoe Pitcher ceased publication in February of this year. This was due to the death of Byron Jaskulek, surely a future N.H.P.A. Hall of Fame member. In September, Ellis Cobb presented the first of The Horseshoe Pitchers' New Digest. Indicative of Ellis' great class, the first article was a full page memorial tribute to Byron Jaskulek!

In the first game of the playoff, Titcomb with 89.1 percent wiped out Day again 52-16. In the other match, Isais maintained his mastery of Allen with 88.7 percent in a 50-26 triumph in 116 shoes. In the second game, Day got himself a prize pelt, battling past Isais 51-44. In the other match, Allen was waiting with 90 percent for Titcomb, who could only offer 70 percent in this 52-15. blowout! In the third game, Titcomb with 89.6 percent eliminated Isais (82.1 percent) by a score of 52-27 in 106 shoes. In the other game, Day with 80.7 percent never even got Allen's attention, scoring only 19 points as Ted hung up 51 points on the board with 90.3 percent!


1956 World Tournament Murray, Utah - July 18-25, 1956
Qual W.L.R.Sp. Pet.
1.Don TitcombSunnyvale, Cal.513341 2089 248684.0
2.Fernando IsaisLos Angeles, Cal.541332 2114 253683.4
3.Ted AllenBoulder, Colo.D.C.323 2121 254483.4
4. Curt DayFrankfort, Ind.490287 1986 257877.0
5.Truman StandardCanton, Ill.5092872078 261079.6
6.Glenn AndersonMoline, Ill.515278 1870 253873.7
7.Dean McLaughlinOshawa, Ont., Can.479269 1959 263074.5
8.Louis DeanPomona, Cal.5402691937 261074.2
9.John LindmeierBroadview, Ill.4982510 2006 269474.5
10.Clive WahlinSalt Lake City, Utah5042411 2125 281675.5
11. Virgil TaylorGreencastle, Ind.5272411 1954 266073.5
12.Ed SharpMulberry, Ind.5132312 1846 260870.8
11.John ElkinsStella, Mo.48620151809 258670.0
14.Alvin GandyTopeka, Kansas4621916 1769 256069.1
15.Floyd FowlerGreencastle, Ind.4901916 1701 248268.5
16.Dean BrownSouth Gate, Cal.49518171982 273472.5
17. Jerry SchneiderMontebello, Cal.5071817 1868 2650 70.5
18.Jim WeeksNorwalk, Cal.46217181912 266471.8
19.E.J. WileyNampa,Idaho4901619 1694 153666.8
20.Milton TatePeoria, Ill.53915201754 252669.4
21.Oris HarshmanFrankfort, Ind.46915201714 255067.2
22.Ray OhmsSalt Lake City, Utah47614211580 244664.6
21.Ron CherrierHopkins, Minn.4861322 1806 262868.7
24. George HookOntario, Cal.4711223 1647 2530 65.1
25.W. O. MaxwellHicksville, Ohio45511241485 237862.4
26. Harry PageWaterloo, Iowa4601025 1678 2622 64.0
27.Harold WolfeCedarville, Ohio45510251516 237863.8
28.Harry RussellDenver, Colo.4541025 1471 231263.6
29.Howard RobinsonNebraska City, Neb.4841025 1571 247063.6
30.Dave BakerWentworth, Mo.4619261563 242264.5
31.Stan DahlVancouver, B.C., Can.4549261486 237062.7
32. Hubert Galpin Salt Lake City, Utah459926 1327 221260.0
33.Ervin HosierSouth Gate, Cal.4708271532 234865.2
34. Roger ParsonsMidvale, Utah461728 1465 241060.8
35.Clarence W. GilesRiverton, Utah473629 1359 226660.0
36.Frank BonalyLos Angeles, Cal.130 1280 218858.5
Finals
1.Ted AllenBoulder, Colo.21 25229086.9
2.Don TitcombSunnyvale, Cal.21 19423084.3
3.Fernando IsaisLos Angeles, Cal.12 24930083.0
4. Curtis DayFrankfort, Ind.12 19825677.3
*Won best two-out-of-three game playoff for World Championship beating Don Tit comb 51-45 the first game and 50-49 the third game. Titcomb won the second game 52-40.