The 1927 County Agriculture Athletic Association season thrilled fans
The 1927 major league baseball season will be remembered for the New York Yankees by Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and his “Murder’s Row” of hitters.
Central Missouri has also had a great season in its various leagues, one being the Cole County Agricultural League. Played all summer on Sundays, it would culminate in a championship series between Wardsville and Osage City for the “Silver Cup”.
The Cole County Agriculture Athletic Association, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club and the Farm Bureau, officially opened its 1927 season on May 15. There were seven teams: Osage City (Liberty), Osage Bend (Benders), Wardsville (Saints), St. Thomas (Tommies), Harmony Grove (Harmonies), Honey Creek (Bees) and Grandview. The league was one of many organizations in the state, and the only requirements needed were that players live in a specific neighborhood and outside the city limits. It is “a purely agricultural organization and serves to keep the boys satisfied and on the farms”.
The league clung to its agricultural roots as few games were played in late June because “cutting wheat is more important than baseball.”
The following was reported in the Jefferson City Post-Tribune on Monday.
The season started for Wardsville losing its first two games. They would win eight of their next nine.
The pitching for the new Wardsville was mainly done by Julius Richter and Emil Rackers. Richter threw a “dandy game” against Grandview in which he struck back 11 goals in a 21-5 victory. He also hit a grand slam at the event. Emil Rackers was known as the one-armed pitcher. He didn’t let that handicap stop him, as he pitched well against St. Thomas, Harmony Grove and Osage Bend.
The composition of Wardsville would make the Babe proud. Over a seven-game streak, they averaged an incredible 19 points per game.
Otto Rackers hit one of the longest drives in franchise history on June 12 and had 10 RBIs on August 7. Otto Winkelman stood out as “one of the heaviest hitters of the day” on June 1; with Vic Huhman giving a great display of hitting and defending.
The Saints would finish the regular season with a record eight wins and three losses. The team members were: Vic Huhman, Ilde Adrian, Mike Adrian, Otto Rackers, August Rackers, Emil Rackers, Julius Richter, William Goldammer, Herbert Pringer, Otto Winkelman, Ed DeBroeck Sr. and Kolb.
Osage City were the defending league champions after winning the Silver Cup in 1926. They were led by the Langkop brothers, pitcher Earl and catcher Eugene. Earl, 18, would later pitch four years in the minor leagues for teams in Nebraska and Missouri. The Sporting News will note that “during the offseason, you might find Earl Langkop working in his father’s general store in Osage City.” He also pitched for various teams in Jefferson City after a pro ball.
When Earl wasn’t playing, the Liberty men had a hit pitcher by the name of Goff. He held St. Thomas to two hits on June 4 and struck out 15 Honey Creek batters on July 4. J. Gensert was their first baseman and was known to have played at home plate.
Osage City would go undefeated in the regular season beating Wardsville twice, once in May and then in August. The team members were: Earl Langkop, Eugene Langkop, J. Gensert, H. Kremer, C. Kremer, Patterson, Goff, Carl Lootens, DeBrine and H. Adrian.
The cup series matches were reported in the newspaper by “Yendis Pencilette”, who was also the goalscorer.
Sept. 18: “A huge crowd was in Lincoln Park to see Osage City and Wardsville for Game 1. Osage City held two batting rallies, one in third for four runs and seven in seventh. Earl Langkop, pitcher for Osage City was with three singles the batting hero of the game.”
September 25: “The Wardsville team came back strong and tied the count with Osage City an all, beating Osage City by the one-sided score of 9-3 which requires another game to play the tie for the Premier League trophy. county.”
Oct. 10: “A large crowd of fans watched the deciding County League Championship game between Osage City and Wardsville at Lincoln Park yesterday afternoon. That same large crowd, as we recall, saw two records beaten at Lincoln Park. Wardsville never had a chance with the pitcher to go with the Springfield Midgets. One was a no hit, no run, the other was a record 20 strikeouts by Earl Langkop who lengthened the lumberjack pitcher for Osage City Only 28 batters faced him, four of whom reached first by a pitched touchdown, one by a walk and two on two errors. , then knocked down first base. In the fifth and sixth innings, he retired the side, fifth being on eleven pitches. His speed was terrific and his breaks were always a duplex quiver. In other words, he was simply invincible.”
Deborah Goldammer is retired from state government and is now pursuing her interest in researching the history of Cole County. Travis Crede has spent years collecting newspaper clippings and photos from Cole County’s nearly 150-year baseball tradition.