Beatrice Athletic Park|
The departure of Lincoln for the Western League left the Nebraska State League without its largest city. Fairbury dropped out of the league leaving four teams. The league reorganized with Sioux City and Sioux Falls joining in making up the Tri-State League. Sioux City was in the Western League in 1923 and the fans were not happy about Lincoln replacing them in the Western League.
Beatrice was one of the better teams in the league and they were near the top of the league. The league was never on firm financial ground and disbanded on July 17th with Beatrice and Sioux Falls tied for the league lead. Many of the better players in the league were picked up by Western League teams.
Ray Dixon of Lincoln took over as part owner and manager of the Blues for 1924. Dixon was a unique individual. He put up $1,000 in cash to acquire part ownership of the team. He was a scholar, holding a degree from the University of Florida and a Masters degree in Speculative Philosophy from Columbia. He was a member of a number of honorary scholastic societies. He was a pitcher in the Dakota League and he managed the Johnson City Tennessee club in the Appalacian league.
Local boy Pid Purdy returned from college in Beloit to play for the Blues. He had played for Lincoln in the NSL in 1923. With Lincoln moving to the Western League he was lost in the shuffle and did not receive a contract from Lincoln. He was arguably the league's top player. When the league disbanded he was leading the league in hits and runs scored. He moved to the Western League for the rest of the season where he averaged .351.
Early exhibition games were played at the "Driving Park" as the high school track season was not complete.
Opening day saw 350 fans in the stands as Beatrice defeated Norfolk 2-0. The lineup for Beatrice in the opening game included Pid Purdy(rf), Suggs(2b), Roger Beall(lf), McCoy(1b), Ed Reichle(cf), Schaefer(3b), Garner(ss), Harold Stanley Unger(c) and Anderson (p). Dewey Bondurant was scheduled to open at short but an injury in an exhibition game resulted in Garner taking his place at the start of the season.
In July things went downhill for the league. Sioux City fans did not support the new class "D" team. A last minute attempt to move the team to Aberdeen was not successful and the league folded. Pid Purdy moved to Lincoln in the Western League and finished out the season with the Links. Roger Beall returned to Wichita, his home town and found a position with their Western League franchise.
Rosters for the teams of 1924 are pretty incomplete. The Spalding Guide for 1925 does not list the league as it folded during the season. Newspaper accounts from the various cities sometimes included box scores but many times they only had line scores for the various games. Recreation of regulars is inexact and any information would be appreciated.
Harold Unger returned for the 1924 season and was the catcher for the Blues and averaged .214 in 51 games.
Ed Reichle was a regular for Fairbury in 1922, Norfolk in 1923 and Beatrice in 1924. The 41 year old averaged .299 in 51 games. He started playing baseball in Sioux City Iowa. His first pro job was with Keokuk in the Iowa State League. He was bought by Pittsburg, but assigned to Utica in 1912. His career included stints in Wilkes Barre, Harrisburg and Hartford. From 1925-1928 he managed Burlington. In 1929 he managed Davenport in the Mississippi Valley league.
Eugene Suggs averaged .244 in 51 games.
Edward Zink managed an 8-4 record.
Beall played in 51 games and averaged .309.
Bondurant played in 20 games and averaged .224
Paul McCoy was an 18 year old from Prescott Arizona. He averaged .287 in 50 games.
W. Schaefer averaged .236 in 35 games.
Anderson was 7-3, Goode was 3-2, Hostetter was 8-2, Houtz was 1-1 and Prejean was 6-6.
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