Nebraska Minor League Baseball
Nebraska State League
Holdrege White Sox 1956-1959

Holdrege was new to professional baseball in 1956. The town had not participated in any of the prior incarnations of the Nebraska State League. In 1956, manager Frank "Skeeter" Scalzi met a number of rookies as the Nebraska State League was about to begin once again. This time the league was wholly owned by Major League Baseball and Holdrege was a farm club of the Chicago White Sox.

Competing with cities that had five times their population, Holdrege held their own in the attendance arena. The town sold almost 700 season tickets in 1956 and over 24,000 paid attendance was recorded for their home games. The league started playing games on July first and ended 63 games later on Labor Day.

The team played at Holdrege Fairgrounds Park. It was one of the few venues in the league that did not have a grass infield. The park was spruced up for the opening game with new paint, a White Sox logo replacing the Bears logo from the towns NIL years and water fountains in each dugout. The grandstand burned down in July. The fair board acted quickly to acquire temporary bleachers from the local high school and to approve immediate construction of new stands.

The town had a tradition of Saturday night being "shopping" night in the main business district. While most of the towns in the league scheduled Saturday night games, Holdrege played their Saturday games during the afternoon. The town's electrical system could not handle both the lights in the business district and the ballpark lights at night.

The 1956 Holdrege White Sox managed a 33-30 record 8 games out of first. Future Major League All Star Gary Peters led the league in strike outs.

The 1957 season saw a new crop of rookies taking the field for the Holdrege White Sox . Led by James Wasem in the batters box and new manager Frank Parenti, the Holdrege team came within ½ game of Grand Island for the championship.

The 1958 Holdrege White Sox managed a 29-34 record and wound up 12 games out of first. A rookie from Boone Iowa, Jerry McNertney averaged .328 for the White Sox and led the league in hits with 84.

The final year of the Holdrege White Sox was 1959 . Fred "Bubby" Talbot was a newly signed amateur free agent with the White Sox in 1959. The team wound up once again in second place, 4 games behind the McCook Braves.

Nebraska Minor League Baseball Home