Nebraska Minor League Baseball
Lincoln Links 1926
Western League Standings 1926
President: Dale Gear
Standings Wins----- Losses--- GB
Des Moines Demons 99 64 --
Oklahoma City Indians 100 66 ½
St. Joseph Saints 89 75 10 ½
Tulsa Oilers 88 80 13 ½
Denver Bears 86 78 13 ½
Omaha Buffaloes 77 89 23 ½
Lincoln Links 64 101 36
Wichita Izzies 58 108 42 ½
BA:Jim Blakesley, Omaha, .384
Hits:Snake Henry, Omaha, 247
Triples:Pid Purdy, Lincoln, 21

The league underwent some organizational changes for 1926. A rookie rule was adapted which required each club to carry six players who had no previous experience above class "B" minor league ball. The salary limit was cut from $5,500 to $4,500 a club per month but retained the 16 player roster.

The league went to a 168 game season. With the long year, the rookie rule and the salary limit there were a lot of new players in the league in 1926. Lincoln was not a factor in 1926. Des Moines and Oklahoma City were clearly the two best teams in the league. Des Moines ran away with the title and they were in first place for all but nine days during the season.

Lincoln started their training camp in Claremont Oklahoma. The spring was particularly cold that year and it was difficult to get time on the field. On April 8th they played Tulsa University in an exhibition game at Perrier's Park in Claremore. The lack of experience and talent led to the Links quickly falling behind in the early part of the season and they wallowed near the bottom of the standings for the entire year. Lincoln was in the bottom half of the league in batting average, fielding and pitching and wound up 36 games out of first.

First base for the Links was held down by Dutch Zwilling He played in 126 games and averaged .296 for the season. Dutch was the manager of the Links in 1926 and wound up playing a number of positions including a few stints as relief pitcher. Dutch played for the White Sox, Whales (Chicago Whales; Federal league) and Cubs during his major league career. In 1927 he became the manager of the Kansas City Blues and won the Junior World series in 1929. He also managed at St. Joseph, Sioux City, Oakland California, Birmingham Alabama and Quincy Illinois. His final job in baseball was as a scout for the the New York Mets from 1961-1971. He retired in 1971 at 83 years old.

In the dirt at second base for 1926 was Mills He was a regular at second and averaged .276 for the year.

Short stop for the Links was Frank Haley with a .298 average. He was a strong veteran for the Links. In the prior season he was player manager for the Links during September.

The hot corner in 1926 was held down by George Gottleber He averaged .294 and was in his third season with the Links. In 1927 George was a Western League All Star selection at third base.

Putting on the mask for the Links in 1926 was Wales. A pretty strong fielder, he averaged .264.

Earl Brucker caught 45 games for the Links after being the regular catcher in 1925. He averaged .336. He had a long semi-pro and pro career as a catcher. He played for the Montana Power Company for part of 1926. In 1928 he played for Shell Oil in Ventura California. In 29 and 30 he played for Shell in Long Beach. From 1931-1935 he played for St. Joseph, 1936 he was in Portland. From 37-40 he was with the Athletics organization. in 1940 he was a coach/scout for the Athletics. He was with the Browns from 1950-1952 and was a manager in Ogden Utah for the 53 and 54 seasons. His son, Earl Brucker Jr. was with Philadelphia in the American league in 1948.

Pid Purdy , from Beatrice, led the league in triples. He was sold to the Cincinnati Reds at the end of the season and made his major league debut on September 7, 1926.

Art Veltman tended the outfield garden for 94 games and averaged .289 with the wagon tongue. He started the year with the Chicago White Sox and played in five games before the 20 year old was sent to Lincoln for "more seasoning". He was recalled to Chicago in August but the Lincoln management protested and he stayed in Lincoln for the rest of the season. In 1928 he played in one game with the New York Giants and in two games in 1929. He was sent to Bridgeport in the Eastern League for the 1930 season. He had a cup of coffee with the Boston (NL) club in 1931, and again with the Giants in 1932. He was drafted by Pittsburg in 1933 from the Pacific Coast League and played in 12 major league games with the Pirates in 1934.

Fred Gunther played in 116 games and averaged .283. He had played with the Links for part of the 1924 season until an illness took him out of the lineup. Fred was with Los Angeles in with the PCL in early 1926, but picked up by Lincoln in March for the 1926 season.

Blenkiron was in the outfield for 78 games and managed a .313 average.

Pallas was back for the 1926 season. He pitched in 59 games (no that is not a typo) and had a 16-21 record. He led the league with 350 innings pitched.

Crockett appeared in 32 games and had a 12-12 record. He had the best record on the staff.

Stueland was 8-9 in 22 appearances.

Cooper returned to the Links for the 1926 season. He was in 16 games and had a 4-8 record.

Edson Wilkins took the hill 27 times in 1926 and had a 6-16 record. He was a star semi-pro player in Los Angeles and was signed to a Lincoln contract in March 1926.

Marty was 4-15 in 33 appearances.

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