Nebraska Minor League Baseball
Lincoln Links 1928
Nebraska State League
Photo courtesy Tom McDonald
Ernie Baltzell is fifth from the left

The Nebraska State League was resurrected from a five year hiatus in 1928. The Lincoln franchise started informal workouts at Landis field in late April. The league allowed formal (meaning paid for) practice to start on May 8th. A team could have 25 contracted players during tryouts and as many more as are willing to foot their own bill.
Carl Stein was the president of the Links and Bob Browne was the playing manager of the team. The team set Wednesdays and Fridays as ladies' day allowing them passage into the park for free on those game days. Children under 10 were also free.
Opening day was May 15. As with most minor league teams the Links had a lot of turnover during the course of a season. The main roster of the Links featured:
Position Player Home Town Games
First Base Herman Cholcher Deshler NE 97 .335
Adolph Lebsock Lincoln NE
Second Base Ralph Thomas Chicago IL
F. Gradoville Plattsmouth NE 112 .277
Third Base G. H. Davison Lincoln NE 120 .295
Short Stop Bob Browne Lincoln NE 96 .287
Catcher Otto Cholcher Deshler NE 109 .319
Catcher Lavertus Lippold St. Marys IA 37 .217
Outfield Don Riley Princeton NE 115 .279
Ernest Baltzell Lincoln 120 .314
Ed Taylor Independence KS 120 .300
Pitcher H. J. Irvin Franklin NE 63
Ernest Krenk Dwight NE 20-5
Eddie Baranek Valparaiso NE
George Barker Lincoln NE
James McKendrick St. Paul MN
Yohe 10-9
F. Gradoville had to leave the team early. He was a teacher
and coach at Schuyler and school required his attendance.

Much todo was made over the opening game with a parade starting at the Chamber of Commerce, moving down P street, south to O street then west to Landis field on 1st Street. The governor, mayor and league president led the motor parade followed by cars representing the various civic clubs of Lincoln. The Swartz Paper company donated a large American flag for the field. The opening game was delayed by rain until Wednesday. Lincoln beat Fairbury 8 to 5 with H.J Irvin, a right hander from Franklin getting the victory.
Don Riley's brother Leon was playing with Pueblo in the Western League this year.

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© 2004 Bruce Esser