Nebraska Minor League Baseball
Nebraska State League
North Platte Indians 1956-1959

The Nebraska State League was resurrected in 1956 as a class "D" rookie league. The North Platte Indians were a wholly owned farm club of the Cleveland Indians and the league was owned by Major League Baseball. North Platte was one of the larger towns in the league with a population of about 15,000 in 1956.

With a league full of amateur free agents and other rookies the league scheduled games to start on July first and 63 games were scheduled for each team.

For the initial year of league participation each town was challenged to sell at least 500 season tickets. North Platte responded by selling 673 season tickets and put 28,578 fans in the stands for the season.

Future major league All Star James Perry pitched for North Platte in 1956. Another future major league player, Bob Allen also for the North Platte Indians in 1956. However, their excellent pitching was not matched in the field as they were seventh in hitting and fielding for the year. With a number of batters fighting to stay above the Mendoza line the Indians finished the year in seventh place.

North Platte changed managers as Rudy York replaced Spencer Harris. With a new crop of rookies the Indians had high hopes for the 57 season. The wound up having one of the worst teams in Nebraska State League history as they wound up with a record of 11-45. They still drew over 20,000 fans as the town continued to support the Indians.

North Platte went from worst to first in 1958. With a new crop of rookies and a Mark Wylie as their new manager the Indians were the team to beat in 1958. Larry Bulla led the league in runs scored and Keith Williams led the league in RBI's and home runs. Tom Gansauer led the league in wins and future major league catcher Doc Edwards was behind the plate.

The last year of the league was 1959 and the North Platte Indians went back to last place. While McCook was led by future hall of famer Phil Niekro and future all star Ron Hunt, North Platte did not have the talent to compete in 1959. They wound up 21 games out of first place and only 14,000 fans came to see them.

North Platte Indians 1956
North Platte Indians 1957
North Platte Indians 1958
North Platte Indians 1959

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