Nebraska Minor League Baseball
Nebraska State League

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The first Nebraska State League started in 1910 and disbanded in 1915. It was a class "D" league. During this time there were classes "A", "B", "C" and the lowest class was class "D".
Nebraska State League
Standings 1915
President: Clarence Miles
Standings Wins--- Losses- GB
Beatrice Milkskimmers 35 18 --
Hastings Reds 30 27 7
York Prohibitionists 25 31 11 ½
Fairbury Shaners 22 31 13
Norfolk Drummers 24 13 NA
Grand Island Champions 16 16 NA
Columbus Pawnees 3 12 NA
Kearney Buffaloes 4 9 NA

Columbus and Kearney disbanded June 4.
Grand Island withdrew June 28.
Norfolk disbanded June 29.
League disbanded June 29.

The season started on less than firm ground as many teams carried debt from the 1914 season into the 1915 year. York was managed by Maury Pierce, Beatrice had John Fillman at the helm. Harry Claire returned to pilot the 1914 champions from Grand Island. In Kearney popular left fielder Grover Matney was named manager and Frank Justus was the head at Columbus. Former Yankee Babe Towne was in charge in Norfolk with Pug Bennett at Hastings and Bert Shaner at Fairbury.

Although the record indicates that Norfolk disbanded, they were one of the teams which tried to keep the league alive. The other teams did not want to go to Norfolk as the train fares to this northeast Nebraska city were high. Norfolk even agreed to pay extra to visiting clubs to make up the difference in train fares.

Kearney was the first franchise to fold. At the end of the 1914 season it was reported that the team was almost $2,000 in the red. Left fielder Grover Matney came up with the idea to sell season tickets for $2.00 for the 1915 season. The campaign was a success as they sold almost 2,000 of the season passes. A local clothier gave a free season pass with every suit a man purchased over $25.00. Grover was named manager for the 1915 season. They also changed their name from the Kapitalists to Buffaloes.

The problem was that they now had no daily gate as almost everyone had a season pass. Normal admission was a quarter. Kearney also went "dry" in 1915, adding to their attendance problems. They were unable to meet the $30.00 guarantee for visiting clubs by early June and the other teams refused to travel to Kearney for games. When Kearney folded, Columbus which was also in financial difficulty turned in the towel so the league could continue with six teams.

Grand Island, which had a number of players loaned to them from Omaha was wallowing in the second division. In a bruhaha over betting and other off field and on field antics the team wound up with a number of fines. These included $100 for refusing to play Norfolk in a league game and another $60 in fines against players. Their manager Claire and catcher Crosby were given suspensions for the rest of the year. At that point Claire accused Norfolk and some of his players of betting on games and being paid off by bookies to throw games. Eventually the league found nothing wrong, but the Grand Island club folded instead of paying the fines.

The Fairbury club was called the Greys by the Norfolk and York papers but the nickname Shaners is in other references. Edward William "Glass Arm Eddie" Brown moved from Superior to Fairbury in 1915. The Milligan Nebraska native moved to Mason City in the Central League after the Nebraska State League folded. He played for Mason City, San Antonio and Indianapolis in the minor leagues. he made his major league debut with New York (N) in 1920 and played for three different teams in his seven year major league career.

Hastings Reds 1915 Norfolk Drummers 1915
Kearney Buffaloes 1915 Grand Island Champions 1915
Fairbury Shaners 1915 Beatrice Milkskimmers 1915
York Prohibitionists 1915 Columbus Pawnees 1915

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