President: Dale Gear
|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|
|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 also set a 166 game schedule for 1926. There had been quite a bruhaha over teams and their salaries in 1925. Eventually president Al Tearney was was replaced by Dale Gear for the 1926 season.
Omaha was not a factor in the league in 1926 as Des Moines and Oklahoma City were clearly the two best teams in the league. Des Moines was in first for all but nine days of the season. The third place team was over 10 games behind and Omaha finished more than 20 games back.
The home opener for the Burch Rods was on April 27th with the typical first pitch being thrown by the mayor. Ladies day was every Monday and Friday and children under 14 were admitted free except for Sundays and holidays.
Opening day bonuses included a $5.00 gift certificate from the Henshaw Cafeteria to the first of Barney's men to hit a home run and a new hat from Able Hatters.
While the team was not doing well in the standings Jim Blakesley and Snake Henry were leading the Western League in batting average and hits. Three Omaha players were in the top five hitters in the league and Omaha led the league in hitting with a team average of .308. They were second to last in fielding and their lack of good pitching left them in the second division in the league.
Fredrick Marshall "Snake" Henry led the league in hits and held down first for the Buffaloes in 1926. He averaged .369 in 166 games. Snake was a 30 year old from Waynesville North Carolina who had a brief major league career with the Boston Braves in 1922 and 1923. In all he played in 29 major league games. He was retained by Barney Burch as manager for the 1927 season.
William "Happy" Hollahan played 100 games at second. He played in 111 games total and averaged .290. He had a brief stint in the major leagues in 1920 with the Washington Senators. He played in 46 games for the Minneapolis Millers 1923.
At short for 1926 was Chuck "Fremont" Carroll. The 25 year old from Agra Kansas was in his second year of professional ball. He averaged .244 for the season.
Jimmy O'Neill played the hot corner in 1926 and averaged .317 for the year. He was also a member of the Washington Senators in 1920 and had a cup of coffee with the Senators in 1923. The 33 year old infielder was a steady veteran for Omaha in 1926.
Ted Thrane played a number of positions in the infield during the season. In his 106 games he averaged .308.
Putting on the mask in 1926 was Frank Meyers. He averaged .317 and played in 144 games. At the end of the season there was quite a bit of speculation that he would be signed by a higher level club during the off season. He was back in Omaha in 1927. He then moved to the Texas League and played for San Antonia and Fort Worth through the 1931 season. Pete Mondino played the position for 44 games and Barney indicated that a PCL club was interested in his services for 1927. The 21 year old played for both Omaha and Cedar Rapids in 1926. In 1927 he played for Omaha and Amarillo in the Texas League.
Harry Brown played in all 168 games and averaged .325. The Cleveland native was signed by Sacramento but optioned by Sacramento to Omaha for the 1926 season.
Jimmy Blakesley was a regular in the garden and led the Western League with a .384 average. Born in Mulhall Oklahoma, Sunny Jim started his professional career at Henryetta in the Western Association in 1920. That same year he moved to Wichita in the Western League. He played in Wichita for three years then moved to Vernon in the Pacific Coast League. He played in 140 games in Omaha in 1926 and 11 in New Orleans. He played in New Orleans in 1927, New Haven in 1928, back to New Orleans for 1929 and 1930. Dallas and New Haven in 1931, Richmond in 1932 and Durham in 1933 completed his professional career.
Ernie Orsatti was in 56 games in the outfield and averaged .386. The 23 year old from Los Angeles was recalled by Syracuse at the end of the season. Syracuse was a St. Louis Cardinal farm club He made his major league debut in September of 1927 with the St. Louis Cardinals. He played for the Cards for 9 seasons playing in both the outfield and first base during his major league tenure.
Red Harvell played for Dubuque and Omaha in 1926. He averaged .342 in Omaha. He made it to the show for 40 games in 1928 with Cleveland. He played in the minor leagues through the 1938 season.
S. Cambbell averaged .298 in 111 games.
Steven Cozington averaged .310 in 155 games. He played in organized ball from 1920-1930.
Bob Browne averaged .269 in 90 games.
Joubert Lum "Lefty" Davenport was the leading pitcher for the Buffaloes in 1926. He managed a 14-13 record in 39 games and had 102 strike outs for the year. The 26 year old had played with the Chicago White Sox from 1921-1924. The Tucson native was cut from the White Sox in April of 1924 and wound up with Barney's club for 1926.
Hargrove was 5-2 in 11 games. He had been assigned to Omaha from Kansas City and speculation was that he would stay in the American Association in 1927.
Bud Tinning was 4-3 in 15 games. He was born in Pilger Nebraska. He started his professional career with Hastings in the Nebraska State League in 1923. He played for Omaha from 1925-1929. He had a cup of coffee with the Cubs in 1932 and had a 13-6 record in 1933. He was 406 in 1934 and played in 4 games for the Cardinals in 1935. He then played in the minor leagues through the 1939 season.
Max Thomas was a regular for Omaha in 1926. He pitched in 40 games and had a 13-13 record. The Kaysville Utah native started with Salt Lake in 1923. He played in the minors through the 1941 season and had a 3-8 record in 1949 with Riverside in the Sunset League.
Chief Youngblood was one of the rookies for the Burch Rods in 1926. He appeared in 35 games and had a 10-10 record. He also played for Kansas City and Columbus during the season.
Sanders was on the mound for 31 games and had a 12-13 record. He was recalled by Los Angeles at the end of the season.
Victor Pigg cradled the rosin in 31 games and had a 7-8 record. This was his last year of professional ball after starting with Seattle in 1922.
Sam Kaufmann appeared in 8 games and had a 2-3 record.
Bill Walker was 14-9 pitching for both Omaha and Denver in 1926. He played in the major leagues from 1927-1936.
Marty Lang was a 20 year old from Hooper Nebraska.He played in 11 games in 1926. He played for Omaha in 1927 and 1928. He split his time between Omaha and Wichita in 1929. He pitched in 2 games in 1930 for Pittsburg. He played through the 1933 season.
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