This history of Minor League Baseball in Nebraska is based on a number of books, magazines, newspapers and web sources. The primary source for most of the pages was newspapers from the various towns. Many hours in town libraries viewing microfilm resulted in a better understanding of the personalities and cities involved.
Mike McCanns page is a good place to start to look for minor league
Mike McCann's Minor League page
If your have a passion for ballparks, the website by Eric and Wendy Pastore is a must stop on your cyber journey. Their Digital Ball Parks site is an excellent online baseball stadium museum.
There is a current movement to unite all the adult amateur and semi-pro leagues in Nebraska into an association. The Nebraska Baseball Association. They have a mission to help promote amateur baseball at the player, team and league level. They host an amateur state tournament and are invoved in resurrecting the tradition of town team baseball throughout the state.
The Farwell Athletic Club is a good web site with a lot of information about town baseball and other athletic endeavors in Farwell Nebraska.
Baseball Nebraska is a site dedicated to high school and legion baseball in Nebraska. Go here first if you want scores, stories, schedules and breaking information about high school baseball in Nebraska.
For great information about Nebraska's major league players a visit to the Museum of Nebraska Major League Baseball in St. Paul Nebraska is in order. While an actual visit during Grover Cleveland Alexander days would be best for the baseball fan, a virtual visit is also well worth the time.
Many of the photographs on this site were taken by Elizabeth. She is the owner of Eliza Portrait Design Photography Studio
Dead Tree Resources (books)
The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 1993, edited by Lloyd Johnson and Miles Wolff. While out of print it contains a wealth of information to get you started.
Through the Years with the Western League 1951.
This is a sixty four page history of the league from 1885. Its original price was 50 cents. Sometimes available on E-Bay. Well worth it if you can find one.
Through the Years with the Western League 1947-19581958.
This is a thirty page update to the book above compiled by Bill Bryson published by The Des Moines Register and Tribune. Another great reference but not typically available.
The Western League, A Baseball History 1885 through 1999 W.C.
Madden and Patrick Stwewart
Published by McFarland, this book is currently available and highly recommended. Your favorite book dealer should have it or be able to get it. The "Through the Years" books include those years where the Western League was logically represented by the Western Association. This book takes a more literal view. If the league is called the Western League, then it is included. The differences appear in the late 1800's where the "Through the Years" books follow the Western Association, while this volume looks only at the league called "The Western League". This book also includes the years from 1939-1941 when, after the class "A" Western League folded, the Nebraska State League took the name, expanded and survived until World War II shut them down.
Baseball from the end of World War II until the mid 50's in small town Nebraska centered on town teams and semi-pro baseball. The Nebraska Independent League, The Pioneer Night League and the Cornhusker League were the best game in town on many summer nights. An excellent book on the history and tenor of baseball in small town Nebraska is Take Two and Hit to Right by Hobe Hays . Hobe and his brother played in the Nebraska Independent League and his portrait of the towns, the baseball and the players is the perfect book for the hot stove season. The book is published by University of Nebraska Press.
Another excellent book about baseball in Nebraska is A False Spring by Pat Jordan . Pat was a "bonus baby" pitcher for the McCook Braves in the Nebraska State League in 1959. His book recalls his days in the minor leagues. Another good book to read while waiting for spring training to start.
Various Spalding Baseball Guides in the authors collections. When possible these were verified against newspaper articles from the same year.
Various programs from the Omaha Cardinals, Omaha Dodgers, Omaha Royals, Lincoln Chiefs and Lincoln Saltdogs in the authors collection.
A lot of trips to various libraries around the state to look at local newspapers. So far days have been spent in Seward, York, Beatrice, Fremont, Columbus, Norfolk, Kearney, Grand Island and Omaha. A lot of hours were spent in the town's local library, nearby museums, historical society locations and current/old ballpark locations.
As a physics teacher by day I am including a couple of resources on the
science of baseball.
The first is by Dr. Daniel Russell of Kettering University. His Physics of Baseball and Softball Bats has a good set of high speed movies showing baseballs and softballs hitting bats of various compositions. You can clearly see the trampoline effect when a ball hits a hollow metal bat.
The second is a look at The science of baseball from the Explaratorium. It has a number of activities and some history of the game in addition to the science involved.
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