Nebraska Minor League Baseball
Western League
Omaha Rourkes 1920
Western League Standings 1920
President: Al Tearney
Standings Wins----- Losses--- GB
Tulsa Oilers 92 61 --
Wichita Jobbers 92 62 ½
Oklahoma City Indians 82 68 8 ½
Omaha Rourkes 76 77 16
St. Joseph Saints 74 80 18 ½
Joplin Miners 73 81 19 ½
Sioux City Packers 63 88 28
Des Moines Boosters 58 93 33

Wins: Emilio Palmero, Omaha, 28

This was the last year of Pa Rourke's ownership of the Omaha franchise. After twenty years of ownership Pa sold the club to Texan Barney Burch at the end of the season. Pa started the year by purchasing the rights to a number of players in order to bolster his lineup. Oscar Fuhr and Emilio "Jess" Palmero were acquired to bolster the pitching and Fred Hanley was acquired to bolster the infield in 1920.

Pa scheduled spring training for Okmulgee Oklahoma. Okmulgee is south of Tulsa and was a member of the Western Association. Pa arranged games with the St. Louis Browns, both of the Chicago teams and Kansas City during their stay in Oklahoma.

The league had a 153 game season. Omaha was a light hitting team, finishing seventh in batting in 1920. They were fifth in fielding and wound up fourth in the league 16 games out of first place with a 76-77 record.

At the end of the season Pa sold the team to Barney Burch. The Sporting News reported that the sale price was between $50k and $60k for the franchise.


First base was held down by Jack Lelivelt. He had a .309 average for the Rourkes. This was his first managerial job and he performed as both player and manager for 1920. He started as manager in 1921, was replaced by new owner Barney Burch in May but finished the year as a player.

The keystone sack saw Gislason holding down the position. He managed a .260 average for the year.

Short stop and third base saw Fred Haney with a .311 average. Fred was picked up from a PCL team in early spring. He returned to Omaha in 1921. The New Mexico born ball player made it with Detroit in 1922. He played in the majors throught 1929.

Weidell also played in the infield dirt and had a .249 average and Pat Mason who also played in the outfield with a .247 average.

Three players put on the mask for Omaha in 1920. Cy Lingle caught for 93 games and had a .193 average, Hale saw action in 46 games and had a .238 average and Brown caught 19 games and averaged .085.

The leading outfielder for the Rourke's in 1920 was Alfred Frederick Joseph Platte who played in 145 games and averaged .314. He started his minor league career in 1910 with Cadillac in the Michigan State League. He moved to Providence in the International League in 1912. In 1913 he played in seven major league games with Detroit. A stop in Louisville was followed by two years in the service in 1918 and 1919. He started the 1920 year in Kansas City an American Association league team but after ten games he moved to Omaha for the rest of the year. From 1921-1926 he played with Peoria in the III league. The Grand Rapids Michigan native played for three teams in 1926, Peoria, Dubuque and Elmira. After his baseball career he returned to Grand Rapids.

Will Lee was another regular in the garden and averaged .279. He was also the leading base stealer on the team and led the Western League in steals for a number of weeks.

Donica was in the garden for 70 games and averaged .287.

The Rourke pitching staff was led by Emilio "Jess" Palmero . He pitched a no hitter for Omaha against Joplin on May 13th at the Vinton Street lot. He also pitched a two hit game on May 9th against Oklahoma City. Overall he pitched in 40 games and had a 28-10 record and 193 strike outs for the Rourke's. He also played 20 games in the outfield for the Rourkes in 1920. The southpaw had played earlier for the New York Giants. After his stint in Omaha he went to the St. Louis Browns in 1921, was with Washington in 1926 and Boston (NL) in 1928. He was born in Cuba, died in Ohio and had a lifetime 6 wins and 15 losses.

Oscar Fuhr pitched in 44 games and had a 20-17 record with 171 strike outs. The 26 year old from Defiance Missouri, made his major league debut the next year with the Cubs. He played for Chicago in the National League in 1921 and Boston in the American League in 1924-1925.

Charley Kopp appered in 43 games for the Rourkes and managed a 16-22 record. Charlie started his Omaha career in 1918 when he was picked up from Peoria.

Schatzman pitched in 37 games and had a 9-14 record.

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