Nebraska Minor League Baseball
Western League
Omaha Buffaloes 1923
Western League Standings 1923
President: Albert Tearney
Standings Wins----- Losses--- GB
Oklahoma City Indians 102 64 --
Tulsa Oilers 101 67 2
Wichita Izzies 100 68 3
Omaha Buffaloes 92 74 10
Des Moines Boosters 87 79 15
St. Joseph Saints 65 101 37
Sioux City Packers 59 105 42
Denver Bears 59 107 43

Although the official nickname for the Omaha franchise was the Buffaloes all the league papers called the team the "Burch Rods" after Barney Burch the owner of the franchise.

At the end of the 1922 season Barney bought the contract of By Speece from the Norfolk team in the Nebraska State League. Speece pitched for Barney during the 1923 season. By Speece had 26 wins for Omaha in 1923 and 129 strike outs in 314 innings pitched. Barney then sold By to the Washington Senators for $15,000.

On July 13th, Omaha tied a league record with five double plays against Denver.

While Joe Horan won the batting championship with a .411 average, Babe Herman of Omaha batted .416 in 92 games. He made it to the majors in 1926, played in the majors for thirteen years and had a lifetime average of .324.
The Sioux City franchise experienced deep financial trouble. Eventually the franchise was moved to Lincoln for the 1924 season.

Ed Konetchy played first base and was the manager for Omaha in 1923. He had a long baseball career. Born in LaCrosse Wisconsin, he made his major league debut with the Cardinals in 1907. He played first base, the outfield and pitcher from 1907 until 1921.

Harry Manush came to Omaha from Saginaw (Omaha World Herald) or Muskegon (SABR Minors Database) when Pug Griffin was sold to Dallas. He averaged .355 for Omaha while playing both second base and in the outfield.

James Wilcox was a regular at second for Omaha in 1923. He averaged .312 for the year. He was a regular for Omaha from 1922 throught 1924.

Tex McDonald averaged .345 in 104 games. From Houston Texas, he also played in 32 games for Houston in 1923.

Fresco "Tommy" Thompson averaged .369 in 26 games for Omaha. He played 133 games for Grand Island in the Nebraska State League and was picked up by Omaha towards the end of the season. He spent the 1924 season with Omaha then was sold to Pittsburg in the Natioonal League. He played for Pittsburg, the New York Giants, Philadelphia and Brooklyn during his 9 year major league career. He then managed for five different minor league clubs. He was originally from Centreville Alabama.

Pug Griffin started the year on fire for Barney's team. He averaged .362 in 57 games and was sold to Dallas during the season.

John Kerr averaged .316 in 114 games. He started the year with Detroit in the American League and after 19 games was sent to Omaha for the remainder of the season. He split the 1924 season between Detroit and Albany. From 1925 through 1928 he was in the Pacific Coast League. In 1929 he was back in the American League with Chicago and in 1932 he was with the Senators. In 1936 he was back in the minors with Syracuse and he played through the 1941 season.

Tony DeFate was a Kansas City lad who played in 41 games and averaged .347. He had a cup of coffee with both the St. Louis Cardinals and the Detroit Tigers in 1917. He also played for Omaha in 1918 and 1925.

Fred Wilder averaged .273 in 97 games as catcher for the Burch Rods. He was a regular in Omaha from 1922 through 1925.

George Hale from Dexter Kansas averaged .226 in 91 games as catcher. He played for the St. Louis Browns in 1914, 1916, 1917 and 1918. In all he played in 60 major league games.

Dick O'Connor averaged .324 in 114 games. He was acquired from Des Moines where he played in 1920 and 1921.

Joe John Bonowitz moved from St. Joseph to Omaha for the 1923 season. He started his career with St. Joseph in 1918 and after playing there for five years he moved to Omaha for the 1923 season. He average .282 for the year and returned for the 1924 season. He moved south in 1925 and played for Shreveport, Ft. Worth, Mobile, Atlanta, and Chattanooga from 1925-1933. He played for Williamsport in 1934, Norfolk in 1935 and finished his career in Americus and Chattanooga in 1936.

Harry "Nick" Cullop averaged .290 in 114 games and was 9-6 as a pitcher. He was bought by the Yankees at the end of the season for $10,000. He played for the Yankees and Cleveland in both the field and as a pitcher. He was a long term manager after his playing career.

Dutch Wetzel averaged .345 in 59 games. He had a cup of coffee with the Browns in 1920 and played another 61 games for the Browns in 1921. He played for Kearney in 1914.

George Boehler split the 1923 season between Omaha, Tulsa and the Pittsburg Pirates. His first stint in the major leagues was with Detroit in 1912 and his last was with the Brooklyn Robins in 1926.

Apperson played in 29 games at second base and averaged .243. He also played 104 games for Peoria in 1923.

J. Griffith averaged .329 in 57 games.

Along with By Speece and Harry Cullop, Omaha had a strong cadre of pitchers in 1923.

Bill Bailey was 8-5 in 1923. He had a 9-18 record for Houston before coming to Omaha. He was 23-15 for Omaha in 1924 and 17-19 in 1925.

Herbert "Buckshot" May was 18-15 for Omaha in 1923. He was sold to Pittsburg in August and Omaha got Goerge Boehler in return. George was a 10 year veteran of the minor leagues. Buckshot pitched in one game for Pittsburg in 1924. He pitched one inning in relief against the Boston Braves. He gave up two hits, had one strikeout and gave up no runs.

Harry Lee was a Texas boy from Dallas. He was 14-12 for Omaha. He played for Omaha for three years and was a regular in the Texas league for seven years..

Clarence Darrough was 5-5. He also played for the Lincoln Links in the Nebraska State League and the Wichita Falls Spudders in the Texas League in 1923. .

Buckley was 2-2.

Lefty Odenwald was 1-6 in the league. He played for both Denver and Omaha during the season.

Lefty Okrie was 2-3 for the year. He was 17-16 in 1922 for Omaha. In 1923 he pitched for Omaha and Sioux City.

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