Nebraska Minor League Baseball
The number of minor leagues grew from fourteen in 1933 to twenty for the 1934 season. The Western Association was resurrected as a class "C" league and Springfield, Joplin Bartlesville and Muskogee went to the lower class league. Sioux City, Davenport, Rock Island and Cedar Rapids were added to the Western League. Only Topeka kept their farm team status as a farm team of Cincinnati.
Western League Standings 1934
President:Dale Gear
Standings Wins----- Losses--- Attendance
Sioux City Cowboys 36-38 23-27 87,196
Davenport Blue Sox 29-41 30-23 48,920
Des Moines Demons 36-32 23-33 30,797
St. Joseph Saints 36-29 23=33 43,772
Topeka Senators 21-38 38-26 28,889
Rock Island Islanders 29-29 29-36 36,619
Omaha Packers 24-25 35-38 34,675
Cedar Rapids Raiders 24-23 34-39 47,360

BA:Floyd Patterson, Rock Island, .366
Runs:John Dickshot, Rock Island/Cedar Rapids, 112
Hits:Howard McFarland, St. Joseph, 164
HRs:Vern Johnson, Sioux City, 24
Wins:Frank Lamanski, Davenport, 24
SOs:Frank Lamanski, Davenport, 216
PctFrank Lamanski, Davenport, 24-7, .774

Musical franchises were played during the hot stove season before the summer of 1934. Every week the Sporting News reported on various options, including the resurrection of the Western Association. Eventually things settled out. In Omaha it was reported that Frank "Dutch" Wetzel had acquired a franchise for Omaha. He paid $2,500 for the club and assumed part of the $6,000 lien against the club. Eventually it was disclosed that Mrs. E. C. Branconier was the money behind the deal and she becomes the owner of the Omaha franchise. Dutch Wetzel was 40 years old. He was originally from Columbus Indiana. He played from 1914 through 1930 and had a cup of coffee with the Browns in the early 20's.

Dutch invited 35 new players to spring training. They decide to hold spring training in Beatrice and Sioux City holds their training in Fairbury. Pug Griffin and Cy Lingle are still with the team and Dutch has to petition the league to let them play as Omaha is over the limit for "higher" division players on their roster. Gear allows the two players to compete for Omaha. Wetzel does not last the season and by June 1935, Branconier went bankrupt and the franchise was once again on life support.

The Demons, Saints and Cowboys all tied for first in the first half of the season and Davenport won the second. The playoffs had St. Joseph over Sioux City three games to one and Davenport beat Des Moines three games to one. In the finals St. Joseph defeated Davenport four games to three.

Omaha placed Malcom Pickett at first base and Albert McNeely in the outfield on the 1934 all star team.


Malcolm Pickett was an all star selection for Omaha in 1934. In 1933 he played for Quincy and Peoria in the Mississippi Valley League and averaged .332. He was picked up by Omaha for 1934 and averaged .312 in 95 games. He also managed the team for the latter part of the season.

Ben Hassler averaged .296 in 101 games. He played for Omaha in 1935. In 1936 he was a farm hand for the Cardinals and played for Asheville and Columbus. He played through the 1941 season.

Yats Wuestling was a 30 year old from St. Louis. He played in 40 games and averaged .230. He played for Detroit in 1929 and for both Detroit and the Yankees in 1930.

Stanley Tutaj averaged .281 in 123 games. He averaged .368 in 1933 and there was speculation that he would be in the majors in 1934. He never did make it to the majors. He played from 1929 through the 1937 season.

Eddie Joost was an 18 year old prospect from San Francisco. He also played for Mission in the PCL in 1934. He played in the majors from 1936 through 1955 and was named to the All Star team in 1949 and 1952.

Charles Clements was from Dexter Missouri. The 24 year old leftie averaged .311 in 107 games.

William Seebold put on the tools of ignorance for more than 90 games and averaged .252 for the year.

Bob Loane played for 3 teams in 1934. He played in 24 games for Omaha and averaged .277 then moved to the left coast where he played for Portland and Los Angeles. He was back in Omaha for 1935 and also played for Chattanooga. He had a cup of coffee with Washington in the AL in 1939 and with Boston (NL) in 1940.

Joseph Kincannon played in 37 games and averaged .232.

Ernest Glossop played in 78 games and averaged .218.

Al McNeely was a 23 year old righty from San Diego. He averaged .326 in 108 games.

Herman Franks played in 2 games for Omaha in 1934. The Price Utah native played form 1939-1941 and 1947-1949 in the major league.

William Reese was a 19 year old righty who averaged .289 in 22 games. Pitchers:

Monty Franklin Pierce Stratton started his professional career in Galveston in 1934. The rookie then played in one game in Chicago (American) where he pitched for three innings. He then came to Omaha where he 8-10 in 23 games. He started the 1935 season in St. Paul then finished in Chicago. He played for Chicago from 1936-1938. In the fall of 1938 he lost a leg in an accident. This did not deter him as he returned to professional ball in 1942, playing at Lubbock. He was 18-8 for Sherman in the East Texas league in 1946 and pitched a complete game shutout in 1949. Jimmy Stewart played Monty in the 1949 Oscar winning flick about his life.
James Carithers was 8-7 in 26 appearances. He played for four teams during 1934 including Omaha, Reading, Harrisburg and Albany.

Johhny Intlekofer had a 10-12 record in 40 games. The Lansing Iowa native started his professional career with Portland in the PCL in 1931. He played for Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Los Angeles, Omaha, Decatur, Macon and Little Rock from 1931-42 and with Hollywood and Visalia from 1944-1947.

Ernest Evans was 9-15 in 31 games. He played for Omaha, Cedar Rapids and Seattle in 1934.

Nineteen year old Clarence Kumalae was 1-6 in 14 games.

Harold Bornholdt was 5-11 in 21 games.

Frank Cash was 3-3, William Currie was 0-1, Robert Friedrichs was 1-3, Lee Hancock ws 3-4 and Lee Johnson was 4-12.

Norman Jung and Edward Knehans was 0-1.

Earl Langkop started his professional career with York in the Nebraska State League and was 7-12. He played for Yor in 1931, Lincoln in the NSL in 1932 and Omaha in 1933. He was 1-6 for Lincoln in the Nebraska State League in 1934 and 0-2 for Omaha.

Al McNeely was 2-2, Wilmer Schroeder was 3-5 and Ed Tiesman was 0-1.

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