Nebraska Minor League Baseball
Nebraska League
York Dukes

Professional baseball returned to York in 1928. York had been a member of the Nebraska State League in 1915 when the league collapsed but had not participated in the 1922-24 attempts to restart the league.

The York Daily News sponsored a contest to name the new Nebraska State League franchise. The name "Dukes" was selected and Mr. Ezra McCormick of 128 Blackburn was the winner of two free tickets to the opening game. Other entries included Beavers, Panthers, Tommies, Plezalls and HillToppers.
Games were played at East Hill Park. The picture at right shows the well manicured ball diamond that exists there today. Opening day against North Platte saw business houses in York closing for the afternoon. Many merchants offered prizes for the opening game. These included a carton of cigarettes from York Shining parlor for the first stolen base, 5 razors from Jerome Drug Store for the first five men to get a hit, a $5.00 credit on a new suit from John Olson and Co. for the first home run, a bottle of tonic from Brown's Barber Shop for the first sacrifice and a T-Bone steak dinner for the first home run from Furman's Cafe.
Current Ball Diamond
at East Hill Park
After a parade from 8th and Lincoln to East Hill Park, mayor George Chilcote threw out the first ceremonial pitch. Pete Shanke pitched for the Dukes. He held the Buffaloes to three hits as York won 3-1. Pete also went 3 for 3 from the plate including a home run.

York wound up the year in 6th place at 58-62, thirteen games out of first. Joe Wilman was the star of the team. He pitched in 32 games and had a 19-7 record for the year. Snyder was their leading hitter. In early August he was batting .361 but a late season slump put him at .323 for the season.

York averaged about 200 fans for weekday games and 637 fans for Sunday games. They were sixth in attendance for the league. At the time York had a population of about 5,600 making the town one of the smaller markets in the league.
The roster below is the best I have at this time. Many first names are missing as newspapers of the day did not typically include first names in stories.

York Dukes 1928 Lineup

Nebraska State League Standings 1928

Nebraska Minor League Baseball Home

© 2004 Bruce Esser