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Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri League

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The Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri League (KOM League) was founded after World War II and ran from 1946 through 1952 as a class D operation. Like many post-war leagues, it did not last a complete decade of play. During the seven year run of the league there were nine cities that represented the league. Four were from Kansas, four from Oklahoma and one from Missouri.

E.L. Dale was the League President for its entire seven year operation. The Ponca City Dodgers won three of the seven league titles. They were champs in 1948, 1950 and 1951. No other team was to win more than one crown. The attendance of the KOM league, in the seven year period, reached slightly over two million fans. In 1948 the league had its best year, drawing 387,980 paying customers through the gates, but as it was with most minor leagues at that time the people took to other interests and '51 & '52 proved too much for the league to handle and they closed their doors for good after the 1952 season. The late 1940s and early 1950s was the Golden Age for minor league baseball. The National Pastime thrived in small town America with hundreds of professional teams in over 50 leagues playing at every level. The lowest rung of professional baseball—Class D, the “bush leagues”—was an exciting mix of returning soldiers and recent high school grads, all with dreams of climbing up the ladder to make it to the “big show.” Of the 1,588 young men who donned a KOM League uniform, 30 made it to the majors and one made it to the Hall of Fame.

Contents

[edit] Cities Represented

[edit] Teams & Statistics

[edit] 1946-1947

1946 Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri League
President: E. L. Dale

Team Standings W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Chanute Athletics 68 53 .562 - 41,600 Goldie Howard
Miami Blues 69 54 .561 - 49,266 Ted Vernon / Guy Froman
Iola Cubs 63 57 .525 4.5 45,231 Al Reitz
Pittsburg Browns 61 59 .508 6.5 42,932 Jimmie Crandall
Carthage Cardinals 54 66 .450 13.5 47,400 Buzz Arlitt
Bartlesville Oilers 47 73 .392 20.5 46,822 Keith Willoughby

Playoffs: Iola 3 games, Miami 2; Chanute 3 games, Pittsburg 2.
Finals: Iola 3 games, Chanute 3. Rest of playoffs called off due to rain and lack of available playing grounds.

Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Newt Keithley Miami BA .346 Ross Grimsley Chanute W 18
Richard Bulkley Chanute Runs 111 Oscar Walterman Carthage W 18
Newt Keithley Miami Hits 167 Ross Grimsley Chanute SO 295
Buzz Arlitt Carthage RBI 82 Ross Grimsley Chanute ERA 1.93
Larry Singleton Iola HR 10 Ross Grimsley Chanute PCT .783 18-5

1947 Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri League
President: E. L. Dale

Team Standings W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Miami Owls 76 49 .608 - 53,119 William Davis
Iola Cubs 69 54 .561 6 39,862 Al Reitz
Pittsburg Browns 69 54 .561 6 59,435 Jimmie Crandall
Bartlesville Oilers 68 56 .548 7.5 64,074 Edward Marleau
Carthage Cardinals 66 59 .528 10 42,838 Woody Fair /Alvin Kluttz
Ponca City Dodgers 61 62 .496 14 55,554 Boyd Bartley
Chanute Athletics 44 80 .355 31.5 34,758 Dave Dennis / Charles Bates
Independence Yankees 41 80 .339 33 22,460 Goldie Howard

Playoffs: Miami 3 games, Bartlesville 1; Iola 3 games, Pittsburg 1.
Finals: Miami 4 games, Iola 1.

Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Loren Packard Miami BA .364 Carroll Dial Bartlesville W 22
Albert Solenberger Bartlesville Runs 131 James Morris Miami SO 240
Loren Packard Miami Hits 185 Carroll Dial Bartlesville ERA 3.32
Loren Packard Miami RBI 124 Jim Post Pittsburg PCT .813 13-3
Jim Baxes Ponca City HR 20

[edit] 1948-1949

1948 Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri League
President: E. L. Dale

Team Standings W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Ponca City Dodgers 79 47 .627 - 78,305 Boyd Bartley
Independence Yankees 74 46 .617 2 46,270 Goldie Howard / Burleigh Grimes / Sanders
Bartlesville Pirates 71 52 .577 6.5 64,090 Edward Marleau
Pittsburg Browns 60 60 .500 16 53,743 Shan Deniston / Donald Smith
Miami Owls 58 66 .468 20 33,716 Arthur Priebe / James Hansen
Carthage Cardinals 51 67 .432 24 36,525 Alvin Kluttz
Iola Indians 51 72 .415 26.5 42,770 Al Reitz
Chanute Giants 44 78 .361 33 32,561 Al Smith

Playoffs: Pittsburg 3 games, Ponca City 2; Independence 3 games, Bartlesville 2.
Finals: Independence 4 games, Pittsburg 1.

Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
William Fox Chanute BA .327 Harland Coffman Independence W 18
Louis Godla Bartlesville Runs 83 Lou Michels Independence W 18
Al Solenberger Bartlesville Hits 134 Joseph Tufteland Ponca City W 18
Charles Sturnborg Pittsburg RBI 78 Bill Pierro Bartlesville SO 300
Charles Sturnborg Pittsburg HR 13 Harland Coffman Independence ERA 1.94
Joseph Beran Ponca City HR 13 Joseph Tufteland Ponca City PCT .900 18-2

1949 Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri League
President: E. L. Dale

Team Standings W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Independence Yankees 71 53 .573 - 46,607 Harry Craft
Bartlesville Pirates 71 55 .563 1 51,000 Tedd Gullic
Iola Indians 70 55 .560 1.5 49,491 Windy Johnson
Ponca City Dodgers 66 59 .528 5.5 62,082 Boyd Bartley
Chanute Athletics 65 60 .520 6.5 39,228 James Hansen / Charles Bates
Carthage Cubs 62 64 .492 10 38,028 Don Anderson
Miami Owls 56 69 .448 15.5 32,887 Omar Lane
Pittsburg Browns 39 85 .315 32 39,755 Al Barkus / Olan Smith

Playoffs: Independence 3 games, Ponca City 1; Iola 3 games, Bartlesville 1.
Finals: Independence 3 games, Iola 0.

Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Richard Drury Bartlesville BA .317 Jake Thies Chanute W 18
Charles Weber Independence Runs 98 Bob Weisler Independence SO 240
James Bello Independence Hits 156 Conrad Swensson Ponca City ERA 1.69
Harry Bright Miami RBI 96 Conrad Swensson Ponca City PCT .800 12-3
Bob Speake Carthage HR 14

[edit] 1950-1951

1950 Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri League
President: E. L. Dale

Team Standings W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Ponca City Dodgers 80 42 .656 - 63,313 Boyd Bartley
Bartlesville Pirates 73 48 .603 6.5 56,250 Tedd Gullic
Carthage Cubs 75 50 .600 6.5 29,080 Don Anderson
Pittsburg Browns 71 52 .577 9.5 43,953 Olan Smith / Jimmie Crandall
Miami Eagles 62 60 .508 18 27,548 Jack Hodge / Jim Oglesby / Pug Griffin
Independence Yankees 60 66 .476 22 38,274 Bunny Mick / Bones Sanders
Iola Indians 35 84 .294 43.5 23,872 Windy Johnson
Chanute Athletics 35 89 .282 46 21,372 Charles Bates / Imfeld / Chuck Hostetler

Playoffs: Ponca City 3 games, Pittsburg 2; Bartlesville 3 games, Carthage 1.
Finals: Ponca City 3 games, Bartlesville 1.

Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Stan Gwinn Ponca City BA .320 Tom Vines Carthage W 17
Jim Pisoni Pittsburg Runs 115 Donald McKeon Miami W 17
Don Hunter Ponca City Hits 152 Tom Vines Carthage SO 234
Loren Doll Ponca City Hits 152 David Elliot Bartlesville ERA 2.04
Harold Neighbors Bartlesville RBI 107 Joe Stanek Ponca City PCT .846 11-2
Willard Davis Ponca City HR 21

1951 Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri League
President: E. L. Dale

Team Standings W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Ponca City Dodgers 85 39 .686 - 44,960 George Scherger
Bartlesville Pirates 77 45 .631 7 34,296 Tedd Gullic
Miami Eagles 67 55 .549 17 23,500 Pug Griffin / Tom Warren
Carthage Cubs 60 65 .480 25.5 20,022 Don Anderson / Al Reitz
Pittsburg Browns 41 80 .339 42.5 22,534 Bill Enos
Iola Indians 38 84 .311 46 16,981 Forrest L. Crawford / Reitz / Pool / Floyd Temple

Playoffs: Carthage 3 games, Ponca City 2; Miami 3 games, Bartletsville 1.
Finals: Carthage 3 games, Miami 0.

Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Jack Denison Ponca City BA .365 Ron Kline Bartlesville W 18
Jack Denison Ponca City Runs 133 Donald Cochran Bartlesville W 18
Jack Denison Ponca City Hits 167 Ron Kline Barletsville SO 208
Robert Ottesen Pittsburg RBI 89 John Mudd Carthage ERA 2.12
Brandy Davis Bartlesville HR 13 Ron Kline Bartlesville PCT .818 18-4
Bill Phillips Bartlesville HR 13

[edit] 1952

1952 Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri League
President: E. L. Dale

Team Standings W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Iola Indians 79 47 .627 - 42,327 Floyd Temple / Woody Fair
Miami Eagles 67 57 .540 11 43,008 John Davenport
Ponca City Dodgers 68 58 .540 11 55,726 Boyd Bartley
Bartlesville #/ Pittsburg 59 65 .476 19 34,267 Hersh Martin / Ed Hayes
Blackwell Broncos 57 69 .452 22 51,000 Al Reitz
Independence Browns 46 80 .365 33 39,487 Fred Collins

# Bartlesville moved to Pittsburg July 7.
Playoffs: Ponca City 1 game, Iola 0; Miami 1 game, Pittsburg 0;
Finals: Miami 2 games, Ponca City 0.

Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
John Vossen Miami BA .335 Joe Vilk Iola W 26
Paul Weeks Iola Runs 128 Jim Owens Miami S0 300
Gaspar del Toro Iola Hits 155 Jim Owens Miami ERA 1.76
John Davenport Miami RBI 116 Joe Vilk Iola PCT .813 26-6
Don Ervin Miami HR 24

[edit] League Records

Batting Pitching
Player Team Stat Tot Yr Player Team Stat Tot Yr
Paul Weeks Iola GA 127 52 Joe Vilk Iola GA 48 52
Leroy Coulter Iola GA 127 52 Bob Wiesler Independence BB 212 49
Jack Denison Ponca City BA .365 51 John Waltman Pittsburg CG 25 49
Al Solenberger Bartlesville AB 530 47 Joe Vilk Iola W 26 52
Jack Denison Ponca City Runs 133 51 Lawrence Jaros Chanute/Iola LO 20 50
Loren Packard Miami Hits 185 47 Joe Tufteland Ponca City Pct .900 48
Adolph Arlitt Carthage 2B 44 46 Conrad Swensson Ponca City ERA 1.69 49
Jim Pisoni Pittsburg 3B 16 50 Joe Vilk Iola IP 287 52
Don Ervin Miami HR 24 52 Bill Pierro Bartlesville ShO 6 48
R.T. Upright Bartlesville TB 259 48 Bill Pierro Bartlesville SO 300 48
Paul Weeks Iola SB 103 52 James Owens Miami SO 300 52
William Schreier Iola BB 133 52
Willard Davis Ponca City SO 169 50
Loren Packard Miami RBI 124 47


[edit] Major Leaguers

Bob Habenicht--Carthage / Cloyd Boyer-Carthage / Don Lenhardt-Pittsburg / Ross Grimsley--Chanute / Ed Vargo--Carthage--made it to the majors as an umpire. / Dixie Upright-Bartlesville / Jim Baxes-Ponca City / Chris Kitsos-Ponca City / Gale Wade-Ponca City / Bill Pierro-Bartlesville / Bob Mahoney-Carthage / Jim Finigan-Independence / Jake Thies-Chanute / Harry Bright-Independence and Miami / Al Pilarcik-Independence / Mickey Mantle-Independence / Bob Wiesler-Independence / Lou Skizas-Independence / Bob Speake-Carthage / Bill Upton-Iola / Steve Kraly-Independence / Chuck Locke-Pittsburg / Ed Wolfe-Bartlesville / Bill Virdon-Independence / Don Taussig-Independence / John Gabler-Independence / Ron Kline-Bartlesville / Jim Pisoni-Pittsburg / Brandy Davis-Bartlesville / Joe Stanka-Ponca City / George Scherger--Playing manager-Ponca City made it as Sparky Anderson's first base coach with the Cincinnati Reds. / Seth Morehead-Miami / Jim Owens-Miami / Andy Varga--Played for Blackwell after having played for the Chicago Cubs. / Leonard Roberts--National league umpire for a brief tenure. / Jack Blaylock Bullpen Coach for the 1948 Brooklyn Dodgers

Fellows who managed in the KOM League who had former big league experience included: / Claude Willoughby / Boyd Bartley / Al Smith (Cleveland pitcher who stopped DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak) / Harry Craft (Played centerfield in Johnny Vander Meer's back to back no hitters) / Tedd Gullic / Jim Oglesby / Pug Griffin / Hersh Martin / Chuck Hostetler / Burleigh Grimes /

[edit] Hall of Fame Alumni

[edit] Sources

The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball: Second and Third Editions.
John Hall: KOM League Historian

[edit] External Links

The KOM League

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