In the summer of 1939, the Idaho State American Legion baseball tournament was held in Boise. Lewiston was in that tournament and I was on the Lewiston team.
We lost our best pitcher (Del Owens) due to a birth certificate problem. Our best hitter (Gabby Williams) broke his angle sliding into second base in the early innings of the championship game, but we won the game and qualified for the regionals to be held in Pocatello, Idaho.
One of the local jewelry stores in Pocatello said they would give a watch to the first player to hit a home run.
We played Miles City in the first game and one of their players hit a shot to the outfield that our outfielder misplayed. Result: Inside-the-park home run for Miles City. Miles City player gets watch. Lewiston loses game.
After the game in our dressing room, when the taste of defeated had somewhat faded, some of our players were talking with the boy who made the error. They told him that was part of the game and to try and forget it and enjoy the trip. They also told him he should go to the Miles City player who won the watch and tell him that he (the Lewiston player) had contributed to the home run and should be entitled to have the watch 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. until the end of the tournament. I don’t think the Miles City player bought it.
Oregon won the regional tournament, but Lewiston won the regionals in 1940 and 1941. In the 1941 regionals Washington was represented by Inland Motor Freight and coached by Billy Frazier.
Those were good times, but World War II was on the way.