Sheboygan Indians

From BR Bullpen

The Sheboygan Indians are the only professional baseball club ever based in Sheboygan, WI and were managed by Joe Hauser from their inception in 1940 until the Wisconsin State League collapsed 13 years later, with a break of three years for World War II. Hauser was a player-manager the first three years; they won the WSL pennant in 1941 and 1942. In the first of those years, they succeeded only due to a forfeit by the Green Bay Blue Sox due to poor weather. At age 42, Hauser led the club in homers in '41 (11) and he was second the other two seasons he was still playing.

In 1946, Sheboygan went 44-66, finishing 7th in the WSL. Ralph Solazo (10-4, 3.08, 5th in the league in ERA) was the top performer. The Indians won the pennant the next two years with winning percentages of .672 and .680. In '47, Jim B. Williams hit .385 (second in the league) with 105 RBI (tied for second) and Bill Eggert went 23-3 with a 2.82 ERA, leading in wins and second in ERA. In 1948, Lowell Grosskopf (23-5, 3.39) had the most victories and Walt Moryn (.338, 123 RBI, second in the league in RBI) paced the offense.

Edward Fenelon (.321, 18 HR, 89 RB) led the league in home runs in 1949 and was second in RBI, while Bill Allen (18-8, 2.29) was second in ERA. The 1950 season had the club finish 3 and a half games behind the Oshkosh Giants and fell in the playoffs, 3 games to 2, to the Janesville Cubs. Drawing 48,449 fans (7th in the 8-team league), they outscored the opposition 781-727. Grosskopf (16-8, 2.84) was fifth in the WSL in ERA and second with 228 strikeouts. OF Ray Shearer (.317/~.389/.595) led the league in homers (30), RBI (137), total bases (300) and slugging.

The club won its fifth pennant in 1951 with five pitchers winning at least 12 contests and a .327 campaign by John R. Rucker. In '52, the Indians won their sixth title in 9 years with a 76-47 mark and drew 33,387 fans (7th in the 8-team league). Hauser's club led the league in offense (790) and allowed 636 runs. Connie Grub (24-5, 2.65) led the loop in wins, was third in ERA and fourth with 192 strikeouts. C-OF John Roseboro hit .365/~.443/.483 with 18 steals but did not appear enough to win the batting title. In '53, Bill Adelhelm hit .343 with 118 RBI in the club's final campaign.

Sources: 1946, 1951 and 1953 Baseball Guides, Pat Doyle's professional baseball players database, Baseball's Forgotten Heroes by Tony Salin

Personal Recollection[edit]

I played against the 1953 Sheboygan Indians of the Class D Wisconsin State League. I was a pitcher for the Oshkosh Giants. Sheboygan's manager was the colorful Joe Hauser. Joe had been famous for hitting 69 homeruns one season for a triple A club in the American Association, perhaps St. Paul, Minn. Hauser also played a few years in the major leagues. Sheboygan was a farm club of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1953.

Submitted by Bill O'Donnell

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1940 54-63 4th Joe Hauser Lost in 1st round
1941 65-45 4th Joe Hauser League Champs
1942 73-35 1st Joe Hauser League Champs
1946 44-66 7th Joe Hauser none
1947 82-40 1st Joe Hauser none League Champs
1948 85-40 1st Joe Hauser none League Champs
1949 67-56 3rd Joe Hauser none
1950 71-53 2nd Joe Hauser Lost in 1st round
1951 76-43 1st Joe Hauser none League Champs
1952 76-47 1st Joe Hauser none League Champs
1953 71-52 3rd Joe Hauser