Sample Minnesota newspaper articles, photos and ads dating back more than 140 years. Fresh items are posted weekly. Go here for tips on how to track down old newspaper articles on your own. Follow the blog on Twitter. Or check out "Minnesota Mysteries," a new book based on the blog.
Just a year out of high school, 19-year-old Willie Mays took the field for the Minneapolis Millers on May 1, 1951, opening day at Nicollet Park. More than 6,000 fans watched the rookie notch three hits and make a “sparkling catch” against the flagpole. Another future Hall of Famer, Hoyt Wilhelm, was the winning pitcher.
The Minneapolis Tribune’s account of the rain-shortened 11-0 victory over Columbus appears below. Two weeks later, the New York Giants called up the hot-hitting Mays and made him their center fielder.
All business: Mays got a grip on things in the Millers clubhouse.
Mays slid home -- presumably safe, but the original caption overlooks that detail -- in a night game at Nicollet Park.
During a rain delay that turned into a postponement in mid-May, a game of checkers was the center of attention in the Millers clubhouse. Battling on the board in this Minneapolis Star "Sportsphoto" were Bama Rowell, left, and Hoyt Wilhelm.
Dick Gustafson, 80, of Minneapolis writes:
Thanks for reminding us of what a great player Willie Mays was. I was at the May 1st, 1951, game with the famous "flagpole catch." But that wasn't the whole story. There was a runner on third base with less than two outs. The runner tagged up and broke for home as soon as Willie caught the ball in dead center field. The runner was about halfway home when the ball thrown by Willie bounced once by the pitchers' mound and then to the catcher mitt. The runner reversed direction and had to slide back into third base to beat the throw from the catcher. The fans couldn't believe what they had just seen.
I remember turning to my friend at the end of the play to predict that that young guy would soon be in New York with the Giants. What a thrill to be at his first game in Minneapolis.
The U.S. soccer team’s shocking 1-0 victory over England in the 1950 World Cup has inspired several books, a movie and scores of anniversary stories. But the upset generated only a few sentences in the Minneapolis papers the next day. The Tribune’s brief, based on an AP account, inaccurately described the team, the tournament selection process and the U.S. goal, crediting it to the wrong player. The Star took the safe route and didn’t bother to name the scorer at all.
From the Minneapolis Star:
[this was the fifth item in the sports roundup]
From the Minneapolis Tribune:
|The 1950 U.S. World Cup team. Back row, from left: Jack Lyons, Joe Maca, Charlie Colombo, Frank Borghi, Harry Keough, Walter Bahr, Bill Jeffrey. Front row: Frank Wallace, Ed McIlvenny, Gino Pariani, Joe Gaetjens, John Souza, Ed Souza. (Photo courtesy National Soccer Hall of Fame)|
This weekend’s fishing opener prompts a look back at the game laws of yesteryear, courtesy of the Minneapolis Morning Tribune. Those were the days, my angling friends: Minnesota residents didn’t need a fishing license; anglers could keep as many sunfish, northern pike, perch and sturgeon as they could carry; and anglers could pretty much sell whatever they caught.
A few rules complicated matters, though: Anglers couldn’t deposit sawdust where fish abound, and they had to keep a ruler and a scale handy to measure any whitefish, "muskallonge" or Oswego bass they were lucky enough to land.
|According to the DNR Lake Finder, Minnesota has just one Snail Lake -- in Ramsey County -- so this must be it. Here's a catch from 1913. (Photo courtesy mnhs.org)|
|These anglers had their way with the "wall-eyed pike" in Crow Wing County's Whitefish Lake in 1917. (Photo courtesy mnhs.org)|
Some perspective on the numbers in this Minneapolis Tribune story: Tris Speaker's 1914 salary of $18,000 would be worth about $380,865 in 2010, when this entry was first posted. Seattle outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, whose 2009 stats fall a bit short of Speaker's 1913 numbers, earned $18 million in 2010 -- or nearly 50 times Speaker's salary in today's dollars.
Tris Speaker an Example of Me-
teoric Rise in Pay
Just a Few years Ago and $1,500
Was Considered Plenty
|The Grey Eagle: Tris Speaker in 1914.|
It’s one of the most memorable achievements in the history of Minnesota high school basketball. Fifty years ago, tiny Edgerton – population 900 – beat Austin 72-61 to capture the state title at Williams Arena. The Flying Dutchmen (27-0) showed great skill and heart during the one-class tournament, upsetting powerhouse Richfield in overtime in the semifinal before coolly dispatching Austin in the final.The Minneapolis Sunday Tribune’s sports section was packed with coverage of Edgerton’s remarkable run. On the front page, though, was this charming little story featuring two of the team’s “steady” fans:
|Edgerton players hoisted their young coach -- Rich Olson, 23 -- after winning the state title. (Minneapolis Tribune photo by John Croft)|