Rome Raiders Baseball

  Land O Lakes Southwestern Division

Rome Baseball History

Chapter 16

Posted by romeraiders on July 26, 2011 at 10:49 PM

When Rome won it. Rome won baseball championships in 1933, 1939, 1949, and 1957.


Warren Higbie, who would be named to the LOL Hall of Fame, would play on the first three championships. In 33, Warren was 20 and on the 49 team he was 36. Warren’s son Dickie would be 18 and just out of high school on the 57 Championship team. Warren would also manage in later years.


Grantley Pagel and Les Ley would also be on the first three championship teams. The first place trophies for the first three championship teams are located in the Rome Firehouse. A huge colored picture of the 33 team is also there, that same picture is also in the old Rome school museum.


At this time not much is known of the 39 team. There may be more info about it in the museum. Tine Ley said that he was a bat boy on the 39 team and that Warren Higbie was one of the best players he saw play. Tine said that Warren could play anywhere. The generational remembrances are interesting.


Dickie Higbie would say that Tine Ley was the best center fielder he ever saw play in the Lakes. Dickie would be about 8 yrs. old as he watched Tine and his teammates win it in 49. There is a picture in the Rome school museum of the 57 team that won it .


Chet Trebitowski was on the 49 team and the 57 team. The 57 team only had about 10-11 players and they took first place with that group. Names on the trophy of the 49 team; Tom Schultz mgr. Allen “Tine” Ley, G Pagel, A Messmer, B Schreiber, W Higbie, C Trebitowski, L Siebert, K Leiting, A Holat, B Auerbach, W Ley, R Boos, L Ley, W Pagel, E Ley, E Wagie, A Krueger, F Merson, and batboy Jerry Herdendorf.


The Sept. 6 , 1949 archives of the Milwaukee Journal and Waukesha Freeman have articles about Rome winning the Division over the last few days of the season. Everything went down to the last games on Labor Day. Rome was greatly helped when Sullivan, their main rival, upset Dousman to give Rome first place all by itself. The Journal article tells how it was Rome’s first year in the Land O Lakes after leaving the Land O Rivers. It said that since Sullivan was going to enter the “Big” league, then of course so would Rome. Rome was the smallest town to have a team and they would have the classic David vs Goliath season.


Rome’s main pitcher would get on a roll and pitch and hit the team to the finish line . Along the way towards the end he would win a double header or two with his arm and his bat. Rome would lose the first game of the grand championship playoffs by one run on a heart break of a play. The Rome first baseman would catch the ball at first and head to the dugout thinking it was the third out. It was only the second out and the runner on 3rd would race home with the run that would win it for the opposition. Rome lost that game by like a 1-0 or 2-1 score. In the next game of the playoffs, the horse that Rome had been riding, Mr. Siebert the pitcher, would finally collapse and run out of steam. Siebert would give up like 22 hits and Rome’s Cinderalla season would come to an end.


Tine said with a smile that winning the Division in 49 brought with it a great feeling and great celebrations. Tine would average about .400 for about 10 years of playing time in the Lakes and also be named to the Lakes Hall of Fame. He also played some for Jefferson. One time Fort picked up Tine to play against a semi pro team from up north that was coming to play. Tine led off the game with a rocket to center that some remember as ricocheting up in the tree limbs leaving a cloud burst of leaves falling from the sky. It was said that if Tine hit a grounder to the left side of the infield he would almost never get thrown out at first. He batted left handed and he was fast on the bases as well as fleet of foot in covering the field in center. All the exploits of Tine were told to me by those who saw him play.


There were also some second place trophies in the Rome Firehouse as well as a third place one. The museum has at least one second place trophy for sure as I was managing that game as we lost to our friend Dave Stewart and his buddies from Dousman in 76, 77, or 78 or so. Dave in his own right, after playing many years for Dousman, would also be named to the Lakes Hall of Fame. At least Dave would end his playing days with Rome and enter into the heritage of Rome Raider baseball.


And oh, by the way, the name of the early Rome teams? The Rome Mudhens.

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