Rome Raiders Baseball

  Land O Lakes Southwestern Division

Rome Baseball History

Chapter 19

Posted by romeraiders on August 12, 2011 at 2:15 PM

This n’ That Part 2---- After further information it has been found that Rome started up play again in 1974 and not 1973. 1973 would be the year of planning. 1973 would be Hebron’s last year in the league and Rome would take their place in 1974.


Rome won two games in 74, not one as was previously noted, the first win was against Dousman, and the second win came later in the season against undefeated Genesee.


In 75 Rome would go 8-8 and in 76-78 it would finish in 2nd place each of those three years. In one of those three years Rome came right down to the end with Dousman and we would have the big game with them at Rome. The problem was that our top pitcher Mike Moyer was hurting going in with a bothersome arm. The dilemma was, do we start Mike and get as much out of him and then go to our # 2 pitcher Marty, or do we start Marty and then go to Mike.


Marty was not as experienced as his older brother Mike who was our ace and as good as almost any when he was healthy and on. To be honest, I don’t remember for sure which way we started, both pitched and neither one of them had it that day. It was a lot to ask of each of them and they, along with the rest of the team, gave it their all.


We had a big crowd show up, a lot of the old timers as well, and we all went home disappointed. But baseball is just a game. Winning first place in any encounter is quite an accomplishment. We had to hand it to Dousman, they had a run of many years of just having a wonderful team. They had experience and skill and they could beat you in many ways. They certainly knew how to play the game of baseball during that stretch of quite a few years.


Losing at the end of the year to them was tough, and it’s still the one that hurts the most in my memory bank. You can use every excuse in the book but none of them count. We got beat by the better team on that day, it’s just the way it was. Al McGuire, the old Marquette coach used to say, “ If life was fair, there wouldn’t be anyone in wheel chairs.” He’d also say, “If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas.”


At our high school sports banquet in 1972 in Jefferson somehow someone arranged it that Al McGuire would come to speak. His message was, “Use sports, don’t let it use you.” Pretty good advice both then and now. Right after the banquet he came up to me and while pinching me on my side above my belt, with what I thought was as hard a grip as was possible , he looked me in the eye and asked, “ Young man, are you a basketball player?” I replied Nooo as I was hoping he’d let go of the death grip any second as by now he had me up on my toes. I played football and baseball and noon hour high school intramural basketball with the Rome boys. I wasn’t a D1 college basketball prospect. But that was Mcguire, leaving no stone unturned and I guess the “squeeze” was how they checked the body fat back in those days.


Rome’s first entry into the Land O Lakes went from 1949 to either 1964 or 1965. We know that Rome had a team in 64 and that they didn’t have a team in 66. Not sure if Rome had a team in 1965 or not.


Of course Rome played in the Land O Rivers before entering the Lakes in 49. Records of Rome teams go way back to the early 1900’s as found by the pictures and other info in the Rome museum baseball section. Saw one record of Louie Auerbach playing for Rome. Louie would have been Bob’s dad and Ronnie’s grandfather.



In 1947 Rome also won the Division Championship. This we just found out a few days ago. Young 17 year old Warren Sukie Ley would have a 14-2 record that year and pitch Rome to the championship. After the season he would sign a minor league contract with the Boston Braves organization in February of 1948.


Bub Barnes would take Sukie and his dad into Milwaukee for a tryout and the young Roman would be signed to a contract that day. On April 1, 1948 Warren Sukie Ley would be assigned to Mount Vernon of the Illinois State League. Sukie would later be traded to the New York Giants organization and play four promising years of minor league ball before suffering an arm injury. On that 47 Rome championship team, Tine Ley batted .407 to lead the league in batting.


Ten years later, Sukie’s younger brother Bobby Ley would help pitch Rome to the 1957 Land O Lakes Championship. Bobby and 3 or 4 other Rome boys would graduate from Jefferson High School in 57 and jump right unto the Rome roster to help it win its last ever Land O Lakes Championship. Seven of the nine players on the 1957 Jefferson High School Badger Conference baseball championship team would be from Rome. The 57 Rome team even had a few boys on its roster that still had a year left of high school. Rome would take second place in the Lakes in 1958 after losing an end of the year first place playoff game against Sullivan.


From the Milwaukee Journal/ Sentinel archives---

June 15, 1959 Rome buries Hebron 15-1. Don Wagie gives up 4 hits, strikes out 17. Rome with 15 hits, Bob Higbie 3x4, 3 rbi. Dick Higbie has triple , double, single


May 7,1962 Rome nipped Hebron 5-4. Dick Higbie 2x4 with a homer, Dick Doebriner with 2 homers in a losing Hebron cause.


May 5, 1975 Dousman edges Rome 3-2 behind Bill Owens 3 hitter, Steve Messmer takes the loss and homers for Rome


August 14,1960 Ashippun defeats Rome 6-4 despite Bob Ley’s 3 run homer for Rome.


July 11,1961 Rome 9 Ixonia 8, 10 innings. Dick Higbie slams double driving in two runs in the 10th.


Aug 15,1974 Rome upsets Genesee 5-2 giving them their first loss


June 16,1975 Rome commits 5 errors, 3 in the second inning that allows Helenville to score 4, Rome loses 8-4


May 26,1958 Rome runs over Helenville 13-5, Rome has 6 run first, Don Barnes has 3 rbi with a double and single


Sept 5, 1957 Bob Ley hurls 5 hitter fanning two walking none, Allen Ley, Dick Krueger two hits each, Rome whips Sullivan 6-1 and is crowned SW Div Champs


Aug 22,1960 Rome 11, Farmington 7. Dick Krueger has a pair of 3 run homers and 8 rbi for the day


May 30,1957 Dick Krueger hits 3 run homer in the 4th, leads Rome to 12-7 win over Sullivan and first place in the standings


July 18,1960 Sullivan 8-7 over Rome in 11 innings, despite 3 safe blows for Rome by Dick Krueger, Harley Hayes winning pitcher for Sullivan


July 16,1957 Larry Trebitowski gets 3 of Rome’s 9 hits, Bob Ley spaces out 7 Sullivan hits. Rome defeats Sullivan 8-1 and is now 8-1 for the year and in first place.


April 27, 1980 Mike Trebitowski resigns as commissioner of Land O Lakes SW Division, replaced by John Nelson


June 16, 1958 Rome starts season 6-0, Defeats Wales 7-6, Rome wins in the 9th, Dick Higbie doubles in winning run, Chet Trebitowski scatters 10 hits for win,



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