RoughRiders99

Is this Heaven? No. It's Iowa! - Iowa Baseball League | 1925 Season Results

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Pretty much every baseball fans know that the movie Field of Dreams takes place in a cornfield in Iowa, my home state.
 
So I thought, why not take that cornfield in Dyersville, Iowa to the next level? I formed a brand new amateur/semi-pro independent baseball league that would take place exclusively in Iowa that would begin play in the year of 1920, the year after the Black Sox Scandal in the 1919 World Series. Ray Kinsella himself, who woke up in the 1920’s instead of 1989, would be the league commissioner. Is this real? Is this a dream? Who cares? 
 
The catch is the league cannot play in professional minor league baseball stadiums. They must be played in cornfields, parks, the countryside, or even high school stadiums if necessary. The infield must be regulation sized, but the outfield wall is strongly encouraged to be natural-made, such as stalks of corn, row of trees, bushes, or even a creek. But on occasion, a fence is okay.


The players can be anybody above 18. They could be a fresh college kid who’s just looking to play ball, a 30-something year old adult who’s looking to stay fit, or wash-up MLB veterans who just want to keep playing. Doesn’t matter. As long you’re good enough to play, you’re on the team. It is strongly encouraged that the team is mostly comprised of local players. 
 
The teams would be placed in smaller towns throughout Iowa, and the bigger cities would naturally dip join the league at points. Some teams would be fictional, some would be based on real-life teams, etc. In other words, this is going to be a Town Team Baseball type league. 

 

I found a document that has the historical population for every Iowa cities/towns starting in 1860 up until 2010. So I'll do my best to follow that document for when more teams join the league. Some teams are planned, while some teams I may need help with. I'll solicit for those when necessary. 
 
This project has been something I’ve been toying with for quite a while, even during the Solar League Baseball project also here in the Sports Fan Fiction. After seeing the success @Section30 with his Minnesota Amateur Hockey League, and asking for his blessing to do this project due to its similarities, I decided to give this shot and see where it takes us!
 
The teams for the inaugural season will come in the next two posts, one for each league.

 

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For the record, I am not using OOTP to simulate this, for I have come up with a simulation method using Excel (it’s quite complicated, but I’ll probably explain in a later post). As for the Solar project, I kind of hate to say this, but I’d say that the league is on a major hiatus. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed doing it a lot, but I just wanted to do something different. I have asked the mods to lock the Solar thread, but maybe, someday in the future I'll come back to it. But no promises. Hope you understand!


 

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The first league is the Kinsella League, which is based in northeast Iowa around the Dyersville area, where the original Field of Dreams movie site was located. The largest city in this proximity is Dubuque, which had a little over 39,100 people living there on the Mississippi River. Naturally, Dubuque has two teams, while the other four cities have just one team. Check them out below

 

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The Cascade Ball Club is located in a small town of just 1,250, around 30 minutes south of Dyersville, where the original Field of Dreams was located. Their field is on a campsite just southwest of the city, using the North Fork Maquoketa River as the outfield “wall.”

 

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The Dubuque Dubs were a former minor league in the city, playing in the Three-I League from 1906-1915, with a year hiatus in 1911 when they were known as the Hustlers. After the team moved out of Dubuque they left behind some jerseys, in which the people of Dubuque took on as their own identity. The team’s field is located in a park on Hamm Island, a river in the Mississippi River. On said island is also the home of the professional minor league stadium in town.

 

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Due to the large population in Dubuque, a second team in the city was formed. They were hoping to take on the moniker of the older teams from the area, such as the Hustlers, Tigers, or Red Stockings, but they didn’t have any jerseys readily available in time for the season. Therefore, they are dubbed the Dubuque Baseball Club. Their home field is located in the Dubuque Fairgrounds.

 

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The Dyersville Dreams team was basically where the whole thing started. Using the original Field of Dreams location as their home field, taking on the moniker Dreams was a no-brainer.
 

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The Manchester Burrs were named after the city’s original founder, Levings Burrington, who settled there in 1852. The Burrs are located around 18 miles west of Dyersville. Their field is also located in a cornfield as well, just outside the city limits.

 

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The Maquoketa Bears, located around 30 miles south of Dubuque, is in a city of 3,626 on the Maquoketa River. The river's name derived from Maquaw-Autaw, which means "Bear River" in Meskwaki, hence the team name. I was inspired by the Montreal Maroons.

 

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Color me interested... As a person who once lived in the small towns of West Central Iowa, this could be fun.

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The second league is largely concentrated in Des Moines, the largest and capital city of Iowa, in the central part of the state. Two of the teams are in Des Moines, one in its suburb, and three others around 30 minutes north of Des Moines close to Iowa State University. 

 

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The Ames Cy’s are named after the local university, the Iowa State Cyclones, in Ames. Their home field is located on the campus of ISU. Due to a policy formed by the university, the players who play for the collegiate team are ineligible to play for the Cy’s. A majority of the team is formed by college students who were unable to make the ISU team, but still wanted to play ball.

 

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Just 15 miles west of Ames is the small railroad town of Boone. As one of the larger cities in Iowa with a population of 12,450, the city formed their own team called Boone Baseball. Their outfield wall is the railroad tracks. If a ball lands on a moving train, it is ruled a home run.
 

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In the state capital city and largest city, Des Moines was enfranchised two of their own teams. Both of the teams were named after their rivers, the Des Moines River and the Raccoon River.

 
The Des Moines River, which was adapted from the French colonial name, Rivière des Moines, meant "River of the Monks,” therefore, the Des Moines Monks were born. Their home field is located in a park on the Des Moines River just east of the confluence of the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers.

 

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The Des Moines Raccoons are self-explanatory. Their home field is along the Raccoon River in the Water Works Park, an urban park located in the western part of Des Moines. I borrowed the logo from right here
 

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The Marshalltown Caps were named after one of the most famous baseball players at the time, Cap Anson, who was born there.
 

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In the largest suburban of the largest city in Iowa, it was only fair that West Des Moines would get their own team. Due to the popularity and its strong athletic programs at the local school, Valley High School, the team was named the West Des Moines Tigers, for they can utilize their facilities and uniforms.

 

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In case anyone asks about WDM's team... West Des Moines has two high schools: Dowling Catholic (It's a running theme in Iowa for certain towns to have one high school for public children and one that is Catholic based. Where I used to live, Carroll, did that and the population now is barely under 10,000) and Valley.

 

Valley is the Tigers and he's not kidding when he says the local high school is good. Dowling is the Maroons and they're just as good

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Nice to see a fellow Iowan in here :)

 

But yes, as the league expands over time, there'll be a lot of time where I'll name the team after the local high schools, ex minor league teams, and so on forth. I've always imagined this league being slightly low-budgeted with the uniforms, so they'll have to use whatever they can find, buy, borrow old used uniforms. Some teams will be original though, such as the Des Moines Monks for one. 

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Great start! Can't wait to see where this goes. I love the presentation, it definitely fits the time period.

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This looks great so far. I'm liking these state-wide minor league threads. (MAHL, IABL, Sun League). I ought to do something like this one of the these days for Florida, if I can get permission from Raysox (Sun League). ;)

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As a fellow Iowan, I too will be following this one!  Hopefully we can get a team close to the small town of pocahontas!

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The inaugural season of the Iowa Baseball League has concluded in early August 1920.
 
All teams played 56 games within their own league, playing 11-12 teams against each other team. There was no interleague play.
 

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Kinsella League

In the Kinsella League, everybody thought the two Dubuque clubs were going to finish atop the league due to their population size (larger cities equal more people which results in more chances of being a better team). But the Maquoketa Bears surprised everybody with their strong pitching and finished with just nine losses. The Manchester Burrs followed them, while the two Dubuque Clubs finished 3-4. The Cascade Ball Club struggled to field a team so they had to forfeit quite a few games, but when they did, they were able to hand 4 of the Bears’ 9 losses. The Dyersville Dreams, where the original Field of Dreams site was, somehow finished in a disappointing last place.

 

Central Iowa League 

Over in the Central Iowa League, there weren’t many surprises. Composed by young, athletic college students, the Ames Cy’s stormed their way to first place. The two Des Moines teams, the Raccoons and the Monks, finished 2-3 respectively due to their strong population size. Boone Baseball and West Des Moines had a solid season finishing with 25 and 23 wins. The Marshalltown Caps, in the smallest town of the Central Iowa League, finished with embarrassing nine wins in the 1920 season. 

 

Playoffs result coming in the next post. C+C always appreciated! 

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The Iowa Baseball State Playoffs was quite unique for its time. Instead of the top teams only getting into the playoffs, ALL teams in the league would qualify for the playoffs. Ray Kinsella produced the playoffs this way because he wanted every team to have the opportunity to be a “Cinderella” team.
 
In the 1920 Playoffs, the bracket was split into two six-team brackets, one for each league. It was a single-elimination tournament, with all games taking place at the Field of Dreams site in Dyersville, Iowa. The top two teams in each league received a bye into the quarterfinals. The winners of each bracket (a.k.a., the league “champions”) would face each other in the Kinsella Series in a best-of-seven series.

 

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In the first rounds, there were two major upsets, as the 13-win Dyersville and 9-win Marshalltown (both no. 6 seeds) defeated the heavily favored no. 3 seeds Dubuque Dubs and Des Moines Monks.
 
In the quarterfinals, the top two teams had no issues handling their opponents, as all no. 1 and 2 teams advanced to the semi-finals.
 
In the Kinsella Championship, Manchester pulled out a hard-fought game where they defeated Maquoketa, 4-3, in 11 innings. Over in the Central Iowa Championship, Ames continued their hot streak by handling the Raccoons, 7-2.

 

The Manchester Burrs will take on the Ames Cy's in the Iowa Baseball State Championship, a.k.a. The Kinsella Series. 
 

I'm hoping I'll get the Championship results to you by tonight or sometimes tomorrow. I am still working on a graphic that displays the Championship results. 

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This is an awesome and unique new series, RR99. Love the vintage vibes you're displaying throughout. Ace job on presentation. All the identities definitely fit the era, even if some of them are repetitive. Go 'Coons.

 

What is the average attendance for most games?

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For the first time ever, the Kinsella Champions (a.k.a. the Iowa Baseball State Champions) has been named. It is the Ames Cy's, as they utilized their young, athletic roster to defeat the Manchester Burrs two games to one at the Field of Dreams site in Dyersville, Iowa. 

 

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  • Game 1 - Due to their experience by playing at the Field of Dreams site often in the Kinsella Series, Manchester was able to capitalize on Ames' errors there by winning Game 1, 3-1.  
  • Game 2 - A team full of engineering students at the Iowa State University, the Ames players were able to learn from their mistakes in Game 1 and defeated Manchester, 3-0. 
  • Game 3 - Ames scored twice in the first inning that chased Manchester’s starting pitcher from the game. The only run that Ames gave up was in the fourth inning, where they misplayed a ball that got lodged in the corn stalks in left field due to some ground rules confusion. Nevertheless, the Ames Cy’s became the first ever Kinsella Champions in the Iowa Baseball League with a 2-1 victory.

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Prior to the 1921 season, the Des Moines Raccoons dropped their home uniforms in lieu a new one. The reason for the change was that the Central Iowa League heard some complaints about the similarities between the Raccoons' home uniforms and the Marshalltown Caps' road jersey, only to be amplified in when they faced each other in the 1920 Playoffs. Since the Raccoons were from Des Moines, they clearly had the budget to order new uniforms, which they did. No longer the Raccoons have a "grey pinstriped" home uniforms, they will now have a white version of their road grays. 

 

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I like the update. Although this is ways away, but i hope they go full striped in the 80s like the NFL Bengals helmet.

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7 minutes ago, TargetToad said:

I like the update. Although this is ways away, but i hope they go full striped in the 80s like the NFL Bengals helmet.

 

Haha, maybe. This is still baseball, there'll still be some traditional looks for sure. But since it's not MLB, there might be some "out-there" looks, but that's still ways down the road. 

 

3 minutes ago, TheYellowWolfMC said:

This looks promising. Do you know if Springfield will have a team?

 

I didn't even know there was a Springfield, Iowa until you told me, haha. That being said, no idea. I've only planned the teams/cities up until WW2. After WW2, there should be a "boom" of new teams with all of the soldiers returning home. 

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Kinsella League

The Dubuque Dubs, who were the favorites last season, finally took the first place in the league as they "objectively" should due to their wealth of experienced ex-professional baseball players who lived in the area. The Maquoketa Bears racked up 40 wins for the second straight year. The Dyersville Dreams shot up the ladder with a 24-win improvement for third place. The Manchester struggled their way to fourth place finish, while the Cascade Ball Club rolled into fifth place again. The Dubuque Ball Club struggled as some of their top players got signed away by MLB clubs. 

 

Central Iowa League

For the most part, the standings remained the same, except for the flip-flop of the Ames Cy's and Boone Baseball. Boone gained some key players as the city grew in population, while the Cy's lost some of their top players due to many of them joining the Iowa State University team due to their performance in the 1920 season. 

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There were barely any upsets in this year's playoffs, with the only one coming at the hands of the Des Moines Raccoons, when the no. 3 Des Monks defeated the no. 2 Raccoons in the quarterfinals. All of the top-seeded teams defeated the lower-seeded teams as they were expected to. The top two teams in the state overall, the Dubuque Dubs and Boone Baseball, will face each other in a best-of-three series. 

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