The Boosters, Dublin’s 1929 entry in the semi-pro Southeast Baseball League, came back to win the second half of the season and nearly swept first half champion, Douglas, to win the League Championship.  The 1930 Irishmen were a whole new team.  W. H. Lovett was elected President of the club.    Most of the players in the league were free agents.  They could be hired or fired at the whim of an owner.  Lovett and his manager, R. H. Hightower, Sr. began the process of putting a team together in May.  Most of the players in the league were former minor league players, college coaches, and current college players, who played after the school season ended.  The players all shared a common bond - a love for the game.  But they had to eat, and they followed the money wherever they played.

The Southeast League was composed of six teams: Dublin, Helena-McRae, Douglas, Waycross, Fitzgerald, and Vidalia.  Dublin’s season opener was a less than satisfactory 17-1 loss to Douglas.  In the opening lineup were Bob Hill, Frix, Scarborough, Scott, Craven, Asa Waters, Lefty Dixon, Linder, Fielder, Caldara, and Godfrey - in those days players were more commonly known only by their last names.  In one of the early games of the season, the Irishmen played Vidalia, who had a Moses in right field and at first base.  That Moses may have been the major league star, Wally Moses, who was from Uvalda, Georgia, or his brother, Harry, who according to the old timers was better than Wally.  After the first nine games, Dublin had three wins with six losses.

Then around the middle of June, the Irishmen’s  fortunes began to turn around.  The return of Jack Johannsen at shortstop and the addition of Claude Herrin of Oglethorpe University; Amos Martin at second base; Monte M. McDaniel, a charter member of the Erskine College Hall of Fame and coached at Bryson College and Cumberland University set a Piedmont League record with 40 assists in 45 games in right field at catcher; Tiny Obsorne, a power pitcher, of whom it was said that he weighed slightly less than a five hundred bale of cotton; Dick Davenport; power pitcher, Russ Cromer, whom Lovett picked up from the Vidalia team after Cromer had defeated the Irishmen; Willie “Sweet Daddy” Whaley; and the power hitting outfielder, George Nobel catapulted Dublin to a run of eight wins and one loss. The Irishmen had a ten and four record to move into third place in the first half of the League with a very respectable record of eighteen wins and ten losses.  At one point in the first half of the season, Cromer was the ace of the league with five wins and no losses.  Dublin’s other ace, Percy “Lefty” Dixon, had five wins with only one loss.  Dixon would go on to pitch for Oglethorpe University, where he would be inducted into their Athletic Hall of Fame in 1987.   At one point, George Nebel was smacking the ball at an outstanding pace with a batting average of .615.  Despite the better play of the Irishmen, attendance began to slack off.  Lovett kept supplying the money to keep the team going.  The editor of the Courier Herald, which was owned by Lovett, criticized those fans who were sitting outside the fence on the hill where the Bobbin Mill was located, and not paying for a ticket.  Soon,  the crowd on the hill diminished, and those fans began coming to the game. They paid one dollar for a reserved ticket and fifty cents for a general admission ticket - not a small amount of money in the depth of the depression.

Claude Herrin 

Tiny Osborne 

Earnest Preston "Tiny" Osborne (April 9, 1893 – January 5, 1969) was an American pitcher in Major League Baseball who played from 1922 to 1925 for the Chicago Cubs and Brooklyn Robins. His nickname was ironic: Osborne was listed as 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m) tall and 215 pounds (98 kg). The native of Porterdale, Georgia, batted left-handed and threw right-handed.

In 142 big-league games pitched, including 74 starting assignments, and 646 innings, Osborne allowed 693 hits and 315 bases on balls. He registered two shutouts, 31 complete games, 263 strikeouts and seven saves. His professional career began in 1929 and ended in 1935, but he was out of "organized baseball" during 1920 and from 1928–34.  Wikipedia. 

Dublin started the second season with two wins, but when ace pitcher Russ Cromer broke the rules and drew a suspension, the Irishmen fell off.  The team turned it around and jumped into sole possession of first place by the seventh game.  The players and the team’s owners agreed that from that point forward, the players would play for the gate receipts.  Lovett invested more money to keep the team, which looked like it had a chance to capture the second half pennant, from suffering a similar fate as the Vidalia team. Vidalia dropped out of the league, but was quickly replaced by Louisville.  Cromer had so impressed the scouts, that he was offered and then signed a contract with the minor league Columbus team of the South Atlantic  or “Sally” League.

    Russ Cromer compiled a career record of 22 wins and 22 losses and a 2.84 ERA in his 90-game pitching career with the Coleman Bobcats, Abilene Aces, Wichita Falls Spudders, Columbia Comers, Augusta Wolves, San Antonio Indians, Longview Cannibals, Galveston Buccaneers, Tyler Governors, Wichita Aviators/Muskogee Oilers, Omaha Packers, Tulsa Oilers and Houston Buffaloes. He began playing during the 1928 season and last took the field during the 1934 campaign.

In the first dozen games of the second half, the Irishmen turned it up, winning nine and only losing three.  One of the victories was a twenty-eight run, thirty-two hit, drubbing of Louisville, 28 to 6.  Johnny Coker, Dublin’s outstanding shortstop, was picked up by the Columbia, S.C. team of the Sally League.  Hut Parks was brought into to play shortstop.  Asa Waters, who began the season in the field, but had come on to be a fine pitcher, signed a contract with Charlotte of the Sally League.  Lefty Wilson, Grant Thomas, Cecil Rhodes, Jodie Matt, and Lowe were brought in to try to fill the void.  R.T. Peacock, Sr. took over the management of the club.  Fan enthusiasm and the increased take at the gate kept the team going.  Douglas left the league with financial problems.  Waycross got into financial troubles and let their players play for the gate.  Fitzgerald rallied late in the season to tie the Irishmen with only several games to go.  It took a ninth inning rally in the last regular season game with Fitzgerald  to keep  the Irishmen in first place.  The Irishmen eventually won the second half of the season, following a 14 to 5 victory over Louisville.

Dublin entered the league playoffs with a distinct disadvantage.  Their catcher, Holbrook,  had a broken hand.  Their ace pitcher had a bad arm.  Fitzgerald easily won the first game of the playoffs,  11 to 8.  The Fitzgerald team took the second game, also.  Lefty Wilson and Jake Morris ( who once played minor league ball with Knoxville and was the current baseball coach at Cochran A. & M. College)  were brought in to shore up the ailing lineup.  The Irishmen did manage to win the third game, 6 to 5.   However, they lost the fourth game because of too many walks by the score of 8 to 5.  Then, right in the middle of the league championship, the teams played an non-counting exhibition game.  Neither team put up too much of a fight, but the Fitzgerald nine came out on top.    The game apparently was made an exhibition game because the team owners wanted to extend the series so that a sixth game could be played in Eastman, Georgia.  It just so happened that the Georgia Woodmen of the World, all three thousand of them, were in town.  It was hoped that the game would draw a big crowd.    Dublin was simply outclassed by Fitzgerald, losing the final game 13 to 0.  On a happier note, Holbrook signed a contract with Columbus, Whaley  joined the  Sally League, and Lowe was offered a contract with the Detroit Tigers.

Now you know the story of the 1930 Dublin Irishmen.  Here is the rest of the story.  At the beginning of the season, the Irishmen hired a short and stocky college teacher from Georgia Military College in Milledgeville to play second base.  In his first and only at bat, he got a hit.  In the third inning, he dislocated his knee - never playing another game of baseball for the Irishmen.  Old timers would remember him.  Any true Georgia Bulldog fan would certainly remember him.  The “Little Round Man”  came to the University of Georgia as an assistant football coach in 1938.  Within four years, he took the Bulldogs to the top of the Southeastern Conference.  In 1942, he coached the Heisman trophy winner, Frank Sinkwich, and the Bulldogs to a championship and a victory in the Rose Bowl.  In 1946, he led the Bulldogs to the first of only two undefeated seasons.   The Bulldogs, led that year by all-time great, Charley Trippi, defeated North Carolina in the Sugar Bowl.  In 1959, his Bulldogs won a fourth S.E.C. championship under the leadership of Fran Tarkenton.  He finished his 22nd year of coaching in 1960 as one of college football's greatest coaches.  His name was, of course, Wally Butts. 


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