Friday, November 19, 2010

1952 Illinois State Jaycees Baseball Champs (East St. Louis)

I'm putting this post up for posterity sake just in case there are other people from East St. Louis back in the day looking for pictures of this tremendous baseball team. As near as I can tell this was in 1952, but it could be a year off one way or the other. My dad, Charlie Seper, was on this team. He's the one sitting on the right sporting a mustache and catcher's kneepads. He was 17 at the time, and his batting average was 667. He was offered a contract with the Dodgers but turned them down saying, "I play for fun, not for money."

Dad told me that everybody on this team was a great player, and others were offered professional contracts as well, but all turned them down. (Baseball didn't pay much in those days, and it was more common to turn down contract offers than it was to take them). These guys were so good that they won every game on the way to state by no less than seven runs and won the state final by ten runs. They then went on to play the Missouri champs at the Cardinals Sportsmen's Park in St. Louis and thoroughly trounced them. Stan Musial and several other Cardinal players came out to watch the game. Dad only played one inning in the game as a pitcher. He threw the ball so hard that nobody could catch him without dropping the ball, so the coach's answer was to take out the pitcher…. Yeah, dad was ticked. :-)

If you know someone on this team or have any recollections of them, please leave a note.

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