From The Desk Of John Martin
NY/PA Challenge Match 2015
“Don’t poke the sleeping bear”
The 2015 NY/PA Challenge
match celebrates the tenth consecutive year of this renewed competition. Each
The weather was gorgeous as PA arrived for the 10:30 am start. The PA team was made up of Al “Peanuts” Long, Joe Belcavich, Steve Swisher, Barry and Brandon Savage, Larry Wolfe, Jim Yefko and team captain Dale Estep. After winning the past two years, they were confident that they would be taking the coveted trophy back to PA.
Round one ended with NY sporting a 5-3 advantage. Round two further increased the NY lead to 11-5. We broke for a delicious pizza lunch provided by the hosts. After lunch NY continued to dominate, with PA only managing to win one of the remaining rounds. The final score was NY 39 to PA’s 25.
Highlights of the day included Buck Gofgosky recovering from a 31-12 deficit to win 40-39. Eric Conrad and Dave Scott each won 7 of 8 games while Doug Kannus, Buck Gofgosky, Joe Belcavich, Barry and Brandon Savage all won 6 of their 8 games.
After a group meeting the PA
folks finally figured out what went wrong. One week earlier, their team captain
had competed in the first sanctioned winter tournament in
Congratulations to the NY team for their huge victory. There is no question as to “who kicked whose butt” in 2015!
2015 NYSPA SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIP
Although I no longer pitch, I was able to attend the
What a terrific day it was Saturday, bright and sunny with temperatures in the high 70's to mid 80's. At any other club you might have been hard pressed to find a shady spot to watch the pitching, but at Pine Grove just about every court can be seen from under the tall pines that surround the courts. If per chance there is ever a shower, they have a large covered pavilion with plenty of seating. Of course that would not happen, as members like Pete Grant, Karen Graham, Darlene Newey, Natanna Maggio, Kelli Metott, Ken Fraser and Ward Seymour, are in charge of weather arrangements, in addition to the myriad of details that putting on a successful tournament like this entail.
The food was great and the prices are reasonable, the people in the kitchen and cashiering are pleasant and accommodating, they deserve a pat on the back from all of us. To me the courts looked terrific, the clay was the best I have seen, since the days that I had to turn and level it. There were plenty of score keepers, runners and judges were on call.
I wish all who attended, either as a pitcher or a spectator, would let those members who made this a great tournament know how much it was appreciated. That won’t happen!! so, THANKS TO THE PINE GROVE CREW FOR A GREAT TOURNAMENT from everyone who was there... . GOSH I MISS PITCHING!!! jm
Desk of John Martin (March 2015) Eugene Oleski
Vic Davis (July 19, 2014) Click here to read
Charlotte Reigles "Strikes Again" Click here to read
Desk of John Martin (May 1, 2014) "Tom & April Scheffler Appreciation" Click here to read all about it
Desk of John Martin "Mike DiMartino (February 12, 2014) Click here to read
Desk of John Martin (Last entry for 2013) "Bob Dunn's Facts & Folklore (December 31, 2013) click here
Desk of John Martin "Personal Message (December 16, 2013) click here
Desk of John Martin "4 Dead" (November 18, 2013) click here
Desk of John Martin "The Perfect Pitch" (November 14, 2013)
the 40's my Father who immigrated from Europe, had two dirt horseshoe courts on our farm in the town of
once asked what did he mean?
Mr. Smyk an immigrant
Many years later when I started pitching horseshoes, I was constantly on the lookout for that pitch. There have been many players who came close, but a while back I was witness to "exactly" what Lucas meant.
If you ever want to see for yourself, come to the Tri-County horseshoe courts when Dr. Bill Hornbuckle is pitching. He has that same smooth delivery, sending the shoes high into the air, they turn ever so slowly, and come down gently with the heal caulks open to the peg. Some are ringers, and some are not, but they are a thing of beauty, exactly what Mr. Smyk called Perfektni Hodit, "The Perfect Pitch" jm
From The Desk (October 26, 2013)
On Saturday October 26, 2013, the annual N.Y. vs. Pa. Challenge Match
was held at the Tri-County Horseshoe Courts in
“Tempus Fugit” - It doesn’t seem possible that over a year has gone by since Dale and Lee Estep wrote an exceptionally accurate and complete summation of the 2012 match for this web site...
This years match was hard fought by the combatants and exciting for the spectators. I am happy to announce the “Historic Trophy” once more resides in it’s rightful place in the T.C.H.C. lounge.
Doctor Bill Hornbuckle took careful notes of the individual matches and as soon as he compiles the results and they are available, I will forward them to anyone who e-mails me a request.
If you would like to know the details of the 2012 match, and how this
competition had it’s beginning over 25 years ago, scroll down to 2012
Challenge Match. You will note that
crucial that we would take it back this year.. Eric Conrad is our captain and selected a
great squad to lead
From The Desk "The Longest Game" (October 14, 2013)
Saturday October 5, 2013 I came to
When I first went to
my description) from
I wondered what the longest match between two players might have been and found it in the N.H.P.A. "Horseshoe Facts and Folklore"
It was between J.C. Hanson and R.E. Dewey. They were to play to 5,000 points starting on March 6, 1930. The Game was tied at 5,000 points so it was extended to 10,000 points. This you wont believe, but it was still tied so they went on to 25,000 points, and on August 9th it was won by R.E. Dewey 25,000 to Hanson's 24,949 points. It's a good story, check it out....... jm
Desk of John Martin FAIR IS FAIR <----click to view pdf file (January 19, 2013)
ADDRESSING THE STAKE From the Desk of John Martin pdf file Lesson #5 (December 30, 2012)
ADDRESSING THE STAKE From the Desk of John Martin pdf file Lesson #4 (December 20, 2012)
LUKE'S DREAM From the Desk of John Martin pdf file Beginnings of Tri-County (December 07, 2012)
ADDRESSING THE STAKE From the Desk of John Martin pdf file Lesson #3 (December 05, 2012)
ADDRESSING THE STAKE From the Desk of John Martin pdf file Lesson #2 (November 21, 2012)
ADDRESSING THE STAKE From the Desk of John Martin pdf file Lesson #1 (November 11, 2012)
From The Desk Of John Martin, “revisited” (November 1, 2012)
Condensed from Bob Dunn’s
They Made More than Tractors
John Deere and International Harvester are common names related to farm implements and tractors, but at one time they made more, they made pitching horseshoes too. In the early 1920’s horseshoe tournaments were common at rural gatherings as well as at countywide picnics. The Farm Bureau was a major host at these events and a great supporter of the sport of horseshoe pitching.
There is no doubt; International Harvester produced regulation shoes for these contests as a method of advertising. The early shoe had a rather round shape, deep and heavy calks, and most importantly, the I. H. insignia.
Because examples of this shoe have not surfaced in recent years, it can be surmised that they never ventured into the retail market.
John Deere is another story however. It is known that a John Deere shoe was once produced by St. Pierre Horseshoe Company, out of a standard American horseshoe mold. They were also manufactured in a John Deere plant and dated as recently as 1969.
The answer to the question of why did John Deere make horseshoes, is partially answered by the fact that United Malleable Iron Company, a foundry owned by John Deere, produced it’s own brand of regulation shoes under the IMICO brand. They also produced a junior version somewhat smaller that weighed in at 1-1/2 pounds.
To what extent did John Deere market and promote these shoes is not known. Although not as successful as the tractor and implement business, the fact remains that these two giant implement companies. jm
vs. Pa Challenge Match Sat. September 29, 2012
From The Desk Of John Martin N.Y.
Included is an account of this years NY-Pa. Challenge Match submitted by Dale and Lee Estep. For those not familiar with this event, the
origin dates back to the mid 1980's.... A few Pennsylvanians and a few New Yorkers, gathered informally for challenge matches at a
tavern known as the Radman Saloon, in
The owner of the bar, donated an old trophy won by his tavern league team. Upon cleaning it, polishing it, and removing the original inscription, it became the official challenge trophy. It is now inscribed, Whoever has possession of this trophy has "Kicked a Little Butt".”
The match alternated for nine years before ending,
at which time it was 5 NY 4
2012 Challenge Match Results By Dale and Lee Estep
This years competition was held September 29th at the
beautiful Dallas Area Horseshoe Club.
After alternating wins the first four years,
Eight of NY's finest against 8 competitors from Pa. 64 total games would determine who would own the trophy for the next 12 months.
Round one started with a momentary sprinkle of
rain. NY jumped out to a 5-3 lead. In round 2
After lunch we split round five with 4 wins
each. PA led 22-18. In round 6
Team captains Eric Conrad and Peanuts Long both won 7 of their 8 games while Tim Fettinger and Roger Wandell both won 6 of their 8 games. Butch Maisel came back from 38-24 deficit by throwing 3 consecutive doubles to win 41-38.
This annual event continues to be the highlight
pitching event of the year for many of the competitors. As Peanuts Long once said about this
competition, “It is like pitching in the backyard with friends.” The 2013 Butt Kicking
event will be at
From the desk of John Martin
A few years ago I received a note from an old time pitcher and former State Singles Champion. Included was a 1980's editorial entitled "Have we helped or hurt the game?"” It dealt with the argument of mixing classes and handicapping.
He asked me for my opinion of where the game is going, and if we were making progress or not. He sent a list of 1985 NYS members that totaled just under four hundred and noted that we had about one hundred less now
I wrote back that; like it or not its usually for the good of the majority that rules change, be it sports, the work place, leisure activities, or government.
The editorial made it clear that in the fifties, sixties and even into the seventies horseshoes was more of a competitive sport than it is today. In those days it required pitching 100 shoes to qualify for the limited number of classes scheduled, if you didn't get in you went home and practiced to get better.
Winning the tournament championship meant getting the most prize money, the biggest trophy and greatest recognition. The thought of mixing classes or handicapping within a class would have caused an outcry as loud and thunderous as to bring the sport to its knees.
Because of the need to excel or else you were out, overall ringer percentages were higher and competition was keener, it was "survival of the fittest" and the big dogs got the bone.
Fortunately for most of us pups, our leaders realized change was necessary in order for the game to survive and expand. To do so there needed to be an evolution from a true competitive sport to a level playing field that still retained an element of competition. Mixed pitching and handicapping was introduced and gradually, although reluctantly, accepted.
How many of us would have continued and be pitching today if we traveled to tournaments only to become spectators? Because of the controversial changes, success is now spread to many who otherwise would not have basked in the glory of victory.
With the playing field more balanced, the cause of declining membership is not clear and the reasons should certainly be investigated. One thing is clear however, without the changes the decline would have been even more drastic.
Perhaps as a reminder of our roots, there should be a yearly “throwback tournament. Discard the ringer percentages and have a 100 shoe qualifier with limited classes. To discourage sand baggers the higher the class the more the prize and those who fail to get in would be spectators and cheer for the “Big Dogs.”
Wouldn't it be poetic justice for a “Pup” to knock off a high percentage pitcher and send him or her back a class or two? It may be wishful thinking but it just might make you pitch better. jm