Minor League history: Buckeye League

As the name of the league indicates, the Buckeye League was located in Ohio. The started in 1915 but it did not finish the season as the league crumbled after two of its teams pulled back during the season.

Cities represented:

Akron, OH: Akron Rubbermen 1915
Canton, OH: Canton Giants 1915
Findlay, OH: Findlay Finns 1915
Lima, OH: Lima Boosters 1915
Marion, OH: Marion Senators 1915
Newark, OH: Newark New Socks 1915

Many of the managers of these clubs had short lived careers after which they ended up managing. Some made the Majors but never had a break through.
Take Ben Egan of the Findlay Fins for example. He led the Buckeye League in homeruns (4) before the league folded. In 1925 and 1926 he was part of the Chicago White Sox’ staff.
Manager Henry “Buzz” Wetzel started to play professional baseball in 1906. Not much is known about him as a player. But he started to manage in 1913. This indicates that he was one of the many players that did not have enough talent to make it to the Bigs. His managing career lasted until 1934. As manager of the Marion Senators he was quite successful as the team was 10-5 (.667) as it dropped out of the Buckeye League on June 11. Wetzel managed several minor league clubs, especially in the Cleveland Indians organization. In the 1940s (after WWII), he was the Indians’ farm director. In the 1950s he scouted for the Indians.

Next to the Marion Senators, the Canton Giants dropped out of the league on June 11.

The league played on for less than a month and eventually president Al Lawson decided to pull the plug on July 11.
Lawson himself was a misfit in many possible ways. He was a promoter and a huckster. He had some success in early aviation, though, in the end, his attempts at design innovations failed and contracts to deliver US Mail went unfulfilled. He purported to have reached dietary insights that would allow humans to live to be 200 and claimed to have solved physical mysteries on a par with Einstein’s Relativity. He later started his own religion and university, leading to an investigation by the US Senate.
In 1908 he started an eight team league, the Union Professional League. Also this league was short lived and didn’t last more than two months.


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