Cael’s Collection – Iowa State Day @ Perfect Game Field – Dutch Levsen

It is Iowa State Day at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium this afternoon. The Kernels will be wearing Cardinal and Gold jerseys that will be auctioned off during the game and the first 1000 fans through the gates will receive a free Cardinal and Gold ‘Party at the Park’ t-shirt. Gates open at 1 p.m. It is also Faith Day and Denny McClain is stopping by the stadium for the day to throw out a first pitch and sign autographs. There is a lot going on and it seems to have cooled down. Great day for some Kernels baseball.

I started this blog in February 2011 and one of the early categories of posts was named Cael’s Collection. It highlighted the baseball cards of Cedar Rapids professional baseball alumni that I have picked up over the years. Cael is now 2 1/2 and someday all these will be his, so he gets the naming rights of this portion of my blog. Unfortunately for him, most of my cards are of minimal value, but the fun is in the hunt I suppose.

There has been only one Iowa State Cyclone that played professional baseball in Cedar Rapids that went on to play major league baseball to the best of my knowledge. Dutch Levsen, a Wyoming, IA native, attended Iowa State University prior to becoming a member of the 1923 Cedar Rapids Bunnies team. Levsen went 19-4 in 25 games as the Bunnies finished 69-56 under manager Bill Speas to finish 3rd in the Mississippi Valley League.

On August 28, 1926, Dutch Levsen became the last player in MLB history to pitch complete game victories in both ends of a doubleheader leading the Cleveland Indians to a 6-1 win with a four hitter in game one. He followed that with a 5-1 win in game two over the Boston Red Sox once again scattering four hits throughout the game. Levsen had a career year in 1926 posting a 16-13 record with a 3.41 ERA. Dutch Levsen finished his career with a 21-26 record and a 4.17 ERA during his six year career playing for the Cleveland Indians.

I have picked up one Dutch Levsen through my collecting. It is actually a item from a 1920′s game by National game Makers of Washington, D.C. The game was called “Major League Ball – The Indoor BB Game Supreme”. 14 die cut players were used for each team and all 16 teams were represented as rosters varied from year to year. The game was produced between 1921 and 1930. I bought this one on Ebay and have been looking for additional ones ever since but have yet to see another.

I pick up cards of our alumni at local shows, regional shows if I can time visiting my older brother in Chicago correctly and we even hit the National the year it was in Chicago. Several of our local guys help me out when they are breaking boxes and hold on to stuff for me often with minimal or no payment. I am always in your debt Brian, John and Tim. You still have an open account to my comp tickets to Kernels games. The most common acquisition form has been the always present Ebay. It’s a dangerous place when you have 385 major league alumni and countless other minor leaguers who have had baseball cards produced.

Here is another recent pickup. It ties in as it is Iowa State Day and This is a Cael’s Collection post. I finally picked up a Cael Sanderson Allen & Ginter autograph card this past month on Ebay. It came from their 2007 set and I hadn’t found one at a price I was happy with until now. I also picked up the Art Pennington auto graph from the 2009 Allen & Ginter set. Happy to hear is is taking part of the Major League All-Star festivities down in Kansas City this week.

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Larry Corrigan, a special assignment scout for the Los Angeles Angels, was in town last night and today. Corrigan was a two-time All-American at Iowa State University earning the honors as a pitcher in 1970 and as a catcher in 1971. His fellow scouts helped us coerce him into throwing out a first pitch before today’s game. Here is Larry’s bio from Iowa State that was part of his induction to their athletic Hall of Fame in 2004.

Larry Corrigan was Iowa State’s “Mr. Everything” while gracing the diamond in the most prosperous period in ISU baseball history from 1970-72. The Mendota, Ill., native led Iowa State to back-to-back Big Eight Conference titles in 1970 and 1971, earning All-America honors twice, becoming just the second Cyclone baseball player in school history to be named to two All-America teams

Corrigan started his career at ISU as a pitcher in 1970, breaking the Big Eight record for wins in a season, posting an 8-1 record and a 2.88 ERA. He also led the Cyclones in batting with a .353 average, pacing Iowa State to its first league title since 1957 and earning a spot in the College World Series, where ISU finished fifth. He was named first-team all-Big Eight, first-team all-District and All-American for his exploits on the mound.

The Cyclones repeated as Big Eight champions in 1971 with Corrigan playing primarily at catcher. The Cyclone star led the squad in batting (.349) and earned first-team all-Big Eight and All-America honors for the second consecutive season, this time at catcher. The Cyclones fell short of another CWS appearance after losing to Tulsa in the regional qualifier.

Poor weather, injuries and tough luck hurt ISU in Corrigan’s senior season in 1972. Though the team struggled through adversity, Corrigan posted a .354 batting average en route to second-team all-Big Eight honors. Corrigan tallied a .352 career batting average, which ranks fourth on the ISU career list and ranks No. 1 in the pre-aluminum bat era.

Corrigan was drafted in the fourth round of the major league baseball draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers after his ISU career was over. He pitched seven seasons in the Los Angeles Dodgers and Minnesota Twins organizations, earning a major league contract with the Dodgers in 1975. He pitched three years in Triple-A level ball until 1978 when he accepted the assistant coaching position at Iowa State, assisting Clair Rierson until he retired in 1980. Corrigan was promoted to head coach at his alma mater in 1981, leading the Cyclones to a 103-101 mark in four seasons at the helm. He paced ISU to a then-school record 34 victories in his first season as the Cyclone skipper.

In 1984, Corrigan left Iowa State to become an assistant at California State-Fullerton. He then returned to professional baseball where he worked as a scout and scouting director.

Enjoyed your information on Emil “Dutch” Levsen. I also collect “Dutch” items and also have the 1920′s die-cut. The Conlon Collection also produced a card of “Dutch” in the 1990′s. Dutch’s picture was on the cover the Sporting News back in 1926 after his double header victory. The museum in Wyoming has a copy of the publication. Wyoming had quite a town team with the Levsen brothers pitching back in the early 1900′s.
I was wondering if you could find Dutch’s baseball statisics while attending Iowa State. I believe he was there 1917-19. I believe Dutch’s brother, Paul, attended Iowa State from 1909-1913 and pitched also. I would love to know what his statistics were. (Many Wyoming residents said Paul was a better pitcher than Dutch but had to run the family farm after his dad’s death.).
Paul’s daughter lives in Anamosa and would love to know some of this information.
Thanks

have been trying to find what I can. My older brother spoke to someone in the ISU Media Relations department. They sent a pdf of a letter Dutch wrote back in the day that they still have in their collection. I can email it to you if you like. drop me an email at sdohrn@kernels.com and I will send it over. Will keep working on trying to find some Cyclone stats.

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