Cedar Rapids All Star Games – 1949 Central Association All Star Game

The Cedar Rapids Kernels closed out the first half with a four game winning streak. Three Kernels were selected to attend the 2012 Midwest League All-Star game that will be held on Tuesday night at Kane County. Kaleb Cowart, Ty Kelley and Stephen Tromblee will represent the West squad and the Kernels at the event. As our other players get a few days off, I will be writing / transcribing a few All-Star stories from our past.

We start today with the 1949 Central Association All-Star game that was held on July 13, 1949. Cedar Rapids hosted the event during the inaugural season at Veterans Memorial Stadium during our first season of professional baseball following World War 2. Cedar Rapids did not field a team from 1943-1948. Packy Rogers was selected to manage the North squad in the game. Six Cedar Rapids Rockets were selected to attend the event. Del Marquardt, Roger Scoles, and Jack Tanner were selected as starters while Lou Michels, Lou Percy, and Gene Schroer made the squad as reserves.

The South squad would defeat the North 13-4. Roger Scoles, the starting shortstop for the North, was selected as the fan’s choice as the most valuable player. Scoles handled five putouts and had five assists while going 1-4 at the plate. The voting done in the stands favored Cedar Rapids players with a Rockets player appearing on more than half of the ballots. Jack Tanner was 1-4 with a HR in the game. Del Marquardt started at catcher and went 1-2 with a double.

Here is the coverage from the July 14, 1949 edition of the Cedar Rapids Gazette written by Pat Harmon.

Favored South Wins All-Star Tilt, 13-4

Jack Tanner and Wopinek Hit Homers

Them That has gits. This stunning phrase, applied by a Civil War general 85 years ago, was appropriate again Wednesday night, when North and South met in another internecine challenge at Memorial Stadium. The South all-stars had seven of the leading batters of the Central Association, five of the eight top pitchers, and all the first division teams. The North had what was left.

So the South won. Natch. The score was 13-4 and all the talent ran true to form. Even 2,298 spectators were performing in regular season style. They booed the umpires when the came onto the field. Even Packy Rogers of Cedar Rapids, the resident genius of the North strategy cabinet, was in customary tongue. He inquired dramatically of umpire Red Mackay’s final decision and then walked a few paces with the arbiter, arm in arm, laughing.

Walt Wenclewicz, the 6-foot 5-inch Kewanee tower who had shown Cedar Rapids fans so much in two games here last saturday and Sunday, was the winning pitcher. he worked three innings and had a 5-1 lead when he turned the game over to Wallie Rush, the 17 year old pitching prodigy from Burlington.

Gene Schroer of Cedar Rapids, who has won six and lost one to become of of the leading light of Northern pitchers, was tapped for a 4-1 portion of that deficit. Since the North never caught up, he fell heir to the role of losing pitcher.

Picking a towering star out of the field of all-stars would be difficult. Wenclewicz was just as he had looked here last week – almost untouchable. John Poliak of Rockford was the only man to get three hits, but there were eight others who got two. Some of them might have had more if the had not retired to let other performers take their turn.

George Wopinek of Keokuk hit a home run with none aboard for the South in the seventh inning. Jack Tanner of Cedar Rapids came to bat for the North in the eighth with one on base and hit perhaps his longest home run of the year. The Central Association homre run leader popped the ball clear over the outer fence in left center field.

Even among these top notchers, the best in the league , the fielding ace was a rookie shortstop from Cedar Rapids who celebrated his 18th birthday a week ago – Roger Scoles from Ute, IA. He handled five putouts and five assists and knocked down three other balls on which he couldn’t throw the man out at first but which kept from becoming more dangerous hits.

Transcribed from the Digital Archives of the Cedar Rapids Public Library.

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