Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

In the early years of this century semi-pro baseball was played in Warsaw at Riverside park. According to our information this park was located near West Ward school.

An outstanding Warsaw team of about '09 to '13 was the Warsaw Maroons coached during part of that time by Clark Mumaw. It was on this team that "Bubbles" Hargraves who was later to become a big league catcher, played for several years.

Although baseball record books list Hargraves home as Fort Wayne, his ties with Warsaw were close and he was a member of the local Elks club for years. After Hargraves became a big league star, it was hoped that he might come back to Warsaw to catch for an exhibition game.

In 1921 an outstanding local pitcher, Johnny Oswalt, was pitching for the Warsaw semi-pro team and it was felt that a battery consisting of Oswalt and Hargraves would be a natural for an exhibition.

"Bubbles" promised to come on Oct. 5, a game was arranged with the Michigan Central league All-Stars and the day was proclaimed in Warsaw as "Bubbles" Hargraves day. When he came to bat in the first inning, Chester Zimmerman of the Elks club presented him with an Elks' lodge jewel. Hargraves kicked a home run with one on and Johnny Oswalt struck out eleven as the Warsaw Specials defeated the Michigan aggregation 3 to 2.

This game was played at Hillery Field on South Buffalo which was then the home grounds of Warsaw teams.

We have fragmentary records of a number of county semi-pro teams. In 1906 the towns along the new Interurban line from Warsaw to Goshen played a league. In 1909 Sidney had a team known as the "Greys". Additional information is desired concerning the history of semi-pro baseball in the county.

From a Warsaw newspaper of 1868 we have the following notation: "The baseball match which came off at this place on Saturday last between the Hunkedoras of Pierceton and the Fleetfoot club of this place was won by the Fleetfoots."

Warsaw Times-Union Sat. Aug. 31, 1952