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Harland Coffman and son Marty in Topeka, Kansas - Page

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These two photographs from the mid-1950s feature Topekan Harland Coffman and his young son, Marty. Coffman was dressed in the uniform of the Topeka Decker Oilers, a semi-pro baseball team. In the late 1940s and 1950s, the Decker Oilers were a perennial contender for the state semi-pro baseball title, competing each year in the state tournament held in Wichita. Harland's father Vern was the long-time manager of the Decker Oilers. Other family members who played with the team were Harland's brother Burton, and his uncles Ed and Junior Coffman. Earlier, Harland Coffman played in the minor leagues for several years. Between 1948 and 1952, he pitched for teams in Independence (KS), Joplin, Columbus (GA), Omaha, Houston, Rochester, and Columbus (OH). In 158 minor league games, he achieved an overall record of 62-46, with an ERA of 3.19. In 1952, Coffman participated in the St. Louis Cardinals' spring training camp, but did not make the team roster in the regular season. His professional playing days ended when he suffered an arm injury and opted not to have surgery recommended by doctors to extend his baseball career. Digital reproduction of the photographs was accomplished through a joint project sponsored by the Kansas Historical Society and the Shawnee County Baseball Hall of Fame.

Date: 1956

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Harland Coffman and son Marty in Topeka, Kansas - 1Harland Coffman and son Marty in Topeka, Kansas - 2

Harland Coffman and son Marty in Topeka, Kansas - 1

Item Number: 308509
Call Number: 2014-268
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 308509

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