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Topeka Decker Oilers semi-pro baseball team - Page

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Members of the Topeka Decker Oilers semi-pro baseball team are shown in this photograph from 1959. Individuals standing in the back include (l to r): Ed Wilson, Skeet Brown, Harland Coffman, unidentified, unidentified, Burt Coffman, unidentified, Don Kirkwood, and unidentified. Individuals kneeling in the front are (l to r): Paul Packer, Ray Johnson, unidentified, Ed Coffman, manager Vern Coffman, unidentified, and unidentified. During the late 1940s and 1950s, the team was a perennial contender for the state semi-pro title, competing each year in the state tournament held in Wichita. The team won the state championship in 1948, placed second three consecutive years (1950-1952), and finished third in 1955 and 1957. The 1959 squad was the only Decker Oilers team to be eliminated by losing their first two tournament games. However, the team did participate in a historic game. On July 14, the Decker Oilers and the McPherson BeeJays faced each other in what one Wichita newspaper described as the "first night baseball game ever televised in Kansas." The game was carried live on KTVH Channel 12. Digital reproduction of this photograph was accomplished through a joint project sponsored by the Kansas Historical Society and the Shawnee County Baseball Hall of Fame.

Creator: Legal Photo Service
Date: July 14, 1959

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Topeka Decker Oilers semi-pro baseball team - 1

Item Number: 306084
Call Number: 2014-137
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 306084

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