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Managers in the Sooner State League

Travis "Stonewall" Jackson (Lawton 1954-1957)
Hugh Willingham (Seminole and Ardmore)
Frank Mancuso (Ardmore)
Al Evans (Seminole)
Jack Banta (Shawnee)
Ed Carnett (Gainesville and Ponca City)

Vern Hoscheit (McAlester)

Dutch Prather (Ardmore, Pauls Valley, Chickasha, Duncan, Seminole)
Lou Brower (Lawton, Ada, Pauls Valley)

Boyd Bartley (Shawnee)
Jess Welch (Duncan)
Jimmy Adair (Paris)
Lou Fitzgerald (Shawnee)
Bennie Warren (Ardmore, Sherman, Pauls Valley)
Ray Taylor (Chickasha)
Red Phillips (Pauls Valley),
 

        The managers in the Sooner State League  were diverse in age, experience, skill and temperament.  They ranged from New York Giants Hall of Fame shortstop Travis "Stonewall" Jackson (Lawton 1954-1957) to nineteen year- old Jim England who guided the Ada clubs during the last weeks of the 1952 season.  Playing managers were the rule, not the exception.  In 1948 , the top four batters in the League were managers.  Chickasha's Ray Taylor led the League in 1952 with a .365 batting average.  Oklahoma City native Bennie Warren, who managed Ardmore, Sherman and Pauls Valley, holds the League record for career batting average and home runs.

        While a number of field generals had Major League experience Hugh Willingham (Seminole and Ardmore), Frank Mancuso (Ardmore), Red Phillips (Pauls Valley), Ed Carnett (Gainesville and Ponca City),  Al Evans (Seminole), Jack Banta (Shawnee) most were career minor leaguers for whom age or injury ended their path to the Show.   Dutch Prather (Ardmore, Pauls Valley, Chickasha, Duncan, Seminole) bounced around the minors for 24 years before hanging up his spikes after the 1951 season and becoming an umpire.  Lou Brower (Lawton, Ada, Pauls Valley) was the dean of League managers with eight seasons in the dugout.

        There were great teachers of the game.  Vern Hoscheit (McAlester), Boyd Bartley (Shawnee), Jess Welch (Duncan), Jimmy Adair (Paris), and Lou Fitzgerald (Shawnee) were notable. All and every other manager has a vignette in Baseball in the Cross Timbers.

See  Chapter 7 of Baseball in the Cross Timber for the story of the Managers.   

                                                      

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