Wichita Izzies

From BR Bullpen

In 1923, the Western League's Wichita Witches were renamed the Wichita Izzies. The club went 100-68 but only finished third in a close pennant race, trailing the Oklahoma City Indians by three games and the Tulsa Oilers by one. Ernie Maun (26-11) was third in the league in wins, shutouts (3, tied for third) and strikeouts (145) while teammate Ed Hovlik (23-17) led in strikeouts (161) but was also third in walks (120) in his 310 innings (fifth-most). OF Jim Blakesly led the loop with 151 runs, hit 36 homers (second in the league) and was second with 246 hits while Jim McDowell hit a league-high 37 homers. Jocko Conlan scored 135 runs (fourth) and was second with 44 steals, while L.C. Smith swiped a league-high 56 bags.

The next year, the Izzies slipped to 6th of 8 clubs at 79-88. They won one game 30-16 over the Des Moines Boosters and scored 11 runs in one inning. Fred Beck homered 38 times (fourth in the loop), Smith (.280) again led with 56 steals and Matt Bott hit for the cycle once and added a double to boot. Johnny Butler (.356) hit 70 doubles, but was still 30 behind Tulsa's league-leader Lyman Lamb; Butler was fifth in the league with 369 total bases and second with 37 sacrifices. Hovlick (20-17) was again the workhose, third in the WL with 317 innings thrown.

1925 was a bit better for Wichita, which was 4th at 80-84 by season's end. All-Stars were OF Leo Payne (the league leader with 33 HR and second with a .367 average), SS George Corrigan (.317, 19 HR) and pitcher Ken Penner (19-6). Pitcher Jolley was 22-21, tied for third in the league in wins, tied for the lead in losses, third with 322 innings and the leader with 57 appearances.

The Izzies' last year was their worst, as they finished 58-108 and in dead last. Boasting no All-Stars, they had three pitchers lose 19 or more, including Archie Campbell (14-21, tied for the league lead in losses). McNally (.339) was fourth in the WL with 25 home runs.

In 1927, the team became the Wichita Larks.

Source: The Western League by W.C. Madden and Patrick Stewart

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1923 100-68 3rd Howie Gregory none
1924 79-88 6th Howie Gregory none
1925 80-84 4th Howie Gregory none
1926 58-108 8th Howie Gregory / Pat Haley none