If skiing was the wintertime love of many of the Borreson siblings, baseball was the summertime equivalent.
When I was hardly more than a toddler, my dad Garven was in his early thirties and still playing for Hegg. Brothers Odell and Sid were active in the game too, and I suppose these three faced each other on the diamond a time or two. Fifteen years earlier, twins Ednar and Edgar (Red and Spike) were the battery for Gale College.
What positions did they play? Ednar, Garven and Sid were pitchers (at least sometimes), and Edgar and Odell catchers. These guys liked to be were the action was! Perhaps they played other positions too. (I’m sure Sid knows.)
In old newspapers I found results of games spanning nearly two decades for these five brothers, first for Gale College and then community teams. Enjoy here a few snippets from the past.
La Crosse Tribune, Thursday, May 12, 1932. In the first game of the season Tuesday, Gale College defeated Ettrick, 5-4. Ednar pitched a two-hitter, and Edgar did the receiving.
La Crosse Tribune, Friday, May 20, 1932. The seven-inning game went to eight, when Gale College took the lead with a run by Carl Engelien and, 5-4, over Trempealeau. A “clever double play” preserved the win. Ednar and Edgar again were the battery. Next game at Gale: Whitehall for a return game.
La Crosse Tribune, Wednesday, June 1, 1932. This week at Gale College, baseball letters were awarded to: Orville Findreng, Carl Johnson, Edgar Borreson, Ednar Borreson, Norman Olson, Palmer Gilberg, Bernard Scarseth, Sanford Egge, Norman Ravnum, Richard Hoff, Milo Johnson, Lawrence Anderson, and Harris Borreson, manager.
La Crosse Tribune, May 18, 1933. “Gale Slaughters Fountain City.” The headline was no overstatement: the score? 30 to 1. Gale had 26 hits off two pitchers. Borreson and Borreson again were the battery. Next up for Gale: Osseo.
La Crosse Tribune, April 19, 1939. As Whitehall High School rushed to prepare for its first baseball game, the contributions of players graduating a year ago (1938) would be missed, including Odell Borreson.
Almost 15 years later, the Borresons were into community baseball.
The Blair Press, Thursday, June 17, 1948. Last Sunday French Creek topped Hegg, 13-10. Hegg pitchers were Garven Borreson and Norman Anderson. French Creek is undefeated at 4-0.
The Blair Press, Thursday, July 15, 1948. French Creek, still undefeated, beat Hegg in eleven innings, 7-6. For Hegg, Garven Borreson pitched two innings and Norman Anderson the last nine.
Winona Republican-Herald, Tuesday, July 5, 1949. Hegg defeated Pigeon Falls, 12-0. Pitchers for PF were Ringlien and Sidney Borreson, the catcher Odell Borreson.
La Crosse Tribune, July 11, 1949. In the Jackson-Trempealeau County League, Pigeon Falls lost to French Creek, 9-6. PF battery was Ringlien and O. Borreson.
La Crosse Tribune, August 10, 1949. Hegg defeated Disco, 10-9, with G[arven] Borreson and D[ick] Myrland the winning battery.
Can you believe it: this last game was 62 years ago? Here were young hard-working men who spent their Sunday afternoons in the hot sun playing the game they loved. Come five o’clock, many of them would be in the barn milking a herd of Holstein cows. It was a good life.