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PRAIRIE QUEEN BASEBALL TEAM – July 10, 1932 – (Seated l to r) Basil Buck, Manager/Player/Coach; Harry Brenton, 1st base; Pete Buck, shortstop; Clarence Buck, 2nd base; Frank Buck, pitcher; Eugene Kelley, centerfield. (Standing l to r) Lloyd Berry, right field; Morgan Buck, left field; Ellis Lacey, catcher; Bill Buck, 3rd base.

In Tribute and Memory of the Prairie Queen Baseball Team

By Morgan Buck

May 3, 2024

We have arrived at the post season of high school baseball, and it has been a heck of a season for District 4 teams. Some have failed to qualify for the District Tournament and beyond, but many are still alive and seeking to advance to the final rounds of the state tournament. The quality of play has advanced, and the competitiveness of many games has been fun to watch.

In honor of such a baseball season we thought it would be fun to go back in time to 1931 Kiowa County in the Prairie Queen community located southwest of Eads and northwest Kit Carson. The following baseball history was written by the late Morgan Buck from Kit Carson who looked back at baseball history from the good ole days—Long Time Gone.

Published in the book Kiowa County Colorado: Centennial History 1989:

In 1931 the Prairie Queen Baseball Club was organized. Basil Buck was the manager, Harry Brenton was the player-coach, the team players were Prairie Queen farm boys. Home games were played one mile south of the Prairie Queen Schoolhouse in the J. P. Berry pasture.

On Sunday afternoons many ball games were played while large crowds of fans watched. Some teams we played were Eads, Haswell, Ordway, Karval, Sheridan Lake, Kit Carson, South Lincoln Wildcats, Black Lake, Fine Flat, and May Valley.

We were invited to play for area community celebrations, fairs, and tournaments. One July 4th we played at Sheridan Lake. I don’t remember the score, only that we won.

The next year on July 4th we played at Ordway. I think this game drew the largest attendance of any game we played. The Grandstand was full, and cars were parked all the way around the outfield. Bill Buck hit a ball over the cars; the centerfielder went between the cars, caught the ball, and denied us the home run. I don’t remember the name of Ordway’s team, but they were good players and good sports; we always had a good time at Ordway.

We had no league at that time. Instead, we invited teams to play on our home diamond, other teams invited us to play on theirs; we were busy all season. One of the first teams to ask us to play was South Lincoln Wildcat. I don’t remember who won. We played them at Boyero on the Fourth of July. They won that game with Johnny Hawk pitching. When they came to our field for a return match, we gave Johnny an apple pie and he ate it all before the game. Needless to say, Johnny’s pitching went sour, and we won that game.

We played a game north of Fowler, Colorado. I don’t remember the team, but Lloyd Berry hit a home run and didn’t know he hit the ball. We yelled for him to run, and he scored the home run—even so, we lost, 8-4.

Eads was the toughest team to get a win from. Jess Eales, Eddie Stombaugh, the Lindholm brothers, Carl and Kelly, were the first four batters Frank faced in the pitcher’s box. They beat us 2-0 on our diamond, one of the best games played. We played Eads a return game and won it. I got on first and went to second, was caught out; I slid past, crawled on hands and knees back to second—and the umpire called me safe! It was quite a controversy that followed over that call, between the umpire and Eads.

I saw many great plays by Prairie Queen and opposing teams. I remember Gene Kelley catching a ball with both feet straight up. I don’t know whether he has the twist out of his neck yet.

I caught most of the games, so I could see most of the plays. I saw Lloyd and Gene catch line drives on their knees as a player came running in. There were double plays, a few triple plays and home run hits. I hit several home runs, but ran so slow I would get only to second base.

Gene Kelley and I are the only living members of the Prairie Queen Club; the others have passed on. I would like to pay tribute to them; they played to win and for pleasure; they were a good bunch of fellows.

Sometimes I sit and think about the good times we had playing baseball and wonder if we will play in the hereafter. If we do, will Lloyd forget to run, Gene stand on his head to catch a fly ball, Frank have the speed and curves that he had, and will the rest of us make double plays? If we do, it will be great—only thing Gene, Raymond Musselman (Eads)—and I will be too old to make the starting lineup.

Special thanks to our umpires as I recall them: Ed Immer, Oscar White, Stanley Kessler, John E. Jacobs, Lee Womack, F. Q. Kirkpatrick. There were close plays called; I know it was a difficult job, but they were great.

These are my recollections of the Prairie Queen Baseball Team in its hey-day. Sorry I don’t remember more statistics. I will always remember the boys I played with and those I played against. They were more than friends. They were participants in the Nation’s Number One Sport—Fantastic. A happy wonderful time of my life when we played the game.