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Category Archives: Oshkosh Then & Now

Fred Leist

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By Ron La Point This story was previously written in the book: Oshkosh: The Way We Were. It is included here to honor Fred Leist on his 98th birthday. With an uneasiness that often comes when speaking before a gathering of former teachers, I sent Mr. Fred Leist a letter asking if he would be interested in writing about his ... Read More »

Howie Koplitz Part 2

1966 Howie Koplitz

By Ron La Point This is the sixth installment of baseball in Oshkosh, continued from October: “Harry Gauger was an exceptional all-around athlete, the best high school athlete I ever saw,” Howie Koplitz said. “He was a high scorer and playmaker in basketball and quarterbacked the football team. But his best sport was baseball. Upon graduation Harry signed a professional ... Read More »

BASEBALL IN OSHKOSH – Billy Hoeft (Part 2)

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By Ron LaPoint This is the fifth installment of baseball in Oshkosh. (Continued from August 2014) But it wasn’t merely a diet plan and heat treatment that brought about the success Hoeft enjoyed on the playing field. It was this complement, the blending of a talented athlete and a dedicated coach practicing the tools of the trade on and off ... Read More »

BASEBALL IN OSHKOSH – Billy Hoeft (Part 1)

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By Ron La Point This is the fifth installment of baseball in Oshkosh. Images of that warm April afternoon keep coming back: the scattering of baseball fans lining the foul lines, some with lawn chairs, others standing, anticipating the opening of the 1950 High School baseball season; a few Major League scouts on hand waiting to evaluate this tall, slender ... Read More »

BASEBALL IN OSHKOSH – Len Heinbigner

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By Ron LaPoint This is the fourth installment of baseball in Oshkosh D uring the summer between his junior and senior years at Oshkosh High School, Len was invited to try out for the professional Oshkosh Giant baseball team, a farm club of the New York Giants. Not knowing that this was permissible I asked Len why he was allowed ... Read More »

BASEBALL IN OSHKOSH – Dave Garcia

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By Ron LaPoint Some of the happiest times in my life were in Oshkosh,” was the opening line in a telephone conversation a few years ago with Dave Garcia, a conversation that lasted for well over an hour. For those of you who were born after 1950, Dave Garcia was the player/manager of the Oshkosh Giants when the city had ... Read More »

Baseball in Oshkosh: Bill O’Donnell – Part 2 of 2

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By Ron La Point (Continued From April 2014) O’Donnell continued: “Jack held out a pouch of chewing tobacco and I, who had never smoked before or chewed, took a big pinch and stuck it in the side of my mouth. Things were proceeding normally for the first few minutes as I watched the game from the dugout with the rest ... Read More »

Baseball in Oshkosh Bill O’Donnel – Part 1 of 2

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By Ron La Point The year 1953 marked the last season the Giants would play in Oshkosh. Dave Garcia’s five-year run managing the Giants would end and he, along with a few other Giants players, would move on to greater heights in the baseball world. Bill O’Donnell, one of the pitchers on that last Giant team, was a high school ... Read More »

Oshkosh Taverns

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By Ron La Point They were the social centers of Oshkosh, the meetings places in the ‘40s and ‘50s. Others might make a case for the churches, but in the eyes of those still grubbing for wages and those of us growing into adulthood, it was the taverns. There were no shortage of taverns in this city of 40,000 – ... Read More »

Oshkosh All Stars – Part 2 of 2

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By Ron La Point …Continued from Nov 2013 Sandy Padive in his book “Basketball’s Hall of Fame,” writes about George Mikan, whom he called the first of the great big men. “In 1946, George Mikan signed with the Chicago Gears of the NBL. The Gears were playing the team from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin team had a center named ... Read More »

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