Walton Baseball Team
Six teams signed up for the Boone County League in 1928: Walton, Burlington, Petersburg, Union, Hebron, and Belleview. The teams played a 20-week schedule.
A Kentucky Post account from May 4, 1928, said Boone County Baseball fans were flocking to the games and the spirit of play was clean and under the direction of league commissioner John M. Lassing, who was a circuit court judge in Boone County. The Walton team was considered the best in the league. It also competed in the Northern Kentucky Semipro League. Clyde Laws was the team manager and center fielder.
Walton and Belleview concluded the 1928 season playing a best-of-five series for the league championship. Belleview won the first game 2-0. Walton won the next two games, 11-6 and 16-9, and then claimed the championship 14-8 before a crowd of 1,300. Laws and his team received a gold trophy for their victory.
Walton and Belleview again competed in a five-game playoff a year later. The teams split the first four games and played the deciding fifth game on a neutral field in Hebron. Umpires were brought in from outside the county. A Kentucky Post account on October 11, 1929, predicted one of the largest crowds in the history of Boone County baseball.
The Walton manager was Ben Zimmer. In the ninth inning of a tie game, Zimmer put himself in as a pinch hitter. He laid down a perfect bunt, which surprised the Belleview players. Walton scored and won the game and league championship.
The success of the league and particularly the Walton team were such that the Boone County Chevrolet dealership offered Chevrolets to transport the Walton players to games.
Local baseball, on the scale of the early 1930 & 1940's, ended with World War II. After the war, softball became the game of choice for most returning veterans.
(The study of Northern Kentucky Baseball history was written by Jim Reis, a reporter for the Kentucky Post.. This is part of an account that appeared in the May 6, 2002 edition.)