University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The University of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

Thoma, Harry C. (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 38, Number V (Feb. 1937)

Steinmetz, Chris
The "sissy" game, basketball,   p. 183


Page 183


       1hat Sissy                            Game, Baskelball
       Some -reminiscences about the early days
    Under Angell's tutelage the
       of Wisconsin 's favorite indoor team            sport            
team got rather cocky; took on
 and defeated some formidable
 opponents, including  North-
                    b Chxris Slei        metz     0 'OS                 
 western. On a western trip we
 defeated Nebraska Wesleyan,
                                Past President, Milwaukee "W" Club
       Highland Park, and Grinnell
 College, the latter having just
 taken Iowa into camp. Highland
 was a great feeder for Iowa, In-
 (Editor's note: At the time you read this article the collegi-  diana and
Nebraska. The star of this team was a full-
 ate and interscholastic hbasketball schedules will he in full swingo   blooded
Wisconsin Indian, St. Germaine.  We were
 We thought you might he interested in an: account of some of
 the early trials and tribulations of the exponents of this sport at  told
that he was even better at football. oWithout
 Wisconsin. Chris Steinmetz is considered by many to be the  bothering you
with details, we took him along with
 "father" of Wisconsin basketball.)                    us to Madison,
where he belonged.
                                                         Nebraska was the
athletic giant of the West but
       THE game of basketball was first played at   that was what we were
looking for and we got it.
       Wisconsin in 1898 by a group of pioneers       After a hard tussle
we were defeated 24 to 22 but
       numbering among them    such splendid fel-    we were licked because
the rules were not broad
       lows as Walter Hirschberg, Paul Stover, Carl  enough. About thirty
seconds before the end of the
       Stillman, Bill Burdick, and Carlos Mapel.     game, with the score
24 to 22 in favor of Nebraska,
Pat O'Dea tried his hand at the game but could not  McLees of Wisconsin was
given the ball out of
restrain himself from running with the ball. Games  bounds near Nebraska's
basket.  Spectators sat all
were scheduled regularly with Minnesota until more  along the boundary line.
By signal I got away and
schools organized teams. What happened during the   was alone under our basket,
not a man being within
early stages of the game is to me like an open book,  thirty feet. McLees
raised his arm for a long throw
and some day I hope to write one.                     and had it reached
me, under the circumstances I feel
  Who said publicity for athletes did not pay? The  reasonably sure the game
would have ended in a
Milwaukee high schools sponsored regular league     tie. However, now comes
the grief. An alert spec-
games and in 1902 the South Side High School team   tator held McLees' arm
so that he couldn't throw the
won the city and state scholastic championships.    ball. After the fight
which followed had made only
Playing on this team my name was mentioned more     fair headway, the timer's
whistle ended the game.
or less favorably. At any rate, at the call of candi-  That spoiled our 1904
championship aspirations.
dates- for-- the- - 1903-- varsity -team, _Captain -Potter -_
looked over the 125 freshman hopefuls and asked         OUR impressive record
made the natives sit up
for Steinmetz.  I was tried at forward against the  and take notice and the
1905 squad brought out
first team guards and became and remained a fixture  more of the football
men, the star of whom was
on the team  for the three years which followed.    Jimmy Bush, later an
all-conference man at foot-
  The Athletic Board supported the                                  ball
and basketball. Anthony Wal-
game in every way except financially.                               voord
and Charles Scribner likewise
We had no coach and supplied our                                     were
regulars, while Emil Breit-
own uniforms, part of which consis                                  kreutz,
track captain, played in some
ted of football pants - don't for-                                  of the
games.
get this protection permitted of some                                  The
five man defense had not been
real spirited hand to hand and body                                 thought
of. It was man to man and
to body encounters. Without home                                    you were
responsible for what your
financial support  we   took   our                                  opponent
did. If he made goals and
chances when we made long or ex-                                    you made
none, that was a blot
tended trips.                                                       against
your record. If you were a
  In 1904 Dr. Emmet Angell took                                     faster
and better man than he was,
hold as coach and under his supervis-~                               you
had a fine evening. On the other
ion the game flourished. Now we                                     hand,
if he was better than you, your
had a coach and the boys had to de-                                 game
was nothing to brag about.
liver the goods to hold their position.                             Five
men passed the ball and the long
The squads were larger, plays were    .                             throw
was frequently resorted to.
learned, and teamwork was devel-                                       At
that time there were in exis-
oped.  We had such splendid ath-                                    tence
upwards of four sets of rules.
letes as Harvey Scofield, now presi-                                 It was
not until 1915, when the
dent of State Teachers College at Eau                               A.A.U.
conceded the dribble that one
Claire, Charles McLees, and Stewart                                 composite
set of rules was estab-
McConochie, practicing attorneys at                                  lished;
the same, with very few
Muskogee, Oklahoma, and Lewis-               Chris Steinmetz         changes,
under which the teams are
town, Montana, respectively.               One of the Dutchmen       now
playing. (Please turn to page 210)
                                                 183


Go up to Top of Page