|Simon Brothers with uniforms donated by Senator Capper.|
In the 1920s, baseball became synonymous with Babe Ruth and towns throughout the country formed teams that played teams from neighboring towns. Though many took the sport seriously, these were largely groups of amateurs who played on weekends and the games were a town event. Cars were still a luxury for most families, so local teams rarely traveled far.
By the mid-1920s, the Simon Brothers Baseball Team played in several towns in Pottawatomie County in Northeast Kansas. The teams they played would often be from Manhattan or Westmoreland, the county seat. Though the brothers enjoyed playing, it was hard work. The older ones farmed or had other jobs, and practice was in the evenings with most games on Sundays.
In the late 1920s, the family team was "discovered" by Kansas Senator Arthur Capper, who was well known as the founder of Capper's Weekly, a popular weekly tabloid that published from 1913-86. He bought the brothers their first set of professional uniforms and paved the way for the team to play an exhibition game at the 1930 World's Fair in New York. Twenty years later John (Jack) Simon was still describing the awe the brothers felt after traveling from the Kansas prairie to the big city.
The brothers were:
John Alma (Jack) Simon (1893-1954)
Jacob (Jake) William Simon (1895-1964)
Floyd Walter Simon (1898-1982)
Glenn E. Simon (1901-1974)
Roy Raymond Simon (1903-1983)
Clyde E. Simon (1906-1978)
Bert Simon (1907-1993)
Nile (Cricket) Simon (1909-1982)
Herman (Ted) Simon (1909-1987)
Ernest Edward (Ed) Simon (1913-2010)
|Jack Simon is on L. Order of others unknown.|
|Rosa McBride Simon & husband Jack Simon|
|Jack Simon and prized dogs|
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Article by Elaine L. Orr. Rosa McBride was first cousin to my mother, H. Rita Rooney. Their moms were, respectively, Annie and Nellie Teehan of Lillis, Kansas. Rosa's husband, Jack Simon, died when I was three, but the stories about him did not. A version of this article (for which I maintained ownership) was on Yahoo Voices for a time.