American soccer writing, history & data.
After the prior season had ended in disarray, the St. Louis Professional Soccer League held a reorganization meeting on September 3, 1935. Eleven friends and backers of teams in the league agreed to purchase stock in the circuit to assure a complete season and to cover any deficit which might occur. The group appointed Al Kaufman temporary chairman. They made plans to play week nights at West Side Park during the fall and spring seasons and for the usual Sunday afternoon doubleheaders during the winter. Three of the four teams returned from the prior season but the Ben Miller team disbanded and its franchise was vacated.
Two weeks later the league named Charles de Witt, general manager of the West Side Softball Park, as president, Thomas Burke as vice president, Emmett Concannon as treasurer, and Charles Bartley as secretary. Eddie Hart, a former player on Ben Miller, was voted the vacant franchise for the fourth team in the league.
The league would play every Sunday afternoon and Wednesday night at the West Side Softball Park starting on Sunday, October 11. Games would have 30-minute halves for night games and 35-minute halves for Sunday games.
Phil Kavanaugh's team, formerly sponsored by Hellrung & Grimm, found new sponsorship and was renamed Club Lotus. Johnny Marre's team similarly found sponsorship with a local bottling company and was renamed Town Crier Soda. Eddie Hart's team started the season without a sponsor and was simply called Eddie Hart's club
Last season, the St. Louis Shamrocks had dropped out of the league to become an independent club. Due to their initial membership they were allowed to take part in the National Challenge Cup where they made it all the way to the Grand Final. Because the Shamrocks played Sunday matches in competition with the SLPSL, the league refused to permit the team to join the U.S.F.A. through their organization. At this point in time, there was no state association functioning in Missouri and the SLPSL was affiliated directly through the U.S.F.A. due to a special concession granted years before. As such, the Shamrocks were compelled to obtain U.S.F.A. affiliation through the Chicago Major Soccer League, an affiliate of the Illinois State Association.
As interest in the professional game continued to wane and competition from the Shamrockss continued, attendance at SLPSL league matches hovered around the 500 mark during the season at West Side Softball Park. The Wednesday night games drew the same as the Sunday afternoon matches but were often postponed due to bad weather. The final Wednesday night match scheduled for November 4 was even postponed due to smog.
Six games into the first half of the season, Eddie Hart's team finally signed a sponsorship deal and was renamed the North Side Optimist Club for the remainder of the season. Burke Undertakers won the first half of the SLPSL season which ended on January 3, 1937 after the final doubleheader was postponed for two weeks due to snow.
The First Round National Challenge Cup match between Club Lotus and Town Crier was scheduled to start the next Sunday, but, as with the prior season was delayed four weeks due to bad weather and icy conditions. The match was finally played on February 7. Fewer than 50 fans at West Side Softball Park saw the Town Criers beat Club Lotus 5-1. The next Sunday Burke Undertakers beat North Side Optimists 1-0 before only 124 at West Side Park. The Second Round NCC match was postponed the following week and finally played on February 28. Nearly 800 saw Town Crier beat Burke 2-1 at West Side Park. That team lost 2-1 the next Sunday in the Western Semifinal to the Shamrocks before over 1500 at Public Schools Stadium.
Again well behind for its second half series, the SLPSL scrapped its remaining schedule.
©2022 by Daniel Creel. All rights reserved.