A Walnut Blog

Anything and everything related to Walnut Iowa.

Friday, March 28, 2008

5th Annual Dale Lynch Memorial Alumni Weekend

The 5th Annual Dale Lynch Memorial Alumni Weekend kicks off tonight (March 28th) with the open Dodgeball Tournament at 5:30 PM at the Walnut High School.

Dale Lynch Alumni Weekend

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Friends of WCS Project Update

The Friends of WCS volunteers have been busy updating the appearance of our school as part of the Facilities Facelift Project. Many items included in this project are scheduled to be completed in time for the Dale Lynch Memorial Alumni Weekend activities beginning on Friday March 28, 2008.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Earl Caddock, 1888-1950 Heavyweight Champion of the World

Earl Caddock World Champion Professional Wrestler

In 1917, the heavyweight champion of the world was Earl Caddock, a handsome young man who was raised on a farm near Walnut, Iowa. He won three AAU national titles in the years 1915-1916 (winning two weights in 1916), and was never beaten in 53 amateur bouts.

Caddock Defeats Stecher

April 9, 1917

Caddock was 29. He had been a resident of the Walnut area since, at 14, he had come to live with an uncle, Isaac Brown, who farmed near Berea, Ia.

He took the world title from the great Joe Stecher in Omaha. The epic match lasted nearly three hours, with each man winning a pin fall and Stecher declaring he was too exhausted to continue for the third and deciding fall.

World War I

His popularity soared when he stepped up and volunteered to fight in World War I, when no other professional athletes were doing so.

“Before the draft law was in effect, Caddock, with his title and all, reported at the recruiting office and volunteered his services at the call of his countrymen. He was rejected after careful medial examination because of his tonsils. This, however, did not deter Caddock for long. He left the same night for Rochester, Minnesota, called on the famed Mayo Brothers at their sanitarium, and had them perform a tonsil operation, and then returned to Des Moines less than a week later and this time was accepted.

Caddock saw plenty of action, fighting in foxholes in France, and was injured by an attack with mustard gas.

Stecher Defeats Caddock

BUT CADDOCK was never quite the same after he returned home from the war. In another epic match, he faced off against Stecher on January 30, 1920, in New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden. All 14,000 tickets sold out in a few days and the match was the No. 1 sports event of the year. Stecher had served in the navy during World War I and the Army escorted Caddock into the ring while the Navy led Stecher.

The match was sensational. The two warriors squared off in long black tights – two Midwestern farm boys back from the war to see who was the best wrestler in the entire world. Caddock was still unbeaten, and Stecher had still just one loss to his name.

The match went back and forth, with Caddock scoring the most takedowns and Stecher proving he was the best on the mat. Eventually, Stecher’s greater size (he weighed in at 205 to Caddock’s 188) and the mustard gas damage wore Caddock down. After two hours and three minutes, Stecher caught Caddock in a half nelson and body scissors and turned him to his back. Caddock bridged valiantly, but was finally pinned. It was the first loss of his entire career!

Footage from the January 30th, 1920 match at the second Madison Square Garden in New York City has survived and although grainy and low quality can be seen below. Stecher pinned Caddock in 2:05:00

Earl Caddock, 1888-1950 @ iagenweb.org

Des Moines Register Article