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Norman Kenney liked baseball. He was good at it, too; he even played professionally in North Dakota and in Montana.

In 1925, he played for the Red Sox, a travelling team in Dickinson, ND. The first game of the season was in May, in Hazen. However, the team hit dire straits when a Hazen base runner plowed into Kenney at 3rd base, fracturing his right leg.

Everyone was horrified, and spectators from both sides expressed their sympathy. They collected money for Kenney at the game. He was shipped to the hospital at Dickinson by train the next morning.

However, his leg did not soon improve, so the residents of Dickinson took it upon themselves to raise more funds for the young man. And on this date, in 1925, baseball, the national pastime, took on a different meaning as the men of Dickinson prepared for a special benefit game ... a clash of the married men and the bachelors!

Newspapers urged everyone to bring friends and neighbors, promising there would be "room for all and plenty of comedy." They advertised each team's strengths; the married men purportedly had more experience than their single opponents, but the bachelors were thought to be scrappy enough to give them a run for their money.

It was the game of a lifetime, but when it was said and done, those scrappy bachelors lost. Yet, throughout the "glorious battle," the audience found great enjoyment-especially in the last inning when Dr. Alf Cornelius, captain of the bachelors' team, started throwing golf balls and tennis balls from the mound.

The game invigorated the town and provided great benefit to Norman Kenney. And the young man with the baseball injury went on to play more, to travel more, to work more; to have several children, and to live a full life. And that's a home run.

Dakota Datebook written by Sarah Walker


The Forum, Saturday, January 28, 1989

The Dickinson Press, Friday, September 11, 1925

The Dickinson Press, Friday, September 18, 1925

The Hazen Star, Thursday, June 5, 1925