An exploration of the 1897 Red River Valley League with teams from Fargo, Grand Forks, Moorhead, and Wahpeton-Breckenridge. The league featured future major league players, local heroes, reckless characters, economic unrest, and spirited rivalries.
Sunday, December 13, 2015
Bill Zink Honored 40 Years After RRVL, 30 Years After Historic Game
The May 27, 1937 Hutchinson News reported that its beloved ballplayer, Bill Zink, would be honored at a ceremony before the May 29 game between the Hutchinson Larks and Joplin (MO) Miners. The Larks were a Class C farm team of the Pittsburgh Pirates at the time, while the Miners were affiliated with the New York Yankees. Bill Zink played in Kansas from 1906-1910, in 1906 as a member of the Leavenworth Old Soldiers, and 1907-1910 as a member of the Hutchinson Salt Packers. On May 29, 1907, Zink took part in a 23 inning contest between Hutchinson and Oklahoma City. After his playing career, Zink settled down with his family in Hutchinson, so he was invited back to Carey Municipal Park in Hutchinson exactly 30 years later to be honored for his part in the memorable game (box score is below). The game was seven innings longer than the longest game of the 1897 season, when Zink was a member of the Fargo Divorcees. On August 2, 1897 Zink played shortstop for the Fargo club in a 16 inning loss to Moorhead. In the 4 to 2 loss, Zink had two hits in six at-bats with a run scored.
"Special Events With Baseball," The Hutchinson News, May 27, 1937, p. 2.
Box score: "A Remarkable Baseball Game," The Leavenworth Post, May 30, 1907, p. 4.