Game 1 | December 9, 1948 | Lou Boudreau, Billy Southworth, Happy Chandler, George Trautman
A major event of each baseball off-season was the annual midwinter "hot stove" baseball banquet. At the initial meeting, what was then the Minneapolis Dunkers heard from the four visitors. Boudreau, a future baseball Hall of Famer, was coming off a season in which he was named American League MVP while both playing for and managing the Cleveland Indians. Southworth managed the 1948 Boston Braves who lost the World Series that year to Boudreau's Indians. Chandler, the future governor of Kentucky, in 1948 was the second-ever commissioner of baseball. Trautman was the newly named president of the National Association of Baseball Leagues. Dunkers attendance for that first meeting was 33.
First media reference to the new organization known as "Minneapolis Dunkers" on the front page of the Minneapolis Star on December 9, 1948. Check out the last two paragraphs.
Game 2 | February 10, 1949 | Ozzie Cowles
Ozzie had just taken over as head basketball coach at the University of Minnesota. His team, led by Whitey Skoog, Bud Grant, Jim Mcintyre, Harold Olson and long-time Dunker Jerry Mitchell, compiled an 18-3 record that year; and he went on to coach the Gophers for 10 more seasons.
Game 3 | April 28, 1949 | Oscar Johnson, Roy Shipstad
Before the arrival of professional sports, the annual appearance of Shipstad and Johnson's Ice Follies was one of the biggest sports attractions in the Twin Cities. The show featured a chorus line called the "Ice Folliettes," and many of the skaters came from Minnesota, where ice skating was a familiar activity.
Game 4 | May 23, 1949 | Jack Dempsey
Dempsey, also known as "the Manassa Mauler," was the world heavyweight boxing champion from 1919-1926. He defeated Jess Willard to become champion and lost the title to Gene Tunney. He died in 1983 at age 87.
(LtoR) Tony Stecher, Jack Dempsey, Sel Coombs (physician)
Game 5 | November 16, 1949 | Maurice Podoloff
The National Basketball League and the Basketball Association of America linked up in 1949 to form the National Basketball Association. The Minneapolis Lakers, led by center George Mikan, were the league's dominant team, and Podoloff, the league's first president, came to Minneapolis to meet with community leaders at the start of the 1949-50 season, in which the Lakers went on to become the league's champion by beating the Syracuse Nationals in the playoffs.
Game 6 | December 5, 1949 | Bernie Bierman
Bernie Bierman was the most legendary coach in the history of Gopher football with five national championships to his credit. He appeared at Dunkers following the end of the 1949 season in which his team finished 7-2 and was ranked 8th nationally. It was a disappointing season for many Gopher fans as hopes were high for a team that featured Billy Bye, Bud Grant, Clayton Tonnemaker; Leo Nomellini, Wayne Robinson, Dick Gregory and Dick Anonson. Many Gopher fans thought it was the greatest collection of talent on any Gopher team in history. Bierman stepped down after finishing 1-7-1 in 1950.