Dave Bancroft: Superior’s Hidden Gem

Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 10:57 PM CDT
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Superior, WI. (KBJR) - When you think of northland sports hockey immediately comes to mind followed by maybe football and curling, but what if I told you 100 years ago the streets of superior were filled for one baseball Hall of Famer who you may never hear of that lived in northwest Wisconsin for over 60 years.

“Maybe a month ago, I’m at a Chicago memorabilia show and I’m flipping through a box of 1915, and 1916 baseball magazines that were in the form of newspapers and the seller told me there is no Hall of Famers in there and I flipped through them and right in the middle of the front page was Dave Bancroft and I turned to the seller and said no, there’s one Hall of Famer in here,” said author Tom Alesia, author of Beauty at Short: Dave Bancroft, the Most Unlikely Hall of Famer and His Wild Times in Baseball’s First Century.

In 2022 when you think of the baseball Hall of Fame you don’t think of Superior, Wisconsin, however over 100 years ago, Hall of Famer Dave Bancroft had the streets of Superior in a frenzy.

“In 1921 he was in his second of four world series and in that World Series he was the captain of the New York Giants and they beat Babe Ruth and the New York Yankees. He was the star and captain of the New York Giants, and if you’re a star in New York, you’re a star in the United States and Bancrofts fame was enormous, when he came back on November 2nd to Superior there were nearly 10 thousand people at the train station. The reaction from Superior and Duluth to Bancroft’s success was one of those wow moments.”

In the 1920′s baseball was king and like Alicia says in at that time if you’re a star in New York you’re a star in America and when you’re a star in America you vacation with the biggest star in the world, Babe Ruth.

“They were very friendly with each other. 1921 or 1922 in Hot Springs Arkansas, Babe Ruth and his wife and Dave Bancroft and his wife were together is Hot Springs Arkansas. Babe Ruth also came here in 1926 he came to Duluth. He did two things one he went to a children’s home an orphanage in Superior and took a picture in front and the other thing was have breakfast with Dave Bancroft, he didn’t have very much time but showed you how close Bancroft and Babe Ruth were”

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