THE 1931 SEASON AT NORTH SIDE FIELD
From: Baseball Days—Dayton’s North Side Field 1922-1934
Written by Roland L. Larke, Sponsored by the Dayton & Montgomery County Public Library, 1992
Because of the financial insecurity of the time, the Central League again disbanded in 1931 and Dayton was without minor league baseball. However, quality baseball was sustained at North Side Field with the support of Dayton sporting goods store owner John Shroyer’s promotional activity. He brought night baseball to Dayton with the House of David’s portable lighting system and exhibition games with major National League teams.
John Shroyer’s passion for baseball is reflected in this article by Jim Nichols:
"Shroyer’s efforts to bring major league teams to Dayton are shown in these letters of response from prominent officials.
"John Shroyer, Dayton sporting goods store owner who became the leading sponsor of local sports teams in the early 30s, kept the interest in quality baseball alive in the city in 1931 when there was a temporary suspension of professional Central League play. With his semi-pro team of local stars, he introduced night baseball to the city when the bearded House-of-David team brought their transportable lighting system to North Side Field for an exhibition. In ensuing years he was instrumental in the promotion of exhibition games with major league teams of the National League such as the Phillies, New York Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals."
North Side Field was the home park as his team played games with other Kentucky,
Indiana, and Ohio League teams such as the Cincinnati Potters, Indianapolis Kautskys, and the Marcos, Dayton’s outstanding black team of that era.
One highlight of his career at North Side Field in 1931 was when his Shroyer team,
with ex-New York Yankee pitcher and Daytonian Fred Newberry hurling, defeated the Phillies 6-4.
A crowd of nearly 4,000 saw the New York Giants wallop the William A. Shroyers semi-pro team 17-2 in a Sunday afternoon exhibition game. The Giants hit 5 home runs, all of the lusty variety, off the offerings of Fred Newberry and Harvey Reese. Bill Terry hit two and Travis Jackson, Mell Ott and Ethan Allen each hit a home run. Hal Shumacher pitched the entire game for the Giants. Dave Bancroft managed and played in the absence of John McGraw, who was in Indianapolis to scout Billy Herman of the Louisville Colonels.
Big city New York scribes following the Giants got a big kick out of their team playing in a field fenced in the midst of a cornfield and potato patches.
Dean of Central League Managers, John McCloskey led the Shroyers and watched his protégé, Bill Terry, perform.