Dengler Domain: Zobel’s Memories

Sean Dengler.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Dysart baseball team. Relying on the Dysart Reporter’s archives to recreate their run through the postseason was great, but I hoped to contact a former player from the team. While not too many are left all these years later, I was fortunate to talk with team captain, Robert Zobel. As we spoke on the phone, I tried to scribble down his thoughts the best I could to add some context to this terrific baseball team.

Mr. Zobel noted they had been good two to three seasons in a row. While I could never find an official season record, Zobel thought during their championship run they were 15-4. He loved playing baseball and learned a lot from his coach. He said the Dysart boys were not afraid of any school depending on their size. With being team captain, he took pride in mentoring the younger players.

What is impressive is he remembered seventy years later, stealing second, and stealing third, and then scoring after the catcher overthrew third during the Colesburg game. He thought they were doomed during this game and winning was a big surprise. Zobel described the trip to Rippey for the state championship as quite the trip. He also remembered Council Bluffs scored quite a bit in the second inning in addition to their awfully good pitcher.

After their run to the state championship game, Roger Santman and Zobel went to three pro camps including a Boston Braves one in Rippey or Gowrie. During the camp, Zobel went to left field at the tryout, but they moved him to shortstop. Zobel also spoke highly of Santman and why part of his success was due to his dedication and his fastball curving out. Zobel noted most hits Santman gave up came via bloopers.

Towards the end of our conversation, one of his final comments was, “Those were great days.” Before he spoke those words, I could feel joy and happiness through the way he spoke about the season and his team. Even though Zobel’s season did not end with them achieving their main goal, lasting memories were made. It is very cliché, but sometimes, life is about the journey and not the destination. Something everyone should step back and take note of from time to time. A final thank you goes out to Robert Zobel for taking the time out of his day to give his thoughts on the season and adding important context to this impressive baseball team from seventy years ago. Hopefully, another area team will enjoy success like this one soon.

Sean Dengler is a writer, comedian, farmer, and host of the Pandaring Talk podcast who grew up on a farm between Traer and Dysart. You can reach him at sean.h.dengler@gmail.com.