“You know I used to play second base (reported also as third base) on the college team with Branch Rickey, Ed Appel, Bert Pyle, and Eph Rickey, all of us from Lucasville. Yes sir, us Lucasvillians just about run that ball club for four or five years. Sometimes, especially when we lost a game, they would call it the Lucasville Team. In our day Lucasville was about 250 population and we had just about as big a reputation in the baseball world then as the Dean Brothers (Dizzy and Paul of the St. Louis Cardinals' Gashouse Gang.) have today, even if I do say it myself.
“Well, Branch Rickey was there yesterday and his boy Branch Jr.,, were goin' to catch the game. You know I wanted to go to that game. I wanted to feel anew the thrill of the diamond, watching those young boys play on the same old field.
“But, Dr. Walker was going to make a talk. I didn't know what about, and it didn't make no difference. I had heard him lots of time before. Well, to make a short story, five of us went to the speech, and one, Stanley Roettinger, a Cincinnati judge, reckoned the speech would be away over his head, and we all agreed with him, so he went alone to the ball game. I do hope the next time they know I am coming they will arrange the ball games and the speeches at different hours, so I can go to both.
“Well, I heard a Bible student make a speech on business that put General Johnson, or any brain truster ('Iron Pants Hugh Samuel Johnson who wrote speeches for FDR and helped plan the New Deal. The New Deal witnessed an increased role for intellectuals in government – the Brain Trust.), or political economist, or business man anywhere that I ever heard plum away back in the shade. I have written Dr. Walker and asked permission to publish a part or all of his wonderful address, and I hope he will grant my request. Be on the lookout for it in the next issue.”
(The Whittlers' Gazette. Official publication of The Whittlers' Clubs of America. National Headquarters Brant's Store, Main Street, Lucasville, Ohio. July 1930 Edition.)
Dan “Mickey” Daub was coach of the team. He was a former Major League pitcher who had won forty-four games in the 1890s for the so-called Brooklyn “Bridegrooms” Dodgers, nicknamed because so many young newlyweds were on the team. Daub put Branch Rickey, the catcher, in the lead-off spot – rare for a catcher, but a testament to Rickey's speed and “igniting force at the top of the lineup.”
Branch was also making a name for himself on the Wesleyan football team in 1901. The athletic director had heard of his athletic agility and persuaded Branch to join the team. Within a matter of days, he appeared on the field wearing “a worn long-sleeved shirt with sewn patches on the elbows.”
Rickey became the starting halfback almost at once, and his touchdown run against Ohio State enabled OWU to win 10-6. While at the college, he actually inspired special verses for the fight song and the annual big game against Ohio State.
“Speak to me, State, only speaky-spiky-spoky;
Why are those tears on your cheeky-chiky-choky?
You can't make first down against Rickey-Riky-Roky.
(Lee Lowenfish. Branch Rickey: Baseballs Ferocious Gentleman. 2007)