If you think people in Hillsdale take intramural sports seriously today (not many people would make this claim, but just in case), you should look back to 1956 when The Collegian dedicated an entire column to Intramurals entitled “Intramural Scene.” Filled with stats and play-by-play reports, the column was an informative campus news source. However, the author, Howard Johnson, still managed to add some flair to his recurring piece.
When discussing a baseball game in a May 1956 issue of The Collegian, Johnson wrote, “The game was filled with errors and poor plays on the part of both teams. The best of these was a high fly hit between home and third base by Delt catcher Paul ‘Garbage’ Trichel, both ran to it yelling ‘I’ve got it!’ Seems they didn’t see each other and you can guess the rest.” What a scene, it is always a real shocker to come across Mr. Garbage making a trash play.
Despite only reporting on intramural games, Johnson managed to write with a tone that left readers on the edge of their seats, waiting for more action out of the amateur league.
For example, on Nov. 13, 1958, the author wrote, “The fraternity men moved with full force in the opening quarter and threaten to turn the game into a full slaughter.” Just enough drama, just enough accuracy. Johnson was exhibiting big journalistic skills.
This seems to have matched the attitude on campus, because Johnson reports of voting for an intramural all-star team. I’m not saying that Hillsdale used to be full of recreational hardos, but logic and reason following this column do seem to point in that direction.
And Johnson was not above calling out his readers for not sharing his enthusiasm for intramural sports. On Oct. 10, 1957, he wrote, “All intramural football games start at 4 p.m. at the baseball field. Turnouts for some of these games have not been up to expectations.” I am disappointed in the true fans of intramural baseball for not doing their part and showing up.
Interestingly, Johnson reported on teams from all the fraternities, boys dormitories, the independents, and a team entitled “The Misfits.” Little information is given regarding the members of this team, but people who are neither Greek nor independent are definitely misfits, because those are the only two options available.
Other interesting team names included the Damper Dans and the Field House team.
Intramural sports in the earlier days of the ’Dale were definitely taken very seriously. I say we bring some of that “Leave-it all-on-the-court” competitive spirit back to the games today.