As part of the The Genz blog (, I provide some little known facts, mostly pertaining to the sports world. For you readers of the unusual, how about some “pointed,” spitballing kind of stuff.

A little Pointer…

USD-Springfield was a state-supported institution in Springfield, S.D., founded in 1881 and closed in 1984 to become the Mike Durfee State Prison. While USD-Springfield had its grand athletic moments, its nickname of “Pointers” always has interested me. It (Pointers) represented an area of South Dakota famous for hunting, particularly pheasants. Pointer referred to a hunting dog symbol created in 1924 and the logo was redesigned in 1968 by a student, Charles Raymond, to “liven it up a bit and represent the less serene attitude of students” at what was Southern State Teacher’s College, according to Ray Frank’s book, “What’s In a Nickname.”

Nice point.

A spitballing, five-out guy

Clarence Elmer Mitchell was born on Feb. 22, 1891 in Franklin, Neb. (south of Hastings, Neb., near the Kansas border), and is thought to be the last of the spitballers, who had their hey day in the pre-1920s. A winner of 125 games (139 losses), Mitchell played in the majors from 1911-1932 for the Detroit Tigers, Cincinnati Reds, New York Giants, Brooklyn Robins, Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals. After the spitball was outlawed in 1920, he was one of 17 pitchers allowed to continue to throw the pitch and is believed to be the last legal left-handed spitball throwing pitcher. His greatest and worst baseball distinction may be that he made a record five outs in two at-bats during the 1920 World Series against the Cleveland Indians. In game five of the World Series, he hit into an unassisted triple play. His rising liner was caught by Cleveland Indians second baseman Bill Wambsganss, who doubled off the lead runner and tagged a runner between first and second base. To make things worse, in his next at bat Mitchell grounded into a double play, making five outs in two at-bats, a World Series record.

With those diddies in your mind for the rest of the day, don’t forget to check back here later when I post some “real” stuff from the NCAA Track and Field Championships later today from Drake Stadium. Remember, local women’s pole vaulting phenom Bethany Buell of USD will compete at 5:30 p.m. I will let you know how that goes. Until then, read on at Calling All Sports…