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James William "Ducky" Holmes (1932)

HOLMES, LYONS, SWEITZER

Posted By: Pat Hochstetler (email)
Date: 11/6/2006 at 09:47:09

Winterset Madisonian
Winterset, Iowa
Thursday, August 11, 1932

DEATH OF "DUCKY" HOLMES AT TRURO

Noted Base Ball Player Dies Suddenly At Home in Truro

J. W. (Ducky) Holmes, known wherever base ball is played as one of the greatest players of his time, died at his home in Truro, Friday night, August 5th, at the age of 63 years. He was one of the most colorful men in base ball during his career, which lasted from the early nineties until about ten years ago, when ill health cut short his life's work.

"Ducky" was a natural born ball player. He played almost any position in the diamond and was a freak left hand batter. His entrance into professional baseball was at Beatrice, Nebraska in 1900. He was sold to St. Joseph in the Western League and later went to Des Moines, from where he was sold to the old Baltimore Orioles. They sold him to Detroit in the American League and later was traded to the Chicago White Sox. After two years with this team he injured one of his knees and he thought he would never again regain his best form, and asked for a release. His request was granted and he went to Lincoln and bought that team when it was in last place and brought it up to third place at the end of the season. Later he sold the team and bought the Sioux City franchise. They won the pennant in 1908. For a few years he acted as an American League scout and also umpired some. He proved such a good hitter that he was transferred from the pitcher's box to the outfield, so that his team, would get the benefit of his heavy hitting, and he played almost any position well.

The deceased was a son of Arch and Eliza Holmes, and was born in Truro, January 28, 1869. He has been in poor health for several years, but his condition was not thought to be critical. He was found dead Friday morning. He leaves two brothers and two sisters, I. I. Holmes of Truro, H. H. Holmes of Des Moines, Mrs. Ella Sweitzer and Mary E. Lyons both of Osceola.

He was raised on a farm near Truro, and engaged in the railroad services, first on the Des Moines, Osceola & Southern and later on the Northwestern lines. During the World war he was employed by the government as a physical director to help plan the recreational activities and was given a passport for overseas service, which he was prevented from using by the signing of the armistice.

Funeral services were held at the Kale funeral home in Truro Sunday afternoon and burial was in the Truro cemetery.
________________________

The Osceola Sentinel
Osceola, Iowa
Thursday, August 18, 1932
Page 1, Column 2-3

J. W. “Ducky” Holmes Was One Of The Greatest Ball Players Of His Time

J. W. (Ducky) Holmes, known wherever baseball is played as one to the greatest baseball players of his time, and extremely well known in Clarke county and Osceola, is dead.

Funeral services for the veteran baseball player, who was one of the most colorful men in the game during his career which lasted form the early nineties until about ten years ago, were held at Truro, his home town, Sunday, August 7.

Holmes is said to have played one season with the Osceola team early in his baseball career, at a time when Osceola was a member of the Southern Iowa league.

“Ducky” was a natural born ball player. He played almost any position in the diamond and was a freak left handed batter. His entrance into professional baseball was at Beatrice, Nebraska, in 1900. He was sold to St. Joseph in the Western League and later was transferred to Des Moines from where he was sold to the old Baltimore Orioles. They sold him to Detroit in the American League and later was traded to the Chicago White Sox. He proved such a good hitter that he was transferred from the pitcher’s box to the outfield so that his team would get the advantage of his heavy hitting, and he played almost any position well.

After two years with the White Sox, Holmes injured one of his knees and he thought that he would never again regain his best form, and asked for a release. His request was granted and he went to Lincoln and bought that team when it was in last place and brought it up to third place by the end of the season. Later he sold the team and bought the Sioux City franchise. His team won the league pennant in 1908. For several years he acted as an American League scout and umpired some.

The deceased was a son of Arch and Eliza Holmes and was born in Truro, January 28, 1869. He had been in poor health for several years but his condition was not thought to be critical. He leaves two brothers and two sisters, I. I. Holmes of Truro, H. H. Holmes of Des Moines, Mrs. Ella Switzer and Mary E. Lyons, both of this city.

He was raised on a farm near Truro and engaged in the railroad service, first on the Osceola & Southern and later on the Northwestern lines. During the World War he was employed by the government as a physical director to help plan the recreational activities and was given a passport for overseas service, which he was prevented from using by the signing of the armistice.

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