The Post-Journal

Three Jamestown Men Are PONY Loop Umpires

Jamestown’s PONY League umpiring crop is flourishing nicely, thank you. Only last season, this city boasted but one part-time arbiter in the person of Joe Nalbone, widely known in local and vicinity amateur and semi-pro baseball circles.

This year Nalbone has two fellow townsmen drawing pay checks from the circuit, Oscar “Swede” Larson and Rube Marquardt. The league officials, looking ahead and trying to make arrangements to meet every situation, decided on setting up a system which could not be touched by lamy of manpower, transportation difficulties and what not, securing the services of three men in blue in each city in the loop, so arbiters would be available under any and all conditions.

Larson, a football and basketball official as well as umpire, stated calling them as he saw them back in 1924 in the local muny leagues and since that time has officiated in the city, county and sectional games, amateur, semi-pro and professional.

Larson first appeared on the baseball scene as a catcher for the old Alco team in 1912. He played with the Art Metal nine in 1915 and with the Chautauqua Institution nine in 1916. He attended the North Dakota State Science College at Warpleton in 1917, the year he enlisted in the naval hospital corps. He received his training at the Great Lakes Station where he played basketball and football.

Discharged from the service in 1919, Larson resumed his studies at the Birmingham, Ala., Southern College, where he played football. He quit school to accept a contract with the Norfolk Club of the Virginia League and was with the Frederick club of the Blue Ridge loop in 1920 and 1921. He next performed for a semi-pro team in Philadelphia, serving in 1920 and ’21. In 1923 he caught for the Augusta team in an independent league in Maine, returning to Philadelphia for the 1924 season, which he finished by joining the Jamestown Spiders. In 1925-26 he was with the Falconer Independents, going to the Salamanca Rangers in ’27 and part of ’28, his last season as a player.

Henry “Rube” Marquardt pitched for the Syracuse club of the old Tri-State League and also played in the outfield. In addition to his diamond activities, Rube was a crack Orange basketball performer, winning a place on the nation’s all-collegiate five.

Rube’s umpire background was secured in the St. Maurice Valley League in Canada where he called ‘em from 1922 to 1930. Later on, he kept his hand in and his eyes keen by officiating in the Westchester County League, which was made up of clubs from Connecticut, New York State and New Jersey. He also “worked” many college contests.

Joe Nalbone broke into the local umpiring picture a decade or more ago obtaining his initial experience in local muny league games and branching out to county circuit and semi-pro contests in this section. He became a PONY league arbiter last season.

Nalbone has been actively identified with the administration of the Jamestown muny leagues and the American Legion circuit for many years and has held the presidency of a Class A League for the last two years. He heads the B Loop this season.


The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame. We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.

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