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Posts Tagged ‘Jack Dempsey’

Midwest wrestling great Earl Caddock’s story now available from author Mike Chapman.

Posted by flairwhoooooo on January 5, 2012


January 1, 2012

Editor’s note: It is quite fitting that during the time that we celebrate the wrestlers around the Midwest with the 2011 MWR Awards that we also announce the new book of a true Midwest wrestling legend.

Wrestling historian and the 2010 MWR Lifetime Achievement recipient Mike Chapman has just released his new book on the life and times of Earl Caddock, CADDOCK: Walnut’s Wrestling Wonder.

Please take the time to purchase yourself a copy of this book today!!

NEWTON, Iowa – A new book tells the story of the life and athletic career of Earl Caddock, one of the greatest wrestlers in American history who lived most of his life in Iowa and is buried in his adopted hometown of Walnut.

CADDOCK: Walnut’s Wrestling Wonder, was written by Mike Chapman, noted wrestling author and historian, and published by Culture House Books of Newton, in cooperation with the city of Walnut.

Earl Caddock came off an Iowa farm to become a great amateur wrestler and then won the world heavyweight championship of professional wrestling, back when the sports was a true athletic contest. He was an AAU national champion, in 1914 and 1915, but the cancellation of the 1916 Olympics ended his amateur career.

With Frank Gotch of Humboldt, Iowa, acknowledged as the top athlete in America at the time, Caddock decided to follow Gotch into professional wrestling. On April 9, 1917, he took a perfect record of 79-0 (53-0 as an amateur and 26-0 as a pro) into the ring in Omaha to take on the world champion, Joe Stecher. After more than two hours of grueling wrestling, Earl Caddock emerged as the heavyweight champion of the world.

In 1919 and 1920, Caddock was one of the nation’s most popular athletes, standing alongside such legendary figures as Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey and Jim Thorpe.

At the peak of his sports career, Caddock enlisted in the U.S. Army to fight in World War I and served gallantly in France as a doughboy, suffering lung damage from gas attacks. He returned to make his home in Walnut, Iowa. After three more years of wrestling, Caddock retired from the ring and began a successful career as a businessman in both Walnut and in Omaha.

“Earl Caddock was a devoted husband, father, Christian and high-successful businessman, as well as patriot and champion athlete,” said Chapman, who has written a total of 23 books, 15 on wrestling. “His story is both heroic and inspirational.”

“As mayor of Walnut, I am delighted that a book has finally been written about our most famous citizen,” said Gene Larsen in the foreword. “Though his fame was immense in the late teens and early 1920s, it has faded through the decades and I feel it is time that Walnut does something to keep his memory alive for future generations.”

Caddock is a member of the Des Moines Register Sports Hall of Fame. Sec Taylor, legendary sports editor of the Register and a personal friend of Caddock, once compared Caddock’s fame in Iowa to that of Nile Kinnick.

By winning the world title, “overnight Caddock became the toast of the entire state, “ wrote Taylor at the item of Caddock’s death, in 1950. “Perhaps no other athlete, not even Frank Gotch, caught the fancy and the imagination of the public as did Caddock, until the late Nile Kinnick, Iowa football player, came along.”

Nat Fleischer, considered the top boxing and wrestling writer of the first half of the 20th century, eulogized Caddock in his book, Milo to Londos: “He was an inspiration to the youth of America. During his entire career, he exemplified the best in American sports tradition. And when the history of wrestling is written…. I shall see that Earl Caddock’s name goes up near the top for his wrestling ability, and on top as the man who has done most for the uplift of wrestling in this country.”

The 88-page book includes 35 photos and newspaper articles, many not seen for 80 years, and Caddock’s complete professional record.

The cost is $7.95 plus $3 shipping and handling. It is available by ordering through Culture House, P.O. Box 293, Newton, IA 50208, or by calling 641-791-3072, or at the city hall in Walnut, Iowa.

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Oklahoma Shooter: The Dan Hodge Story.

Posted by flairwhoooooo on February 10, 2009

Oklahoma Shooter:
The Dan Hodge Storyhodgebook

NEWTON, Iowa – The incredible athletic career of Dan Hodge, the only man to ever win national titles in both boxing and wrestling, has been published by Culture House Books and is now available.

It is called Oklahoma Shooter: The Dan Hodge Story.

Hodge came out of Perry, Oklahoma, to set the amateur wrestling world on fire in the mid 1950s. He won three NCAA Championships at 177 pounds for the University of Oklahoma, never losing a match or even a takedown. He also won three national titles in freestyle wrestling and one in Greco-Roman.

He also competed on two Olympic teams. He made the 1952 team as an unheralded 19-year-old, at that time the youngest wrestler ever to make an Olympic team. In 1956, he won the silver medal in the 174-pound class in Melbourne, Australia.

On April 1, 1957, Hodge was on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine, the only amateur wrestler ever accorded such an honor.

After completing his amateur wrestling career with his third NCAA title in 1957, Hodge turned to boxing. He was 17-0 as an amateur boxer and on March 24, 1958, won the National Golden Gloves heavyweight title with a dramatic knockout victory in Madison Square Garden!

Hodge boxed briefly as a professional, posting a record of 8-2 and at one time was being considered for a world title shot against champion Floyd Patterson. In the book, he discloses for the first time the behind-the-scenes problems he had with the business, and why he left boxing even though he had a promising future.

After his horrible experience in pro boxing, Hodge became a professional wrestler and is regarded as the greatest junior heavyweight champion of all time. He is also considered one of the greatest “shooters” (a wrestler willing to wrestle for real at any time) in the history of the sport.

The book concludes with a ranking of where Dan Hodge fits on the list of the greatest shooters of all time, dating back to the start of the early 1900s.

Author Mike Chapman has known Dan and his wife, Dolores, for over 30 years and has spent considerable time with Dan talking about his incredible career. A recognized author and historian, Chapman is the founder of the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum in Waterloo, Iowa, and the founder of W.I.N. magazine, one of the top wrestling publications in the country. He has been named National Wrestling Writer of the Year six times, by five different organizations. This is his 21st book, and 15th on wrestling.

The book includes 66 photographs, many never seen before. The photos cover Hodge’s careers in both wrestling and boxing, as both an amateur and professional
“Dan Hodge has lived a truly amazing life,” said Chapman. “He has rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest names in sports history – from Jack Dempsey to Rocky Marciano, from Ed “Strangler” Lewis to Lou Thesz. There are photos of all of them with Dan in the book, plus many stories about them.”

The foreword was written by Jim “J.R.” Ross, one of the best-known announcers and commentators in pro wrestling history.

Oklahoma Shooter: The Dan Hodge Story is published by culture House Books of Newton, Iowa, a small publishing company that specializes in books about sports legends and movie personalities. It sells for $22.95, with $5 shipping and handling costs.

Persons can order the book by calling Culture House Books at 641-791-3072.

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