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The following information was taking from the book entitled

The First Fifty Years
IUTIS Club.”

This book was compiled by Dave Miller, Historian 1980
In the Beginning...
During the early twenties, Hi Y Clubs were formed in high schools throughout the nation with the purpose of being a feeder organization for the YMCA. Sidney formed it Hi Y Clubs in 1926 but because of a false impression that there were a lot of young men who wanted to join the YMCA just to live away from home, Sidney did not form a YMCA at that time. So for the young men of Sidney who didn’t go to college, there was nothing for them. To meet this need or purpose, the IUTIS Club was formed.
By 1930...
With the Club being substantially organized by the summer of 1931, it was deemed advisable to expand the group. The question of eligibility of membership was discussed and the following requirements were established.
  1. An indicated desire to become a member shown by attending two consecutive meetings
  2. A willingness to work toward advancement of the Club by cooperating wholeheartedly with all programs which the group adopted
  3. Being between the ages of 18 and 24 regardless of religion or education advantages.
These men loved the IUTIS Club so much that when they turned 24, they didn’t want to leave. The age limited were changed by first adding three more years, and then another three years to the make the maximum as 30 years. Soon the members finally abolished the top age limit but did hold the minimum to 18 years.
Early Spring of 1934...
In the early spring of 1934, softball was discussed in a financial way. The Holy Angels Catholic Church had an athletic field on South Brooklyn Avenue which was well located and had possibilities of being developed into a wonderful athletic field.

Discussions were held with the athletic committee of Holy Angels Church and an agreement was reached whereby the Club, in conjunction with the Church Committee, would undertake to develop the field.

The IUTIS Club fielded quite an outstanding softball team in the City league played at Harmon Field
Holy Angels ran the concession stand and kept all the profits from it. IUTIS ran the playing field but guaranteed that all the first income would go to paying off the costs of developing the field including the lighting system. The balance was split 50/50 between the two parent organizations.

This was a big undertaking during the depression. The softball diamond hand to be changed around, bleachers built, fence repaired and new electric lights put up. The electric lights made this the first lighted baseball stadium in the area! The cost was a continuous worry for the first half of the season but soon the undertaking became assured of success.

Attractions with special softball teams plus local team games were held every Tuesday and Friday nights. The price of 10 cents was charged, but because they couldn’t get more but because the games were to be something everyone could afford. The crowds averaged around 400 a night with some special attractions drawing nearly 1000 spectators.

During the summer of 1934, the Club had two softball teams, one was entered in the regular league at Harmon Field, the other played as one of the “home” teams under the lights, Prima Washers being the other home team.
Time for a Change...
As time marched on, the IUTIS Club became involved in volleyball and basketball at the rented out Methodist gymnasium. By 1934, the Club was sponsoring a Boy's Club dinner at the Methodist Church, sponsored a float in the 1935 Halloween celebration, and obtained a license to have Bingo by 1936. By 1942, the Club continued its community services and still found many unique ways of raising operating capitol.

But the Club soon approached a crossroads. As with growth, comes change. The Club decided to ask all members to send in suggestions for future Club projects that the whole Club could get involved in. Suggestions ranged from establishing a YMCA, to building tennis courts, acquainting children of the community with the story of Christ, promoting better playgrounds, building and maintaining overnight cabins for Boy Scout troops in the city and many others

It was a letter from IUTIS member Harry A Binkly, however, that sparked the interest for today’s youth based Softball program.
A typical IUTIS Club team coached by Bill Deam in the 1950's.
In 1946, it was finally decided that the Club should bet involved in a long term youth program and softball seemed the most logical for two reasons

Harmon field was the only available playing field and it was already a softball field

Softball was very popular and since the Club’s purpose was to develop coordination and sportsmanship, softball seemed better suited than hardball for younger players.

An IUTIS committee decided that the IUTIS club should take complete charge of the Junior League, handling the entire project including umpiring, scorekeeping, coaching, and managing of the teams. Boys 16 years old and under were to be eligible, and each boy was assured he would get to play at least three innings every time his team was scheduled to play.

Forty-Seven IUTIS Club Members volunteered to take part in the program. It was originally planned that there would be six teams. Each team would have one manager and five coaches but because on tryout day ( June 19, 1947 ) 125 boys came out, the Club had to create two four-team leagues with two different age brackets.

The national league consisted of boys between the ages of 14 and 16 with the team names of the Reds, Phillies, Pirates and Dodgers. The American League Team was made up of boys under 14 years of age with the names of the Buckeyes, Rockets, Lions and Tigers.

The first game was played the following Tuesday (June 24, 1947) at 7 p.m. It was an American League game between the Buckeyes and the Rockets in which the Rockets won 15-5. The second game that night was the Reds versus the Phillies in which the Reds won, 25-17.
The first Ice Cream Social...
In early August 1949, it was suggested that the IUTIS Club sponsor an Ice Cream Social to be hold on the nights of Monday, Wednesday and Friday ( August 15,17,19).

The social was a huge success. The top seller was Joel Stockstill who sold a total of 72 Ice Cream Social tickets. For his efforts, Joel won 1 gallon of ice cream.

For more information, contact Dave Miller for a copy of the book entitled...
The First Fifty Years
IUTIS Club.”

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