Friday, March 19, 2010

18. Overton Tremper

Overton who? Overton Tremper, that's who. Never heard of him? Well, don't feel so bad, unless you lived in Brooklyn in the 1930's chances are you would have never heard of him or his team, the Bushwicks of Brooklyn. Back during the 1920's up until the advent of televised games in the 1950's semi-pro baseball was a big thing for many parts of the country where there was no chance of seeing a real major league game in person. Thousands of real talented teams sprung up all over the land and most major league players began their careers playing for teams like the Bushwicks. Semi-pro teams were also a place where over-the-hill major leaguers could wring a few extra dollars more out of their career before retiring from the game. Grover Cleveland Alexander, Rogers Hornsby and Dazzy Vance are 3 Hall of Famers who did just that. But the Brooklyn Bushwicks were a little bit better than most semi-pro outfits. Owner Max Rosner put lots of money into his team and even had their own stadium, Dexter Park. Teams travelled far and wide to challenge the Bushwicks, more often than not returning in defeat but slightly richer as Dexter Park regularly drew crowds of 12,000 during its heyday. The Bushwicks battles with the best negro league teams were legendary and real big league stars often stopped by to play a game or two with the "Kandy Kids" as they were known for their blue and orange uniforms. Dazzy Vance, Babe Ruth, Joe Dimaggio all played games for the Bushwicks and a young college kid, Lou Gehrig tried out but failed to make the team. But the regular roster players, such as Overton Tremper, were as equally well known and idolized.

After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in economics, Tremper played parts of 2 seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers before being sent down to the minors. Deciding that it wasn’t the lifestyle he wanted he returned to Brooklyn where he became a high school teacher. On weekends and nights from 1931 to 1934, Tremper was the star outfielder for the semi-pro powerhouse Brooklyn Bushwicks who played major league caliber baseball against all levels of teams. Many ballplayers were actually able to earn more money playing for the Bushwicks than they could playing in the majors as well as having a regular paycheck from their day job. Many major league stars played for or against the Bushwicks and their games against the best negro league teams were legendary. Tremper later earned a master's in education from N.Y.U. in 1938 and coached various semi-pro teams on Long Island. He died in 1996.


  1. Awesome card! Overton Tremper is a distant cousin of mine, I found out after doing ancestry research for the past 2 years! How can I get this card?

  2. Mr. Cieradkowski, Thank you for producing this amazing card of my grandfather in his Bushwicks uniform as well as for your research. Love the old tobacco card format. As a player-manager, my grandfather was known for his slow walks from center field to the mound, to allow time for the reliever to warm up. Again, thanks for this labor of love.