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Great stuff. Thanks for sharing!

Is there anything that will help the Rockies? Bring back the Bears.

The best seat at Merchants Park was the hill behind the center field fence where you could talk to center fielder Willie Skeen.

Except for the night they called "Willy Skeen Night" to honor him and he didn't show up for the game. They told me he was drunk. I was selling hotdogs in the stands that night as a little kid. If I wasn't at Merchants Park, I was listening to Bill Reed give a play-by-play radio broadcast over KMYR whether the Bears were home or away.

Your citation above is incorrect. "Baseball really blossomed in Denver after World War II. The Denver Bears were in the Western League and were owned by Bob Howsam and his brother Lee."

The Howsam family owned the team. Bob's father was named Lee and his brother was Earl.

Thanks for the correction.

Are there any recordings of games made by Bill Reed out there?

Unfortunately there are none that I am aware of.

It'd be great to hear him again. They used to recreate games using wire reports for road games when they could not afford the travel and telephone line charges, with sound effects of a batted ball, crowd noise etc.

Is there anyway where I can find rosters of those old teams that played in Merchant Park? Had a great uncle born in 1908 who played. Not sure which years?

Your best - and perhaps only option would be- the Denver newspapers and a day by day search during the baseball season. We have the full runs of the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post on microfilm, along with other papers that had shorter lifespans like the Denver Republican and Denver Times.

There is also an organization called Society for American Baseball Research which has a chapter in Denver. Their web site is and they have researchers that would be able to help you locate other sources of information. They even have special interest groups that specialize in minor league players. These are the folks that the term "sabermetrics" was created for. There are individuals in SABR who have encyclopedic knowledge of all things baseball.

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