Rock Island Sports

-Elbert T. Smith, Manager, Industrial Development and Real Estate Sales, Rock Island Lines

One of the questions that Sue L. asked the RITS List was, "Did RI ever have company sports teams? Where would I find info on them?"

I don't know about about sports teams, but the Rock Island did sponsor sports tournaments for the employees. My dad told me that the RI would carry employees from the different divisions to a central location for the competitions.

My father, Elbert T. Smih, graduated from HS in 1927 and went to work in the RI office in Chicago. He gave me a program for the 1928 event and it is titled -- "Fifth Annual Tournament of the Rock Island Lines - Held Under Direction of Personnel and Public Relations - Tri Cities Saturday, August 25, 1928"

The program lists participants (including my dad) from various divisions -a total of 415 competitors. My dad is listed as a member of the Chicago Terminal Division. The following events are listed.

Horse Shoe Pitching - Tug Of War - Checkers - Band Contest - Golf - Trap Shooting - Pistol Shooting - Track and Field

FYI - Three bands are entered: Trenton, Missouri Division, 40 pieces; Silvis, Illinois-Silvis Division, 30 pieces; and Hortor [sic], Kansas Division, 35 pieces.

I also have a 15-inch-tall silver-plated cup (trophy) that my dad received as the winner in the half-mile run on August 24, 1929 in Topeka, Kansas at the sixth annual tournament.

I've never heard of anyone including this particular prototype action scene on their RI layout.