|The Tribune, August 19, 1940 - The rains came to City Park yesterday and washed out a
possible victory for the Rheem Manufacturing Company CAA softball team over the New
Orleans Police. Rheem was leading 5 to 1, when the rain started. From left to right,
standing, are: J. J. Dempsey, Archie Nienaber, Bill Zeller, W. L. Alphonso, Clarence
Alphonso, C. Peterson, E. Crumby and L. A. Reber, coach. Front row, N. Nienaber, T.
Fanning, J. B. Gautreaux, manager, J. Reihn and F. Wilbert.
|Rheem Manufacturing Company Softball Team
|Fred Wilbert, III shared this photo of the 1940 CAA Rheem softball team. His dad, Fred
Wilbert, II, was the catcher on this team and worked for Rheem for over forty years
before he retired. Fred offers this photo as a tribute to his dad.
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The Commercial Athletic Association softball league was created on August 5, 1940
and included 31 clubs. Some of the teams were: the Police Department, Post Office,
Kirschman's Furniture, Gulf Refining, Public Belt Railroad, Air Reduction, Henderson
Sugar, Roosevelt Hotel, Mississippi Valley Barge Line, Sewerage and Water Board, The
Item (with "Hap" Glaudi), C. T. Patterson, D. H. Holmes, Labiches, Armour Meats, A & P
Foods, Yellow Cabs and Rheem Manufacturing.
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Fred writes that Rheem's participation in the league was short-lived because of the
onset of World War II. "When World War II started, Rheem converted from producing
barrels to making ammunition for the war effort. They made 105 Howitzer warheads
and 81 mortar rounds, and everyone who worked there during the war had one of
each on their fireplace hearth as a souvenir."
|Rheem Manufacturing Plant, 1943