The 1955 Keokuk Kernels are considered to be one of the top 100 MiLB teams in the history of MiLB baseball. Their #30 on that list to be exact. You can see from the official scorecard below that the Kernels (while affiliated with the Indians) implored a cornhusk type logo. There have been many teams throughout the history of the MiLB, and the Kernels are considered to be one of the greats. Their logo, on the other hand, not-so-great. Not to take away from a storied franchise such as the Kernels, but this is probably one of a few lackluster logos throughout MiLB. The corn husk with the tribute to their affiliated Indians doesn’t mesh well in my opinion and does a disservice to such a great franchise.
In Keokuk, Iowa baseball started in 1875, with the Keokuk Westerns. The second incarnate of baseball came with the Keokuk Indians (1904-1615, 1929-1933, 1935) and were affiliated with the St. Louis Cardinals (only from ’31-’32). The next incarnate of Keokuk baseball came in 1947 with the Keokuk Pirates (members of the Pittsburgh Pirates) from ’47-’49. Then in ’52, they became the Keokuk Kernels named after the Hubinger Co., who made corn starch. in ’54, they became affiliated with the Cleveland Indians, and then became the Keokuk Cardinals in 1958 when they became members of the Cardinals.
Then in ’62, they became the Keokuk Dodgers when the Dodgers took over their affiliation and at the conclusion of the season, they were moved to Dubuque, Iowa ending baseball in Keokuk.
Arguably, the greatest year in their history was 1955 when the Kernels went 92-34 en route to winning the Three-I League championship. Two records set that year by the Kernels have yet to be broke, and their .730 winning percentage still stands.
The Kernels led by right-hander Mudcat Grant, who went 19-3 with a 3.46 ERA leading the league in wins and percentage (.864), and shared the lead for complete games (16). In addition, Grant hit 3 homers on Independence day that year driving in seven runs in a 12-2 victory. The Kernels also had rightie Bill Dailey, who led the league in ERA (2.52) and was second in shutouts (4) while going 17-4.
There is little doubt that 1955 is the greatest year in Kernels history, as no other team in that franchise is ranked higher on the MiLB top 100 lists, and adding to a recurring theme in MiLB history, it’s a storied and fruitful team that I’ve never heard of.