Marysville Merchants


Marysville Merchants
Area: Yuba (Marysville)
Year: 1921 (Aug. 7)

Description:  Marysville Merchants Baseball team takes flight as the first club to fly to an away game. The flight was 80 miles to Woodland Ca and took 43 minutes.

Marysville Merchants baseball team posing before the Friesley Falcon airliner, August 1921. The team posed with the crew in front of the large twin engine aircraft, they recorded the fact that they were the first ball team in history to travel by aircraft to play a baseball game and this is also recognized Baseball Hall of Fame.  They are from left to right: Clifford Gottwalls, Warren Eich, Roy Francis (pilot), Capt. B. M. Spencer (designer, builder and pilot), Grafton Reed (mechanic), Clyde Manwell, Louis Wilcoxen, Tyrell Brook, Bryden Kelly, Lou Anthony, unidentified, Allen Eich, Charles Brown, and Harvey D. Eich (manager). The bat boy standing in front is Wonton Eich. The man who funded the Friesley Falcon project was Harold Friesley (aka Friesleben). The Friesleben family had a farm on Highway 70 between Marysville and Oroville. The Airliner was constructed in the town of Gridley. Although this twelve passenger airliner was not a financial success, the Friesley Falcon was aerodynamically and technologically a success. The Friesley Aircraft Corp. went bankrupt in 1922 and it is believed that the aircraft was sold to China.


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