Eugene “Ike” Flaiz

Ike FlaizInducted 2006.  One of Quincy College Academy’s Greatest Stars.  Class of 1926.

One of the greatest athletes in the first half of the 20th century is finally earning long-overdue recognition.

Flaiz, a 1926 graduate of Quincy College Academy, starred for two years in football and basketball and three years in baseball. Students at the academy often played for Quincy College teams, and Flaiz went on to captain the Quincy College football, track and basketball teams in 1928 and also was a member of the baseball team. He batted .566 in 1927 and .465 in 1928, and newspaper acconts called Flaiz a “center fielder and batter extra-ordinary.” On the football field, he was hailed as the “speedy little blonde who put up a whale of a game all through the year,” and he was good enough to be named to the Quincy College all-time football team at right half.

During the summer of 1927, Flaiz hit .487 for Hannibal to lead the IllMo League in batting by nearly 60 points. After he graduated from Quincy College, he received an offer to play for the Kansas City American Association baseball team, but he eventually signed with the Quincy Indians, a Class B team in the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues. Flaiz played with five semipro baseball championship teams.

Flaiz worked for 40 years for International Harvester before retiring in 1969. He and his wife, the former Rosemary Ridder of Quincy, had four children — Dick, Betty, Dorothy and Nancy.

“To say ‘Ikey’ Flaiz loved sports is an understatement. His athletic ability was recognized at an early age while growing up in St. Francis Parish. St. Francis offered many positive outlets for the youth of the parish, and Dad was encouraged by several priests to participate in as many sports and activities as possible. Dad would often talk of the great camaraderie of the athletes in the parish league, and he attibuted much of his development to the competition he experienced in that league. In those days, athletes at St. Francis were often mixed with college students at Quincy to represent the university in athletic contests. Dad owed much of his success to the tutelage of Mart Heinen, the coach of Quincy College at that time. St. Francis was where it all began, and Quincy College was where it all flourished. — Dick Flaiz

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