Six-Man football, invented in Nebraska, took off. Six-man baseball? Not so much.If football could be played with just six players to a side, Stephen Epler figured, why not another sport?
Today, Epler is known as the father of six-man football, the teacher at Chester High School who, nearly 90 years ago, invented a game that small Nebraska schools like his could play.
Some 32 Nebraska schools fielded a six-man football team this fall, illustrating that Epler’s creation is alive and well in his home state.
But hardly anyone realizes that Epler, buoyed by his six-man football success, also tried to invent a way for small towns to more easily play the National Pastime popularized by Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Nebraska native Bob Gibson. To play a variation of the sport the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and others are now playing as they fight to make it to this year’s World Series.
That’s right: Six-man baseball.