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We Only Played Home Games: Wacky, Raunchy, Humorous Stories of Sports and Other Events in Michigan's Maximum Security Prison Paperback – January 15, 2002

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...there are stories that will open your eyes and shake your head - it's Oakie at his best!!" -- Jerry Burns, Former Head Coach-Minnesota Vikings, January, 2002

"His story should appeal to fans (prison & sports lit) - and any directors ripe for a gut-busting and poignant screenplay." -- Jame Lee Rake, Shepherd Express (Milwaukee, WI), March 2002

"If you don't like the book, you can go to hell...Oakie did and wrote a book." -- Bob Ling, California Newspaper Publisher and Syndicated Columnist, February 2002

About the Author

Leonard "Oakie" Brumm was born in Ironwood, Michigan and raised in Marquette, Michigan (both in the Upper Peninsula). After an exceptional athletic career in high school and a stint in the U.S. Army (World War II), Brumm went on to graduate from the University of Michigan in 1950 with a degree in Physical Education. While attending college, Brumm won three varsity letters in hockey, one in varsity tennis and two freshman/JV awards in football. The highlight of his collegiate athletic accomplishments was being a member of Michigan’s first NCAA hockey championship team (1948).

After graduation, Brumm was appointed varsity hockey coach at the University of Wyoming for one year. Next, Brumm was recruited by the University of Alaska-Fairbanks to become the Athletic Director (which included coaching the hockey and basketball teams).

When Brumm returned to Marquette in 1953, Warden Emery Jacques was determined to lure him away from his Construction Superintendent’s position and hire him as the notorious prison’s first Athletic and Recreation Director. During Brumm’s four year "adventure" at the prison, he also played and coached the Marquette Sentinels - a solid, semi-pro hockey team in the strong Northern Michigan-Ontario Hockey League.

After completing four danger-filled years of service (and the most comprehensive sports & recreation program ever installed in any prison) Brumm didn’t want the law of combat averages to catch up with him. Subsequently, he departed from the Siberia of Michigan to join the family construction business.

During Brumm’s long and varied construction career, he took advantage of the winter layoffs to further develop his hockey playing and coaching abilities. Most of this was accomplished in the semi-pro United States Hockey League where Brumm was player-coach, and eventually - the coach of three different USHL teams: Des Moines (Iowa) Oak Leafs, Waterloo (Iowa) Blackhawks, and the Marquette (Michigan) Iron Rangers. In fifteen years, Brumm’s teams won four league championships and two playoff championships in this very tough league.

In 1980, Brumm left Marquette for Green Bay (Wisconsin) to continue extensive construction work. While in Green Bay, he coached the St. Norbert College hockey team for one season (12-12-1 record.)

In 1982, Brumm appointed the Construction Manager for a large International Construction Group doing projects in Kuwait. For the next five years, he managed road, bridge projects and the new Kuwait International Airport project. Again, Brumm blended sports and construction, co-founding the Kuwait National Hockey League in the mid 80's. He became the league's publicity director and served as the player-coach of his team that captured three playoff titles.

With the acceleration of the neighboring Iran-Iraq war looming, Brumm returned to the United States. In 1994, Brumm moved to Wisconsin to continue construction projects.

During 1995-1998, he took a "break" to coach the combined Brookfield (Wisconsin) high schools' hockey team to the state championship "Elite Eight" for their first and only time.

In 1992, Brumm was named to the Upper Peninsula (Michigan) Sports Hall of Fame.

Currently, he and his wife, Francis reside in Racine, Wisconsin. He continues to be active in the construction consulting business. In 2000, Brumm become the owner/editor of THE WISCONSIN HOCKEY NEWS, a statewide publication.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Brumm Enterprises Llc (January 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971805008
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971805002
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,592,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By John L. Hoh Jr. VINE VOICE on July 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
Recently, Sports Illustrated and ESPN ran features on San Quentin prison and its Giants baseball team. It was noted the San Quentin Giants only played home games.
Leonard "Oakie" Brumm published this book in December 2001. Maybe he should attempt to collect from the above stated venues for stealing his idea and "only home games" line. Those pieces ran well after Oakie Brumm's book.
Leonard "Oakie" Brumm is a respected high school hockey coach in the Milwaukee area. My father-in-law claims to know him. It's possible, as both men come from Michigan's Upper Peninsula--an area where hockey is a major sport and the fanaticism of hockey fans exceeds even the fanaticism found in Minnesota.
But the book is about a job Oakie Brumm had for four years in Marquette, Michigan (a major UP city). The book details Oakie's tenure as Recreation Director for the Marquette State Prison, a maximum security facility. Oakie was hired a year after the Jackson State Prison riot in downstate Michigan. The Warden at Marquette wanted to prevent the same scenario to play out in Marquette. Thus, the hiring of Brumm as recreation director.
You might ask what would incite a sane individual to apply for such a job. The truth is, the job came looking for Brumm. Brumm had coached in Alaska and Wyoming previously, which the warden knew. Brumm had come back to Marquette to work in his family's construction business. And it was while doing road work that the warden would stop and ask Brumm to apply for the job; it was his for the taking.
Brumm was naturally hesitant to take the job. Who in their right mind wants to work inside a maximum security facility? But his wife urged him to take the job. Women love job security and financial security and working for the state in maximum security wasn't bad.
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Book was in great shape. I will treasure this book as was already aware of its existence...know of people who had relatives affiliated with UP "home games" Definitely recommend it! Great read especially for sports fans.
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Format: Paperback
We Only Played Home Games: Wacky, Raunchy, Humorous Stories Of Sports And Other Events In Michigan's Maximum Security Prison by Leonard "Oakie" Brumm is not a book for the faint-hearted. We Only Played Home Games is replete with sometimes disturbing, sometimes darkly humorous, sometimes outrageous anecdotes, about a warden who used team sports to sublimate inmate dissention - or in other words, get the prisoners to focus on something other than escaping or tearing each other apart. We Only Played Home Games is fascinating, informative, unique, and reveals traditional sports and life in prison in a much different light than can be found in typical prison memoirs or traditional penology studies.
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An inside view of what goes on in the prison in Marqette when a young man is asked to start a sports program for the inmates. For a mature reader. The townspeople were against providing "entertainment" for the hardend criminals. It was done to keep them out of trouble, and in many ways it did.
It was a first of its kind at that time .
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Format: Paperback
Shame Michigan never kept up the program and shame on the author for trivializing the horrors of state prison.
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