Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 | Wrestling | No Comments
June 7 – Mike will be a special guest and exhibitor at a “catch” wrestling tournament held on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles. The event is being run by “catch” expert Raul Ramirez and is called the “Catch Wrestling Alliance International Invitational: The Rebirth.” It will feature top competitors in the “catch” style from England and America, “Catch’ was the wrestling style popular in the early 1900s and a win can be claimed only by a submission or pin as there are no points awarded. Bouts 20 minutes. This event will be held Saturday, June 7, in Collins Court in the John Wooden Center on the campus of UCLA, at 221 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, California 90095-1612. More information is available at www.catchwrestlingalliance.com
Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 | WIN Magazine, Wrestling | No Comments
March 20-22 – For the 25th straight year Mike and Bev will be participating in the WIN Memorabilia Show during the NCAA Wrestling Championships, this time in Oklahoma City. The show features over 40 exhibitors and many Olympic and World wrestling champions. Mike’s special guests at his tables will be Dan Hodge, undefeated three-time NCAA champion and the man the Dan Hodge Trophy is named for, and Wayne Baughman, winner of 16 national titles and a member of three Olympic teams and eight World Games teams. Also with Mike and Bev will be Don Huff, co-author with Mike of the book SIDDENS, about legendary West Waterloo High School (Iowa) wrestling coach Bob Siddens. The WIN Show will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday between sessions – at the NCAA Fan Festival, in the Cox Convention Center. Among the special guests at the show will be Olympic champions Dan Gable, Bruce Baumgartner, and John and Ben Peterson, and many other top guests.
Friday, April 19th, 2013 | Books, Wrestling | No Comments
“How much do you know about Mankind’s Oldest Sport?”
That is the question posed on the cover of the new wrestling book written by the sport’s most prolific writer. Mike Chapman’s Super Book of Wrestling Trivia brings to the reader some of the most memorable events in the history of Mankind’s Oldest Sport.
“The three main goals of the book are to educate young people about the grand heritage of the sport and to entertain older readers with a nostalgic trip into the past,” said Chapman. “And to have a little fun along the way.”
Wrestling has been around for at least 5,000 years. The book has separate chapters on wrestling in antiquity, in early America, in the NCAAs, and international wrestling, including the Olympics. There are also sections on professional wrestling, wrestling as a part of mixed martial arts, wrestling in the military, and wrestling in pop culture.
The 176-page book features nearly 50 photos. Included are a classic sketch of the Hebrew patriarch Jacob wrestling the angel of the Lord, as described in the Bible in Genesis; photos of Kirk Douglas wrestling in the 1955 movie “Ulysses,” about the Greek hero during the time of the Trojan War, and Tom Cruise wrestling in the 1989 film “Born on the 4th of July.”
Sunday, February 10th, 2013 | Book Signing, Iowa History Journal, Speaking, WIN Magazine, Wrestling | No Comments
February 20 – Mike will be talking to the Knoxville Rotary Club on Wednesday, February 20, at noon at the Swamp Fox Pub and Grille in Knoxville. His speech is about famous Iowans and Iowa History Journal.
March 21-23 - Mike and Bev will be appearing at the WIN Memorabilia Show between sessions of the NCAA Wrestling Tournament in Des Moines on March 21-23. Mike and Bev created the WIN show 23 years ago and they will be greeting wrestling fans and showing memorabilia, as well as selling books, posters and videos. Numerous Olympic champions will be the special guests and an estimated 10,000 wrestling fans are expected to attend the WIN show. It will be located inside of the NCAA Fan Festival in the HY-Vee Hall. There is no charge to attend the WIN show.
July 9 – Mike will be giving a speech on the life and legacy of Frank Gotch, former world heavyweight wrestling champion, on Tuesday, July 9, at 7:30 p.m., at Joe Sheldon County Park in Humboldt. The talk is being sponsored by Project AWARE, which is a volunteer weeklong river cleanup. Each year, hundreds of Iowans join together for a week in canoes to remove trash from 80-90 miles of a different river. To date, more than 2,500 AWARE volunteers from across the state have cleaned up over 780 river miles, removing more than 250 tons of trash (70% of which has been recycled) from rivers all across Iowa. This year’s event will be held July 6-13 on the Des Moines River from Algona down through Humboldt and Fort Dodge.The event is open to the public.
Thursday, September 13th, 2012 | Iowa History Journal, Speaking, Wrestling | No Comments
October 4 – Mike will be part of the program at the prestigious RaySociety, a community of lifelong learners from a variety of backgrounds who share a common interest in continuing to seek learning experiences and intellectual stimulation. The organization is supported by Drake University and named for two distinguish graduates, Robert D. and Billie Ray, the former governor and first lady of Iowa. Mike will be speaking at the “Extraordinary Iowans” discussion on Thursday at 1:30 pm in the Hall of Pride.
October 18 – Mike will be making a double appearance on this day in Charles City. In the afternoon, he will talk to a group of high school students about the great athletic tradition in the state of Iowa, concentrating on the legends of Nile Kinnick and Frank Gotch. That evening, he will be the guest speaker at the Floyd County Community Foundation (FCCF) banquet.
October 20 - For the second year in a row, Mike will be the guest speaker at the Alan and Gloria Rice Greco-Roman Hall of Champions event in Minneapolis. Each year, the hall of fame inducts outstanding Greco-Roman wrestlers into the hall of champions. Mike will give a talk on the importance of understanding the sport’s rich and vital heritage, dating all the way back to Jacob wrestling the Angel in the Bible. For details, people can call the Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo.
November 18 - Steve Knight has invited Mike to be the guest speaker at the Excel Wrestling “Hall of Heroes” banquet at the Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines. Several annual awards will be given out and Bill Smith, 1952 Olympic champion, will be the main honoree. Bill was also an undefeated, two-time NCAA champion during his career at Iowa State Teachers College (now UNI). Originally from Council Bluffs, Bill now lives in Bode, Iowa. The cost for dinner is $50 per plate. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Excel Wrestling office at 515-331-4419
Tuesday, July 17th, 2012 | Speaking, Wrestling | No CommentsAccording to Mac Davis, author of the 1954 book 100 Greatest Sports Heroes, when Frank Gotch died in 1917, “thousands of weeping mourners, gathered from many parts of the land, trudged the icy path to the little rural cemetery on a cold December day to bid a final farewell to the farm boy who had been the greatest wrestling champion in history.”
Some 95 years later, on July 4, some 400 fans endured brutally hot temperatures to see a magnificent statue of Gotch unveiled in his hometown of Humboldt, Iowa. The eight-foot tall bronze statue shows Gotch in black tights and top, with hands on hips, gazing out over the land. It stands on a three-foot pedestal in Bicknell Park, the very spot where Gotch trained for his epic match with George Hackenschmidt, The Russian Lion, in 1911.
The statue is surrounded by a brick walkway, with four thick benches at each of the corners. Behind the area, the Des Moines River flows peacefully, just thirty yards away and down a steep bluff – offering a very picturesque setting.
“It was a day that anyone who was there will never forget,” said Scott Casber, owner/founder of Takedown Wrestling Radio. “July 4, 2012, was a great moment in the history of wrestling.”
Sunday, June 24th, 2012 | Book Signing, Iowa History Journal, Speaking, Wrestling | No Comments
Mike has added a few new events to his schedule for the next few months.
June 17 – Walnut will named a street Earl Caddock Memorial Drive during its big Antique City weekend. Members of the Caddock family came from Maryland and Texas to help celebrate the event. Earl Caddock was world heavyweight wrestling champion from 1917 to 1920 and lived in Walnut. Mike is the author of the book CADDOCK: Walnut’s Wrestling Wonder, and gave a speech at the 9 a.m. ceremony, and then held a book signing.
July 4 – The Frank Gotch Statue unveiling will take place in Bicknell Park in Humboldt, at 1 p.m. The eight-foot bronze statue is the project of a special committee in Humboldt, the hometown of the legendary professional world heavyweight champion (1908-1916). Mike is on the statue committee and will make a speech about Frank’s legacy. Among the special guests are Bill Smith, 1952 Olympic champion (UNI), and Brad Rheingans, a two-time Olympian who also wrestled professionally for 14 years.
July 6 – The Iowa Cubs have declared this date as Iowa History Journal Day and Mike and Bev will set up a booth in the entryway, with Iowa History Journal items for display and for sale. The first 100 fans to stop by the booth will receive a free copy of Iowa History Journal, some with Bob Feller on the cover. The gates open at 5:45 p.m. and the game starts at 7:30 p.m.
July 15 – Mike will be one of the Iowa authors featured at the Linn Creek Arts Festival in Marshalltown. Over 60 artists, 12 authors and a wide variety of children’s entertainment will highlight the 4th annual festival, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Marshall County Arts & Culture Alliance, at the Fisher Community Center, 709 S. Center Street in Marshalltown. Over 2,000 attended last year and admission is free. Other attractions are the world champion Yo-Yo stars, kite flyers, kite memorabilia, as well as numerous food, wine and beer vendors. For more detail, see: www.linncreekartsfestival.com.
August 9-19– For the third straight year, Iowa History Journal will have a booth at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. The booth will be on the second floor of the Ag Building, above the Butter Cow exhibit. Back issues of Iowa History Journal and over a dozen of the books Mike has written will be for sale.
Monday, May 28th, 2012 | Books, Wrestling | No Comments
The city of Walnut has announced the dedication of Pearl Street in Walnut to be designated the Earl Caddock Memorial Drive in honor of the town’s most famous citizen. Author Mike Chapman will be a part of the ceremony on Sunday morning, June 17, giving a short address and signing copies of his book on Earl.
Earl Caddock came off an Iowa farm to become a great amateur wrestler and then won the world heavyweight championship of professional wrestling, back when the sports was a true athletic contest. He was an AAU national champion, in 1914 and 1915, but the cancellation of the 1916 Olympics ended his amateur career. With Frank Gotch of Humboldt, Iowa, acknowledged as the top athlete in America at the time, Caddock decided to follow Gotch into professional wrestling. On April 9, 1917, he took a perfect record of 79-0 (53-0 as an amateur and 26-0 as a pro) into the ring in Omaha to take on the world champion, Joe Stecher. After more than two hours of grueling wrestling, Earl Caddock emerged as the heavyweight champion of the world.
In 1919 and 1920, Caddock was one of the nation’s most popular athletes, standing alongside such legendary figures as Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey and Jim Thorpe.
At the peak of his sports career, Caddock enlisted in the U.S. Army to fight in World War I and served gallantly in France as a doughboy, suffering lung damage from gas attacks. He returned to make his home in Walnut, Iowa. After three more years of wrestling, Caddock retired from the ring and began a successful career as a businessman in both Walnut and in Omaha. Caddock is buried in the Layton Cemetery just east of Walnut on Pearl St.
A new book, CADDOCK: Walnut’s Wrestling Wonder, was written by Mike Chapman, noted wrestling author and historian, and published by Culture House Books of Newton, in cooperation with the city of Walnut. Mike will be on hand for the dedication and available for book signing after the event. Members of the Caddock family will also attend.
The dedication is June 17, at 9 AM, in conjunction with the Walnut Antique Show. The dedication ceremony will be held in front of the Village Blacksmith Shop antique store located one block east of Antique City Drive on Pearl Street. Earl Caddock built this building as one of his businesses during the early part of the 20th century.
Upcoming Speeches and Appearances
- August 26, 2014 – Speaking in Forest City
Calendar of Appearances
Speaking in Forest City
August 26, 2014N/A
The Winnebago Historical Society will celebrate Forest City's own Bob Baker on Tuesday, August 26, with Iowa History Journal's Mike Chapman, who will speak at several venues in town.
Chapman will speak at the Forest City Rotary Club at noon in Salveson Hall's ballroom (106 S. Sixth St.) at Waldorf College. He will be at the Mansion Museum (336 N. Clark St.) from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. He will speak at Forest Plaza Assisted Living (635 Highway 9, E.) at 3 p.m. He will introduce and play one of Bob Baker's films in the community room at Titonka Savings Bank (101 Highway 69, N.), starting at 7 p.m. Free admission with popcorn and refreshments.
Bob Baker, a singing cowboy in movies in the late 1930s, was born Stanley Leland Weed on Nov. 8, 1910, in Forest City. He was selected to star as a singing cowboy for Universal Studios in 1937, beating out several young men for the position – including Leonard Slye, who went on to become famous as Roy Rogers. Stanley’s parents were Guy and Ethel (Leland) Weed. He served in the U.S. Army, was a police officer in Arizona and ran a dude ranch. He died Aug. 29, 1975.