Saturday, January 14th, 2012 | Books, Wrestling | No Comments
A new book tells the story of the life and athletic career of Earl Caddock, one of the greatest wrestlers in American history who lived most of his life in Iowa and is buried in his adopted hometown of Walnut. Frank Gotch also plays a large role in the 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.
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.