Harry Ratican

Harry Jay Ratican (January 20, 1894 in St. Louis, Missouri – August 22, 1964 in St. Louis, Missouri) was a U.S. soccer forward, coach and team owner. He began and ended his career in the St. Louis Soccer League with several years in both the National Association Football League and American Soccer League. He is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Harry Ratican
Personal information
Full name Harry Jay Ratican
Date of birth (1894-01-20)January 20, 1894
Place of birth St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Date of death August 22, 1964(1964-08-22) (aged 70)
Place of death St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Position(s) Forward
Youth career
St. Louis University
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1911–1916 Ben Millers
1916–1919 Bethlehem Steel
1920–1921 Robins Dry Dock
1921Todd Shipyards 7 (2)
1921 Fall River United
1922 Harrison S.C. 3 (1)
1922 Fall River Marksmen 0 (0)
1923 Ben Millers
1923 New York Giants 1 (0)
1925–1927 Ratican’s ? (10)
1927–1928Tablers ? (5)
Teams managed
1922–1927 West Point
1923 Scullin Steel (assistant)
1925–1926 St. Louis Pants Store
Ratican’s
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Soccer careerEdit

Club careerEdit

Ratican, the younger brother of Peter Ratican, grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, attending the Christian Brothers College High School and St. Louis University. In 1911, Ratican began his career with Ben Millers in the St. Louis Soccer League.

In 1916, he left St. Louis to sign with Bethlehem Steel in the National Association Football League (NAFBL). In December, he returned to St. Louis when Bethlehem played two games, one against a St. Louis All Star team, the second against Ratican’s old team, Ben Millers. Bethlehem lost 3-1 to the All Star team, with Ratican scoring the lone Bethlehem goal. They then tied Ben Millers 2-2 with Ratican again scoring Bethlehem’s first goal of the game.[1] During the 1917–18 season, he and team mate Tommy Fleming led the league in scoring. In April, they both had twenty goals each, but records do not show how many they had at the end of the season.[2] In 1918, Bethlehem won the National Challenge Cup, Ratican scoring in the final, and again in 1919 with Ratican again scoring in the final. However, Ratican was out much of the 1918–19 season will an unknown illness.[3]

In July, Ratican signed with Robins Dry Dock. However, he still traveled with Bethlehem, serving as team captain, on its tour of Scandinavia that summer.[4] In 1920, the St. Louis Soccer League sent an All Star team on a tour of Scandinavia. Despite playing in the ASL, Ratican was still invited and went on the tour.[5] Ratican won another National Challenge Cup in 1921 with Robins. In 1921, the NAFBL folded when several teams left to form the American Soccer League. Robins Dry Dock merged with Tebo Yacht Basin F.C. to become Toddy Shipyards, which was the parent corporation for both Robins Dry Dock and Tebo Yacht Basin. Todd Shipyards lost the 1922 National Challenge Cup to St. Louis Scullin Steel F.C. Ratican did not finish the 1921–22 season with Todd, but moved to Harrison S.C.

Ratican began the 1922–23 season with the Fall River Marksmen, but a torn ligament in his leg prevented him from playing any games with the team.

Ratican left Fall River in September 1922 to coach the West Point soccer team. He was not released from his playing contract with Fall River until December 1922 at which time he began seeking playing opportunities with other ASL teams. When those did not materialize, he left the northeast on the completion of the collegiate season to return to St. Louis to rejoin Ben Millers, scoring two goals in his debut.[6] He then returned to the ASL later that year to play one game with the New York Giants.

He then gave up playing for several years, except for guest appearances with various St. Louis teams.[7] In 1925, Ratican began playing regularly with his team Ratican’s in the SLSL. He remained with Ratican’s until it changed sponsorship in 1927. He then continued playing with the renamed team, now known as Tablers for the 1927–28 season. Tablers won the SLSL title that season.[8]

Managerial careerEdit

In September 1922, Ratican was hired by the U.S. Military Academy, better known as West Point, to coach the school’s soccer team.[9] Following the completion of the collegiate season, he returned to St. Louis, playing for Ben Millers then serving as an assistant coach with St. Louis Scullin Steel F.C.. This pattern continued for several years as Ratican coached West Point then returned to St. Louis during the off season to play or coach local teams.

In 1924, Ratican formed a team, known appropriately as Ratican’s, which he entered in the St. Louis Soccer League. The team performed poorly, finishing fourth out of four teams with a 2-12-4 record.[10] They improved the next season, finishing third with a 4-6-4 record.[11] In 1927, Ratican’s again finished last, with a 1-8-3 record.[12] In 1927, Tabler’s took over sponsorship of Ratican’s team, renaming the squad, Tablers.[8]

Ratican was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame and St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame in 1950.[13]

BaseballEdit

In addition to soccer, Ratican also played minor league baseball. He spent some time with the Quincy Gems of the Three-I League. Then played outfield for the Bethlehem Steel company team.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "December 16, 1916 Bethlehem Globe". Archived from the original on October 26, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-28.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  2. ^ a b "April 18, 1918 Bethlehem Globe". Archived from the original on October 21, 2009. Retrieved 2010-10-11.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  3. ^ "July 15, 1919 Bethlehem Globe". Archived from the original on October 27, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-28.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  4. ^ "July 21, 1919 Bethlehem Globe". Archived from the original on October 27, 2009. Retrieved 2010-10-11.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  5. ^ August 13, 1920 New York Times
  6. ^ "January 22, 1923 Bethlehem Globe". Archived from the original on October 26, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-26.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  7. ^ "January 15, 1924 Bethlehem Globe article". Archived from the original on October 27, 2009. Retrieved 2010-10-11.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  8. ^ a b "1928 in U.S. soccer history". Archived from the original on 2000-10-12. Retrieved 2008-01-05.
  9. ^ "September 16, 1922 Bethlehem Globe". Archived from the original on October 26, 2009. Retrieved 2010-10-11.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  10. ^ "1925 in U.S. soccer history". Archived from the original on 2009-03-03. Retrieved 2008-01-05.
  11. ^ "1926 in U.S. soccer history". Archived from the original on 2009-03-03. Retrieved 2008-01-05.
  12. ^ "1927 in U.S. soccer history". Archived from the original on 2009-03-03. Retrieved 2008-01-05.
  13. ^ St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame

External linksEdit