If an event can take on the persona of one individual, the Colt World Series is embodied in this man. He is its heart. Bradway led this tournament for over 30 years in Lafayette. Bradway is a native of Akron, Indiana, 10 miles east of Rochester. Because Akron High School only had a basketball team, Bradway did not play baseball until after graduating from Akron when he played baseball for the Rochester Merchants and softball for the Rochester Moose.
After graduating from high school in 1937, Bradway worked the next 12 years in the printing business for the Akron News, a weekly newspaper. He spent 1949-52 in Marion, Indiana and Seymour, Indiana while working in newspaper and radio. Bradway moved to Lafayette in 1952. Until his retirement in 1982 Bradway worked in radio and television, broadcasting and telecasting Purdue University and high school athletic events.
In his early years in Lafayette, Bradway helped from a Colt League for those players who were too old for Pony League and did not make the American Legion baseball team. In 1958, the first Colt League was formed. Bradway was happy that it was his team that won the last game of the season to force a three-way tie with three teams at 8-7. Bradway's team finished 6-9.
Lafayette made its first Colt Tournament appearance in 1959 with Bradway serving as manager. Though Lafayette did not win, Bradway know that it could serve as the site of first-round and second-round tournaments. The idea to hold the World Series in Lafayette surfaced when Bradway and John Eberle, not only his coaching opponent but longtime friend, traveled to Riverside, California to watch the 1968 tournament.
Bradway and Eberle knew Lafayette could host the World Series. In 1969 Steve Bartowski, who later played professional football for the Atlanta Falcons, led Santa Clara, California to the first World Series Championship played in Lafayette. Lafayette served as host in 1970 and 1971, before the Colt World Series moved to Tampa, Florida in 1972. At that time Pony Baseball preferred that no city hold the tournament or more than three consecutive years. However, after Tampa could not continue as host, the Colt World Series returned to Lafayette in 1973 and continued through 2017.
With an Olympic-format, each team in the Colt World Series is assured of three games and the Lafayette committee can have the host team Lafayette or Hoosier North play in the second game and perhaps meet in either of Monday or Tuesday's final round games.
"There's no question that if not for Harry Bradway the Colt World Series would not be in Lafayette. Harry was instrumental in getting the tournament here and keeping it here. "He's the leader", says Seattle Mariners Midwest Scouting Director Dave Alexander.
"Harry Bradway is certainly the heart-and-soul of the Colt World Series. It has been my pleasure to work personally with Harry the past 20 years and Pony Baseball has worked with Harry for 30 years," said Pony Baseball President Abe Key. Through Bradway's intervention, the Colt World Series an Lafayette have been a perfect match.