Monday, Jan. 4, 1943: A wrestler’s secret weapon

Posted on November 14th, 2005 – 2:43 AM
By Ben Welter

Before pro wrestling became a multimillion-dollar arm of the entertainment industry, newspapers covered bouts as if they were — wink, wink — legitimate sporting events. This unbylined snapshot of Wladislaw Talun, who later wrestled such legends as Bronko Nagurski and appeared as Goliath in the 1951 film “David and Bathsheba,” appeared on the Star Journal’s main sports page. Other items included Halsey Hall’s “It’s a Fact!” tidbits column, a story on Minneapolis North’s 35-20 victory over Roosevelt in basketball, a bowling update and an entry blank for a Golden Gloves boxing tournament.

This Talun fellow wore some pretty big shoes: size 20. BUT DID YOU KNOW THAT NBA STAR SHAQUILLE O’NEAL WEARS A SIZE 23? AND DON’T YOU FIND THE USE OF ALL-CAPS IN THIS STORY ESPECIALLY EFFECTIVE?

TALUN’S SECRET WEAPON

They Can’t Push Him
Off His Feet

Wladislaw Talun, the two-story high Pole who meets The Angel tonight in the Auditorium wrestling headliner, has a secret weapon.

In fact, TWO of them.

They’re the foundation of his success in the wrestling ring, he says, and will enable him to stomp out the undefeated Angel in their Tuesday setto.

The secret weapons are the world’s two biggest feet.

“THEY CAN’T PUSH ME OFF MY FEET,” TALUN CONFESSES. “ALL I DO IS ROCK.”

The two Talun tootsies are encased in size 20 shoes. They just don’t make ‘em that big in wholesale lots, so Wladislaw’s brogans have come, handmade, from genuine, wear resisting horsehide, out of his native Poland. AND WEIGH 11 POUNDS.

But things don’t come out of Poland these days, and Talun finds that a similar pair made in this country would nick him for exactly $75.

He isn’t worrying, however. He’s worn the last pair six years, and they’re guaranteed for 25! It’s not unusual to wear such a pair for 50 years, Talun declares.


Two normal-sized gentleman tangle in the Tuesday semiwindup, which finds Arabian Emir Badul taking on Tom Zaharias, the Cripple Creek, Colo., wild man.

Local favorite Sterling Robson meets Nick Elitch in a rematch, and Northern Pump’s Johnny Carlin faces weight lifter Ralph Krasky in the opener at 8:30 p.m.

Wladislaw Talun, 1943
This strange photo ran with the story, along with this caption: “WLADISLAW AND HIS SIZE 20 BROGANS.” (Star Journal photo)

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