October 3rd in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1938, the Santa Ana Register breathlessly announced that “Wayne Penn, the blonde bombshell from Seal Beach” had graduated to the second half of the main event at that night’s boxing event at the Orange County Athletic Club. Penn, whom the Register reporter also called “The Seal Beach kid,” had earned his spot on the main event by winning his previous two fights by knockouts. Penn was warned that this match wouldn’t be as easy as the earlier matches because he was going up against Frankie Garcia who “had more ring experience and is rated an excellent ring general.”

Wayne Penn’s career as a boxing representative from Seal Beach only last until November 1938 when he disappears from the paper. He seemed to be a bit of rambling rover because in August 1938 the Santa Ana Register had dubbed him “the blonde bombshell from Long Beach,” but Penn apparently moved to Seal Beach by September and his epithet was revised to match his new location. After Seal Beach, he seems to have settled long-term in Texas where he competed in Golden Gloves tournaments on a Fort Worth team as late as 1944. 

Publicity still of Wayne Penn in 1944 (University of Texas digital archives)

Oh, and that October 3rd bout with Frankie Garcia? No knockout this time, but Wayne Penn did win by decision.

– Michael Dobkins


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