Danny Gallivan Leads Sydney to 1937 Intermediate Title

Danny Gallivan with the Witney Pier Athletics, he is pictured third from the right in the first row (courtesy SaltWire).

Danny Gallivan was the lead play by play announcer for the Montreal Canadiens from 1952 to 1983. He grew up in Cape Breton before attending St. FX University in Antigonish. He would do play by play for CJCH in Halifax covering the Halifax St. Mary’s junior team and the Maritime Major Hockey League. He filled in for a Montreal announcer in 1950, before starting full time in 1952. He would call games for the Canadiens for the next 32 years. He would call over 1900 NHL games before his retirement.

Gallivan was a pitcher in his younger days, leading Sydney St. Theresa’s to the Nova Scotia intermediate championship in 1937. Sydney would win the Cape Breton title before beating the Pugwash Maple Leafs in the provincial finals. Gallivan pitched the clinching game, striking out 11 and giving up only three hits.

By winning the Nova Scotia championship, they would face the New Brunswick – PEI champions, St. Joseph’s (NB) for the Maritime championship. Game one of the series was played in Sydney on October 1, with Sydney winning 4-2. Gallivan started the game, striking out 17 batters, on three hits. The two runs were scored as a result of errors made by the Sydney team. Eugene Belliveau started for the visitors from New Brunswick, giving up only five hits himself. Sydney won as a result of the strong first inning where they scored three runs on two hits, two walks and an error.

Game two would be played on October 8 in St. Joseph’s, and Gallivan pitched in relief. The game was played in front of 1000 freezing fans as the visitors won 7-4 to sweep the series in two. Gallivan would pitch Sydney out of a jam in the seventh. He would strikeout Paul & Romeo Gaudet, before giving Albert Gaudet an intentional walk. He ended the inning by striking out Belliveau.

Sydney 101 310 100 – 7 9 3
St. Thomas 111 000 010 – 4 12 9

The New York Giants would invite Gallivan to spring training the following year. An injury would end his career before he could pitch professionally. He wasn’t the only Nova Scotian scouted by the Giants around that time as were also interested in Windsor’s John “Buster” Paris. Paris is the father of long time hockey coach John Paris Jr, who became the first Black coach in professional hockey history in 1993-94 (IHL Atlanta Knights).

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1955 Liverpool Larrupers

As mentioned in my recent post on the 1955 H&D season, the Larrupers were the champions. They finished the regular season in first place. The Larrupers would go on to beat the Kentville Wildcats 5 games to 4 before beating the Halifax Cardinals 5 games to 1 in the championship series.

The identities of the players are courtesy of this blog, the players names were posted by Ron Cote.

1st row–

Jack Kubiszyn – Infielder who played two seasons (1961 & 1962) with the Cleveland Indians. From Buffalo, New York.
Jack Kaiser – Longtime coach at St. John’s University in New York. Native of Brooklyn, New York.
Danny Seaman – Coach, native of Liverpool
George Lewis – Third baseman, played minor league baseball in the Red Sox & Pirates systems. Topped out in 1960 with the AA Eastern League Allentown Red Sox & South Atlantic League Savannah Pirates.
Ray Buss –

2nd row–

Ed Hadlock – Played minor league baseball in 1947-48 & 1950. Spent 1948 with the New England League’s Portland Pilots, who were affiliated with the Phillies. Pitcher.
Don Richards –
Don MacLeod – Pitcher who went 12-2 for the Larrupers. Is a member of the PEI Sports Hall of Fame & Boston University Hall of Fame. Played in the Milwaukee Braves farm system, topping at AA Austin Senators in 1960.
Ron Cote – Played a few seasons in the Red Sox system (1956, 59-60). Played for AAA Vancouver Mounties in 1960 who were an Orioles farm club.
John Powers – Second baseman
Neil Moran –

3rd row–

Jack Kaulback –
Billy Whalen – Pitcher, Liverpool native.
Leo Casegrande – Pitcher, Texas native played at St. John’s University.
Jim Davins – Infielder who spent some time in the minors. Native of New Haven, CT.
Bob Coccodrilli –
Jack Rodderham.

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1955 H&D League Season

I finally was able to put together a summary of an entire season in the old H&D Baseball League!

Inspired by at the game reports pages at the At The Plate site, here is the day to day results from the Halifax & District Baseball League’s 1955 season. This is one of the few seasons where I can find a nearly complete lists of game results from various sources (L’Evangeline on the Google archive and islandnewspapers.ca). I have listed all game results that I could find for the 1955 H&D League season.

Depending on the info given, some results are missing, other games vary between have the score, briefing or the CP report on the game. No games were held on Sundays. The regular season opened on June 10 and concluded on August 20, the postseason commenced two days later and finished up on September 9.

June 10: Stellarton @ Liverpool

June 11: Liverpool 1 @ Stellarton 8; Dartmouth 2 @ Halifax 4; Halifax 2 @ Dartmouth 4

June 12:

June 13: Halifax 1 @ Truro 12 ; Kentville 2 @ Stellarton 7; Liverpool 7 @ Dartmouth 3

June 14: Stellarton 2 @ Truro 2 (8 innings, rain). Albions started was Barch, relieved by Jack McCoy in the eighth. Bearcats pitchers were Bill Rochford and Pete Fisher (came in in the sixth). Stan Maxwell hit a homerun for Truro.

June 15: Liverpool 4, Truro 4; Halifax 6, Kentville 4; Stellarton 4, Dartmouth 3

June 16: Kentville 11, Stellarton 5; Halifax 4, Truro 3; Liverpool 5, Dartmouth 4

June 17: Liverpool 21, Stellarton 8; Truro 16, Dartmouth 2

June 18: Truro 13, Stellarton 7; Liverpool 2, Halifax 0; Dartmouth 6, Kentville NR

June 19:

June 20: Truro 3 @ Kentville 10; Stellarton 11 @ Dartmouth 7; Halifax 1 @ Liverpool 9

June 21: Halifax 9, Dartmouth 6; Liverpool 3, Stellarton 2; Kentville 5, Truro 3

June 22: Truro 3, Liverpool 2; Dartmouth 5, Kentville 3; Halifax 5, Stellarton 3

June 23:

June 24: Dartmouth 8, Truro 5; Kentville 15, Stellarton 4; Liverpool 1, Halifax 0

June 25: Dartmouth 7 @ Liverpool 8. Larrupers starter John Shumock was rocked before being replace by Donnie McLeod in the first. McLeod finished the game, giving up two hits & five strikeouts. Arrows pitchers were Murray Guttman, Chet Corkum (third) and Bill Walsh (seventh). Truro 2 @ Halifax 12.

June 26:

June 27: Truro 2 @ Liverpool 3; Liverpool catcher George Lewis had a two-run homerun in the sixth. Don Richards had the win & Moe Drabowski took the loss. Stellarton 6 @ Halifax 3; the Albions had 13 hits compared to the Cardinals 7. Jim Kennedy had the win, Jim Raugh took the loss. Halifax’s Jose Rogers had a solo homerun in the ninth. Dartmouth 4 @ Kentville 7; Dick Bunker had the save, came on in the ninth with the bases loaded & nobody out. Jim Bailey started for the Wildcats but Dick Black picked up the win. Tom Blackburn started for Dartmouth. Kentville catcher Bob Rowe hit a two run shot in the sixth.

June 28: Halifax 6 @ Dartmouth 7; Kentville 7, @ Truro 4

June 29: Liverpool 6, Dartmouth 3; Truro 3, Stellarton 1

July 1: Kentville 9 @ Liverpool 4; Wildcats had 11 hits off of Don Richards and Ron Cote while Tet Thelander held Liverpool to eight. Kentville 3 @ Liverpool 4; Ed Hadcock had the win, while Al Lindop started for Kentville. Dartmouth 2 @ Halifax 4, Tom Bujnowski picked up the win & Tom Black had the loss. Halifax 7 @ Dartmouth 0, John Stokoe won while former Cardinal Kim Kuykendall picked up the loss. Stellarton 3, Truro 1 (Ed McNutty won the win, Moe Drabowski the loss; Truro 6, Stellarton 3 (Don Easson was the winner, Jim Kennedy the loser). Games were split between the two towns.

Standings: Liverpool (up 3.5 games), Kentville, Halifax, Truro, Stellarton & Dartmouth.

July 2: Liverpool 5 @ Halifax 4 (10 innings); Jim Davins & Jack Kaiser homered for Liverpool and Bill Carter for Halifax. Don MacLeod picked up the win in relief, Tom Bujnowski the loss. The starters were Leo Casgrande and Harleigh Fatringer. Stellarton 7 @ Darmouth 6; Jack Stephens hit a grand slam for the Albions in the third while Bob Scariato homered for the Arrows. Bill Walsh picked up the win. Truro 0 @ Kentville 5; Jim Bailey threw a one hitter for the win, Dave Martens took the loss in a complete game.

July 3:

July 4: Dartmouth 8, Stellarton 6; Kentville 3, Liverpool 2; Truro 2, Halifax 1

July 5: Stellarton 5 @ Liverpool 6, Jack Kaizer hit a grand slam for Liverpool in the third. Ed Hadlock was the winner while Dave Ready took the loss. Bitteli (Albions) and Bob Davins (Laurpeens) also hit homers. Truro 10 @ Dartmouth 1, the Bearcats put up 11 hits in this one. Moe Drabowsky won the game while John Stoke was the loser. Kentville 1 @ Halifax 8, Jim Raugh picked up the win while Dick Black took the loss. Al Lindopi came in for the Wildcats during the fourth. Second baseball Billy Carter left the game for the Cardinals after being presented with a watch pregame for being the club’s MVP.

July 6: Kentville – Stellarton Albions pounded out 12 hits Wednesday night to down Kentville Wildcats 6-3 in a Halifax and District Senior Baseball League contest. Jim Kennedy went the route to collect the win as he held the second-place Cats to seven hits. His mates collected 12 off Jim Pelcher Hugh Mendez and Bll DeGraff. Pelcher was charged with the loss.

HALIFAX Truro Bearcats lowered the boom on Halifax Cardinals in the last two innings Wednesday as they blasted home six runs to take In 8-5 victory in a regular Halifax and District Senior Baseball League game. Ed Fisher. who relieved Doug Martens in the first inning when Cards pushed home four runs took the win. Halifax starter Tom Bujnowski was the loser.

LIVERPOOL Liverpool Larrupers blasted out 10 hits Wednesday to collect a 7-0 win over Dartmouth Arrows in it regular contest of the Halifax and District Senior Baseball League. Don Richards went to the mound for the league leaders and held Arrows to three scattered hits while his mates blasted three Dartmouth hurlers heavily. Three Liverpool hits were homers. from the bats of Jack Kublszyn, Gordie Massa and Jim Davins.

July 7: Liverpool 13 @ Stellarton 1; Halifax 10 @ Truro 6; Kentville 3 @ Dartmouth 5

July 8: Kentville 8, Dartmouth 7; Halifax 5, Stellarton 1; Truro 15, Liverpool 13

July 9: Halifax 9, Liverpool 9; Truro 6, Dartmouth 3; Truro 6, Dartmouth 4; Kentville 9, Stellarton 8

July 10:

July 11: Liverpool 5, Kentville 3; Truro @ Stellarton (rain); Dartmouth @ Halifax (rain)

July 12: Liverpool 2, Dartmouth 0; Truro 3, Stellarton 2; Truro 4, Stellarton 0; Kentville 9, Halifax 4

July 13:

July 14: Dartmouth 8 @ Stellarton 8 (7 innings); Truro 4 @ Kentville 3; Liverpool 9 @ Halifax 3 (13 hits for Larrupers, move six games into lead)

July 15: Kentville 4 @ Truro 6 (Charlie Sticka hit three run homer in third, Jim Murray was credited win the win, Al Lindop took the loss). Games between Halifax & Dartmouth and Stellarton & Liverpool were postponed due to fog).

July 16: All games postponed due to rain or fog

July 17:

July 18: Kentville 5 @ Stellarton 4; also scheduled were Truro @ Halifax and Liverpool @ Dartmouth

July 19: Dartmouth 0 @ Liverpool 8 (great pitching from PEI native Don MacLeod, team won 24 out of 30 games); Halifax 4 @ Truro 1 (Cardinals passed the Bearcats for third place).

July 20: Kentville 5 @ Halifax 7; Truro 2 @ Liverpool 5; Truro 1 @ Liverpool 5; Dartmouth @ Stellarton DH

July 21: Liverpool 1 @ Kentville 2; Truro 3 @ Stellarton 5; Halifax 4 @ Dartmouth 13

July 22:Stellarton 8 @ Liverpool 11; Halifax 7 @ Kentville 6 (11 innings); Truro 7 @ Dartmouth 6

July 23: STELLARTON–Stellarton Albions held Truro Bearcats scoreless until the eighth inning and held off a last minute attack Saturday to score a 6-3 Halifax and District Senior Baseball League victory.

HALIFAX. (CP) -Halifax Cardinals toppled Dartmouth Arrows of the Halifax and District Senior Baseball League lost Saturday but lost 12-5 in an evening encounter with Liverpool Larrupers.

DARTMOUTH. N. S – Kentville Wildcats of the Halifax and District Senior Baseball League battled to 11 innings Saturday before handing Dartmouth Arrows at 8-7 defeat.

July 24:

July 25: Truro 2 @ Kentville 3; Halifax 11 @ Liverpool 9; Halifax 1 @ Liverpool 1 (10 innings)

July 26: Liverpool 16 @ Stellarton 4 (another win for MacLeod, moved to 9-0, called after seven due to darkness), Dartmouth 4 @ Halifax 2 (John Stokoe got the win, Ed Buckley the complete game loss; Kentville 9 @ Truro 10 (10 innings)

July 27:

July 28: Charlottetown paper notes the big leagues are scouting Don MacLeod. He is the only Martime pitcher in the league, has 9-0 record with three saves. He also pitched the three hitter, attends Boston University.

All games rained out (Truro @ Dartmouth, Stellarton @ Halifax, Kentville @ Liverpool).

July 29: Halifax 1 @ Liverpool 2; Halifax 4 @ Liverpool 2; Stellarton 5 @ Kentville 6

July 30: HALIFAX (CP)-Lefty Jim Kuykendall from Waynesville, PA pitched no-hit, no-run baseball Halifax Cardinals hammered Truro Bearcata 1-0 in the Halifax and District ball league Saturday. Kuykendall received errorless support from his teammates, who kept the pressure off him by collecting. 14 hits, including three homers off Truro pitchers Don Eason, Pete Fisher. and Meckman. Hosea Rogers led the Cardinal attack with two homers and Don Stafford the other. In becoming the third pitcher to throw a no-hitter In the H&D League in the last five years, Kuykendall allowed only five men to reach first, all on walks. He struck out six. The other no-hitters were thrown by Gerry Levinson in 1949 and by Phil Tarpey in 1954. Both played for Halifax.

STELLARTON, N. S. – Stellarton Albions swept a double bill from Kentville Wildcats in the Halifax and District Baseball League Saturday. Albions edged Kentville 3-1 in the first game and then came back strong to blank the valley team 11-0 in the second. The first game was a pitcher’s duel all the way with Dick Bunker of Kentville and Russ Hendrick each allowing five hits. Kentville got its lone run in the first. Stellarton tied the game in the third and added the winning run in the sixth. Leo Parent pitched five-hit ball in the second game for Stellarton. Kentvllle used four pitchers starting with Al Lindop who was the loser.

DARTMOUTH – Dartmouth nailed the leading Liverpool Larrupers 6-1 In the Halifax and District ball league Saturday. The lone Liverpool run came off the bat of pitcher Don Richards who homered in the seventh inning. Richards however, had difficulty in maintaining control and Arrows scored four runs in the second inning and added two more in the sixth. In all he allowed only five hits. Bill Walsh, the winner held Liverpool to four singles and Richard’s homer.

July 31:

August 1: KENTVILLE, N.S. (CP)–Kentville Wildcats climbed back into second place in the Halifax and District Baseball League Monday when they whipped Halifax Cardinals 9-2.

LIVERPOOL. NS. (CPL Dartmouth Arrows won 3-2 over the leading Liverpool Larrupers in the Halifax and District League Monday. Larrupers ace moundsman Donnie MacLeod suffered his first set- back of the season, though he held Dartmouth to five hits. MacLeod’s record is 9-1.

TRURO (CP) – Bill Rochford tossed three hit ball as Truro Bearcats blanked Stellarton Albions 2-0. Meanwhile. Truro batters teed off on Jim Kennedy for 10 hits.

August 2: All three games were rained out.

August 3: Truro 2 @ Liverpool 11 (Larrupers recorded 14 base hits); Kentville 3 @ Dartmouth 0; Kentville 7 @ Dartmouth 5; Halifax 4 @ Stellarton 5 (10 innings); Halifax 14 @ Stellarton 5

August 4: Dartmouth 6 @ Kentville 2 (Arrows score four in seventh); Stellarton 5 @ Halifax 4; Liverpool 4 @ Truro 12 (Bearcats had 17 hits)

August 5: STELLARTON. N. S – Parent’s two-run homer in first Inning was all the Albions needed Friday as they edged the loop-leading Larrupers 2-1. Winner Marty McGuire had a two-hit pitching performance while Liverpool’s ace, Don MacLeod allowed only four hits and took his second defeat of the season.

DARTMOUTH. N. S.. Icy Halifax Cardinals batted four runs in the third inning on Friday to spark a drive that left Dartmouth Arrows on the wrong end of an 8-2 decision.

August 6: Liverpool 1 @ Halifax 4; Stellaton 2 @ Halifax 6; Stellarton 8 @ Dartmouth 2; Truro 1 Kentville 5

August 7:

August 8: Halifax – Halifax Cardinals split a Halifax and District Senior Baseball twin bill with Kentville Wildcats here Monday. winning the opener 4-0 but dropping the nightcap 7-6 in the face of an 11-hit Kentville attack. Kentville’s Jim Bailey was the winner in the second game although he was yanked in the seventh in favor of Jim Pelcher. Ed Bucklcy, who went the distance for the Cardinals took the loss. The Wildcats sewed it tip with a single run in the ninth inning. Tonimy Bujirowski held the Wildcats to four scattered hits in the first game.

Liverpool – The top-dog Liverpool Larrupers poked a run across in the ninth inning here Monday night to defeat Stellarton Albions 4-l in a Halifax and District senior ball game. The Albions weren’t helped by their five errors the field. Yet they got to winner Ron Cote for six hits, only one less than the Larrupers got off Marty McGuire.

Truro – Truro Bearcats squeezed a run across in the 11th inning Monday night to edge Dartmouth Arrows 2-1. Dartmouth’s John Stokoe gave up nine hits and the Arrows collected eight on Don Eason.

August 9: Stellarton 5 @ Dartmouth 3; Truro 3 @ Halifax 7; Liverpool 7 @ Kentville 5

August 10: Liverpool 5 @ Truro 3; Liverpool 5 @ Truro 4; Stellarton 1 @ Halifax 6; Dartmouth 5 @ Kentville 4

August 11: Liverpool 10 @ Stellarton 5

August 12: All games postponed due to rain (Stellarton @ Kentville, Halifax @ Truro, Dartmouth @ Liverpool).

August 13: Halifax 4 @ Liverpool 4 (7 innings, rain); Truro @ Dartmouth (fog); Stellarton 0 @ Kentville 2 (7 innings, darkness)

August 14:

August 15: Stellarton 0 @ Truro 12; Liverpool 6 @ Kentville 7; Dartmouth 14 @ Halifax 12

August 16: Truro @ Stellarton (1-0 Truro in 1st when fog rolled in); Liverpool 2 @ Dartmouth 3; Liverpool 6 @ Dartmouth 2; Halifax 2 @ Kentville 1 (Ed Buckley and Jim Brady both pitched complete games)

August 17: Kentville @ Liverpool (DH rained out); Halifax 3 @ Stellarton 2 (Harley Fatsinger picked up the win, Jim Kennedy the loss); Dartmouth 3 @ Truro 2 (Bob Scariato and Colin Gracie hit homers for the Arrows).

August 18: Liverpool 3 @ Halifax 2; Truro 4 @ Kentville 3; Stellarton 3 @ Dartmouth 1

August 19: Halifax 9 @ Dartmouth 10 (teams had a combined 25 hits and 10 errors)

August 20: Dartmouth 11 @ Stellarton 2; Dartmouth 18 @ Stellarton 5; Kentville 11 @ Halifax 2; Truro 8 @ Liverpool 6

End of regular season (Liverpool, Halifax, Truro & Kentville are the playoff teams). Stellarton would finish in last place with a 21-36 record.

August 21:

August 22: Kentville 9 @ Liverpool 0 (Roger Rada & Ray Lamontagne hit homers for Kentville, Wildcats lead 1-0); Truro 8 @ Halifax 9 (Cardinals lead 1-0)

August 23: Halifax 2 @ Truro 4 (Drabowski the winner, Ron Kozuk & Charlie Sticka had homers for Truro, series tied 1-1); Darmouth @ Kentville was rainned out

August 24: Dartmouth @ Kentville rained out again

August 25: Truro 3 @ Halifax 1 (Truro leads 2-1); Liverpool 12 @ Kentville 8 (Kubiszyn had two homers for Liverpool, Don Richards picked up the win, Ed Lyons the loss, series tied 1-1)

August 26: Halifax 6 @ Truro 3 (series tied 2-2); Kentville won 3-2 in Liverpool (lead 2-1)

August 27: Truro 0 @ Halifax 1 (Tom Bujnowski gave up six hits in the win, Moe Drabowski nine in the the loss); Liverpool @ Kentville (rained out)

August 28:

August 29: Liverpool 15 @ Kentville 5 (Don Richards had a complete game win, series tied 2-2); Halifax 2 @ Truro 7 (Bill Rochford with the complete game victory, Win Overstreet took the loss, series tied 3-3)

August 30: Truro 3 @ Halifax 9 (Jim Raugh the winner, George Player was the loser, Dick Carter hit a homer for the Bearcats, Chuck Arnold hit one for the Cardinals, Halifax leads 4-3); Kentville 0 @ Liverpool 4 (Ed Hadlock was the winner, Jack Kubisyzn had a three run homer, Liverpool leads 3-2)

August 31: Liverpool 8 @ Kentville 2 (Larrupers had homers from George Lewis, Jack Kaiser & Bob Davins, Don MacLeod picked up the win, Liverpool leads the series 4-2); Halifax 3 @ Truro 7 (Charlie Sticka hit a three run 450-foot homer in the first, series tied 4-4 but Truro leads 4-3 due to protested game on the 26th)

September 1: Kentville 3 @ Liverpool 2 (Dick Bunker had a three hit win, Liverpool leads 4-3); Truro 6 @ Halifax 8 (Art Hoch hit a grand slam in the ninth to win the series 5-4 for the Cardinals)

September 2: Liverpool 3 @ Kentville 5 (Ed Lyons was the winner, Ed Cote the loser, series tied at 4-4); Truro Bearcats announce they will disband but would continue the next season.

September 3: Liverpool wins game nine, take the series 5-4

September 4:

September 5: Halifax 2 @ Liverpool 10 (Larrupers with 14 hits, they lead 1-0); Halifax 3 @ Liverpool 4 (Ron Cote pitched two complete games, lead 2-0 in series)

September 6: Liverpool 10 @ Halifax 2 (Don MacLeod with a two hitter, Cardinals did lead 2-1 in the seventh, Larrupers with 12 hits of their own, Liverpool leads 3-0)

September 7: Liverpool 1 @ Halifax 11 (Jack Rudderman took the loss after only recording two outs as the starter, Jerd Kaulback wen the rest of the way, Cardinals had 12 hits, Larrupers still lead the series 3-1)

September 8: Halifax 0 @ Liverpool 7 (Cote wins his third of the series, Liverpool leads 4-1)

September 9: Liverpool 12 @ Halifax 6 (Don MacLeod had seven strikeouts and hit a two run homer, Liverpool coach Danny Seaman had three hits, Larrupers take the series 5-1)

Liverpool Larrupers won the 1955 Halifax & District Baseball League championship.

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Boston Braves vs. Kiwanis – July 1934

I have written about this game before but here is a game story with partial box score from said game. The game was played on July 17, 1934 with this story appearing in the Charlottetown Guardian the next day. The P.E.I. paper cut the last half or so of the story, so I included the remainder of the story from the Fredericton Daily Mail.

The box score only includes the hitters stats, no pitching lines or score by inning. There is an error in the first part, as the crowd was 5000 that day, not the 500 that appears in the story. The Braves beat the Maritime champs, 11-3 on the strength of a eight run second inning. The Braves would return to the region the following September when they played an exhibition in Yarmouth.

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First MLB Matchup Between a Maritime Born Pitcher & Hitter

On July 20, 1897 local baseball history was made when for the first time ever, a Maritime born pitcher faced a Maritime born hitter. On this day, the Washington Senators beat the Louisville Colonels 6-4 in a National League game played at Eclipse Park in Louisville, Kentucky. The home team’s pitcher was Bill Magee (born in Saint John). The visiting second basemen was John O’Brien (also born in Saint John).

The pitcher would rule the day as he got O’Brien out in all four at bats. But O’Brien’s team won 6-4. His first at bat versus Magee would have came in either the second or third inning of the game. He was a little more productive in the field, where he recorded three outs, but no assists with one error. Heading into the game, the Nationals had a 26-42 record and were in 11th place in the 12 team National League (22.5 games back of first). The Colonels were better as they were 31-40, good for 9th place in the league (19 games back). But it would be the Senators who would finish with the better record at 61-71 (32 games back of first place Boston) and in 6th place. The Colonels would finish their season in 11th place with a 52-78 record (40 games back).

As for the season, the rookie righthanded would finish with a 4-12 record with 5.41 ERA & 44 strikeouts in 156.1 innings pitched. O’Brien would finish his season with an average of .244 with 3 home runs and 45 RBI in 320 at bats (353 plate appearances over 86 games).

Box Score courtesy of the Baltimore American, July 21, 1897
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Coward’s a Cardinal with Things to Prove

Here is an article from the June 15, 1978 Calgary Herald (courtesy Google News Archive). Curtis Coward played his one season of professional ball this season with the Calgary Cardinals of the rookie level Pioneer League. He was the first Black Nova Scotian to play professional baseball. Coward pitched well that season, going 7-3, 3.19 ERA with 68 strikeouts in 93 innings in 13 games (all starts). His first game was on June 28, which was a win over the Medicine Hat Blue Jays. During the previous season, Coward played for the Intercounty League’s Toronto Maple Leafs where he roomed with pitcher Jesse Orosco. He signed with the Cardinals after attending an open tryout following that 1977 season.

Coward would suffer a shoulder injury and nor pitch professionally again. He was supposed to play AA ball for Arkansas in 1979. He was eventually traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates but did not play in their system (he had worked out for their AAA team).

Coward would return to Nova Scotia in 1979, hoping to play in the Nova Scotia Senior League. He would coach the Halifax Pelham Electric for one season before turning his focus to fastpitch. Coward would pitch the next ten summers for the Beechville Rockets. He would write a book on baseball, the Kid’s Baseball Book which is an instructional book for children. He would later coach basketball, in fact his daughter Rachelle would play at the NCAA level before transferring to Saint Mary’s.

In 2017, Coward was inducted into the Maritime Sports Hall of Fame.

Box score from Coward’s second game , July 2 at Great Falls.
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Rheal Cormier vs. Matt Stairs: Their Major League Matchups

Cormier faced Matt Stairs nine times in their careers.

Moncton’s Rheal Cormier passed away yesterday after a battle with cancer. In the past 24 hours there have been many tributes to the pitcher from across the baseball world. Cormier was in the Big Leagues for 16 seasons, including a time in the late 1990’s when he was one of three players from New Brunswick in MLB (Matt Stairs & Jason Dickson being the others). He never pitched in the same game as Dickson, but did face Matt Stairs a number of times in their careers.

He would face Stairs nine times during their Major League careers. The first seven occasions happened when Cormier was with the Boston Red Sox and Stairs played for the Oakland A’s. Their next matchup was in 2003, when Stairs was with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cormier with the Philadelphia Phillies. The final matchup was an interleague game when Cormier was still a Phillie, while Stairs was a Kansas City Royal. They were teammates with the 1995 Red Sox team that won the American League East.

Here is each batter vs. pitcher matchup between Rheal Cormier and Matt Stairs. Information is courtesy of Retrosheet.

  1. 1999-04-30: Stairs struck out in the bottom of the seventh (Boston 9 @ Oakland 13)
  2. 1999-05-03: Stairs popped out to third in the bottom of the fifth.
  3. 1999-05-03: Stairs walked in the bottom of the eight (Boston 11 @ Oakland 12)
  4. 1999-08-18: Stairs filed out to centre in the top of the eighth (Oakland 4 @ Boston 7)
  5. 1999-08-19: Stairs singled to right in the top of the eighth (Oakland 6 @ Boston 2)
  6. 1999-09-07: Stairs grounded out to first in the bottom of the eighth (Boston 5 @ Oakland 3)
  7. 2000-09-06: Stairs grounded out second to first in the top of the fifth (Oakland 6 @ Boston 4)
  8. 2003-04-03: Stairs struck out in the top of the ninth (Pittsburgh 2 @ Philadelphia 0)
  9. 2004-06-20: Stairs filed out to left in the top of the ninth (Kansas City 2 @ Philadelphia 8)

Stairs would go 1-8, with a base on balls & two strikeouts vs. Cormier. He would slash .125/.222/.125 in these nine plate appearances. To date, that matchup in June of 2004 is the last time two Atlantic Canadians have played one another in a MLB game.

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Billy Harris Helps Clinch 1958 International League Championship With the Montreal Royals

New Brunswick’s Billy Harris started the fifth & clinching game for the Montreal Royals in the 1958 Governor’s Cup (International League) series. The Royals were the top farm club of the Los Angeles Dodgers (franchise’s first season in California after relocating from Brooklyn). Their opponents were the Toronto Maple Leafs, who were the only independent team in the IL that season. The Royals won the series four games to one, with the final game being played on September 24 at Maple Leaf Stadium in Toronto. The Royals finished the regular season in first place with a 90-63-2 record, the Maple Leafs were second at 87-65-1. The Royals won the semifinal series against the Columbus Jets (Pirates) 4-3, the the Maple Leafs won their semifinal 4-1 against the Rochester Red Wings (Cardinals).

Harris was a native of Duguayville, born on December 30, 1930. He started his professional career in 1951, with the Class D Valdosta Dodgers of the Georgia-Florida League. He rose through the Dodgers system, making his AAA debut with the Royals in 1954. He would be in AAA full-time starting two years later. Harris would pitch parts of seven seasons with the Royals during his career. He made two brief stops with the Major League Dodgers in 1957 (final season in Brooklyn) and 1959 (when they won the World Series in Los Angeles).

Harris would give up four runs (all earned) in three plus innings in game five. He had won ten straight games heading into this clinching game. The Royals would hold on and win the game 11-10 for their seventh (and last) Governor’s Cup championship, their first in five years. The Royals would go on to lose the Junior World Series 4-0 against the Minneapolis Millers (the American Association farm club of the Boston Red Sox). Harris would pitch game three of that series in Montreal.

The franchise would only last in Montreal another two seasons before relocating to Syracuse becoming the Chiefs, where they still are 60 years later. The city would gain Major League Baseball in 1969 when the Expos played their first season in the National League.

Box score of the clinching game (courtesy Montreal Gazette via Google News archive).

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Yarmouth’s Scott Jeffrey, Former Blue Jays Prospect

Scott Jeffrey spent three seasons in the Blue Jays minor league system.
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Prior to 1991, amateur baseball players playing in Canada were not subject
to the draft. These players were free agents, just like any player not from
Canada or the United States is today. A teenaged Scott Jeffrey of Yarmouth,
Nova Scotia became one of the top amateur pitchers in the country in 1990 when
he threw a no-hitter for the first six innings of a game against Ontario at
national tournament. That year he was also the final cut of the national junior
team. He would be invited to Toronto to throw a bullpen session with the Jays
and practice with the team prior to a game. The next day (August 10), he was
offered a contract which he accepted in an instant. That same fall, the team
signed future Major Leaguers Rob and Rich Butler.

Jeffrey would spend the 1991 and 1992 baseball seasons playing for the
team’s Gulf Coast League in Dunedin, Florida. The lefthander would put up
decent numbers in that league. He would go 4-5 with a 4.02 ERA and 31
strikeouts in 53.2 innings his rookie year. Jeffrey would follow that up with a
2-1 record with 5.06 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 32 innings in 1992. That season
he actually got one base hit (in one at bat), scoring a run in the process. In
1993 as a 19 year-old he would play for the Medicine Hat Blue Jays of the
Pioneer League. He would go 1-4, with a 4.18 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 28
innings. Jeffrey would go one for one at the plate again this season. This
season he tried to keep the ball lower in the strike zone as the coaches’ the
previous year said he kept the ball too high. As a middle reliever, Jeffrey got
pitch two or three innings every three or so games in Medicine Hat. The 1993
season was the team’s first winning season in ten years and Jeffrey would help
them set a team record for fewest runs allowed.

After leaving the Jays organization he would play a couple of seasons with
the Yarmouth Gateways then of the Nova Scotia Senior League. He was the NSSBL
MVP for both seasons. He would stop playing baseball after that, finding all
the travel difficult when he was working full time and starting a family.

Information is taken from various articles from the Daily News and Yarmouth
Vanguard as well as Baseball Reference.

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Minor League Contraction

The minors are in progress of contracting to four affiliates per MLB team, not counting the complex & Dominican Summer leagues. This means 40 current MiLB teams will be eliminated from affiliated baseball. Some current independent teams (St. Paul, Sugarland & Somerset) will become affiliated.

This will have an impact on baseball as a whole either it be MLB, MiLB, independent leagues and college, including summer leagues. Some of these include:

  • Less cities will have affiliated baseball. Any city losing out needs to get a replacement team either it be independent league (some of which are now “partner leagues” of MLB).
  • With less minor league teams, 40 plus at least three more (the teams losing out from the indy teams that are moving to MiLB) there will be a shorter draft. With less players drafted, we will likely see more players choosing to go the college route. This will help the quality of play in college. In turn, this will help the college summer leagues with the added talent to the college game.
  • Not everybody is going to go the college route. This means independent leagues will see an increase in talent. Especially in the early years as many former Minor Leaguers will be out of work.
  • The Appalachian League and New York – Penn Leagues will become college summer leagues. This will create more competition in the recruitment process of players in these leagues. There are currently over 60 such leagues. The Pioneer League will cease to exist.
  • Some of these teams will stay in their leagues and become amateur. Some of the bigger cities will get teams in other minor leagues. For example the NYPL’s Brooklyn Cyclones are going to the AA Eastern League. Some of the cut teams may choose to become independent, staying professional, rather than become college teams.
  • The advantage of becoming professional (independent) is, with some exceptions, more money is to be made. Independent teams play more games (about 100, compared to 48-72 you see in summer leagues). Some of these independent (partner) leagues may become exclusively for younger players. This would basically be a major junior league for baseball with the players being college age.
  • With all these markets opening up, we will likely see cities and teams jumping leagues through the minors, independent leagues and college summer leagues. New leagues will form from the rubble, including cities are are currently without baseball. Maybe we’ll see a Canadian League coming out of all of this.
  • The Frontier League now stretches from Quebec City to St. Louis. Can a minor league support such a geographic footprint? One reason MLB is cutting back on the minors is to give their leagues a smaller geographic football to reduce travel. I can see the midwest teams being in one league and the eastern teams in another league. The Canadian teams (Quebec, Trois-Rivieres & Ottawa) could end up forming their own league. COVID-19 may also play a role in this as the closed border has shown difficulties with having a bi-national league.

These changes to MiBL will take place next season but the trickle down effect with take several years to finalize itself. Some of these cities will take this as a wake up call and use this contraction to invest in their facilities in an effort to rejoin the affiliated minors through relocation or expansion (with MLB expands to 32 in the coming decade). Other cities will find their way in either independent leagues, summer college leagues or maybe local fans would simply follow the local college team. Unfortunately some cities will be left without high level baseball in any form.

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