Days of Yore
.
as recounted by

Bill Day

 


Haddonfield Athletic Club (baseball)
Haddonfield boasted of and supported the finest semi-professional baseball team in South Jersey during the years 1937 to 1939.  It was know as the Haddonfield Athletic Club and it was in the Camden County League.

Home games were played on Monday and Thursday evenings on the Clever Field at the rear of the Presbyterian Church.  Independent teams were scheduled occasionally on Saturday afternoons.  That old wooden grandstand that used to be back of home plate, near Mr. Gibson's house, the sexton of the church, was filled to capacity every game with enthusiastic townfolk.

The team manger was Harold "Pat" Turner, Neil Paterson was the treasurer, and Ray Wheeler held his hat at the gate every game for incoming fans to drop in their donations to support the team.  Yes, that is the same Raymond Wheeler, who, until recently, was one of our Borough Commissioners.  Roy Zepf became manager of the team when Pat retired.

Whenever the treasury needed a boast, civic-minded residents and town businessmen never failed to give needed support.  Remembered donors of some of the team's uniforms whose names were on the backs of the shirts were Orville A. Moore, plumbing; Farrell and Knight, realtors; Ranken's Chevy, Haddonfield National Bank, and Neumeyer's.

Most of the players were town boys and there were some outsiders recruited from as far away as Palmyra and Riverside.  Reds Berger was the catcher, Charles Hayes was a pitcher, and the demon in the right field was Buzz Sheridan.  A Merchantville boy, Howard Straub, was a pitcher who went on into professional baseball.  A pitcher was given six dollars for a game, the catcher was paid five dollars, and the other positions earned sums of two or three dollars.

The team was the champion for two years as it defeated Haddon Township one season and beat Westville another year.  After several years it disbanded, but during its existence it was an asset to Haddonfield as it nurtured a community spirit that was gratifying.


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