Days of Yore
.
as recounted by

Bill Day

 


The old baseball team
During the depression years up to 1935, Haddonfield had an amateur baseball team that was composed completely of local boys.  It was in the Camden County League and ha opponents from Westville, Pennsauken and Collingswood.

Games were played on the Presby Field at the rear of the church.  Twice a week twilight games were scheduled, and Saturday afternoons there usually was a game at home.  Away games took the boys out of town, of course.

Charlie Watson, former star pitcher for the Quantico Marine Base when he was in the service, organized the Haddon A.C. as our team was called.  He also was the manager.  The Depression was in full swing, and running a ball club then was a difficult task.  Charlie often bought baseballs out of his pocket so that games could be played.  Otherwise, games would have had to be forfeited.  Eventually, spectator collections reimbursed him.

Bo Hun and Harry Wagner were the catchers, Watson and Clem Allen pitched, former Yale baseball captain, Raymond Gage was at second base.  Buzz Sheridan, Bumps Richardson and Don Rommel were outfielders.  Don Tees at third base, Ted Nolan or Max Milask were at shortstop, and Ben Gilbert at first base. Gilbert was a terrific hitter and one time had played organized baseball up in Canada.

It was an unfounded but highly probable story that one Saturday in a game, Ben clouted a ball over the right field fence as a passenger train was passing by the Haddonfield station.  The ball over the fence was an automatic two-base hit, but it sailed into an open window of one of the coaches and was not recovered until the train reached Atlantic City 46 miles away.  It was reputed to be the longest two-base hit in the history of baseball.

Players and spectators during the 30's fully enjoyed that town team.  Economics made people stay close to home then and the team was an activity that was needed.  There was a closeness in town spirit that was refreshing and fun.  Thanks, Don Tees, for reminiscing about the Haddon A.C.

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