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To add a new posting, send an email to me at bassriverhistory@gmail.com with a comment, question, story, photo, observation, etc. It will be posted below, shortly after the email is received. To comment on an existing posting, click on the "comments" command below the posting and type your comment. Your comment will show up immediately.   Pete Stemmer

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring and a Young Man's Fancy

Well, Spring is finally here, and a young man's fancy turns to  .   .   .  BASEBALL!  I knew it was just a matter of time until I would hear from an old New Gretna boy about baseball in the good old days. It was the sport of choice in New Gretna from the 1930's through the 1950's.

Here's a baseball story I received from Dave Kalm just a few days ago. He lives down in sunny Florida where Spring training is really heating up. His story should bring back some memories of exciting New Gretna baseball games for many of you out there.

Hi Pete, 

My name is Dave Kalm Sr. You know my sister Claire. I read all of your posting and find them very interesting as I grew up in New Gretna until I was 35. 

I have a 1947 New Gretna Baseball score book here. If you would like I can send you a couple of the score sheets, also all the players on the team that played that year. In 1950 I took over as manager of the team for five years. 

An incident that happened is kind of funny. The Presbyterian Pastor, Stan Wilson at that time, got the Session of the Church together and sent a proposal to the Township Committee that there would be no baseball in New Gretna on Sunday. 

Stan Wilson, the pastor of the New Gretna Presbyterian Church, was not a fan of Sunday baseball. (Photo courtesy of Margaret Cramer "Peg" McAnney.)

Boot Mathis and Woodrow Allen were two of the Session Members, I forget who else. Anyway, we tried Saturday baseball, and it didn't work. Too many of the players had to work. So, I scheduled a baseball game on a Sunday against Barnegat. There sitting on the old telephone and electric poles that were laid down as our stand was Boot and Woody. I guess about the third inning, hearing the cheers, Pastor Stan Wilson came strutting down Maple Ave. from the Manse. He asked me who scheduled the game, I told him I did. Then he saw Boot and Woody sitting there, went over to them, said a few words, and left. We had a Sunday afternoon game for the next 5 years.


Seems that Boot (left) and Woody were baseball fans after all, and maybe Pastor Stan was too. Take note of the price of gas on the pump next to Woody. (Boot's photo courtesy of Beverly Mathis Robinson.)

Here are the names of some of the players that played on the team at that time. Ron and Richie Voorhis, Elvin Mathis, Roy Zerritt, Richard Pflaum, Lew Allen, Bill Sears, and Butch Downs. There were others too. We also had Mason Price from Parkertown pitching for us, and a couple of players from Port Republic. Some of the old time players also still played. They were great days, including an annual Memorial Day double header, usually against Tuckerton.

Here is a 1947 box score:

New Gretna vs Tuckerton, June 15, 1947

Team Player

Pos

AB

R

H

Calvin Wilson

cf

4

0

0

Kenneth Wilson

2nd

3

0

0

Orville Mathis

3rd

3

0

0

Harold Downs

rf

3

1

1

Stan Cramer

ss

3

0

0

Hubie Adams

lf

3

0

0

Richie Hickman

c

3

0

0

Earl Allen

1b

3

0

0

Lew Allen

p

2

0

0

Fred Kalm  8th

p

1

0

0

Totals      

 

 

1

1


Tuckerton beat us that day 6 to 1.  Jim Brown pitched a 1 hitter, struck out 5, and walked 1.
 
Keep up the good work.

Dave Kalm


Looks like the New Gretna team could use a few heavy hitters. Any volunteers out there? We'll supply the bat.

Pete S

PS- Thanks for the baseball story, Dave. It's appreciated. Unfortunaltely, I don't have too many baseball photos from the old days. How about everyone out there checking out you old photos for baseball pictures and emailing a few to me for our history collection.

10 comments:

  1. Pete: Your right they did need some hits. Apparently Butch Downs hit a home run for the only score. That is going by the score book. Some details must be missing.

    Clif Brown

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a chuckle this gave me. Grandaddy strikes again! The picture of him you used is just about the right era, it must have been taken in about 1944 or 5 judging from my age. Thanks again for a glimpse of the time.
    Beverly Mathis Robinson

    ReplyDelete
  3. Clif,

    Are you related to Jim Brown who pitched a one hitter for Tuckerton?

    Pete S

    ReplyDelete
  4. Pete;No there is no connection with Jim. Lots of Browns mostly unrelated. My progenitor John Brown lived in Nova Scotia.

    Clif Brown

    ReplyDelete
  5. Butch Downs did hit a home run Dave Kalm

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dave and Pete

    I love this Post.

    I see that my Dad (Earl Allen) played 1B and batted #8. He was probably a little rusty. Check with my Mom, but I think we were there.

    My mother's parents lived right next to the Tuckerton ball field. I think we were living in Atlantic City at the time and Dad was back in the Army.

    I'd love to see any of the scorebooks.

    Thanks.

    John E. Allen

    ReplyDelete
  7. John,we are working to getting more of this scorebook out, and Earl played 1b several games that year. When he wasn't at first Nornam mathis played there

    ReplyDelete
  8. Saw your baseball blog. Jim Brown was from Parkertown, son of Alfrancis Brown. Think he resides in Warren Grove now. He was a very good ball player. S.W.

    ReplyDelete
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