The game “Field of Honor” attracts hundreds of people and evokes strong memories for the descendants of the players

0

Content of the article

A game on the main field played on Saturday in honor of the provincial champion Chatham Colored All-Stars baseball team turned out to be a gathering of family and friends among the hundreds of spectators.

Advertising

Content of the article

Blake Harding, whose father Wilfred ‘Boomer’ Harding and Uncle Len Harding, played on the team, said more than 80 years later the team still brings the community together.

“That’s why they played and they loved the game,” he said.

Harding was among 30 descendants of the team’s players who donned replica jerseys at home and away to play in a Field of Honor match to raise awareness and help with efforts to induct the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame team.

The 1934 Chatham Colored All-Stars were the first all-black team to make the Ontario Baseball Association playoffs and the first team from Chatham to win an OBA title by beating the Penetang Shipbuilders to win the Provincial Championship in intermediate division “B”.

The team excelled despite the prejudice and racism they suffered at times.

“Our parents and our grandparents and great uncles, they deserve this,” Harding said.

Earl and Horace Chase, sons of former player Earl ‘Flat’ Chase, hope the October 2 event will help the team to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

“And if they come in, the other teams that have earned it should come in too,” said Horace Chase, 85.

The Chatham Sports Hall of Fame donated this memorial stone in honor of the 1934 Chatham Colored All-Star baseball team, the first black team to win a National Baseball Association Championship. 'Ontario.  Horace Chase (left) and his brother Earl Chase Jr., son of Earl 'Flat' Chase, a team pitcher and powerful hitter, unveiled the monument, located at Fergie Jenkins Field in Chatham on October 2 before a 'Field of Honor Game played by descendants of team members.  Ellwood Shreve / Postmedia Network
The Chatham Sports Hall of Fame donated this memorial stone in honor of the 1934 Chatham Colored All-Star baseball team, the first black team to win a National Baseball Association Championship. ‘Ontario. Horace Chase (left) and his brother Earl Chase Jr., son of Earl ‘Flat’ Chase, a team pitcher and powerful hitter, unveiled the monument, located at Fergie Jenkins Field in Chatham on October 2 before a ‘Field of Honor Game played by descendants of team members. Ellwood Shreve / Postmedia Network Photo by Ellwood Shreve /Ellwood Shreve / The Daily News

“Everything takes time,” said Earl Chase, 86. “We appreciate the effort, the time spent trying to do it.”

The brothers say the honor would bring pride to the families of the players.

“We kind of hope to see it in our time,” Horace said.

Seeing players entering the field in jerseys bearing the names of all the players brought back fond memories for Harding and the Chase brothers.

Advertising

Content of the article

“It’s fun, just to review the names,” Harding said. “I grew up with these names living next door to Stirling Park.”

“It’s awesome,” said Earl Chase, adding that he loved seeing the people he played ball with 30 years ago.

“In our time there was no television or entertainment, playing ball was your entertainment,” he added.

Horace Chase remembers that 400 people would crowd the Stirling Park ball field to watch the All-Stars game.

The team disbanded in 1939, but many players joined other community teams.

Horace Chase remembers a day decades ago when his father was at bat on the same field that Saturday’s game was played on and watched him hit a home run that not only went through the fence, but landed from the other side of the athletics track at Kiwanis. Stadium, more than 200 meters.

He remembers those who witnessed it, saying, “Flat hit a bullet that day.”

Harding also has fond memories of his father.

“My father was my idol. He was not a saint, but he was my idol, ”he said with a smile.

There were some special moments in Saturday’s game.

Team Gray's Rebecca Prince defeats in a slow pitch match played by the descendants of the 1934 Chatham Colored All-Stars at Fergie Jenkins Field in Rotary Park in Chatham on October 2.  Mark Malone / Postmedia
Team Gray’s Rebecca Prince defeats in a slow pitch match played by the descendants of the 1934 Chatham Colored All-Stars at Fergie Jenkins Field in Rotary Park in Chatham on October 2. Mark Malone / Postmedia SunMedia

John Olbey, 99, received a jersey in honor of his brother Cliff Olbey, who played for the championship team.

“It’s more than I expected,” Olbey said of the fanfare surrounding the Oct. 2 game.

The Chatham Sports Hall of Fame also called on the Chase brothers to unveil a stone monument, located in a garden on the grounds of Fergie Jenkins Field, in honor of the Chatham Colored All-Stars team.

“I think it’s just great that the descendants and family members of this team are here to represent this day and this team from this era,” said Tom Hardie, Chatham Sports Hall of Fame President. .

Advertising

Content of the article

He spoke of the more than 20-year association with the team that began in 2000 when the team was inducted into the Chatham Hall of Fame, making them the second team to receive the honor.

“Shortly after the team was inducted, two of the top players were inducted into the Athlete-Legend category,” said Hardie.

The first was Flat Chase in 2001, whose “pitcher’s skills and especially hitting skills were legendary in southern Ontario in the 1930s,” he said.

In 2003, Boomer ‘Harding, “probably the best athlete on the team was inducted into the hall,” he added.

Noting that Harding excelled in many sports, including baseball and hockey, Hardie said, “Many who have seen him play believe that if the timing had been right he could have competed at the major league level in the world. one or the other sport. “

Brock Greenhalgh, a driving force behind the organization of Saturday’s game, said: “I’m really happy with the turnout.

“It’s a chance for people to reconnect, including families who may not have seen each other, especially coming out of COVID, it’s just a good thing to look forward to,” he said added.

Greenhalgh, who also lobbied for the team’s induction, said the game was filmed and that they will submit other documents to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

“I think it’s important that we keep trying to get the word out,” he said.

The descendants of the 1934 Chatham Colored All-Stars reunite for a group photo after playing a slow-pitch game at Rotary Park's Fergie Jenkins Field in Chatham on October 2.  Mark Malone / Postmedia Network
The descendants of the 1934 Chatham Colored All-Stars reunite for a group photo after playing a slow-pitch game at Rotary Park’s Fergie Jenkins Field in Chatham on October 2. Mark Malone / Postmedia Network SunMedia

Advertising

comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour of moderation before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread that you follow, or if a user that you follow comments. Check out our community guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.


Source link

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.