Keeping the ball game alive

Brett
Brett Poirier
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Monument and renamed field honour legends of baseball in Summerside

SUMMERSIDE - More than 50 years after stepping away from the game of baseball, Henry “Hank” Landry still wears his baseball cap.

Hank Landry (centre) chats with friends and former fellow ball players Gerald Keough of Tignish and George Dalton of Sumerside, after the ceremony which officially named one of the city's ball fields, Legends' Field, in honour of Landry and other baseball stars.

Baseball was more than a game to Landry; it changed his life in more ways than one.

“She (Landry’s wife) came to watch me play one day and fell in love,” laughed Landry, with speaking assistance from his daughter Anne. “She just kept coming back to watch.”

Now 93-years-old, each time back to the diamond brings back different memories.

“He was a player, coach and a mentor to so many people here,” said Anne.

“My dad stopped playing after I was born, so I didn’t get to see him play,” said Mike Landry. “When I was a little older I remember watching him coach.”

The family noted he’s made many connections in the baseball community over the years.

“He’s very well known for his skill but also for his personality,” said Mike.

At a ceremony on Sunday the city of Summerside unveiled a new monument to honour baseball players of previous generations.

Formerly known as the Baseball Field for years, now the ball diamond has been named Legends' Field. It was made official with the unveiling of the Legends' Field memorial bronze plaque on Sunday, a plaque sculpted by Summerside artist Wayne Wright.

Those honoured were the late John K. Curran, the Summerside Intermediate all-star teams of 1947 and 1948, and Landry.

Curran was a familiar name in the province, due to his involvement with the company Curran & Briggs, but he always had a passion for baseball. Curran won two Maritime intermediate championships and also coached a junior team for years.

The all-star teams were comprised of 28 members, which included Second World War veterans and Air Force players.

The team captured two provincial championships and won the Maritime title one season.

Landry was commonly known as “Mr. Shortstop” around the Summerside area. He was involved with the game from 1930 to 1968 and played on three Maritime championship teams.

Family members from as far away as Alberta were in town to celebrate the special day with Landry, one of two living players remaining from the all-star teams.

“This means a lot to our family,” said Anne. “Our dad has so many great memories in this park.”

Each year a committee will review applications and select players to have their names engraved in a plaque at the ball field.

Geographic location: Summerside, Alberta

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