A ceremony honouring this year’s Legends’ Field Honour Roll inductees was held at Queen Elizabeth Park.
Paul H. Schurman, chairman of the Legends’ Field inductee/honoree committee, explained the honour roll recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of baseball in the greater Summerside area.
The Class of 2017 included the late J. Charles Hogan, who coached Curran and Briggs-sponsored teams to Maritime intermediate (1949 and 1950) and junior (1950) championships and numerous Summerside teams to provincial titles from 1949 to 51; the 1950 Curran and Briggs Maritime intermediate baseball champions; the 1950 Curran and Briggs Maritime junior champions; the 1964 Maritime-champion Junior Legionnaires, who were also a finalist for the regional in 1961 and 1963, and the 1967 Little League All-Stars of Summerside, who lost a close 2-1 decision to Calgary in the silver medal game of a national Little League baseball tournament in Toronto.
Gerard Dalton of Summerside played on the 1950 Curran and Briggs junior team.
“It was a great time,” recalled Dalton, who admitted he didn’t think he was good enough to play for the team. “It was right after the war, and people were starting to live again. . . There was no TV until the next year, so people came out.”
Dalton recalled how “huge” baseball was at that time.
“It was not as big before, and it hasn’t been as big after,” continued the Summerside resident, who noted teams were not allowed to play on Sundays. “We would get 1,000 people in the stands, and for playoffs you would have 3,000.”
Dalton could not say enough about the support of sponsor J.K. Curran.
“He got us everything, jackets, good uniforms and treated us like kings,” added Dalton.
The late Louie Mitchell, who lived in Lennox Island, played with the 1950 Curran and Briggs intermediate team.
“It’s a great honour to be here to accept the citation for my uncle,” said Lennox Island resident Anthony Mitchell. “It’s a lot of pride, not only because he was in baseball, but he was an Aboriginal.”
Anthony acknowledged it was exciting for Louie to play for a Maritime championship.
“He was an exceptional ballplayer for Lennox Island,” said Schurman, who played with the 1950 Curran and Briggs intermediates. “We used to play there every St. Anne’s Sunday. . .
“Charlie Hogan saw the value of Louie’s work. He was a fielder, he could catch and run like a deer. He was a great fellow, a very unassuming character, quiet and just got the job done.”
Louie Mitchell’s great niece, Trenna Mitchell, also attended the ceremony.
“It’s a great honour to be here,” said Trenna, who plays softball, track and field, badminton, volleyball, hockey and will represent P.E.I. at the upcoming North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) in Toronto. “I play a bunch of sports and he played a bunch of sports, so there’s a connection there.”
Rosters for 2017 Legends’ Field Honour Roll teams:
Curran Briggs Intermediates
1950 Maritime Champions
Louie Mitchell, Bob Timmons, Gordon MacKay, Colin (Coke) Grady, Don Simmons, Bob Schurman, Les Gaudet, Gerard Bernard, Henry Gallant, Paul H. Schurman, Jim Grady, Henry (Hank) Landry, Bill Allen, Syl Bernard, Alan Stewart, John Whalen (bat boy), J. Charles Hogan (coach), Frank Savidant (official), Norman Macdonald (secretary-treasurer), Bruce MacWilliams (vice-president), J.K. Curran (president).
Curran and Briggs Juniors
1950 Maritime Champions
Ed Dalton, Chuck Hume, Jack Murphy, Bob Timmons, Don Simmons, Gordon MacKay, Stan Richards, Lee Cooke, Colin (Coke) Grady, Paul H. Schurman, Gerard Dalton, Mark Delaney, Neil Walker, Alan Stewart, John Whalen (bat boy), Bill Allen (assistant coach), Henry Landry (assistant coach), J. Charles Hogan (coach), Norman Macdonald (secretary-treasurer), J.K. Curran (president).
Summerside Junior Legionnaires
1964 Maritime Champions
Paul MacWilliams, Don (Duck) Gunning, George MacNeill, Alan Gaudet, Richard Perry, Wayne Matheson, Dave Matheson, Jack Pate, Gerald Smith, Gary Somers, Henry (Hank) Landry (co-coach), Henry Gallant (co-coach).
1967 Summerside Little League All-Stars
Barry Coffin, Peter Arsenault, Lorne Carmichael, Steven Kelly, Bill Schurman, Bill Connolly, Derek Rolfe, Howard Connolly, Paul Richard, Brian Williams, Don Fisher, Kevin Devine, Carl Trainor, Greg MacDonald, Doug MacLean, Leslie MacDonald, Don Schurman (coach), Layton Schurman (manager), Ross Downe (president P.E.I. Baseball Association).
Legends’ Field Honour Roll inductees:
Henry (Hank) Landry
Summerside All-Stars 1947-48
John K. Curran
Lester (Les) Gaudet
James H. Grady
Colin (Coke) Grady
1977 P.E.I. Islanders
Gerard (Joe) Bernard
Donald (Dee) Lefurgey
John (The Realm) McNeill
J. Charles Hogan
1950 Curran and Briggs juniors
1950 Curran and Briggs intermediates
1964 Junior Legionnaires
1967 Little League All-Stars