I can remember as a lad, I slept, talked and dreamed baseball. Upon arising in the morning after consuming a breakfast, the first chore was to turn to the daily newspaper and find the sport section and read the results of the Major League baseball games. We followed the exploits of our favorite teams and players with a passion. So intense was our interest, that we kept a daily summary of the player's batting averages and pitching statistics. This list included famous stars such as Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, NY Yankees - Jimmy Foxx and Lefty Grove, Philadelphia Athletics - Mel Ott and Carl Hubbel - NY Giants - Stan Musial and Dizzy Dean, St. Louis Cardinals and many more too numerous to mention.
In our kid days we gathered together each and every summer day to choose sides and we played a game with an imagination to copy and perform in the style of one of the chosen stars we admired. We played hours upon hours, stopping for a lunch break, and then repeating anew our satisfying pleasure of our enthusiasm for the game of baseball.
At my tender age of seventeen (17) I found myself competing against teams from nearby towns of our mid-valley. In 1933 the Dickson Robins, were registered in the Lackawanna County League. My brother, Leo, was a player-manager, that didn't help my situation to well as I mostly sat on the bench. I don't fault him with his opinion, as my talent as a baseball player was still in a development stage. The many players on our team were skilled at their positions. I was happy to just be a member of the team. A number of our players were playing with the Scholastic Baseball Team and as a result were restrained from playing in the County League till the end of the school term. During this period I has the opportunity as a substitute to play in many games. My contribution to the team was mediocre, but we topped the league in the first half play of the season.
The second half of the season was joined by our high school players giving the Dickson Robins a much more talented team as we swept away opponents on our march to a championship. I rode the bench for the rest of the season getting limited play in the games we played. I never let my morale get me down, I entertained the thought, that the best years for the love of this sport was well ahead of me, and someday my goal of improvement would reach its peak.
I shall always remember our championship year of 1933 - We had no individual stars. Our success for winning was that we played with a united spirit; each player gave his best on game day.
My career extended into 1934 playing for a camp team at Big Sur, Calif. In 1939-40 another C.C.C. team at Farmington, New Mexico. 1941 as a regular player on an Army team in San Diego, Calif. Then in 1942 we prepared to join another game called WAR. Training by the army was rigorous and demanding. On a summer day in the month of August we entrained from Gatesville, Texas for Staten Island, New York .....where we sailed on the Atlantic Ocean for Belfast, Ireland.
|Two days as a hobo||Memoir Index||Christmas, 1935|