Alex Proskin, a relative of Downing Braley
Pictured is the North Creek American Legion Team (circa Post WWII 1940’s). Top Row (L to R), Manager John Mcardle, George Minder, Phil Hitchcock, Downing Braley, Howard Hitchcock, Earl Stewart, Walt Scultz. Bottom Row (L to R), Jim Jordan, Jimmy Yandon, Chuck Severance, Bob Foote, Joe Howard, Bill Durkin, Ned Goodman, Rudy Goodspeed. Children, Phil Brassell, in front of Jim Jordan, Billy Lackey, in front of Rudy Goodspeed.
A lively history of baseball in the town of Johnsburg is the topic at Wevertown Community Center on Monday, Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. This free event is Johnsburg Historical Society’s annual Presidents Day program, a gift to the community. The 2014 title is “Small Towns, Big Leagues: Baseball in Johnsburg 1930 – 1950s.”
A panel of speakers, hosted by Bill Bibby, will share stories and memories of America’s favorite pastime as it evolved in the town’s local hamlets. Among items exhibited will be photos, gloves, spikes, scorebooks, a catcher’s outfit, and a Johnsburg Johnnies uniform. The discussion will focus on town teams, Little League (Rotary Little League and Gore Mountain Little League), Babe Ruth Baseball, and Johnsburg’s connection to minor and major leagues.
Information for this event has been supplied by Tim and Tom Harrington, Fred Hayes who was scouted for the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies, Phil Goodman who will show scorebooks belonging to his father Ned, centerfielder Bill Bibby, Gary McGinn, and Robert Foote of Minerva.
In attendance will be Johnsburg’s famous major league player, Jon Matlack. For 13 years Mr. Matlack played major league baseball, pitching for the New York Mets and then the Texas Rangers. Now retired, he lives in the Garnet Lake area.
Host Bill Bibby describes the strong bonds created by playing for a committed baseball team: “It felt like family, like nourishment for your soul. You knew that you were part of something that meant something.”
Refreshments served, live music provided, and lively entertainment guaranteed.