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1956 Br. 431 Bantam Baseball All-Stars


SPORT | Baseball
LEVEL | Minor Bantam

Front Row: Clare Ball, Larry Myers, Don Hinnegan (coach), Ed Robbins, Ross Day (manager), Dennis Roebuck, Tim Glidden
Middle Row: Paul Allen, Ken Montague, Sam Maruoka, Gerald Charlton (assistant manager), Dick Carey, John Carter, Jim Baker
Back Row: Glen Mills, Mac Cundle, John Slaughter, Fergie Jenkins, Mel Wakabayashi, Bill Kane, Herb Wakabayashi (bat boy)

In 1956 travel baseball teams did not exist and this bantam team was made up of players from the bantam houseleague. These players, identified as all-stars, practiced under coach Joe Bechard for 2 hours each day during the summer. Playing only exhibition games up to the Ontario playdowns, the team had an outstanding year, winning 24 games while losing only 2. Included in the wins was an impressive victory in the second annual International Tournament hosted by Chatham and including 3 teams from Michigan, one of which featured Bill Freehan who became a catcher for the Detroit Tigers.

The bantams beat Sarnia in 2 straight games to win the Western Counties championship to qualify for the OBA Bantam “A” playdowns which was the highest classification at that time. They defeated Owen Sound in 2 straight by scores of 13-5 and 25-2 to advance to the semi-finals. Against Hamilton, they lost the first game 6-0 in the best of 3 series. Playing 2 games in Chatham the next day, Chatham won 4-2 and 6-0 behind Dennis Roebuck who pitched both games, the second of which was a no-hitter. In the final series, Larry Myers struck out 14 Belleville batters and pitched the bantams to a 4-1 victory. The second game was a 4-3 victory behind Dennis Roebuck’s pitching and the bantams became the first Chatham team to win an OBA Championship at home.

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