Jan 03, 2009 | Dan Thompson | 412 views
Terriers Return To Historic Dickson Park
Looking back...looking forward...
The 2009 Terriers Home Opener in the Premier Baseball League of Ontario (PBLO) will be held at noon Saturday May 9th at the fabled Dickson Park in Cambridge.
Home to the original Galt and Inter County Terriers, Champions of the Senior Inter County from 1922-1924, 1927-1931, 1935, 1964, 1966, 1979 and 1983, the new generation of players did not take long to return the Terriers name to glory winning the PBLO League Championship (28-6) in 2006, followed by the Select Amateur National Developmental League of Travel Teams (Sandlott) Baseball 18u World Series Championship, held in Nashville every summer. The present day Terriers have also won 7 tournaments in the past 3 years.
It is with tremendous gratitude to Cambridge Minor Baseball that the present edition has been given the opportunity to continue the tradition, which goes hand in hand with the return of the Terriers Baseball to Dickson Park.
The park itself got it's name from the town founder, William Dickson, a Scot from Niagara. Looking back as far as 1949, Terriers President at the time, Gus Murray, assembled what still is to today, one of the greatest and most powerful teams to ever take the field in Canadian baseball history, boasting four ex major leaguers. Player- coach Tom Padden highlighted the list. It was a comforting feeling for Terrier team mates to look down the bench and see Padden knowing he had played with the likes of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. That season Murray modeled the Terriers after the New York Yankees-everything from players contracts to pre-game warm-ups. Even their uniforms bore the distinctive dark blue pinstripes. As part of the effort to maintain tradition, the present day Terrier uniform is accented with dark blue.
Big name players of that era, drew crowds of up to seven thousand to the park with the short right field fence, the hill in left and the endless center field that was always, and still is, unbounded by any fence.
There was, in truth, more to summer than Dickson Park, but there was nothing more to Dickson Park than summer and the Inter County Terriers. Seasons have passed, stories have been told and through it all, countless players came and went. They all left their mark to a greater or lesser degree. Local baseball historians still talk about Jesse Orosco's no hitter on June 16, 1977, when the Terriers beat Guelph 15-0, and how Orosco was later pictured in Sports Illustrated after his 1986 NY Mets won the World Series over the Boston Red Sox. They talk of Major Leaguers, Rob Ducey in the 80s and 90’s and Scott Thorman of the new millennium. Now local baseball fans can look forward to the next generation to carve their way continuing the tradition of Terriers Baseball at Dickson Park. Since their return in 2006, the Terriers have had five high school aged players drafted. They include outfielder Terrell Alliman, pitchers Mike Henry, Benson Merrit, Nathan Linseman and Brad Furdal. Further, over 35 have signed with U.S. colleges, the majority at the NCAA Division 1 level. Proudly over the past 3 years, 17 Terriers have represented Canada at the Junior National Team level.
Terriers and Dickson Parks link to the negro leagues…
During the 50's and 60's the Terriers were loaded with great local players and US imports. Home brews Verne ”Tex” Kaiser, Wray Upper, Ron Smith, Ernie Hatt and Roger Dewaele to name a few.
During the early 50s the Inter County was a haven for ex negro league players that found their way here to play in Canada, away from the racial prejudice they endured before professional baseball lifted the color barrier. Outfielder Ed Steele from the Birmingham Black Barons and a teammate of Willie Mays played for the Terriers, along with Gentry “Jeep” Jessup, a great pitcher with the Chicago Black Giants. Both Steele and Jessup, along with another ex Terrier pitcher Mel Duncan of the Kansas City Monarchs toured with Satchel Paige's all stars throughout the US and Cuba playing exhibition games. If it hadn't of been for the ban on negro players until 1947, these players would certainly have been major leaguers. Unfortunately many of them had their better days behind them before the ban was lifted.
Other Major League players on the 1949 team included Jim Bagby Jr, who, only 2 years before playing for the Terriers, was one of the pitchers that stopped Joe DiMaggio's hitting streak at 56 games. Bagby was pitching for the Cleveland Indians at the time.
LOCAL TALENT AND IMPORTS
Toronto native, 1st baseman Goody Rosen had played for the Brooklyn Dodgers prior to joining the Terriers in the late 40s. Another was outfielder Connie Creeden of the Boston Braves.
In 1960 pitcher Dennis Aust, a college import from Florida, signed with the Terriers and later was a relief pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals.
After an absence from the Inter County for a few years in the 70s, the Terriers were resurrected again in 1975. They won the SR Inter County Championship in 1979 and 1983. Over that time, several outstanding local players formed the nucleus of the team. Randy Collins, Cy Elvin, Rick Wolstenhome and Bob McCullough all paved the way. McCullough went on to play short stop for the Canadian National team for 4 years.