More news from the Adirondack Observer
The tabloid newspaper that I lifted the stories from last week has a dateline of June 11, 1948, nearly 80 years ago, eh, I mean nearly 70 years ago — hey, easy now; I just read a scientific study claiming that four people out of three can’t do math.
Big sports section
The Adirondacks fielded baseball teams from every community back in the 1930s and 1940s — Saranac Lake had two teams – the Majestic’s and the Elks/Merchants. There was also the Lake Placid Majestics – and the famous Majestic Restaurant in Lake Placid, owned and operated by the Theodore family, was located across from the Olympic Speed Skating oval.
So, needless to say, so why am I saying it? There were many baseball games covered by an anonymous reporter … here are a few excerpts:
“The Saranac Lake Majestic’s after a last-minute cancellation in the Essex County schedule last Sunday played a ‘fill-in” game with the Bloomingdale Firemen. The Majestic’s, considered the best team in the Adirondack League, beat the Firemen, 8 to 2.
“Brown started for Bloomingdale and worked well until the sixth inning when it was impossible for him to retire a single Majestic.
“Benny Reick came to Brown’s rescue but was man-handled to the same degree himself before the Majestic’s were set down.
“In the first inning the Firemen made it appear as if they did not accept the superiority of the Majestic’s. With two outs, Stub Goodman was hit for two runs and three hits, including a double by Benware.
“When Sprague singled scoring Benware from second, Kennedy followed and was an easy out Baker to McGrain.”
LP Majestics batter Elks 12 to 2
“On the short end of a 12 t0 2 count, the Elks more than matched play with the Majestic’s in the first several innings and led 2 to 0 going into the bottom of the fourth inning. Placid scored five runs in that inning on two hits and a host of Elks errors. Clements, The Majestic’s shortstop whaled a double while Alan Langlois, erstwhile Roamer [ of the LP Roamer’s hockey team] forward, delivered a three-bagger.
“After holding the Elks scoreless in the top of the fifth, Howie Page, manager of the Majestic’s inserted every splinter-gatherer on his bench. With two on, Joe Farley came in to bat for Johnny Fell and plastered a homerun past Don Facteau in right field. For Joe it was his second round-tripper of the year.”
Three big power hitters
“Leading in batting percentages throughout the first 13 games of the new season, Wayne Sweet, Saranac Lake Majestic centerfielder, dropped to third on the team last Sunday when he got one hit in four trips to the plate. Wayne’s average is currently at .369. Going to the front was Tim Sweet [Wayne’s brother] who jumped to the hallowed circle of .400, getting three for five.
“In second place is ‘Bobo’ Clyde Baker, the utility infielder and pitcher, who brought his average to .372 over the weekend. Baker is followed by Wayne Sweet. The three make up the only .300 hitters on the ball club. Former .300 hitters who have fallen below the line are Linus Fobare and Hal Sullivan.”
Gee, remember that old saw, “you can lead a hor to culture but you can’t make her think”…a takeoff on “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.”
“Spring is the time – say it with feeling, say it with flowers from Ryan’s Greenhouses, telephone 693 – Telegraph service, free delivery.” [Those greenhouses were located on the corner of Ampersand Avenue and Broadway, the opposite corner from the playground.]
“Says Mrs. Maple — ‘Northwoods Tree Experts are the talk of the town. They’re the finest tree surgeons for miles around.” Phone Saranac Lake 1002-W.”
“Cabin Owners, hotels, motels, etc. — We have coin operated radios for lease or for sale. Write Box 127, Malone, New York.”
“For sale –5-room bungalow in Bloomingdale. Corner lot. Price $4,000. Phone 311.”
“Worms for sale, 11 Balsam Street, Robert Rue, Phone 105-J.”
“Brewster Taxi Service – Prompt, courteous and superior service 24 hours daily. Telephone 269 and 922.”
[That courteous and superior service referred to in the ad was provided by yours truly and my buddy, Herb Davis. In 1948 we had just graduated from high school, turned 18 in July and got Chauffeurs’ licenses; then went to work driving John Brewster’s two new Plymouth cars, one black and one green. My pal, Johnny Muldowney, for some reason, gets a kick out of me driving cab back then. The town was jumping, twice the population of 2017, with TB patients, their visitors and residents. Housing was provided for much of the employees at Trudeau, Ray Brook and Kushaqua sans but not owning cars; housing provided for singles and married couples. We slept on cots in the taxi stand, went home to clean up and ate in one of the three or four diners; 35 cents for a burger, coffee and a slice of pie … were we Kings of the Road or not?