To paraphrase Tennyson, in spring a young person's fancy turns to thoughts of - baseball! Baseball and softball are traditions in the Town of Marshall. The first instance I could find of a game was 1890, when Deansboro defeated Kirkland 6-20. Later, in 1893, there was a game between the single and married men (the single men scored more runs) in Deansboro. In 1895, Deansboro and Oriskany falls played (Oriskany Falls won 22-11).
Baseball has continued as a tradition in our town. Clifford Small told me in a January 18, 1987, interview that Deansboro had an "awfully good ball team". They played in the teens and 1920s on the flats down the west side of Route 315 near the bridge over Oriskany Creek - behind where Stolarczyk's used to live. He said he sold tickets to the ball games on Saturdays, and they used to have as many as 200 attending. Wilford Ingersoll was manager, and Randall Davis pitched. Kes Kennard and Earl Chesebro played on the team with a couple of players from Bouckville. Red McLaughlin from Oriskany Falls played, too. I guess it really was a good team, as an article from the Utica Daily Press in 1921 called the play between Deansboro and Oriskany Falls, in this match-up, a "real snappy brand of ball from start to finish." They are also called speedy. Does anyone remember the name of the team? The papers just say Deansboro Baseball Club, so maybe that was it.
The aforementioned Randall Davis, better known as Dink Davis, who pitched for the Deansboro team, went on to be voted the most valuable player in the "Y" Associated Baseball Twilight Leagues in 1927. He was then pitcher for the Bossart Corporation baseball team and might have gone into pro ball - he was scouted by the Pirates and the Giants - but decided to stay on at Bossert's, where he had worked since 1919.
In the 1930s, baseball was popular still, as stated in a 1935 article from the Waterville Times which tells of a game scheduled between the Forge Hollow Orioles and the Daytonville Nine, after which the players cooled off in the Oriskany Creek. Another mention of baseball during this period is of a near-tragedy: a Clinton man was struck by a baseball bat and fell unconscious to the ground during the game during the Deansboro Band Field Day. He suffered a fractured skull and was taken to Faxton Hospital, where he died the next day.
In 1961, there is a record of "a Deansboro softball team" which hit and ran successfully over a team from Our Lady of Lourdes. The pitcher was George Kennard, and Don Ray was catcher. Some other team members were Don Miller, Mac MacLeod, Mike McLaren, Bill Lemery, Stanley Mazor, Eric Wardman and Ray Dupree. Does anyone know what the name of this team was? Or does anyone remember who else was on the team?
Of course, Little League and Bush League have been going on for a while. Deansboro East coached by Bill Woodward and Bill Marris, won the Waterville Area Bush League championship in 1979 (yes, the was a Deansboro West team, coached by Mike McLaren). In 1989, the two Deansboro Bush League teams, sponsored by C&H Plastics (in red shirts) and the Deansboro Superette (in green shirts), played each other for the first time that season, along with the Little League team, sponsored by the Barton Hose Company and coached by Bob Bell and Paul Fick. The occasion was marked by a visit from elected officials: Senator James H. Donovan, Assemblyman Jack McCann, Oneida County Legislator Nick Oliver and Marshall Supervisor David Hazelden. They inspected the field and watched the teams making good use of it. The facility was made possible through the auspices of Senator Donovan's office and the New York State Office 6T Parks and Recreation. Amounts of $3,000 in 1987 and $7,500 in 1988 were made available for the fencing, bleachers, and dugouts. The guests all expressed a favorable impression with the diamond and also with the manner in which the players were handled by the coaches. The Bush League teams are coached by Bill Humphrey, Janet Dangler, Chris Johnson and Bob Graham. Many parents, grandparents and friends filled the bleachers. The Little League team were there in uniforms, having completed their tournament. After the game, one and all were invited the Beerhalters on Route 12B (the Dean Homestead)