Hardscrabble Diamonds

Postwar Baseball in New England and the Maritimes, 1945–1960


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SKU: 9781476690711 Categories: , Tags: , , , ,

About the Book

Part history, part memoir, part statistical analysis, this book tells the remarkable and largely forgotten story of how the baseball hotbed of Canada’s northeastern Maritime provinces evolved into “NCAA North” during the 1940s and 1950s. A summer training ground for players from leading U.S. college programs, the region attracted talented players seeking higher salaries than they could get in the American minor league system.
Major league organizations came to scout blue-chip prospects. In this competitive environment, only the best were able to crack the rosters of town teams in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Maine. A Quality of Competition Index for various northeast leagues provides major league equivalencies for selected players.

About the Author(s)

Colin Howell is a professor emeritus from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax where he taught Canadian and sport history and the former editor of the Canadian Historical Review.

Bibliographic Details

Colin Howell
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 223
Bibliographic Info: 19 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9071-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4873-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface: Baseball, Memory and History 1
One. The Postwar Flourishing of Baseball in the Maritimes 13
Two. Home Diamonds: Local Stars of Postwar Maritime Baseball 25
Three. The Barnstorming Era: American Baseball’s Northward Glance, 1948–50 44
Four. Tipping the Balance: The American Influence and the Marginalization of Local Players 59
Five. Bill Brooks, Art Hoch and the Carolinian Connection 69
Six. “NCAA North”: CWS Champions, Bonus Babies and ­All-Americans 82
Seven. Playing in “Color Bar Limbo”: Black Players in the Maritimes, 1946–60 98
Eight. Borderlands Baseball: New Brunswick and Maine 110
Nine. Troublesome Times: 1955–57 126
Ten. Playing Out the String: 1957–59 141
Eleven. ­Post-Game Reminiscences 155
Twelve. Great Performers, Great Performances: A Statistical Retrospective 163
Appendix 1: Career Batting and Major League Equivalencies: Maritimes and Maine 189
Appendix 2: ­Single-Season Batting and Major League Equivalencies: Maritimes and Maine 191
Appendix 3: Career Pitching 193
Appendix 4: Players from Major NCAA Programs 194
Essay on Sources 197
Chapter Notes 203
Bibliography 209
Index 211