Thesis Title: HARD TIMES - HARD BALL THE CAPE BRETON COLLIERY LEAGUE 1936-1939 Author: D. James Myers 6 inherited loyalties and traditions. Their strength was nurtured by a common workplace and constant struggles with the coal companies to obtain a decent standard of living. We shall see that the local people who owed their living t o the wages of the miners were supportive, which led to strong community. During the 1920s solidarity was developed through a strong sense of union radicalism. However, during the 1930s cracks began to show in the solidarity of the labour movement as the United Mine Workers were challenged by the Amalgamated Mine Workers of Nova Scotia. Chapter III follows the 1936 baseball season as the Colliery League moves from the ranks of amateur play to those of professional play. It is necessary to understand the importance of the 1936 season as events which occurred during this season would lead to prof essional baseball in 1937. Much of the baseball information for this chapter and others is found by examining the Svdnev Post Record and News for the appropriate period. We shall observe the effort necessary to run a baseball team, including the procurement of players and the constant struggle to raise the necessary funds. This chapter will present the reasons why the Colliery League wished to import players and its struggles t o irnprove the calibre of play. Chapter IV initiates the reasons for the move to professional baseball by the teams of the Colliery League. Included will be figures showing the popularity of the League 7 with the fans. The chapter will deal with the violent action of the fans and players during the four year history of the Colliery League as a semi-professional and professional circuit. We will examine the ideals on which President , Judge A. D. Campbell, wished the League to be perceived. He desired players of high moral standards who would pass on strong moral messages to the children of Cape Breton. Monetary problems were a constant dilemma of the teams of the Colliery League and Chapter V will deal with the lack of funds and methods the cornmunity took to deal with this problem. Running a ballclub in the low minors was a difficult prospect and the Colliery League required the support of a large section of the population to survive. This chapter will also examine the role of women. blacks and natives in relation to the Colliery League. In his book Northern Sandlots, Colin D. Howell has devoted a chapter "Gendered Baselines: The Tour of the Chicago Blacksto~kings,~ to the role of women in Maritime baseball showing not only positive aspects but how these women were excluded £rom the game of baseball .15 His chapter, "The 'Others : Race, Ethnicity, and Community Baseball, examines the exclusion of blacks and native people from white cornmunity baseball.16 The last chapter brings a close to the Colliery League as the begiming of the Second World War would prevent the "~owell, Northem Sandlots, 74-97. . - -"Ibid., 171-196. 8 importation of American players due to travel restrictions. We shall examine some of the positive aspects of the League as it brought various classes of people together to run the teams. The League provided the community with a break from the monotony of work and a topic of discussion for after the games and during the off season. My argument is that the League added to the sense of community found in the t o m s of industrial Cape Breton by bringing people together in a common love of the game of baseball. Through the game of baseball people in the industrial communities came together to work for the success of their respective teams and the League. Baseball gave the hardworking people of industrial Cape Breton a break from the monotony of everyday work and the topic of conversation for the whole year. BASEBALL AND PLODDERS Sport can play an important part in the development and maintenance of community. The Island of Cape Breton has a long history of involvement with sport in general and baseball in particular. Prior to examining the role baseball and community played in the development of island communities, we shall outline a short history of baseball on Cape Breton Island. Baseball was being played in Cape Breton p r i o r to 1900. The popularity of the game increased following the organization of the Dominion Coal Company and the opening of the Steel Works in Sydney and Sydney Mines. The game was being played in Glace Bay, Dominion and Reserve and was very popular in New Aberdeen and Bridgeport.' B y 1905 teams in Sydney, Sydney Mines, Reserve Mines and Glace B a y w e r e importing player~.~ The League was t o continue until 1907 with Glace Bay importing the majority of players from Fredericton and the Reserve players f rom Saint John. ' Some American players were imported with Glace Bay obtaining @'Sadn Sam on es' who in 1914 would pitch with Cleveland of the American League followed by stints with Boston, New York, St. Louis Browns, Washington and C h i c a g o . Jones retired i n 1925 with a record of 229 wins and 217 lossed The next attempt a t professional baseball in Cape Breton occurred during the years 1913-1914. Interest was such in Sydney that a new park w a s built at Victoria Park. Sydney imported six players f rom the United States plus Gee Ahearn of Halifax, a newspaperman, later mayor of Halifax. Clarie Demont, employed by the Sydney Record, led the League in stolen bases. DeMont was later elected to the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame for h i s track and wrestling ability. :~.~.MacDonald, R.P. Campbell, eds., The Diqest vol. 1 (Sydney, Commercial Printers Ltd., 1938), 1. '~owell, Northern Sandlots , 133. 'The Disest, 4. '~ohn Thorn and Peter Palmer eds., Total Baseball (New York: Warner Books, 1989), 1769. 'Ronald H. McIntyre, The Colliers Tattletale (Antigonish: Formac Publishing Co. Ltd., 1980) , 160. Other teams in the League were Glace Bay, Dominion and New Waterford, but the League disbanded in 1914 when practically the whole Glace Bay team enlisted in the armed f o r c e d The editor of the Sydney Record wrote in 1905 that professional baseball would encourage idle habits among the working class. They were already busy w i t h sports, picnics, excursions and holidays which took people away £rom the workplace. ' The Dominion Coal Company hoped to discourage attendance at games which often reached 800. These games started before five otclock and were disrupting work because the miners finished work early to attend the games. The miners would not switch the games to Sunday because of religious objection^.^ By 1925 teams £ r o m the Hub, Table Head, Sterling, Dominion, Reserve and New Waterf ord were competing in a league using local players. Caledonia, Reserve , New Waterf ord, Sydney and the Glace Bay Pontiacs with some imports formed a new league in 1927. Teams from Springhill, Westville and Halifax plus some teams £rom the United States visited Cape Breton and helped improve the level of play by providing a higher calibre of cornpetition. In 1933 Dominion joined the '~ewspaper clipping (no publisher or date known) from the collection of R. C. DeMont son of Claire D e M o n t . -colin D. Howell, IrBasebalI, Class and Comrnunity in the Maritime Provinces" Histoire Sociale - Social Historv, vol, XXII, no. 44 (November - December, 1989) , 281. 'william Humber, 'Toiling in the Maritime Minors. Cape Breton8 s Coal Mining League" Dusout, II, 1, (April/May, 1994) , 7. League followed by Sydney Mines in 1935. At this t i m e , it was decided to permit three import players for each team.' Along with teams in the Colliery League, Sydney, Glace Bay, N o r t h Sydney, Sydney Mines, Reserve, Dominion and New Waterford had intermediate, junior and juvenile teams. The small rural mining tom of Inverness had registered an intermediate and junior team with the Nova Scotia Amateur Baseball Association (N. S .A.B .A. ) . Midget baseball was played in a number of schools. Softball was popular and there were five ladiest teams operating in the district. Children in Cape Breton, like so many children in North America, dreamed of playing baseball. A large number of open spaces facilitated play for these children as long as something resembling a bat and ball were available. Boys who were small, fast and agile could perform against larger opponents with an excellent chance of success. The popularity of sport in the culture of Cape Breton encouraged boys to play baseball . E d Gillis played baseball as a child growing up in New Waterford. 1 was playing over in this f i e l d a lot. There was an old fellow not far from where we lived and he had a big farm there and about five or six cows . . . at night he d put them in the field where we were playing ball ... There was al1 little bumps al1 over the field and we had about two baseballs, and they were taped balls, they put tape on them, black tape, hard . . . And everyone was playing ball ... we were education in the Kentville school system. During the summers he coached junior and senior teams throughout Nova Scotia and Cape Breton and conducted baseball clinics for children. Through a chance meeting with Jeff Jones, chief scout in the Eastern United States and Canada for the Milwaukee Braves, Gillis became a scout for the Braves. When Jones left the . - Braves for the St . Louis Cardinals, Gillis went with him. -- The highlight of his coaching career occurred in 1985 when he coached the Kentville Cardinals to the National Amateur Baseball Championship, the f i r s t time a Nova Scotia team won . - this honour . -' In Nova Scotia, Eddie Gillis is known as "Mr . Baseba1l1I, a title richly desenred. Children were not the only people obsessed with the game of baseball. Adults in Industrial Cape Breton spent a great deal of time watching and discussing baseball. Max Cullen, a player with the Sydney Mines Ramblers, talks of this interest. Oh the people talked nothing but baseball. They would corne into my shop (barber shop) on Beech Street and talk baseball. Everywhere in tom, that's what they talked about. On games in the afternoon, the miners would go to the games and forget about work. The pit would not work. To get money for the game they went to the Company store and got boots on the check- off. Then they went uptown to sel1 the boots . They paid for the game and gave the rest (of the money) to their wives . . --Burton Russell and Stan Cameron, eds., Nova Scotia Sports Personalities (Kentville: Burton Russell, 1975), 63-9. . - -'Interview with Ed Gillis, 14 November 1991. for bingo. l3 Sport, particularly baseball, was of great importance to the citizens, young and old of Cape Breton. The Colliery League in 1935 decided to import three players per team. New Waterford obtained two pitchers and a catcher; Caledonia, two pitchers; Sydney, three players from Saint John. The Sydney Mines Ramblers imported catcher Nelson Deveau who later would catch for the Liverpool Larrupers, winners of four straight Maritime championships beginning in 1938. This seemingly minor move of importing three players per team would have far reaching consequences to the playing of amateur baseball in Cape Breton. . - -'Interview with Max Culien, Sydney Mines, N. S., 16 November l99l. -TER 1 A SEARCH FOR COMMUNITY To saythe Colliery League was community-driven requires a definition of community which is not easily obtained. George A. Hillery found ninety-four definitions of community in his research.: Included in these definitions was community consisting of persons in social interaction within a given geographic area. Community consists of three categories: group solidarity, geographic area and a combination of the two called socio-geographic . ' Communities are based on fixed and bounded territory, social relations within a territory and a shared identity. They are constant ly moving concepts consisting of polit ical and social issues. The acts of individuals may be constrained by the action or lack of action of otherd Community requires a locality, a local society and a process of local collective actions, The substance of community is social interaction and this interaction occurs in a number of ways .' People must live together and interact on '~eorge A. Hillery Jr . , "Def initions of Community : Areas of Agreement, !!Traditions and Culture in the Cape Breton Mining Community in the Early Twentieth Century, Cape Breton at 200 ed. Kenneth Donovan (Sydney, NS: University College of Cape Breton, 1985) , 204. sr el Muise, IlThe Making of An Industrial Community: Cape Breton Coal Toms 1867-1900ft1 Cape Breton Historical Essays eds. Don Macgillivray and Brian Tennyson (Sydney, NS: University College of Cape Breton Press, 1980). 76-84. hospitals in the area. In spite of their charitable works, the general population of miners and workers viewed the clergy as members of the elite. During the 1920s the clergy stressed conservative themes and denounced the labour leaders. A small number of clergy did support labour including J.J. Tompkins, a vice-president at Saint Francis Xavier University, who attempted to implement progressive policy with educational clubs and a labour college. In spite of these attempts at labour support, many of the miners had lost faith in the church.' Industrial Cape Breton was the only area east of Montreal to engage in protracted industrial unrest and to support alternative political representation. For Nova Scotia, the mining communities represent a deviance that is most striking given the basic conservative political and social system of the province. Not to be forgotten in the development of cornrnunity in industrial Cape Breton was the constant conflict with the coal companies. This conflict led to a united front and a high level of worker solidarity. The coal companies had great influence on the lives of the toms for they dominated the local labour market along with owning the company stores and company houses. Troops were sent to the Cape Breton coal fields in 1876, ' ~ r a n k , "Traditions and Culture, " 210. '~avid Frank, t1 Company Town/Labour Town : Local Government in the Cape Breton Coal Toms, 1917-1926, " Histoire Sociale-Social Historv, XIV, 27 (Mar-May 1981), 177. 1882, 1904 and 1909, These troops merely antagonized the working class, a prime recruiting area for the mi1itary.- After World War 1 the rniners had high expectations but t h e coal industry was on the edge of collapse. The rapid expansion of the coal industry ended with the war and was now in decline. The Nova Scotia coal industry had two major weaknesses: its distance £rom markets and the wastability of the market. In this climate of economic uncertainty the miners and the British Empire Steel Corporation wanted to change the terms on which labour was bought and sold i n the coal industry. Wages were sixty percent of production costs; a reduction in wages would lead to an increase in the margin of profiLa In the early 1900s the Provincial Workmanls Association united workers in the coalfields throughout Nova Scotia. The power in the P.W.A. was held by district sub- councils and workers were rarely discouraged from going on strike. Decentralization aided local militants who in many cases sympathized with socialismg but by 1908 District 26 United Mine Workers of America represented 12,000 mines in o on Macgillivray, Wilitary Aid to the Civil Power : The Cape Breton Experience in the l92Os, Acadiensis, III, 2 (Spring, 1974) , 4 9 . '~avid Frank, "Class Conflict in the Coal Industry Cape Breton 1922," Essavs In Canadian Workins Class Histow, eds. Gregory S. Kealey and Peter Warrian (Toronto: MacLelland & Stewart, 1976), 162. '~ichael Earle, IlThe Coalminers and Their 'Redt Unions: The Amalgamated Mine Workers of Nova Scotia, 1932-1936,t1 LaboudLe Travail 22 (Fa11 1988) , 100. 42 Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, These workers demanded substantial improvements in their standard of living and a growing interest in improving social conditions. Consumer prices were rising and the employment conditions were unsteady. Better housing and sanitary living conditions were required along with better working conditions in the mines. The end of the war saw labour unrest grow in the mining district along with a spirit of independence and cohesion ' 1 among the population.-" In the years at t h e end of the First World War residents of the coal toms challenged the power of the coal company. The Amalgamated Mine Workers of Nova Scotia won union recognition, wage increases and an eight hour day. Labour candidates achieved unprecedented success in the coal toms, winning control of tom councils which in the past had been dominated by company officiais. The councils began to distinguish between the interests of the community and the - company. - - In 1918 James Ling of New Waterford became Cape Breton's first labour mayor and was elected £ive times. By 1919 there were seven miners on the Glace Bay t o m council; in Sydney Mines and on County Council labour candidates won limited control of t o m council. In 1923 Dan William Morrison was elected mayor of Glace Bay and was also District President of United Mine Workers for f ourteen years . The councils began ." -"Frank, llClass Conf lict , 165. . . --Frank, Vompany Town, 179. 43 to show their working class influence. They objected to evictions from company houses, protested high coal prices, requested free coal for families on the poor list and took up the grievances of retired and injured workers. In Sydney Mines and Glace Bay, council was successful in raising company taxes. The nature of class conflict in the coal towns tended to unite most members of the community around the interests of the working class population. Most local businesses were small and they could not leave the towns. Most of their capital was committed and they had extended credit to the miners. When the miners were without work and could not pay their bills, hostility was vented by small merchants towards the coal company. While having the support of the workers and small business, tom councils challenged the coal company on various civic issues and in times of crisis actually took the rniners ' side. l2 Working class unity was built by the physical conditions of working in a mine with hard work and danger. The miners had control over their work and work place due to isolation. With the Coal Miners Regulation Act miners had the right to appoint two men to inspect the mine. The miners had the right to propose changes to the Mines Department. There were elected check weighmen who guaranteed the miners interests at the scales. The weighmen were paid by the rniners through deductions from earnings, and were elected annually, often being injured or a worked blacklisted by the company. A Pit Committee, three men elected by the union m e m b e r s at each colliery, represented the men at inquiries into accidents and the constitution of United Mine Workers District 26 provided the cornmittees conduct regular inspections of the mines. The most important function of the Pit Committee was to adjust disputes and grievances as they arose in the course of the day or as they w e r e presented at union meetings. The * - Pit Committee negotiated directly with the minets manager.-' During January of 1922 the British Empire Steel Corporation reduced the miners' wages by thirty-£ive percent. The miners proposed to strike and on August 16, Roy Wolvin, B.E.S.C.O. President, requested military intervention because the walk-out would include maintenance men who were required to keep the mines from flooding. D.W. Morrison, Mayor of Glace Bay and a Labour member of the Legislative Assembly refused the request but County Court Judge Duncan Finlayson requisitioned troops under the militia Act. The two arguments presented for the use of troops were the strike included maintenance men and the mines would not be protected. There w a s fear of the radical union led by JmB* McLachlan and "Redv1 Dan Livingstone; the coal company f eared a revolution. Wolvin "~avid Frank, Vontested Terrain Workers Control in the Cape Breton Mines in the 1920s, l1 On the Job: Confrontins the ab& Process In Canada, eds. Craig Herron and Robert Storey (Montreal: McGill-Queen s University press, 1986) , 106. - 45 wanted twenty-five hundred troops and naval forces.'' During this tirne the miners displayed a high degree of discipline and determination. The strike was settled by August 26 and the miners felt settlement was brought about by use of force. The miners and their families were hungry and it appeared the Federal and Provincial Governments favoured B.E.S.C.O. The military heightened the tensions; the strength of the union leadership ensured discipline and there were no arrests. During June 1923 B.E.S.C.O. refused a wage increase, decreased the hours of work and refused to recognize a steelworkersl union. The steelworkers went on strike on June 30 and once again Judge Finlayson requisitioned troops. The steelworkers had a weak organization and on the first evening a confrontation broke out between strikers and representatives of the Company. Troops f ired over the heads of the crowd and the strikers threw rocks. The next day Mounted Police charged a crowd of people in Whitney Pier. Some of the recipients of the police charge were women and children returning from . - church. -' Eighty-f ive hundred miners walked out in support of the steel workers along with sympathy strikers in Pictou and in the coalfields of Alberta. On July 29 the miners returned to work followed by the steelworkers on July 31. The steelworkers had no effective union organization and discipline. It is possible the troops increased violence - 1) -'Macgillivray, Militaw Aid, 50. "1bid. , 56. 46 because it was after the arriva1 of the troops that the miners joined the strike. During the autumn and winter of 1924-25 the economy was sluggish for the Island% steel and coal industries with direct and dire consequences for the workers and their families. hnployment in the mines was sparse and those who were working were only managing one or two shifts a week. The situation was made worse when B. E . S . C. O. terminated al1 credit at its company stores. Faced with little work and less food the miners reluctantly went on strike in March. By April 1, many families were dependent on donations f r o m across the country merely to stay alive. The Federal Government refused to intervene. On June 11, 1925 a clash between miners and B.E.S.C.O. police a t New Waterford resulted in the shooting death of one miner and the serious wounding of another. Five miners were hospitalized along with thirty policemen. Again Judge Finlayson requisitioned troops and violence followed t h i s action. There was raiding, looting and burning throughout the month of June. Many company stores were looted and several burned to the ground? The troops were used for intimidation but they intensified the feeling of the miners who showed organization and solidarity. The military gave the radicals in the union a strong platform. The troops increased the anger and despair felt by the workers and Provincial Governments. towards the Island A DECLINE IN RADICALISM During the 1920s many prominent radicals w e r e expelled f rom the U.M. W .A. including J. B. McLachlan, perhaps the most popular of t h e left-wing mine worker radicals. " The right wing under the leadership of John L. Lewis had gained control of the International. These moves to expel left-leaning labour leaders was not forgotten in Cape Breton. The most effective ideological opposition to left-wing politics came from the Antigonish Movement which spread to Cape Breton in the 1930s t o counteract the spread of cornmunism. It combined adult education with the building of credit unions and consumer CO-ope rat ive^.'^ The movement was founded by Father James Tompkins in conjunction with the Extension Department of Saint Frances ~avier University. The movement grew under the direction of Father Moses Coady. In 1930, study clubs began appearing in the mining toms of Cape Breton and they would serve as a great antidote t o the extreme radicalism that was prevalent in the ares? The Antigonish Movement worked the middle ground between the excessive individualism of the right and the mass approach of - - - 'Earle, "The Coalminers , If 111. . - -'Ibid. , 105. i d . , 157. the left.2"t was an option for those who rejected a purely political approach to social and economic problems. The local parish priest would organize a meeting of twelve members, both men and women. They would choose a clearly de£ ined goal - formation of a credit union, a co- operative store or a marketing co-operative, any project that would result in economic action. The Extension Department would provide books, pamphlets and leaflets on the topic being studied and once a year a volunteer leader would be invited to take a short course at the ~niversity.'~ Ali. the clubs in the area met monthly to compare progress, identify problems and formulate a plan of action. Women were members of the clubs and served as extension workers. The CO-operative movement was seen as crucial in stemming population emigration particularly if economic reconstruction could improve the quality and amenities of homes in rural areas. ' 2 In 1931 DOSCO was to close mines and lowering wages and were inflexible in these demands. The miners could not strike for they would get no support f rom the United Mine Workers of America and their president Lewis. To combat the Company and Lewis, the miners at Phalen Wall, Reserve, Glace Bay Mechanics "~im Lotz, "The Historical and Social Setting of the ~ntigonish Movement , t1 Nova Scotia Historical Ouarterlv (1975) , 103. 2'~rnest Stabler, Fouriders, Innovations in Education 1830-1980 (Edmonton: The University of Alberta Press, 1986), 157-167. 2i~arle, The Coalminers, 118. Victory and 1B locals voted to break with U.M.W. forming the Amalgamated Mine Workers of Nova Scotia honouring the name of the union in existence in 1917-1919. The new union had a strong leadership at the local level . Al1 elected leaders were working miners who had records of opposing the U.M.W.A. They controlled the rank and file miners and were very militant. The U.M.W. had a strong tendency towards decentralization and local autonomy and used their strength to build a strong militant base. The weakness of the n e w union was the difficulty in developing united action and a consistent policy. They were also weak f inancially with no check-of f in place for union dues. The leaders of A.M.W. were under the influence of communist ideas and a leading handful were party memberd3 By 1936 there was a need for unity between the two rival unions. On April 26, 1936 the A.M.W. voted itself out of existence and the miners returned to the U . M . W . 2 4 In August, 1938 the United Mine Workerç affiliated with the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, a move supported by both the right and left wings of the union.'5 The trade union movement in Cape Breton portrayed a ''~avid Frank and John Manley, "The Sad March to the Right J. B. McLachlanls Resignation £rom the Comrnunist Party of Canada, 1936" ~abour/Le Travail (Fall, 1982), 118. " - M . Earle and H. Gamberg, l'The United Mine Workers and the Coming of the C.C.F. to Cape Breton," Acadiensis XIX, 1 (Fall 1989) , 3 . 50 strong sense of independence and self-determination. The miners in Cape Breton had a strong sentiment for independence from outside control so much so that the Amalgamated Mine Workers never af f iliated with the Workers Unity League. A desire for decentralization, autonomy of the locals from the district organization was accomplished by breaking from the United Mine Workers of America. The Amalgamated Mine Workers disagreed with the direction of Nova Scotia Affairs by the United Mine Workers international executive . 26 When John L . Lewis, President of United Mine Workers of America deposed J. B. McLachlan and the 1923 District 26 executive m a n y of the miners felt this a great injustice and reason to form their own union. In 1932 the Amalgamated Mine Workers of Nova Scotia was f ounded. It passed control of a£ fairs to the rank and file members and therefore would be much more militant. One of the new union's first acts was to abolish check off dues; dues would be paid but not by automatic deductions . 2 7 This policy failed badly because the miners did not have the money to pay dues; they were too poor. United Mine Workers had their own strengths in the battle with the new union. They had a contract with the coal company; check off of union dues, company off icials would only negotiate with the United Mine Workers concerning grievances, disputes or future contracts. The Amalgamated Mine Workers -. 'cEarle, The Coaiminers, 101-102. ''~bid. , 120. could not achieve their goals. The militant action to win concessions on wages split the union rnovement weakening the miners ' position in relation to the Company, a situation which may have contributed to low wages. The living standards of the miners was not advancedZa and in 1936 the Amalgamated Mine Workers Union returned to the United Mine Workers. Aithough the union attempt f ailed, the miners showed strength and pride in their drive for local autonomy. EXCLUSION BY GEXDER The toms of Cape Breton presented some opportunities for women to eam wages as domestic servants, teachers, clerks, nurses, office workers and telephone operators. But the most common f orm of womenl s work was household labour, women worked in the home dependent on the income of male wage-earners ." When women did work, wages were at a subsistence level ignoring the possibility that women had dependents, or needed to Save for sickness or old age. It was difficult for women to obtain higher minimum wage rates as these rates were set in - - consultation with employers and then presented to labour.'" Women worked to meet the material needs of their families or ''~avid Frank, "The Miner's Financier: Women in the Cape Breton Coaï Towns 1919," Atlantis, VI11 (Spring 1983), 137. "~argaret E. McCallum, "Keeping Women In Their Place: The ~inimum Wage In Canada 1910 -25, II Labour/Le Travail, 17 (Spring 1986)~ 10. by the absence or impoverishment of the male provider. 3: These women were not working for self - f ulfilment but sumival. The job of the wives in the coal towns was not an easy task. The combination of low wages and idle times increased the importance of careful budget management for the family. Although each family had different arrangements for domestic work, the responsibility for budget management f el1 most of ten on the women. j2 During hard times women were predominant in relief lines. Many times the provisions were not sufficient to feed the entire family. To supplement, women raised chickens as a source of eggs and meats while some raised pigs and cows as well. During times of strikes, working class women were helping to enforce solidarity and provide for their families. Women would ridicule soldiers at every opportunity. They organized support activities , participated in crowd actions and stretched the dole to meet their family needs. Women played an important role in crowd activities and the domestic labour of women constituted a hidden form of strike support. j 3 During the strike actions the division of labour seemed to be built on gender roles. The men performed the work of breaking in to the store while the women waited outside to select whatever - '-Margaret Hobbs, I1Equality and Difference: Feminism and the Defence of Women Workers During the Great Depression," Labour/Le Travail, 32 (Fa11 1993) , 202. 'i~rank, "Contested Terrain," 30. '"enfold, "Have You No Manhood?" , 23. goods were needed in their households. were excellent propaganda tools, being 53 Working class women coupled with children and portrayed as passive victims of injustice either at the hands of an uncaring Company and an impotent government or of a misguided communist labour leader. Women expressed their commitment to the working class through letters and statements to the press. '' By the 1930s the possibility of being exclusively in a self-fulfilling domestic sphere had become increasingly remote. Nevertheless, Nova Scotia women strove at enomous - - psychological cost to maintain their place in the home/ As the region became increasingly more marginal to the North American industrial heartland it fell behind in opportunities and social services adding to the increasing pressures on women as they attempted to provide for their families. During this period of difficult economic times a number of women joined the Amalgamated Mine Workers Womenls Auxiliary. The auxiliary was a communist movement which concentrated on the problems of women as wives and mothers, making demands such as free school books, and the elimination of military cadet corps in schools. They became involved in the relief issues trying to improve the conditions among the - - "Margaret Conrad, Toni Laidlaw, and Donna Smyth, No Place Like Home, (Halifax, N.S.: Formac Publishing Company Limited, 19881, 302. 54 working class. 36 Working class women were hired for low wages; middle class women enjoyed access to professions, teaching, nursing or other social service occupations, part of womenls accepted sphere. In the coal fields of Cape Breton boys were employed in the mines and at a young age began to learn the trade of mining and the political and social position of miners in the mine and in the community. A boy was defined by provincial legislation as anyone under 18 who had yet to attain the position of coal cutter or miner. Boys were engaged in a variety of occupations within the mines but by 1923 legislation virtually excluded boys £ r o m the province's coal - - mines. ' There were numerous reasons to employ boys in a coal mine. Their small size made them i d e d l y suited for various tasks and by using boys, the wage levels could be kept low. Boys looked af ter horses in the mine and if the space was too small for the horse, boys would move coal manuaîly. Another task was the opening of doors for ventilation. The doors, along with channelling air through the mines allowed the passage of drivers, horses and material £rom area to area. Boys began with jobs on the surface bef ore working underground and received sixty to seventy percent of a man's pay. These - '"arle, "The Coalminers," 103. - - "Robert McIntosh, "The Boys in the Nova Scotia Coal Mines: 1873-1923, Acadiensis XVI, 1 (Spring, 1987) , 35. wages were contributed to the family income, for the miner and his sons were the family breadwimers. The boys £rom their earliest experiences were moulded to manhood and an occupational identity by their families and their work activities . je Entering the mine meant initiation into the world of manhood. The boys, incorporating their functional indispensability had been educated by the mine, not only in . - the art of suwival but in collective unity and discipline." The boys were both militant and effective. They developed instinctive solidarity and independence. Although working at an early age, the boys were not above having recreational strikes, which occurred when the lure of a circus or a ballgame became too strong to r e s i s t . ' h o y s were socialized into manhood as they moved through the hierarchy of jobs underground. They acquired gender traits of courage and stoicism in the face of constant danger and a sense of independence derived from being a tradesman. The boys obtained not only a work related education but initiation rites as well, as they were often the butt of practical jokes and targets of tobacco-chewing miners. The key to this process was going up through the ranks supervised by kin, as many a boy was brought into the mine as a helper for his father. The physical conditions of the mine led to a feeling 7 - '"an MacKay, "The Experience of Work, II 2 4 . "~bid., 2 8 . 'J~ac~ntosh, The BOYS in the Nova Scotia Coal Mines, 43, of CO-operation and common interests with fellow miners." EXCLUSION BY RACE The period between the wars saw black men concentrated in increasingly specialized corners of the economy as waiters, j ani tors, barbers and labourers. Black women were employed as domestic servants, laundresses and waitresses. The elite of the men became railway waiters and porters. Blacks relied upon mutual CO-operation within their own families and communities for econornic sumival and upon black institutions and cultural activities for their social lives. The church played a most significant role in the lives of blacks as it lent a sense of dignity and sanctification. With the difficult economic times many blacks left for Montreal or Toronto. '' Black and native communities were socially and economically marginal. They were confronted by both overt and covert discrimination. Segregated schools, shortage of funds and teachers meant that black children could rarely be certain of their education." The Mic Mac and Blacks were regularly "steven Penfold, "Have You No Manhood In Class in the Cape Breton Coal Towns, 1920-1926," 2 (Spring l994}, 24-25. You? Gender and Acadiensis XXIII, ames es W. StG. Walker, "Black History in the Maritimes : Major Themes and Teaching Strategies," in Teachins Maritime Studies, ed. P. A. Buckner (Fredericton: Acadiensis Press, 1986), 99-100. %ohn G. Reid, Six Crucial Decades (Fredericton, N.B. , Nimbus Publishing Ltd., 1987) , 178-179. denied entrance to hotels, r e s t a u r a n t s and other public places until the late 1960s . 4 4 Blacks had CO-existed with whites in a province clearly dominated politically and culturally by the whites. The blacks made up only a small part of the population and lived largely i n isolated urban and urban fringe areas. They existed in separate communities, churches and schools . In the work place blacks were usually dependent upon and subordinate to whites. Black businesses were small, the land insufficient to avoid dependence, there were no black CO-operat ives and they worked as reserve labour.'5 During the early 1930s the majority of native people in Nova Scotia lived on one of the provinces1 thirty-eight resenresii in a state of isolation. The goal of the Federal Government was to assimilate the native people with whites, causing a loss of native culture ." The government felt by moving the natives from small reserves to a few large reserves the process of assimilation would be acconplished. "~aniel N. Paul, We Were Not the Savases (Halifax, N.S.: Nimbus Publishing Company, 1993) , 264. "~onald Clairmont and Fred Wien, I1Blacks and Whites: The Nova Scotia Race Relations Experience, i n Banked Fires : The Ethnics of Nova Scotia, ed. Douglas F. Cambell (Port Credit, Ont. : The Scribblers Press, 1978) , 142-158. '6~arold Franklin McGee Jr., "The Mic Mac Indians: The Earliest Migrants," in Banked Fires: The Ethnics of Nova Scotia, ed. Douglas F. Cambell (Port Credit , Ont. : The Scribblers Press, "~ohn G. Reid, Six Crucial Decades, 178-179. 58 Through common language, culture, work conditions and backgrounds, the coal communities of Cape Breton were developed. Labour strife and the development of strong trade unions were instrumental in producing a strong sense of brotherhood and solidarity. A further addition to the growth of community was the love of sport and in particular baseball. During the years 1936-1939 as important as sport was in the pride of the community, baseball played the most important uole . The toms of industrial Cape Breton had developed strong communities based on a common background of tradition and culture. The people of the industrial area for t h e most part had a common language, religion (both Roman Catholic and Protestant) and many worked in the mines or steel mills; those who did not work in these areas depended on the workers for their livelihood. Through conflict with t h e coal companies, a strong sense of solidarity had been developed as the miners battled f ederal troops , provincial police and squads of strike breakers hired by the coal Company. There is a downside to the strong communities found in the coal toms . While many of the miners were lef t -1eaning in their political beliefs, the churches of the area were anti- labour and conservative. This did not help t h e labour movement as it attempted to improve the working and living conditions of the workers. There were interna1 differences within the labour movement as the miners in many cases 59 disagreed with the policies of the United Mine Workers of America. The degree of difference over union policies caused a deep division in the m i n e workers united front. On the homefront w o m e n were seen as support for their husbands; their job was t o stay a t home and support the f a m i l y . Blacks and native people w e r e at worst segregated and at best ignored by the rest of the population. CHAPTER III THE GREAT BISSONETTE Baseball played in the Cape Breton Colliery League provided many exciting moments for its fans. Players both local and imported played exciting, fast paced games guaranteed to keep the level of interest in the game of baseball a t a fever pitch. But the League contributed more than just enjoyment to the communities of industrial Cape Breton. Baseball was a source of community cohesion. The League assisted in the definition of community boundaries and served as a sacred community symbol. In Cape Breton, baseball was a metaphor for class antagonism as the Colliery League rebelled against the dictatorial powers of the Nova Scotia Amateur Baseball Association. The Colliery League provided an escape from the day to day problems of life by not only playing exciting baseball but adding t o the already strong sense of community found in the League towns. The summer of 1935 was a successful time for the Cape Breton Colliery League although not without difficulties. The clubs were community teams organized solely to provide sport for their respective towns. It was difficult for the teams to finish the season out of debt with attendance a t the games barely covering the operating expenses of the club including transportation, upkeep of the field, of ficials in charge of the g a r n e s , balls and other baseball gear.' The L e a g u e consisted of the Glace Bay team which was sponsored by the Caledonia Club which fielded the Maritime and Eastern rugby football champions and hoped for further success with their baseball endeavours. The team would use the clubhouse and field belonging to the rugby club. Their aim was to encourage the development of younger baseball players and bring a championship to tom. Also present were the 1935 champion Dominion Hawks, Reserve and New Waterford. The W h i t n e y Pier team was reorganized and would use players from Sydney. The Sydney Mines Rambiers gained entry to the League in 193 5. In previous seasons , baseball in Sydney Mines consisted of a three team church league with Roman Catholic, Anglican and Presbyterian teams represented. As time progressed the league became more concerned with religion than playing baseball and some players including Max Cullen who had played in the senior league with the P i e r team suggested entry to the Colliery League. Applying for entry in 1934 they were rebuffed in their efforts but succeeded in gaining entry to the league in 1935 . 2 The team would spend over $i,000.00 on improvements to the Brown Street Field assisted in their efforts by the Nova Scotia Steel and Coal C~mpany.~ '~vdnev Post R e c o r d , 23 April 1935. '~nterview with Max Cullen, 16 November 1991. j~vdnev Post Record, 7 April 1935. 62 The Dominion Hawks opened a new ballpark during 1935 with over 2,000 fans in attendance. There was a six foot f ence and a four tier grandstand behind home plate with another grandstand down the third base line. There was a sign over the entrance gate which read "Hawks Baseball Park, 1911-1935 " . The first game of the 1935 season saw the Dominion team wearing new uniforms while the visiting New Waterford team had uniforms previously worn by the Brooklyn Dodgers, grey with red trim and numbers on the back. ' New Waterford won the 1935 regular schedule followed by Dominion and the Sydney team. In the f irst round of the play- o f f s Dominion defeated Sydney and faced the New Waterford Dodgers, losers of only one game during the regular twenty game schedule, in the finals. The finals were an upset as Dominion won the right to face the Springhill Fencebusters. The teams split the two games in Dominion but the Hawks won the next two games in Springhill to advance to the Nova Scotia finals against the powerful Yarmouth Gateways. The Gateways defeated the Hawks in straight games with the scores of 14-0. 8-1 and 9-4. The Dominion t e a m was no match for the Gateways who were undefeated in their march to the Nova Scotia title. As the 1936 season approached the Cape Breton clubs attempted to f ind ways to compete on a more level playing field with the mainland teams. One method of improving the level of play was to import players, particularly American ' ~ b i d . , 3 June 1935. players who many fans felt had greater skills than local players. By importing players the Cape Breton teams would risk the math of the Nova Scotia Amateur Baseball Association and the Maritime Provinces Branch of the Amateur Athletic Union of Canada. If importing players was to be the chosen method of play, where would the players corne from and how would they be obtained? Would the players in fact improve play and would they be accepted by the local fans? And f inally what action would the governing sports bodies take against the Cape Breton teams? The teams of the Cape Breton Colliery Baseball League were not pleased with their performance against the top mainland baseball clubs and the treatment these clubs appeared to be getting from the amateur sports associations. The 1936 season would show the direction the teams would take to improve the baseball being played on Cape Breton Island. Baseball was an institution of society, an extended representative of the community . Winning was the important civic question. No longer was losing to be tolerated. ' No longer would the League or its players be amateur. Amateur players were expected to play the game for the sake of the game; to play by the rules was more important than wiming, demonstrating unending courage, perseverance, fair play and honesty. Sport was an avocation, not a vocation, 'Duane A. Smith, "Basebal1 Champions of Colorado : The Leadville Blues of 1882," Journal of Sports Historv , vol. 4 , (1977) , 51. stressing individual responsibility and honour . Anyone who earned his living through sport or who benefitted financially from sport was not an amateur. A player could not be given a paid job, a playing bonus or an outright payment to play sport. The defenders of amateur play believed money in sports led to violence, ungentlemanly conduct and unethical practices. Sports must not have open cornpetition or play for money. Professionalism would result in very strong teams which many local players could not make, lessening their ability to perfom. The importation of players would produce champions but sports would no longer be a game for all. The defenders of amateur sport see a sporting world for al1 not just a talented few. Sports nurtured the manly qualities of robustness, mental vigour, determination, discipline, fair play and integrity. Success went to those who possessed these virtues.- men an athlete accepted money these attributes became secondary to attaining monetary success. However, if a tom's reptation was on the line then its team had to have the best players. That eventually meant freeing players £rom their other jobs to enable them to practice, encouraging them to develop specialized skills and I1importingm better players f rom outside the community . As interest in sport grew it was necessary to gain an edge on the "al1 and others, S~ort In Canadian Societv, 58. -1bid., 63. %idd, The Strussle, 31. 65 cornpetition and one way of getting an edge was the importation of players. The primary function of an amateur organization is not to entertain the public; professionals on the other hand must entertain the public to make a profit and stay in business. The payment received £ r o m amateur sports was leading an enjoyable, healthy life and enjoying the pleasures of cornpetition, travel and f raternity with others . The Colliery League would make its decision in the amateur versus professional question and play for pay would win. They would no longer lose to the mainland teams. Baseball began in early March with the Sydney team obtaining the services of three Boston players along with Murray Matheson and Felix Ferguson, two excellent local players. ? The Sydney Mines Ramblers ' President Billy H . Gillis, a local barber, announced the signing of Roy Boles, St. Stephens as player manager along with two players from Maine. Max Cullen and the Snow brothers , H a r r y and Joe, would lead the local players. The Rambler team was assured of financial assistance from the miners of Princess Colliery and had been granted a check-off of Interest was growing in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to form a Maritime baseball association in which professionals and amateurs would play together. Junior teams would be used as a farm system. The association would keep the strong teams '~vdney Post Record, 4 March 1936. "~bid., 5 March 1936. 66 together; included would-be teams from Cape Breton, Pictou, Springhill and Yarmouth, plus the strong New Brunswick teams. The teams i n t h e association would make their own r u l e s and do away w i t h the residence rule i n which a player must l i v e i n a cornmunity prior t o a certain date. The association would develop players by encouraging intermediate, j unior and juvenile leagues where the players would be taught the finer points of the game by imported players. " This would improve the calibre of play, which i n turn would lead t o greater i n t e r e s t i n the game of baseball. While the t a l k of a Maritime association w a s of i n t e r e s t i n Cape Breton, t h e Colliery League t e a m s decided t o irnport five players per team. Imports were defined a s players who were not residents of Cape Breton p r i o r t o the beginning of the New year. Cape Breton players may leave one club for an~ther.'~ The Cape Breton teams desired b e t t e r bal1 and f e l t United States players were necessary for t h i s end. The Colliery League teams would stand together on t h e issue of irnported players. The teams of the League were of t h e opinion the amateur rules were fifty years out of date and were of benefit only t o the rich." The Dominion Hawks had $500.00 t o s t a r t the 1936 seaçon and announced Ralph H a l l would manage the club. H e had begun . - --Ibid. , 13 March 1936. ' 2 ~ b i d . , 15 March 1936. " ~ b i d . , 20 A p r i l 1936. playing bal1 in 1909 as a second baseman and catcher and had played in the last Cape Breton pro league in 1923." Support was growing in parts of Nova Scotia for the Cape Breton notion of imported players. Alex Muirhead manager of the Westville team, was in favour of organizing a Nova Scotia Baseball Association with the help of the Cape Breton tearns. This would allow them control of baseball in Nova Scotia and they could change the rules to support their ideas of strong . .- import laden teams.-' It was reported in the Svdney Post Record that 125 players were looking for jobs in the Colliery League, 40 of these of fers were in Sydney alone ." Along with obtaining players the clubs were organizing and raising funds for the coming season. In Glace Bay the whole tom would back the team not just the Caledonia Athletic Club. The other towns in the League, Sydney Mines, Sydney and New Waterford were community driven; entire towns took part in organizing the teams with excellent results. In past years the Reserve teams had been run by the Reserve A.C. but in 1936 would become a community team, each ward i n the community . - would be represented. - The task of running a Colliery League team was too large a job for sport clubs and must be run with the support of the whole community. The New Waterford team :i~bid. , 23 March 1936. . - -=Ibid., 25 March 1936. . ? -"Ibid. , 25 March 1936. . - -'Ibid., 9 February 1936. was operated by the Waterford Athletic Association w h i c h had f ormed committees to handle finance, business, field, team management, transportation and publicity." The Colliery League teams decided to import the best players available in Canada and the United States to insure the fans the best bal1 east of Montreai. Dominion, with a population of 3,000 had been league champions for the last three years , announced the signing of Clarence Wiki l' Leadbetter of Springhill and Roy Maxwell, a local star. Maxwell had obtained a job as an intern at the Glace Bay General Hospital through the influence of the coal Company. They also signed three American players and llSmokeyfl Joe Kelly the best local pitcher in the Colliery League. In 1935 the New Waterford Dodgers w e r e league champions wiming nineteen straight games. They w e r e to be managed in 1936 by Bill flDocll White, the previous yearls manager. In 1934 he had coached the Springhill Fencebusters. White began his major league career in 1901 w i t h Philadelphia of the National League and in 1903 rnoved to the Chicago White Sox of the American League. He had a thirteen year career w i t h a batting average of .2l6, with two home runs and seventy-five runs batted in." White was a multi-talented performer pitching a total of 427 garnes with a career record of 190 wins and 157 losses; a respectable winning percentage of - 5 4 8 . He '"bid., 18 February 1936. " ~ h e Baseball. Encvclopedia. 6th ed. 1512. 69 had an additional fourteen wins as a relief pitcher along with six losses and five saves. His career E . R . A . was a very impressive 2.32. 2 a In 1906 Chicago played in the World Series with White appearing in three games. This was a cross t o m World Series with the White Sox playing the Cubs. The heavily favoured Cubs were defeated four games to two by the light hitting Cubs with White winning the deciding game." A t a League meeting held on April 16, Judge A.D. Campbell of the Juvenile Court was the unanimous choice of the delegates for President of the Cape Breton Colliery League. Dick Carrigan of Reserve was the Vice-President and Neil MacDonald was the Secretary-Treasurer . Admission at the games was set at thirty £ive cents. In attendance at this meeting was H .A. McQuarrie and Secretary-Treasurer L . G. Ferguson of the Nova Scotia Amateur Baseball Association. The use of imported umpires was discussed but preference to locals was given by a vote of 6-5. D.H. McFarlane, a local sports writer was appointed off icial scorer with the power to select his o m associates. The position of Commissioner with the power to handle al1 disputes and protests was offered to County Court Judge D. McArthur. However, prior commitments prevented the Judge from accepting the position. The meeting decided al1 imports must be in Cape Breton homa mas G. Aylesworth, The World Series (Greenwich: Bison Books C o r p . , l988), 12. 70 before May 5th with no roster changes pemitted after this date. The schedule was drawn up with baseball being played £ive days a week, with each team playing three home and three away games every two weeks. If the Colliery League persisted with their efforts to irnport five players per team they could not remain in the Nova Scotia Amateur Baseball Association and the Maritime Provinces Branch of the Amateur Athletic Union of Canada would not permit the imports. The Cape Breton League felt the amateur rules were obsolete and must be changed to m e e t modern problems. The public demanded a better quality of baseball and imports would improve the level of play and develop a greater interest in the g a m e . Imports would help the Cape Breton club in their quest for a Maritime t i t l e . The C a p e Breton clubs were not making money and relied on social functions and tag days to break even. The Reserve delegates stated they would have imports with or without the approval of the Nova Scotia Amateur Baseball Association. President Tom MacDonald of the governing body went as f ar as to threaten to use immigration laws to stop Arnerican imports from coming to C a p e Breton. Clyde Nunn of Sydney attacked President MacDonald, demanding to know how he could sanction the Cape Breton baseball teams while defending the 1935 Ailen Cup Winners Halifax Wolverines as prof essional an aggregation as this province has ever seenu discussed with their establish residence and 71 . 2' The Yarmouth Gateways were also ability to have American players then go home until the ball season. Veteran pitcher Copie LeBlanc pitched for the teams with the most money. The only Cape Breton club in favour of remaining amateur was Sydney who felt Cape Breton should not dictate to the rest of the province. The clubs of the Colliery League were not happy with the input they had at the annual meeting of the Nova Scotia Amateur Baseball Association. The League was given one vote not a vote for each team. John A. McLean, a New Waterford resident, raised the point that there should be reclassification of ball clubs with the stronger teams like Cape Breton, Pictou, Springhill and Yarmouth to be rated as Class l1Au with the weaker clubs like Halifax, Liverpool and Middleton to be rated as Class I1B" clubs. The Nova Scotia Amateur Baseball Association announced the Cape Breton clubs would have one vote per team at the annual meeting. However, they would lose their f ight for imports . The Colliery League may fonn an independent Provincial Association with teams from Stellarton and Westville with other clubs invited to join. Another Cape Breton movement would see the league as a professional or semi-professional league. The main drawback to the idea of professional baseball was the desire of the local players to i'~ydnev Post Record, 72 participate in other sports and in the provincial baseball playoffs." New Waterford wished to amend the May 1st residence rule but the Sydney team resisted this idea. College players were exempt £ r o m the residence rule if they had amateur cards. They would not be considered professional players by the Maritime Provinces Branch Amateur Athletic Union of Canada. The Colliery League rernained adamant in their stand on irnport players and invited President MacDonald to a meeting with the Cape Breton clubs. They desired an answer to two questions. Question 1: If the Cape Breton Colliery Baseball league clubs have al1 their imports in place before May lst, will the Maritime Provinces Branch Amateur Athletic Union of Canada issue amateur cards for 1936 to players in the Colliery League if they can furnish transfer certificates and amateur cards f rom whence they came? Question 2 : In the event of the Colliery League clubs not bringing in their imports until May 25th, will this bar the clubs from participation in the Nova Scotia playoff? The teams of Cape Breton required a yes or no answer to their questions. They required the N.S.A.B.A. to break with the M.P.B.A.A.U. of Canada and govern baseball in a comrnon sense, decent manner with due considerations given to the players so they will get what they are entitled to; to the clubs so they have a chance to carry on without al1 the 73 problems that now persist .?' With the importation of players the public would see better baseball and the teams could then compete with the strong mainland teams in Westville, Springhill and Yarmouth. Thomas MacDonald of the N.S.A.B.A. held a meeting with the Cape Breton bal1 clubs in Sydney Mines on April 18, 1936. 25 There were to be no imported players; there were 125 clubs registered with the N.S.A.B.A. and i f the majority favoured the Cape Breton club the rules could change. It was possible to pay a coach $75.00 a week to teach the players i n Cape Breton an improved brand of baseball but t h i s idea had been tried i n Springhill and New Waterford with no success. There would be no cards issued for imports. President MacDonald stated there would be only one s e t of rules and the Colliery League must obey . Why don ' t you f ellows corne out f rom behind the door and play professional baseball. I t m sure you would not be thought the less of. lfZ6 The Colliery League argued that Yarmouth and Springhill had paid players so the Colliery League should have the same courtesy . Import players could be used to coach young players. The officiais of the Colliery League stressed that in other areas of Canada imports were used with no il1 effects to the game . ';~bid. , 14 April 1936. - - "Ibid. , 19 April 1936. 26~bid. , 19 April 1936. 74 President Campbell of the Colliery League stated that twelve hundred boys between the ages of eighteen and twenty- four had never earned a dollar because of the poor employment opportunities found in the industrial areas of Cape Breton. With the hard economic t i m e s on the island there was no work to be found. Import players would interest these boys in clean, wholesome sport and cut juvenile delinquency. "If young men coming here do this kind of uplifting work among our youth and are classed as professionals and our players also branded as professionals, then it is high time we broke with amateurism as we have it today. n 2 7 President MacDonald was consistent and would not go against the constitution. The stand of the N.S .A.B.A. was not stopping the Colliery League teams f rom signing players. Dominion signed "Whiteyll Michaels of the touring team the Boston Royal Giants as a coach plus three players including Nova Scotia star t r S i k i t l Leadbetter. Glace Bay amounced the signing of four players. On a negative note the Reserve team was considering dropping out of the League due to costs and a lack of financial backing. Reserve reconsidered their position and decided to remain in the League. With money being a problern the Reserve team decided they would only require three imported players to compete during the 1936 ~eason.~~ The League decided to use local umpires eiecting James Flemming of New Waterford as î ' ~ b i d . , 19 April 1936. 2 9 ~ b i d . , 27 April 1936. 75 Umpire-In-Chief with Stuart MacDonald of Glace Bay and Don McPherson of Sydney Mines as the other home plate umpires. The base umpires were Sam Melanson, Dominion; Allie McMullin and Dick Corrigan, Reserve and H. Rutherford, Sydney. In early May the players began to arrive in Cape Breton mostly £rom the Eastern United States. Two of these players had major league careers; the first playerfs was very brief, while the latter would later have a longer major-league career. Charlie Small of Auburn, Maine was signed by the Sydney Mines Ramblers . In 193 0 he had appeared in twenty- five - " games for the Boston Red Sox, hitting -222.'' The New Waterford Dodgers signed eighteen year old infielder Len Merullo £rom Holy Cross Colîege. He went on to play seven years in the major leagues with the Chicago Cubs. Merullo - n played in 139 garnes with a life time batting average of . 2 4 0 . '" In 1945 the Chicago W s met the Detroit Tigers in the World Series losing four games to three ." This was the last time the Cubs would appear in the Fall Classic. Merullo appeared in three games with no batting average. Al1 the action revolving around the Colliery League did not concern player signings and arguments with the N.S.A.B.A. The teams were beginning to improve their fields in anticipation of improved play and larger crowds. The Dominion - "Baseball Encyclopedia. 1400. - .. ' ; ~ b i d . , 1200. ':~ylesworth, The World Series, 92. 76 Hawks were building dugouts with concrete walls, floors and cold water taps. Both dugouts would be on the same side of the field with room between for a scorer's table. In Sydney, Victoria Park was not fit for play. If work did not begin immediately the club may be forced to withdraw from the league. The Sydney team paid a heavy fee for the use of the field and was of the opinion that the Parks Commission must make the field playable. On May 13 work did begin on the Sydney field3' with a large c r e w of workmen and machinery on site. Glace Bay was improving South Street Field by repairing the fence and the bleachers. Sydney Mines announced the signing of Elliott Small, a graduate of Bates College and brother of Charlie along with George Poster a pitcher from Colby College, which won the State Collegiate title in 1931-1932. The Ramblers erected a n e w grandstarid at Brown Street Park. The grandstand was built by Layton Lumber providing local employment. In New Waterford, local merchant Fred Gregor was to manage the team with the help of Hughie Dan MacLean, f eed store owner and John Bisson, coal Company off icial. 33 President Campbell would require umpires to control the games. There would be no arguments with the players; the league would fully back the urnpires. The teams of the League would buy two sets of protectors, masks and shinguards for - .. - - - ''Sydney Post Record, 13 May 1936. j31bid. , 18 May 1936. 77 umpires. The press would be issued passes with their names and the date. Reach and Spalding baseballs would be used in the games . The games must start on time and the managers must do their best t o have the teams make a good impression for the fans. Whether the Colliery League would be affiliated with the N.S.A.B.A. or not, it would attempt to portray a professional appearance and it was hoped the teams would work together to this end, desiring the League t o be t h e best east of Montreal. The import players would improve the level of play and hopefully this would generate more revenue. League play commenced on May 5th with Dominion playing Glace Bay at Dominion. The Hawks held a parade prior to the opening game to generate interest. The Citizen's Band and both teams took part in the parade with Sam Melanson dropping a bal1 £rom an airplane to start the game. Local pitcher tl~mokeyt' Joe Kelly pitched a three h i t t e r as Dominion won 9-2. Games were being well attended by the fans. A game May 25 at Sydney Mines saw over two thousand fans with the Ramblers losing to the Reserve Miner Boys 4-2.34 The fans at the games in Sydney Mines were coming frorn the surrounding areas - North Sydney, Florence and Little Bras d f Or. On June 1 a game of interest was played between New Waterford and Reserve. Bill Mitchell pitched a two hitter with fourteen strikeouts over sixteen innings with the game ending in a 2-2 tie. It was the longest game i n the history " ~ b i d . , 26 May 1936. 78 of organized baseball in Cape Breton. I1SpecsM Waterman, the first pitcher to Wear glasses in the Colliery League pitched for New Waterford. Young Dodger second baseman Eddie Gillis handled sixteen chances at second base without an error, adding three hits and scoring a run. Waterman, perhaps a decent pitcher, was not so quick to pay his bills. When leaving New Waterford later in the year with his mother who had spent the summer with him, it w a s necessary for the police to pursue h i m because he left a number of unpaid b i l l s . ) ' By June 1, the repairs to the park in Sydney were finished; the field was rolled and graded. The entrance gate and the ticket office were painted and flags flew at the entrance. The teams which were community managed, utilizing various appointed cornmittees. had their fields in playing condition long before this date. By showing an effort of CO- operation the community teams were accomplishing much on the condition of their fields. The Sydney team at the mercy of the Sydney Parks Commission had to wait a longer period of time before the field was fit for play. C. MacQuarrie, a local Sydney Post Record miter, argued the prices for the games were too high. Two tickets and two gallons of gas to traveî to the game would cost $1.20. The price of a grandstand seat was an extra nickel at thirty five cents. With hard economic times in the industrial area ticket prices should be dropped. However, the ticket prices might ' ~ b i d , , 12 A U ~ U S ~ 1936. 79 not be high enough to keep Sydney in the League . The team was paying the Parks Commission a very high percentage of f ees and along with provincial tax was being left with only twenty percent of their gate . During the early portion of June, 3,300 people paid to see three games in Sydney 2,700 of whom sat in the grandstand. The city received thirty percent of the gross gate and one hundred percent of the grandstand estimated at $1,150. With a community run team controlling the field these revenues would revert to the team. j6 At a May 13 meeting in Amherst the issue of Maritime baseball clubs who wished to import players was addressed again. Maritime clubs, who desired to import five players who possessed amateur cards and were in good standing with the M.P.B.A.A.U. of Canada decided by a vote of nineteen to ten that Arnerican players must possess international permits and in all cases ernployers will have to provide official affidavits proving the imports are acquiring positions in their domiciles. There was a long struggle to have this motion passed and it was favoured by the Cape Breton clubs and the New Brunswick teams. The executive of the M. P.B . A . A . U . of Canada did not support the motion and stated players being paid would be suspended, along with those who played against them. " - - '"bid., 3 June 1936. - - "Ibid., 18 June 1936. 80 On June 22 the Colliery League received a letter £rom the M.P.B.A.A.U. of Canada signed by secretary C. D. Shipley stating that the teams would not be able to participate in the Nova Scotia amateur baseball playoffs. The conditions set forth were so severe that the clubs could not possibly meet them. The Colliery League considered the letter a joke and decided to go on their path to professionalism. The teams would be permitted six imported players and they must be in residence by July 1st. The meeting also decided to permit George Whiteyll Michaels to play, an issue which shall be dealt with later." After the arguments of 1936 concerning professional versus amateur one might think the issue would not be considered again. But this was not the case. After al1 the argument concerning professional versus amateur baseball during the 1936 season, one would reasonably expect an end to the issue. But during the 1939 season the same professional versus amateur arguments were again being fought in Cape Breton baseball circles. L.J. Doucet of New Waterford, a local sportswriter and James J. Costello, a miner of Sydney Mines, were attempting to bring semi-professional baseball to Cape Breton. Costello was named Cape Breton Commissioner and Doucet, Commissioner for Canada. The winning team on the Northside would play the winning team on the Southside for the right to take part in a national . - "Ibid., 13 May 1936. 81 championship to be played in Saint John, N.B. With this plan it was not necessary for the Cape Breton teams to play teams on the mainland which would greatly reduce transportation costs . The gate receipts would be divided equally between the playing teams and the national organization. In addition the team playing in the national tournament would be permitted to add three players. j5 The plan to begin playing semi-professional baseball in Cape Breton would institute a battle of words between L. J. Doucet and the unnamed writer of the Glace Bay column, "New and ViewsIt . The unnamed writer was not in favour of semi- professional baseball and used his column to point out the shortcomings of this type of play. In Cape Breton, besides the Colliery League, there was the Colliery Intermediate Baseball League whose teams included the 1938 Eddie Gillis coached Maritime Champions plus a srna11 league on the ? With this much baseball there was no need for a semi-professional league. More baseball would result in the raiding of the intermediate teams and the importing of players resulting in a rise in player salaries." This negative semi-professional column was quickly rebutted by L.J. Doucet. The sole purpose of the new baseball organization was to encourage and develop more and better baseball. They would not attempt to enforce amateur rules "1bid. , 28 February 1939. "~bid. , 13 April 1939. 82 which were impractical and easily circumvented by any teams who wished to strengthen their rosters by illegal means. Money was not used for officials to travel to meetings but was used for the development of the sport. The semi-prof essional organization was friendly withprofessionalbaseball and would develop better players through a higher level of play. This new league would not offer cornpetition to the professional Colliery League, and anyone could play except those who had played professional baseball after June 1 or had been blacklisted by the National Association of Prof essional 0 - Baseball . '- "News and Views" answered Doucet the next day. This semi-professional organization could only hurt baseball on Cape Breton Island. The players would be taken £rom the intermediate league or players would be imported with the use of a small number of local players to fil1 the rosters. The author did not wish to revisit 1936 when the club continued increasing the number of imports and by the end of the season few local players remained. If the League was called semi- professional, American college players would play, draw high salaries and return home with their amateur status intact. The M.P.B.A.A.U. of Canada would not allow this type of play to happen and the players in the League would be suspended from al1 amateur "1bid. , 12 April lilbid., 13 April sports . " Again the merits members of the baseball community of prof essional versus of Cape Breton was arguing amateur ball. A number of the sporting public desired a league where the best amateur players could compete along with a number of paid imported players. On the other hand there was no such thing as semi-professional sport in Canada. Sport must be either amateur or professional, the two games do not mix. One cannot project if this semi-professional game would have gained a foothold i n Cape Breton baseball at this time; the war in Europe made it impossible to organize and conduct this league after September of 1939. The Glace Bay club signed Dave Barry from Holy Cross to catch. Holy Cross was a hotbed for baseball and had sent a number of players directly to the major leagues. The Glace Bay club wanted to give the fans the best baseball possible. The rush had begun to bring the best players to Cape Breton. Playaers were obtained byvarious means. Both Max Cullen and Russell DeMont state players were recruited through word of mouth, people who knew people and a network of relations .'' During the second half of the 19th century the Maritimes experienced out-migration strongly influenced by economics. The end of the Arnerican Civil War had cut the demand for Maritime products. Confederation in 1867 began the transfer of Maritime allegiance from Great Britain to central Canada. The persistent depression and economic shif t which ?tnterviews with Max Cullen and Russell C. Demont. characterized the years 1860-1900 in much of the Maritimes provided strong motives for out-migration. This out-migration cut across a wide variety of social and economic backgrounds including both sexes and al1 ages, religions and ethnicities. There was no problem with the crossing of the international boundary and laquage posed no difficulty, so many Maritimers moved to New England. In New England they could f ind work as fishermen, labourers, high blue and white collar jobs ." With many friends and relatives living in the Eastern United States, f inding players for the Colliery League became easier . During the Depression, jobs were scarce and baseball paid good wages. For American coilege players, it meant an opportunity to earn tuition money for the next year. The players were given the chance to see parts of the country which were unfamiliar to them. In the Colliery League the players were given tours of the coal mines and taken to various sites of interest. A n advantage of a career in baseball was that the men who played from the time they were small boys regarded baseball as fun not work. Baseball was played for the sake of the game, money was not of driving importance. i v L e f t y l l Bryant, a player with the great Kansas City Monarch black baseball team explains the game being fun not work. Def initely, de£ initely, made more being a "~lan A. Brookes, "Outmigration from the Maritime Provinces, 1860-1900: Some Preliminary Considerations," Acadiens is 5,2 (Spring 1976) , 26-55. ballplayer because 1 consider myself what you would cal1 a white collar job. You could go down to the o i l field and work al1 day and get about fifty dollars. And I was making $300.00 a month for fun. Thatls what it was. Baseball for me was fun.45 Len Murello talks of why he enjoyed playing in the Cape Breton Colliery League. I1We got forty dollars a week in American money, ten percent more than Canadian money so we got forty four dollars in American money. Ir A year earlier, Murello had played in the Cape Cod League for ten dollars a week. New Waterford increased his salary by four hundred percent. I1We couldn' t spend money. Could Save money for your schooling, send it home, whatever you did. Walk down tom they greeted you like a best friend because you were a bal1 player and they loved it.n'6 The players spoke well of their time in Cape Breton. Johnny Spartachino caught for the Dodgers in 1936 and later wrote from Ohio, llIt sure is funny. The first day 1 arrived in New Waterford when 1 played there 1 didnlt like it so much. But 1 can saythis today. It sure was about the best place 1 ever played at and 1 wish 1 could take a trip up there some time.~'~ The players brought pride to the community victory but defeat was not taken lightly. Local with each fans would %Janet Bruce, Kansas City Monarchs (Oxford: Oxford Press, 1990) , 204. University 46~ecording date 10 June 1991, Tape Breton Colliery Baseball League, t1 CBC Mainstreet , courtesy of Hal Higgins, CBC Sydney, N. S. ''~vdney Post Record, criticize players not perfoming to expectations and newspapers were quick to point out the players1 weaknesses. Roy Boles of the Sydney Mines Ramblers, after his release was critical of the tom's expectations concerning imported players. He felt too much pressure was put on imported players, they were not given the opportunity or the time ta perform to the expected level. Imported players were expected to hit, play the outfield and pitch. H o w e v e r , only the exceptional athlete can perform al1 these skills to a high level. Harold Seymour in his excellent book Baseball: The People's Game quotes DSmokeyn Joe Wood, a Hall of Fame player on the pressure of small tom baseball: The smaller the town the more important their bal1 club was. Boy, if you beat a bigger town, theyld practically hand you the key to the city. And if you lost a game by making an error in the ninth or something like that-well the best thing to do was j u s t pack your grip and hit the road, 'cause they never let you forget it In the June 12, 1936 issue of the Svdney Post Record, L.J. Doucet wrote that the fans were too critical, expecting too much from the players and umpires. They were trying as best they could and the criticism must be fair. With most of the attention focused on imported players, locals were performing at a high level. Layton Ferguson, a Dalhousie University student from Port Morien pitched a five "~arold Seymour, The People s Game (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990) , 204. 87 hit game against New Waterford. The game was played in one hour and seven minutes. Ferguson pitched a masterful game giving up no bases on balls and striking out £ive. Glace Bay won 3-0. Other local players performing at a high level included Murray Matheson and Felix Ferguson of Sydney, Joe Snow and Francis MacKimon of Sydney Mines. In New Waterford Eddie Gillis was performing exceptionally well. The last place Sydney team tried to strengthen their roster by importing four players from the Boston area. The best known of the players was second baseman John Quinn who had played the last two years in the International League and for a time had been the property of the Boston Red Sox." Glace Bay was signing imports including Fred Loftus, reputed to be the best amateur pitcher in New England. He had pitched for the Broadway Clowns. a travelling team that had played the Boston Royal Giants in Cape Breton a few years eariier. As the summer progressed the teams continued to import and release players. President Campbell contacted the National Association of Professional Baseball Clubs. If the Colliery League registered as a Class "Cm League they could use nine imports and set the salary l i r n i t at $1,145 to $1,200 a month. Local players were also welcome.jG A League meeting of July 17 decided the Colliery League teams could import nine players. Al1 were not in favour of '"Sydnev Post Record, 23 June 1936. ' ; ~ b i d . , 3 July 1936. 89 with twenty- f our doubles and seven home runs . " Impressive numbers for the Colliery League but they paled when compared to the fact that Bissonette played for the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1928 to 1933. In 1928 Bissonette led the Dodgers with 25 home runs plus he drove in 100 runs and scored 80. His lifetime stats reveal a batting average of .305 with 65 home runs and 391 runs batted in: a decent career for a man who E . began playing in the major leagues at the age of twenty-nine.-- During the 1945 season Bissonette managed the Boston Braves for sixty-one games winning twenty-£ive and losing thirty- - - - - six. - But al1 was not well with the Colliery League as the Reserve Miner Boys disbanded and left the League on July 30. The team released the import players and most of t h e i r locals. On two occasions players refused to run to first base, perhaps thinking they were too good for the League. This poor effort would not be tolerated by the executive of the Reserve team or its fans. The executive desired a one week extension to obtain new players. During the game of July 30, the Reserve team quit, committed nine errors and lost to Sydney 12-0. Import '!Red1! Curran was the only Reserve player to make an effort.'6 On the first day of Aug, Reserve withdrew from the - - "Ibid., 29 July 1936. "~aseball Encyclo~edia, 724. - - I b i d 724. - :"Sydney Post Record, 31 July 1936. League and their players became free agents. To show the advanced level of play in Cape Breton it is only necessary to examine the success or lack thereof of Edgar "The Greatt1 Cormier and his short career in the Colliery League. On the 21 of July, Cormier signed with the New Waterford Dodgers and on the 22nd he pitched against Del Bissonette and the Glace Bay Miners. He gave up twelve hits, seven walks and lost 13-5. On the 29 of July with only two hits in nineteen at bats, Cormier was released- A player considered by many fans to be one of the best in the Maritime Provinces lasted a grand total of five games in Cape Breton and was quickly gone. As the Colliery League succeeded at prof essional baseball, other centres were considering joining the league. Halifax, Truro, New Glasgow, Springhill and Westville were considering playing professional baseball. With the main highway in Nova Scotia now paved the teams could travel easily £rom t o m to tom. The main drawback was the need for larger rosters because of the extra games . j 7 Tommy llDummyll Jackson was playing excellent baseball with the Glace Bay team. His value to the team was so great that the management of the Caledonia Mine extended him a leave of absence. Two colliery players were giving back to the baseball community of Cape Breton. The Dominion Junior Hawks were coached by Whiteylt Michaels and Eddie Gillis was - - Ibid., 18 August 1936. 91 coaching the New Waterford Junior Cubs ." This was exactly the influence that President Campbell was looking f o r as he promoted professional b a l l . As the push for a place i n the League playoffs began, the teams attempted t o improve t h e i r rosters . The Sydney Mines Ramblers contacted Copie LeBlanc and Nelson Deveau of the Yarmouth Gateways but neither player was interested i n playing in Sydney Mines. There was great interest in the success of the Ramblers among the miners of Sydney Mines. On the 1 0 August, Princess Colliery failed t o operate when insufficient employees reported f o r work. Those miners who reported f o r work had t o return home because the missing rniners were watching the bal1 games. T h i s was the third shut dom of the summer." Twice in one week, the last occasion being 2 5 August, the night s h i f t at Princess Colliery did not work and three hundred and fifty miners were sent home. Management w a s very displeased w i t h t h i s action and was considering punishing ,. ,. miners who were absent £ r o m work without a genuine excuse."" The Glace B a y Miners were very successful i n t h e i r search for players. On August 12 the Miners signed B i l l Hunnef i e l d . H e played for the Chicago White Sox beginning i n 1926, until h i s release i n 1930. In 1931 he played for three teams, the Cleveland Indians ( 2 1 games), the Boston Braves (11 games) and " ~ b i d . , 2 1 August 1936. "~bid., 11 August 1936. "1bid.. 26 August 1936. 92 the New York Giants (64 games) . In t o t a l , Hunnefield appeared in 511 major league games with 452 h i t s , 9 home runs, 144 runs batted in with a -272 batting average.6i Another addition was made to the Glace Bay pitching staff with the signing of Roy Moore from Toledo of the Arnerican Association. His signing with the Glace Bay team was the result of a friendship between Joe MacInnis and Joe MacIntosh, boyhood friends at Passchendale where they had played baseball and rugby together. MacInnis went to Detroit to work in the auto industry while MacIntosh became a local store owner. He was given credit for his work with the Eastern Canadian Rugby championship Caledonia team and became a sponsor of the baseball team. He asked bis old friend MacInnis to find a pitcher for the team and the result was the signing of ex Toledo Mud Hen, Roy Moore for the Glace Bay team. In 1935 Moore had pitched for the House of ~avid.~' The playoffs were to be limited to the first four teams. The New Waterford Dodgers were against this structure as the f ifth place team felt they should be involved. The Dodgers appealed to the League executive but their appeal was denied. The Dodgers would not play t h e i r remaining games, a move which cost the remaining teams a substantial amount of revenue in lost gates. The playoffs would see t h e first place t e a m playing the fourth and the second meeting the third. Sydney - -. "-Basebal1 Encyclo~edia, 1042. E2~vdney Post Record, 13 August 1936. Mines would meet Sydney with Glace Bay playing Dominion. The series between Glace Bay and Dominion was uneventful, with the Miners winning in three straight games. In the other series Sydney defeated Sydney Mines 3-0 in front of three thousand fans at Brown Street Park. The second game of the series was controversial. With Sydney leading 4-2 going to the top of the ninth, Sydney Mines scored nine runs to take a commanding 11-4 lead. In the bottom of the ninth, Sydney began to stall, hoping the game would be cafled because of darkness and the score would revert to the bottom of the eighth inning. However, umpire Johnny L i f ford would not allow these tactics and a w a r d e d the game t o Sydney Mines. The Sydney team protested the game to Commissioner Forbes demanding the game be declared no contest. The protest became irrelevant as Sydney defeated the Ramblers 4-2 and won the series. The final series pitting Glace Bay against Sydney was played without incident. The Miners were led by pitcher Layton Ferguson and first baseman Del Bissonette and won four games to two. The wiming G l a c e Bay team was honoured by the tom of Glace Bay with a dinner at Smith House. This was followed by an auto parade to the Sydney railway station. The parade which went through downtown Sydney included over 200 decorated cars and a pipe band. In attendance was Mayor D.W. Morrison, Judge A.D. Campbell, E. MacK. Forbes and L .D. Currie, local Member of Parliament. In Sydney the team was honoured with a 94 banquet at the Diana Sweets w i t h Mayor S.E. Muggah and H.J. Kelly. Vice-President of DOSCO in attendance. Tribute was paid to the players who in turn praised the ~ i t y . ~ ~ The year 1936 was certainly an eventful one for the Colliery League. Not pleased with t h e i r poor showings against the strong mainland teams a course of action was decided upon and the League progressed towards professionalism. If the N . S . A. B. A. and the M. P. B. A. A. U. of C a n a d a would not change the rules to allow the teams to improve, they would go their own way. In communities where life and death struggles were waged in the depths of the coal mines and against the coal companies for a living wage, the idea of not accepting the edicts of sports1 bodies was not of great consequence t o the executive, players, or fans of the Cape Breton C o l l i e r y Baseball League. The summer could be considered a success; large crowds came to watch an improved brand of baseball. On the negative side, the Reserve team withdrew f rom the League and the League ran up high debts . The teams could not continue to import and release players on a day t o day basis. The answer to this roster problem was organized baseball and this was the direction in which the Colliery League would progress. "lbid.. 26 September 1936. CHAPTER IV OUT OF THE CLOSET - PROFESSIONALS AT LAST There were numerous reasons why the Colliery League would leave the ranks of the amateur sporting world and play professional baseball. The high cost of signing and releasing players necessitated a drastic plan to ensure the exuberance of the teams in their signing of players would not lead t o their downfall. T h i s movement of players was extremely costly to the teams and to make a profit the costs must be kept at a workable limit . The vote by league teams was unanhous to affiliate with the National Association of Professional Baseball Clubs as a Class l1Dl1 league. With entrance to professional baseball roster and salary limits were set by the national organization which hopefully would Save the Colliery League teams from themselves. The minor leagues linked together a whole chain of clubs comprised of teams in al1 minor league classifications £rom 'IDn to "AA1I. Players would start young at the bottom and the best would move up through each level until the best reached the ma j or leagues . ' Membership in the National Association was of benefit to the players. Each team was required to put up two weeks payroll t o protect the players in the event of bankruptcy. It assured the players that there was a secure '~arold Seymour, Baseball: The Golden Aqe, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1971) , 144. financial foundation.' It also prevented teams from wild spending in a scramble to acquire a pennant by establishing a salary limit for each classification. A major problem that membership in the association would not solve was violence, fans against players, fans against umpiues , players against umpires. This was an issue which requires examination. The man chosen by organized baseball to lead the Colliery League into professional play was Joe Page. He had started his career with Windsor in the Ontario League in 1884. From Windsor he went to the Northern Michigan League, followed by tirne with Kalamazoo in the Tri-State League. In 1900 Page helped organize the Province of Quebec League and in 1910 helped form the New Brunswick-Maine loop. In 1918 he organized and was president of the Eastern Canadian League and four years later he organized the Ontario-Vermont League. Page had a long, successful record in professional baseball and could preach its benefits. He stated: "Independent baseball gets nowhere while organized bal1 brings the country advertising that is invaluable, it receives the support of the business public because of this & d the league receives entry into baseballrs Blue Book. This baseball Blue Book is studied amually by many thousands who f ollow baseball throughout the year and as an entrant in this book your league will be closely watched. The Island cannot help but become knom to '~eil J. Sullivan. The Minors (New York, St. arti in's Press. 1990), 136. thousands who otherwise never give it a thought . An example of this America-wide publicity was the use of the Howe News Bureau making box scores of the games available to nine hundred newspapers in Canada and the United States. It was the high cost in salaries that resulted in affiliation with organized baseball. Conversations between President Campbell and William G. Bramham head of the National Association and Joe Carr promotional manager led to the entry to professional ball. The League had generated large crowds and interest but at times the level of play was not as good as it should have been. There were many irnported players including Del Bissonette, Bill Hunnefield, l1 Snooks Manderville, lWube" Wilson and Roy Moore. These players were well paid, with Bissonette making $100.00 a week and Moore and Hunnef ield $75.00 a week. Players were given bonuses for a high level of play.' Although well-paid, some players did not try at al1 times and refused to play more than four games in seven days. The five towns in the Colliery League had a combined population of about 110.000 but generated $50,000 in revenue through the gate receipts. The great cost of importing and exporting players quickly ate up these funds. One club had a weekly salary of $2,400 for the last three weeks of the "portins News, 11 February 193 7. 'sportinq News, 5 January 1937. 98 season. Amusement tax cost over $9,000 and the telegraph bill for one month was close to $300, It was estimated the United States players took home approximately $40,000 but even with these high expenditures the team deficit was only about $2,000." Managers with big league expertise would be secured and paid $200 to $300 per month. An entry fee to the National Association of $30 with a fee of $30 dnnually plus a bond of $500 was used to generate two weeks salary for the players generating some security. The National Association did not take any monies £rom the regular season gates and only a small percentage £ r o m the playoffs. The umpires used in the league would be recommended by the Supervisor of Umpires to the National and American Leagues . The professional players would have records which were recognized through baseball. Local players with enough ability could play in the League but must have a signed professional contract .' The League had a salary limit of $1,000 for thirteen players and to succeed t h e teams must CO-operate to keep this limit. L a t e in January, the Colliery League made formal application to join the National Association of Professional Baseball Clubs. Pictou was not admitted to the League for the travel costs were too high and there was no economic advantage. On March 8, 1937 Reserve rejoined the League "bid. , 5 January 1937. kdnev Post Record, 18 January 1937. 99 sponsored by the Reserve Fire Brigade but would later wi thdraw . " The League was beginning to accept applications from American umpires who, it was hoped, would end the fighting among umpires, fans and players. T h e s e umpires might have a better knowledge of baseball and be better able t o control the games. The two umpires selected by the League were Douglas "Scottytt Robb and W.E. C l a r i t z and they would arrive on June 3rd. They were to conduct a school for t h e base umpires and select those who would work in the League. Both umpires had corne highly recommended by Bill Steward, one of the foremost umpires in the National League.' The teams were preparing for the season, as they searched f o r managers for the upcoming season. Glace Bay was in contact with the New York Giants and the New York Yankees to help recommend a manager. They requested an affiliation with either Detroit or Philadelphia but the request was denied as both had their own Class "D" team in place . I o Bert Daniels was named to manage the ~ominion Hawks, having played with the New York Yankees from 1910 to 1913 and finishing h i s career with Cincinnati of the National League in 1914. During his £ive year major league career he appeared in '~bid., 8 March 1937. ' ~ b i d , 24 May 1937. . * -"Ibid. , 19 February 1937. 100 523 games with a .255 batting average. '' Joe Page who had been in organized bal1 since 1884 signed to manage Sydney. "Rabbit" Maranville of the Boston Braves recommended Fred Maguire to manage the Glace Bay team. Maguire had played s i x years in the majors with the New York Giants, Chicago Cubs and the Boston Braves playing 618 games. He performed in the 1923 World Series with the Giants. Maguire had a career -257 battihg average.'2 Del Bissonette would not return to Glace Bay as he had signed to be player-manager of Des Moines of the Western League. Herb Moran the choice to manage in New Waterford, was a seven year veteran with the Philadelphia Athletics , Boston Braves and the Brooklyn Dodgers . He . - appeared in the 1914 World Series with the Boston Braves.-' W. J. Buckley with many years of minor league experience would manage the Sydney Mines Ramblers . Buckley was an insurance man, a promoter and a former professional umpire. He was a founder of the Canadian-American League in 1939, was a league . vice-president and would own the Waterloo franchise. -' The Canadian-American League had a unique method of dividing league funds. Visiting teams would receive $60.00 a game plus 12 1/2 cents for every ticket sold over 400 "~avid Pietrusza , Baseball ' s Canadian- American Leaque (Jefferson, N.C., McFarland and Company Inc., 1990), 5. admissions. Teams were to receive $30.00 to cover transportation costs to rained-out games . l5 Bef ore the season began, William Zitzman replaced Bert Daniels as the Dominion Hawks manager. Zitzman had played 406 games in the major leagues, the majority being with the Cincinnati Reds with a batting average of -267. ' 6 Hank Hamilton was signed to replace Joe Page in Sydney. As the Colliery League prepared to enter the world of prof essional baseball, an effort was made to buy al1 equipment £ r o m local merchants. In 1936 over $4,000 was put into the local economy by the clubs to pay for equipment. Another attempt would be made to have the Provincial Government lower the amusement tax f rom f ive cents to three cents. Interest in the Colliery League was not restricted to Cape Breton Island. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation would broadcast the first two games throughout the ~aritimes." The New Waterford team was improving their ballpark and would move the fences out ten feet. Expecting large crowds both the New Waterford and Sydney teams would increase seating. The Dominion Hawks had built a scoreboard, an exact duplicate of the one found in Yankee Stadium which had room for advertising, an additional source of revenue for the club. The Dominion team had a deficit over $1,000 for the 1936 - - . - -'Ibid. , 8. '6~aseball Encyclopedia, 1222. . - - Svdnev Post Record, 8 May 1937. 102 season but with the full support of the local citizens f e l t sure of a successf ul season. la In Sydney Mines a strong team was expected to compete. The team built a bat rail and a sunken receptacle behind home plate to hold baseballs for the umpires . A new press box was constructed and the Brown Street field was taking shape for its first professional game. The opening game of the Colliery League was played on June 7 in Glace Bay with the home team defeating the Sydney Mines Ramblers 5-4. The game was attended by 5,000 fans while - the attendance for the first five games was over 10,000.-• The League was still struggling with teams importing and releasing players. On June 14 the Sydney Mines Ramblers released three players and imported three more. The teams were going to have to depend on imported players. Local players WiddyI1 Gouthro and Ray Sloan with Dominion and Layton Ferguson and l1DummyU Jackson were having problems compet ing with the strong imported players. As the season progressed and problems became evident, Judge Campbell sought an advanced classification from "Du toTn. He argued that the League was the only professional league in Canada and therefore its population area should be based on the s i z e of the province. A jump in classification would boost the salary limit to '"bid., 22 May 1937; ' J --Sportins News, 17 June 1937. 103 $1,400 and allow roster limits of sixteen players . ' " T h e team executives were having a difficult time obtaining capable players for a roster limit of $1,000. T h e extra $400 i n funds for player salary t o allow the importation of better players and raise the standard of play. Another difficulty facing the League was the bickering b e t w e e n umpires and players, situations which were not giving the league the professional look they desired. A t the same t i m e high batting averages by the hitters was reflecting the poor level of pitching. CONFLICT OR COHESION Judge W.G. Bramham of the National Association took action on the issue of the playersf attacks on umpires. He ruled that players who abused umpires would be suspended for -. a period of sixty days which in Cape Breton meant the season.'- The New Waterford club officials would attempt to stop the rowdyism at their home games . The problem was being caused by children and a small portion of the adult fan base. It was decided the children would s i t in a section where they would not be a nuisance to people. The fans were asked to watch t h e i r language and refrain from the use of profanity. If these rules were not folLowed the offending fans would be refunded their admission fee and asked to leave the park. Extra police would be hired to ensure the fans behaved. Some - rn 1 , 17 June 1937. ?'svdney Post Record, 28 Jurie 1937. umpires had refused to work the games in New Waterford due to the umpire baiting. Judge Campbell agreed with the New Waterford executive and demanded the excessive language stop. He requested the R. C .M. P. reinforce the local police. A game played on July 18 s a w Umpire Dave Clorety escorted £ r o m the field by the police. He called a game due to darkness with the Sydney Mines Ramblers winning 13-12 although the Dodgers staged a late rally. July 25th saw five arrested during a game at Sydney Mines with New Waterford the visitors. Umpire Scotty Robb ejected Dodger manager Nick Morris and player Walleston £rom the game. Morris was fined twenty-five dollars, Walleston ten dollars. Any repetition would carry suspension. Sydney Mines1 pitcher nCowboyll Moulton was fined ten dollars for cursing the fans. Although the League did not look on these actions with any favour some did defend the actions of the fans. Chauncey MacQuarrie wrote in his sport's column Highlights and Sidelights in the Svdnev Post Record "These arguments will be apparent as long as there is cornpetitive sport in Cape Breton. An island fan who follows a team goes the limit and if he becomes more combative than usual in the excitement of a closely contested match he should not be censured too heavily . 112' MacQuarrie def ends the poor action of the fans in the heat of the moment and did not wish them censured. The umpires and players who were the objects of this poor conduct "~bid., 26 July 1937. were no doubt of a different opinion. In New Waterford the fans continued to attack the umpires. The League considered lifting the franchise of the New Waterf ord team . Umpire Flemming was verbally and physically assaulted during a game played August 3rd requiring police protection until the crowd dispersed. Rocks were thrown at h i s car, breaking the front w i n d o w . One man was charged with assault. With this type of fan action it would become difficult to obtain umpires to work the games in New Waterford. This last incident had caused umpire Jim Flemming to resign his position. But once again the writers with the Svdnev Post Record came to the defence of the New Waterford fans. L . J . D o u c e t wrote on August 5th t h a t the New Waterford team was always getting bad decisions £rom the umpires. They are absolutely disgraceful and uncalled for but yet that doesnt t suggest prevention. Cape Breton baseball fans and particularly New Waterford followers take their sport seriously when given an opportunity they are no worse than the rest . They w a n t a fair deal and evidently are satisfied to fight for it if necessary. Doucet forgave the conduct of the fans and laid full blame on the umpires. He feit better umpiring was required; the poor umpiring was hurting the gate receipts.'l Doucet may have arrived at this opinion by being a member of the executive of the New Waterford Dodgers Baseball team, a direct b d . 5 Aupst 1937. conflict of interest. Others had a different opinion on the cause of fan unrest at games. Many believed the consumption of alcohol was the cause of fan rowdyism. These fans who consumed excess alcohol were to be expelled £rom the park. The R. C .M. P. would attend al1 games to ensure the liquor laws were obeyed. Anyone with liquor was to be expelled from the park. President Campbell was of the opinion that only a small number of fans was creating the problem and a larger police presence would be of a great help. To quote President Campbell: "Theire was much better discipline of players and the players as a general rule were more ambitious, cleaner living lot than the former players who played in Cape Breton in years gone by.lt2' Campbell was placing the problem directly on the fans and not the players. He seemed to be defending his idea that the imported players should be of good character and set a strong example for the youth of Cape Breton. If the youth of Cape Breton admired these players of strong athletic ability and good character there was hope that sport would keep the youth from a life of poor choices. President Campbell as a Judge of the Juvenile Court had a vested interest in the character and moral strength of the youth of Cape Breton. He was espousing a f o m of flmuscular Christianity1I. Sport had the potential t o form character if "~bid., 1 January 1938. the ruleç of a game were respected. There was then hope that the rules of the game of life would also be respected." Sport could be used to build a strong Christian character; the positive sport could be useful in the development of leadership with the team sports and their dependence on group goals rather than individual skill playing a major role.'" Team sports would build character and teach a respect for rules and laws. During the season the Colliery League players visited sick children. They spoke to the children at the ballpark whenever possible and never ref used an autograph . When playing exhibition games in Halifax the players gave balls to the children at the games . As one reverend gentleman remarked ItYou can apply a lot of religion to the game of baseball if you have the correct missionaries. lt2' There was evidence of fan violence during the 1936 season. By the end of June of that year, it was apparent the League was having problems with umpires. President Campbell reduced the umpire crews to two umpire-in-chiefs and two assistants. The players must be better disciplined and stop abusing the umpires physically and verbally. Those players not showing the proper respect for the men in blue were to be " - "David Howell and Peter Lindsay, I1Social Gospel and the Young Boy Pr~blern,~~ Morris Mott ed., Sports In Canada, 224. %Jean Barman, Sport and the Development of Character , Morris Mott ed., S~orts In Canada, 234-244. - -. 'Svdnev Post Record, 20 September 1937. e jected f rom gantes and fined. Two excellent examples of umpires and players having heated discussions soon followed. On July 2, Sydney defeated Sydney Mines by a score of 4-3. The fans stormed the field when Umpire Sam Melanson ruled against a triple by MacKimon of the Ramblers which drove in two runs. Ramblersf catcher Damy Ayotte was ejected from t h e game for arguing the call. Melanson was escorted £rom the field by local police and the R.C.M.P. In New Waterford on July 3, two umpires were escorted £ r o m the field. Len Murello, who had made two errors in the game was baiting the umpires and the fans were only too eager to help him. It was the opinion of many fans that American players had a poor attitude and perceived themselves to be the only good players on the island. After being ejected from the game for pushing the urnpire, Bond and Pagliucia restrained Mureiio while the umpire was rescued by the police. President Campbell was very upset with the rowdyism of the American players on the field. Campbell stated "he was going t o stop it either by suspension or expulsion from the League of the offending players whose actions are not doing the League any good. 'l2' These players were to set a good example for the youth of Cape Breton but their actions on the field were far from clean cut or wholesome. The umpiring situation became so bad that the League 109 fired umpire Hugh Beshore. On July 20th in Glace Bay he managed to upset both teams and the fans. Poor calls on balls and strikes caused managers Lewis of Glace Bay and Gallivan of Reserve t o not l e t the game proceed until the umpire w a s replaced. Johrmy L a f f o r d , a professional boxer from New Brunswick, was recruited to finish the game in place of the incompetent Beshore who would umpire the bases. His calls on the bases were no better than his ability to cal1 balls and strikes upsetting the Reserve team who had t o be restrained by the R.C.M.P. 2 3 The fans and players continued their battle with the umpires during a game in Sydney Mines. Umpire-In-Chief Stewart MacDonald was assaulted on the field and later in his car resulting in police intemention. MacDonald was knocked dom and kicked by the fans. While sitting in his car he was struck and his l i p badly cut. MacDonald was very upset with the lack of police protection. His driver was attacked and was protected by Rambler players Roy Boles, Moore. Foster and Ayotte. The mayor of Sydney Mines, Alex McCormack responded to the incident by swearing in special constables for games. At a League meeting delegates Doyle and Nunn of Sydney were very concerned with the incident, the third violent incident to occur during games at Sydney Mines. It was the position of the Sydney club delegates that the Ramblers were doing nothing 2r~bid., 18 July 1936. 110 to improve conditions. If improvement was not seen at games teams would refuse to play in Sydney Mines. The constant assaulting of officials must stop and the Sydney Mines police must use the law to prevent further violence and more police presence at the games was required. Mayor McCormack saw the incident as being caused by poor umpiring by MacDonald. The Sydney Mines position was that the League must obtain better umpires. Chief of Police Hall stated his off icers protected the umpires and four times he called the R.C.M.P. for assistance but got no response. Clyde Nunn answered this position by blaming the problems on Small and Ayotte; the umpiring of MacDonald and Melanson was excellent. Articles by Chauncey MacQuarrie a reporter with the Sydnev Post Record, were highly critical of the situation in Sydney Mines. The executive of the Ramblers bal1 club responded by revoking the press pass of MacQuarrie. This action did not sit well with the League for the Post gave excellent coverage and it was not good business to fight with the source of this f ree publicity. 'O On May 10, the New Waterford fans attacked umpire Gordon McInnis of Glace Bay who was the base umpire. He made two team. New Waterf ord Freddie Gregor tried w o u l d not go. With calls that went against the New Waterford club president James Johnston and manager to have him removed from the game but he t h e game tied in the ninth inning the fans attacked the helpless umpire who was rescued by Chief-of-Police Graham and other members of his police force along with the New Waterford and Dominion players. MacInnis was escorted to a waiting truck as the fans threw sticks and Stones at the truck. The umpire's father was beaten while trying to rescue his son. The New Waterford police arrested five men and charged them, During the 1938 season umpires were again being abused in the Colliery League. There were better umpires available but the cost made them prohibitive. The League had a number of players i n their first year of professional baseball and they may have been able to abuse umpires during their amateur days. However, Judge Campbell was not going to tolerate his umpires being abused. It was also possible that the Cape Breton fans : - were expecting perfection for the forty cent admission price . - - Campbell tried to stop open gambling in the stands, which was accompanied by foul language in many cases. He charged the police t o arrest any fans gambling and using foul language. The fans who lost their bets may be the ones who protested the - - loudest." On August 12, Campbell banned betting in the stands. The ballpark must have adequate police protection. If problems arose both home and visiting clubs along with the umpires were to leave the field. Neither players nor umpires -. '-Ibid, 25 Jtme 1938. "~bid., 12 August 1938. were to be intimidated by the fans. During the 1939 season the problems between players and umpires continued. " M o e t l Kiley the Sydney outfielder had the distinction of being the first player to rate a fine in the 1939 season. He was fined five dollars for his actions at a game with the Glace Bay Miners. Kiley tested the patience of T ~ o t t y ~ ~ Robb by protesting a called strike too loudly and too . . long." The use of distasteful language was becoming too common at the Colliery League games. President Campbell would try to curb this practice with fines.34 This policy was not completely successful when examining the game between Sydney and Glace B a y . Phi1 Mooney the Sydney pitcher was fined and ordered out of the park for protesting too forcibly when Umpire Kenney gave a decision against the home team. Mooney also fought with the Glace Bay catcher Dave Berry in the - - eighth iming . Mooney was f ined and suspended for f ive days . '' There was a great deal of complaining about the umpires in the League but many players are not correct when describing plays. There was a great deal of baiting between the players and umpires which lead to explosive field situations." What may have been the biggest fight players occurred on July 30, 1939 at New between fans and Waterford Dodger ., - "S~ortins News, 22 June 1939. 34Svdnev Post Record, 11 July 1939. - 7 "Sportins News, 10 August 1939. j%ydney Post Record, 16 August 1939. 113 Field. With the Dodgers leading seven to three in the seventh inning a full scale brawl broke out between the players and the fans. Al Smith the Sydney manager was injured during the mallee. Tensions had been building between the New Waterford fans and the Sydney players. The result was a full scale riot ." Umpire Charlie Whittle recommended the game be played to completion. A game report was sent to the four clubs in the League. Whittle reported that with one out in the seventh inning, manager Al Smith asked for protection f rom fans behind the players bench. The Sydney players were being called abusive and improper names. At this time Umpire Whittle called two policemen to stay behind the Sydney bench and the officer removed one fan from the ballpark. While the Sydney players continued the game on the field, Pearlman and Joe Linsalata began fighting with the fans. This action resulted in the fans storming the field and the umpire called the game. ' 9 . H . MacLean of New Waterford would not agree to replaying the remaining innings of the suspended game. There must be a full investigation and the League must not rely on the report of umpires Scotty Robb and Chuck Whittle." Judge Campbell held a full investigation into the incident on August 9. Joe Linsalata testified under the Canada Witness and Evidence Act. The player admitted to Judge - - - - - - '7~bid., 31 July 1939. - - 'Tbid., 3 August 1939. ?3~bid. , 4 August 1 9 3 9 . Campbell that he went into the stands, slapped a fan and threw punches. Linsalata did not remember jumping into the stands. He stated the fans w e r e using abusive language towards the Sydney players during the game. Bernie Pearlman testif ied he had gone to the aid of Linsalata; he had heard the vile language and had asked the fans to stop due to the presence of children. The Sydney equipment manager Ed Rirber agreed with the players. The Sydney players had been h i t with pebbles during the game and mud had been thrown in the water bucket. H e testified manager Al Smith complained to the umpire and went to the fans to protect his players. Smith was struck four or £ive times on the head. Judge Campbell awarded the game to the New Waterford team after six innings with the score seven to t h r e e . Joe Linsalata was fined twenty-£ive , P dollars for leaving the field and entering the stands.'" Tate Bodio described the fight throught the eyes of one of the players. . . . he died about a year ago and that s Jerry "MoeI1 Kiley. Now Kiley had played up there three years. He did his first year in Glace Bay. H e did the second year at New Waterford and he did the third year in Sydney. Whenever Jerry Kiley walked on the baseball diamond, you knew he was there. You knew he was there because he made himself present whether it be with his club, or whether it be with his bat or his face. But Jerry Kiley was there ... the fellow with Sydney the second year 1 was there because of Kiley who was not rehired in 1939 by New Waterford. So we knew when we got to "1bid. , 8 August 1939. Sydney we were in for a real hassle because Kiley would stir them up. Now 1 can recall one game, it was in New Waterford and for some reason or another I think kids were throwing pebbles at the Sydney ballplayers and of al1 the guys who would have been the f irst one that would have started anything it would have been Joe Linsalata. He (Robb) was the umpire at second at the time and he became a very famous umpire i n the American League. . Linsalata turns around and slaps the kid. What happened, the fans in the stands, 1 ' 11 never forget as long as 1 live because 1 was scared. ripped the fencing off the restraining part of the stands and climbed onto the field. We almost had a full scale riot. Now that was with Sydney and I recall it because Kiley and I often joked about it later on how we almost blew the whole league by one simple riot ." So it takes more than the fans to start riots. The players had a knack for inciting the fans to vent their wrath against the visiting teams. One segment of the population is conspicuous by its absence - women, who did not play at this level of baseball, but an examination will be undertaken to see what, if any role, fernales had in the years of the Colliery League. We will also examine the roles of blacks, aboriginals and other ethnic groups to see if they were treated in the same ntanner by the League as they were in society in general. Women did play a part in the Colliery League which was similar to their role in society. They gave support to the League by helping to raise funds, holding socials, card and "~ecording 10 June 1991 courtesy Hal Higgins, CBC Sydney. 116 bingo games. During the 1936 season it was reported that a large number of female fans were attending games at Brown Street Park in Sydney Mines and that the team would hold a Ladies' Day in the future.i2 After the games the ladies of Sydney Mines held very popular socials at St. Mary's Hall for the players and fans ." The ladies would help the team raise funds by staging a benefit show and selling raffle tickets. Women were encouraged to come to the games to help improve the crowd behavioud4 But at Colliery League games it was reported that some lady fans were not acting in a ladylike manner and were attempting to strlke umpires when their decisions were going against the home team." But even so Glace Bay would hold a Ladiesr Day when female fans would be admitted for a small price? As earlier stated blacks were not readily accepted in white society in Nova Scotia and baseball was no different. Blacks did have a long history of playing baseball in Canada. There were black baseball teams in Ontario in the 1850s and teams in Halifax in the 1890s . 4 7 In Northern Sandlots, Colin Howell presents a short history of black baseball in the "~ydney Post Record, 22 June 1936. "~nterview with Ed Gillis, 14 November 1991. "~eil J. Sullivan, The Minors, 55. "~vdney Post Record, 23 July 1937. "~bid., 16 July 1937. "~umber , Diamonds , 142 -144. 117 Maritimes. In 1894 a black championship was established and blacks played white teams after W. W. 1. During the 1920s black teams competed in a community league in Truro. The New Glasgow Intermediate League 1932 -1935 had a black team and black players played on white teams in the Pictou County League i n 1932 and later on a New Glasgow senior club. During the 1930s, black touring teams played many games in the Maritimes and included Cape Breton in these tours. The Boston Royal Giants with WhiteyI1 Michaels toured Cape Breton in 1935. The players were well known to local fans and offered helpful advice to the local teams." With the acceptance of the black touring teams and the large crowds which saw these exhibitions, it would have been hoped that Michaels would have been accepted as a player by the fans of the Colliery League. The first game played by George Whiteytl Michaels was played in Sydney Mines and led to a very unpleasant incident although Michaels was not the first black to play in Cape Breton as a black had played in the Cape Breton League some years before this time.4g A small, noisy minority of Sydney Mines fans objected to the Hawks playing Michaels in place of the injured Leadbetter. A fan went on the field and refused to leave until assured that Michaels would not play. According to Max Cullen 'lit was really only two guys drunk on cheap booze that caused the great part of the problem. Most '%Coin Howell, Sandlots, 172-184. 43~vdney Post Record, 24 August 1935. 118 considered it a very bad incident. Although this may explain the incident on the field the fans in the stands continued to taunt Michaels and the police made no effort to remove the fan on the field. Michaels remained calm throughout the whole incident although he felt that I1Maybe he wasnlt going to just ... fit in anywhere."" LeftyIf Lumanski signed with the Dominion Hawks on July 10. In 1935 he played for Rochester of the International League and would be the f irst imported player of Jewish origin to play in Cape Breton. It was rumoured that Lumanski had his own source of income and played for the love of the game. Perhaps a reference to the stereotype that al1 Jewish people are wealthy. During the 1938 season Eddie ltChief Rivers, a French- Indian player f rom Chepadet , Rhode Island played for the New Waterf ord Dodgers . '' Del Bissonette, a French Canadian Erom Winthrop, Maine had ambitions of being a candidate in the Republican party primary in his native Maine. The Glace Bay player-manager would be a candidate in the fa11 election for State Legislature if successful in the primary. He would miss two games by going home. L a t e r in the summer Bissonette announced that in 1939 he would manage Hartford of the Class IIA" Eastern League. Bissonette would still use his ties with the Boston "~nterview with Max Cullen, 16 November 1991.. -. '-Colin Howell, Sandlots, 172. '2~ydnev Post Record, 27 May 1938. Bees to have players and other favours extended to the Glace Bay team. During the sumrner of 1938 Bissonette was offered the job as manager of the Montreal Royals but refused showing his loyalty to the Glace Bay team. The hard hitting Bissonette was an excellent manager who was skilled in working with young players. He was a very colourful player who gave his al1 to the game ." It was said V t was worth the price of admission to watch him (Bissonette) strike outm." After fifteen games of the 1937 schedule a tight race was developing with three teams, Sydney, Sydney Mines and Glace Bay virtually tied for first place. Dominion was struggling to join the pack but New Waterford with a record of two wins and twelve losses found themselves hopelessly in last place. This record led to the dismissal of Herb Moran who was replaced on a ternporary basis by utility infielder Peter Ballard on a ternporary basis. Later, the Dodgers signed Mick Morris £rom Holy Cross to manage and play second base. New Waterford was being helped in their quest for players by the Brooklyn Dodgers and signed Art Upper £rom Toronto of the VUV1 International League." In Glace Bay news was received that Manager Fred Maguire had been hired by Bob Quim, President of the Boston Bees as a scout .'6 Hard times were the order of the - - "Ibid, 20 June 1938. "~nterview with Russell Demont, 26 May 1996. - - "Svdney Post Record, 22 September 1937. - - '"Sportins News, 15 Juiy 1937. 120 summer in Dominion. Starting the year with a poor team, attendance fell and when the team did show improvement the fans did not return. One proposa1 to help the Dominion team raise money was for the visiting club to receive twenty percent of the gate. Glace Bay would raise the admission fees to thirty-five cents to help generate more revenue .'' On July 21st playing manager Bill Zitzmann asked for and was granted his release. Two players C r o w e l l and Thierney jumped the team and were immediately suspended. On the same day the Glace Bay Mines released local player Layton Ferguson who was having trouble competing with the irnport laden teams. The deadline for importing players was August 20 and the teams in the Colliery League were having a difficult time obtaining good pitching. Some of the local experts felt that many players in the League would not progress in professional baseball because of their age and ability. Paul Krichell a scout for the New York Yankees was watching the games and stated the Colliery League was no different that any other "D1I league and he was interested in ten players in the League. In a case of the rich getting richer the Sydney Mines Ramblers, with the leaguels best attendance record, sold Ray Manarel to the Yankees for a sum in excess of $3,000." September 1 saw the schedule corne to a close with Glace Bay posting the best regular season record. Sydney and Sydney -- - - - - "Ibid., 22 July 1937. "~ydney Post Record, 14 July 1937. 121 Mines tied for second place but the Ramblers won a coin toss for the right to host the third game in the best of three series. Ten percent of the profits of the third game would go to the New Waterford and Dominion clubs to help them defray t h e i r losses. Dominion finished seven games behind Glace Bay and New Waterford fifteen games back?' Guido Panciera of Sydney was the leading hitter with a -394 average, 80 hits and 48 runs batted in. Roy Ross, Glace Bay scored a League leading 44 runs while Chris Pickering of New Waterford had 8 home ruis. Roy Moore of the Glace Bay team was t h e dominant pitcher with 14 wins and an E.R.A. of - - 1.33. Bill Jarvis was the strikeout leader at 1 1 4 . "" DEBT AND MORE DEBT William Giliis, a local grocer, President of the Sydney Mines Ramblers and Art Higgins the Treasurer amounced the team had lost nearly t w o thousand dollars during the season. Operating expenses, transportation bills and equipment were the major expenses along with the fifteen hundred dollar -. salary of manager Buckley."' The only team to show a profit was the Sydney team. Inexperience in matters pertinent to running professional baseball clubs was costing the teams money. The revenue from playoff games was immediately cut by '"he Encvclopedia of Minor L e a s u e Baseball , eds . Lloyd Johnson & Miles Wolff, 191. -. "'Ibid., 24 September 1937. 122 twenty-eight percent - fifteen percent went to the govemment as amusement tax, ten percent to eliminated teams and three percent to the National Association. The average cost of a game was one hundred and twenty-five dollars to pay for salaries of umpires, scorers, gate attendants and other officiais. To this was added forty dollars to pay for baseballs .62 The Colliery League would attempt to operate on a non- profit basis in 1938. The teams would distribute excess funds to charity to eliminate the payment of the provincial amusement tax. Al1 the League teams had lost money in 1937 and paying of over £ive thousand dollars in amusement tax did not help balance the books. Sydney who paid over fifteen hundred dollars in tax felt the money would be better spent on playgrounds for children, fixing old locations and establishing new ones. It appeared that the New Waterford Dodgers might not retum to the League, as they faced a deficit of about thirty-two hundred dollars; forty percent of which was spent transporting players to and f r o m the United States and nine hundred dollars in provincial tax. Sydney had receipts of $19,000 and was $1,000 in arrears, Sydney Mines $10,000 in receipts and $1,000 in arrears. Dominion was $1,500 in arrears. The League had gross receipts of $60,000 but the inexperience in obtaining players was a great - - . - '"Sportins News, 7 October 1937. expense. " With mounting bills the Sydney Mines Ramblers would go to the community for support. The team would become a community owned team with £ive dollar memberships. If people had a problem and could not afford the five dollars, they could pay a smaller amount. Another fwid raising idea proposed, consisted of a membership club with the dues to be stipulated l a t e r . Membership was to be unlimited and any contribution to erase the deficit would be credited t o membership dues A public meeting was held in November with a large attendance. It was decided memberships would cost three dollars a share, making the team community owned. The Colliery League had not found favour with all members of the community. The Dominion Coal Company complained that a£ ternoon games were hurting production as miners went t o bal1 games not to work. This absenteeism from work was a concern for local merchants. If the miners did not work they would not be paid. T h i s i n turn meant that t h e r e would be less money to spend a t the local stores. One action the League could take to stop this practice was the installation of lights enabling night games to be played. i3~vdney Post Record, 1 6 October 1937. "~bid., 16 October 1937. CHAPTER V A BATTLE FOR SURVIVAL As the year 1938 began the teams of the Colliery Leagt were attempting to find ways of dealing with deficits, searching for ways to raise money. Players must be obtained and the executive of the League was hoping for a higher quality of play. New Waterford began the year with a meeting on January 25 to discuss obtaining players for their contracts must be submitted by the first day of March. Players who did not have a signed contract would not be permitted to play and must have releases from their previous clubs before they could sign with a new club. The New Waterford team favoured the signing of yourig players as they tried harder than the seasoned veterans who were winding down their careers and just looking for a last payday . The executive of the Dodgers believed that young players were accepted by the fans because of their al1 out efforts . To make the obtaining of players a little easier the L e a g u e had raised the salary limit to $1,200 .' One S .C. Atkinson of Boston, Mass. was showing an interest in buying the team with the intention of installing lights for night ball. If the team played at night, it might draw more fans, resulting in a profit. In early April an offer was made by unnamed American '~vdnev Post Record, 25 January 1938. 12 5 sports promoters to purchase the Dominion Hawks but the team was not for sale. Al1 the teams in the Colliery League were owned by members of the local community and Dominion would remain locally owned, a part of the community. In Dominion, Alex Burden the manager of No. iB Colliery was elected President of the Dominion Hawks. He proposed a check-off be used at the mine so that interested fans could donate money to the team to help reduce the deficit. It was hoped the miners would donate ten cents a pay to help defray the costs of running the team. Businesses and clerks of Domiriion would be solicited for weekly contributions and monster bingo games would raise funds on a weekly basis.' Jack McAulay, a senior member of the firm of McAulay Bros. was elected president of the tearn. President of District 26 U.M.W.A. and Mayor of Glace Bay, Dan Willie Morrison was named honorary president. The manager's job would be of fered to Del Bissonette who in 1937 managed Des Moines of the Western ~eague' and an attempt would be made to sign Dave Berry who was the teamrs starting catcher in 1936. Fred Gregor, manager of the Majestic Theatre was the n e w President of the New Waterford Dodgers. At a league meeting held in Dominion, Gregor and his executive proposed a Co- operat ive Baseball Plan. The gate and grandstand receipts would be pooled and used to pay dom the deficit that plagued ' ~ b i d . , 26 January 1938. 3~r>ortins News, 5 January 1937. 12 6 al1 the League teams, Gate receipts would be given to the League executive who would ensure that al1 salaries and operating expenses were paid. If any money w a s left af ter al1 the expenses were met it would be divided equally among the t eams , ' Gregor wanted changes m a d e to the Lord1 s Day Alliance Act by the Provincial Govement. Baseball, he reasoned, was a clean, wholesome game that could be enjoyed on a Sunday afternoon by adults while at the same time keeping children out of trouble. Sunday w a s really the only opportunity for a large percentage of men who worked day and afternoon shif ts to attend the games.' It was very difficult to run a ballclub in t h e low minors. The teams faced many expenses and must have good support and closely watch their receipts to break even. The cost of transportation was high, amounting to hundreds of dollars a year to bring players to Cape Breton. Baseballs cost $300 a year, bats more than $100 and there were other expenses including police, equipment and repairs , umpires , club employees, salaries of players and managers. To cover these expenses it was necessary t o gross $3500 a month; if the team only eams $10,000 in a three month period, they lose money. It is necessary to draw in excess on 30,000 fans. For this to happen there must be a good team with a strong "ydney Post Record, 7 February 1938. 5 ~ b i d . , 7 March 1938. 127 population base of 25,000, good weather and a stable economy. Poor weather, problems i n the mines or steel plant and the teams would lose money. Many American players were seeking positions i n the Colliery League . Contracts were off ered t o umpires "Scottyqr Robb, "ShortyI1 Farro and local Fred L e w i s . Guido Panciera would return t o Sydney as a player-manager w h i l e N i c k Morris w o u l d again guide the New Waterford Dodgers bringing with him a team assembled i n the Boston area. The Sydney Mines Ramblers spent the winter working t o reduce the deficit with card parties held t o r a i s e money. The team was using club rooms donated by Jack and Mendel Yazer, local merchants who had shown continued support for the team.' Fred Loftus, a pitcher and u t i l i t y player, would manage the Ramblers signing players i n the Boston area and bringing them t o Cape Breton. T h i s movement of players was very expensive and the team appealed t o the public for financial assistance. The salary l i m i t for the Colliery League teams w a s increased from $1,000 t o $1,200 and the date for the s a l e , purchase o r exchange of players would be changed from twelve days prior t o the close of the season t o t h i r t y days. This move s e t the roster of the teams for a longer period of time prior t o the playoffs enabling the fans to become more familiar with the players. Judge Campbell was again elected "ydney Post Record, 30 May 1938. ' ~ b i d . , 28 February 1938. 128 President of the League with Arthur P e t r i e as Vice-President. The League meeting dealt with the New Waterford request for a CO-operative league on a point by point basis. The motion to give the visiting team thirty-£ive percent of the gate was defeated as was a motion to give the visiting team sixty dollars per game . However, President Campbell was given the authority to examine the books of the League teams at any time. This measure was taken to prevent teams £rom exceeding the salary limit in search of better players. It was decided to send President Campbell to Halifax t o request the Government to discontinue the amusement taxe The tax was running into thousands of dollars a year and placing a great burden on the Cape Breton teams. Local pride and self sufficiency was showing that it had a place in the Colliery League. The Howe News Bureau was used by al1 minor league teams to compile and publish statistics. In Cape Breton, this service would be replaced by Doug McFarlane, the League off icial scorer and his assistant Roy Duchemin and C. ~ac~uarrie.' The Colliery League schedule consisted of 120 games beginning with a June 1 game in Sydney. Each team would play twenty-four games. The imported umpires Scotty Robb and Joe Humphries would be paid one hundred and fifty dollars a month. The Glace Bay club was signing players recommended by the Brooklyn Dodgers through the influence of manager Del 12 9 Bissonette. Community support consisting of the Fire Department, Caledonia A. C. and the Glace Bay Baseball Club was working to improve the South Street Field.' Bissonette turned dom an offer to scout for the Boston Bees to play in Glace Bay. However. he did manage the Boston team in 1945 for sixty-one games posting a record of twenty-five wins and . r. thirty-six losses. -' Thomas S. Johnstone, an official of the Indian Cove Coal Co. was elected President of the Sydney Mines Ramblers. The team would hold a two day bazaar the second week in May to raise money ta defer costs. Work was proceeding on Brown Street Park and the team had installed a new scoreboard donated by the Imperia1 Tobacco Co. of Canada. The bond between miners, chewing tobacco and the tobacco Company was obvious. The team had purchased a new loud speaker system to introduce the players. At the f irst Rambler practice, several hundred fans watched the players work out. The new players would be introduced to the public at a dance to be held at St. M a r y ' s Hall. This season the club would have new uniforms. The team decided to have a parade prior to the first game with M a y o r MacComick t o throw out the first ball. The New Waterford Dodgers continued to attempt to strengthen their team with the signing of minor league veteran Fred Kemedy, a second baseman who would settle down the young ' ~ b i d . , 12 April 1938. - -"Basebal1 Encvclo~edia, 618. 1 3 0 infield. The Dodgers played a d e r of exhibition games on the way to Cape B r e t o n . They defeated the Calais Blue Sox of Maine 18-4. The Moncton Senior Amateur team was crushed 10-1 and 6-0 w i t h very poor fan support for the home team. Their final game was against the very strong a m a t e u r Springhill Fencebusters who £el1 13-0. The team gave every indication that hitting would not be a problem. The Springhill t e a m f eatured f amous Nova Scotia players Al Linkletter, "BuddyN Condy and Edgar "The Greatn Cormier. Linkletter started the game pitching three and one half imings allowing eight hits while Cormier finished giving up £ive hits, £ive runs and f o u r walks. The Seaman brothers of Liverpool played with the Dodgers after gaining permission frorn the N.S .A.B.A. The Springhill team could not hit Art Calhoun, on option £rom Toronto of the International League. He pitched seven -. innings, allowing no hits and no walks, striking out f ive. - - When the team arrived in New Waterford, they were greeted w i t h a dance at the Strand Hall attended by a large number of fans. HITTERS AND PITCHERS The level of hitting had been improving during the 1938 season. Some claimed that the bal1 was livelier but there is a more obvious reason for the harder hitting players. ~ o s t of the players i n the Colliery League had professional . . --Sydney Post Record, 30 May 1938. 13 1 experience; the teams were stronger and the players more experienced . The Colliery League got into the publishing business with the magazine "Colliery League DigestlI, sixty pages of baseball in£ ormat ion. It included messages from W.C. Bramham, President of the National Association of Professional Baseball , Judge A. D . Campbell, President of the Colliery League, mayors of the League toms, and H.J. Kelley, General Manager Dominion Steel and Coal . The pictures of the managers of the League teams were featured in the Disest. It included complete league schedules, plus sketches of players and umpires, space for scores of garnes and a section for autographs. If the amount of advertising in the Tolliery League Digestn is a mark of profit, then it was a successful venture. Tommy Jackson, the last of the local players, retired £rom the game on July 4.:2 Jackson was an employee of Caledonia Colliery and was having difficult getting time off to play baseball . Jackson realizing his f irst responsibility was to his wife and family decided on a full tirne job, giving up the game of baseball . However, Tommy iiDummyli Jackson did not leave the game totally, as he became a member of the Glace Bay executive. On the same day a meeting of League directors was held to decide the fate of the Dominion Hawks. It was becoming . - -"Svdnev Post Record. , 4 July 1938. evident that the team m a y fold due t o a lack of fan support . - and a mounting d e f i c i t plus b i l l s of $2,000 left from 1937. -' The Hawks were losing and the team was i n l a s t place with the maj o r i t y of fans coming f rom other t o m s . With t h e team doing poorly a t the gate, the Hawks must have a percentage of road gates t o break even, but the other teams would not agree t o t h i s plan. There was a f e a r t h a t i f Dominion folded, the National Association would not accept a League with four teams. The l o s s of Dominion would require a shorter schedule and a change i n the playoff format. In an e f f o r t t o raise much needed furids, Ralph Bellrose and Lou Lowe were sold t o Glace B a y for one hundred twenty-five dollars. July 14 s a w the Dominion Hawks leave the Colliery League as a result of poor financial support:'' a team with a forty year history of organized baseball. Two hundred and f i f t y fans m e t in Dominion t o attempt t o keep the team i n the League. A collection was taken up and a committee named t o search for new players. The directors of the Colliery League announced the withdrawal of the Hawks and began t o draw up a new schedule f o r the rest of the season. The team representing t h e smallest community i n the League could no longer pay t h e i r b i l l s . The remaining four teams i n the League would donate money t o the Hawks i n an e f f o r t t o help them pay t h e i r b i l l s . A new schedule was adopted for the . - -'Sydney Post Record., 3 July 1938. I - * S ~ o r t i n s News, 1 4 July 1938. 133 League but the New Waterford delegates withdrew i n protest." The schedule w o u l d consist of f i f t y games from July 25 to September 3 . Ten thousand copies of the schedule would be printed and given free t o fans a t the next games played. New Waterford President Freddie Gregor w a s against t h e new schedule, two garnes had been added and Gregor f e l t t h i s gave other teams an unfair advantage i n the race for a playoff &art . While Dominion was having money problems the Sydney Mines Ramblers w e r e rnaking player changes. They had obtained f i f t y dollars by s e l l i n g Doug Y e a t e s t o the Rome team of the Can-Am League, a t e a m managed by B i l l Buckley who last year guided the Ramblers. Money was also received from the New Y o r k Yankees t o complete the transfer of Ray Manarel. President C a m p b e l l w a s i n the process of arranging a playoff series b e t w e e n the Colliery League and the Canadian- American League, a Class "Cl1 ~eague .:6 Campbell and Rev. Father Harold 5. Martin, President of the Class Tn League were attempting t o put together a five game series b e t w e e n the League w i m e r s . There was l i t t l e difference i n the level of play between Class and Class "Dn. August 4 , 1938 an AU-Star Game was played with the proceeds going t o Bernie Scanlon who was out for the remainder of the season due t o illness. A team with players £ r o m Sydney . - -'Sydney Post Record, 23 July 1938. ' ' ~ p o r t i n s News, 4 August 1938. Mines and Sydney defeated the team comprised of players £ r o m New Waterford and Glace Bay 4-0. The Sydney Post Record donated twenty- f ive dollars and the North Sydney Herald printed tickets at no charge. The four League umpires and the league scorers worked the games for free." On August 11, Merle Settlemire pitched a twelve inning, no hit, no run game as Sydney defeated the Sydney Mines Ramblers 1-0. Only four Sydney Mines players reached base, two on errors, one on a walk and one hit by a pitched ball. In eight of the twelve imings the Ramblers went dom in order as Settlemire was aided by many outstanding plays in the field. Guido Panciera set a League record with twenty-five put-outs at first base .:' During the 1928 season Settlemire had pitched for the Boston Red Sox winning no games and losing ' J six, along with an E.R.A. of 5.47.- As the regular season drew to a close, the race for the final playoff position in the standings was extremely close. the last scheduled game of the year between Sydney Mines and Sydney would be played with the winners advancing to the playof f S. Sydney Mines had protested a game played during the previous week against New Waterford but the protest was overturned. A scheduled game for the 2nd of September between the two teams was cancelled due to poor field conditions and - - Svdney Post Record, 5 August 1938 . . - -Tbid., 12 August 1938. :%aseball Encyclopedia, 2030. the game would not be replayed. New Waterford was in second place, one game behind Glace Bay. Sydney defeated Sydney Mines for third place and also tied New Waterford for second. The Dodgers wanted to play a sudden death game for second place but Judge J. Bramham, President of the National Association ruled against the game and declared Sydney the second place finishers. Both teams had finished with a percentage of -519 but when carried to five figures Sydney was.51923 and New Waterford .51851. According to Judge Bramham this was the closest finish in the history of minor league bal1 for a position in the standing^.^' Ralph Bellrose of Glace Bay was the leading hitter with a -328 average. GeraLd Kiley scored the most runs, 4 1 , and led the League in bits with 63. Lester Crabbe of Glace Bay had 41 RIB. 1. s and 6 home nins . Merle Settiemire paced the League with 13 wins and the best E.R.A. while Roy Moore of Glace Bay struck out 107 batters." The Sydney C i t i a r i s came close to breaking even because of a large increase in fans resulting from the closeness of teams in the standings. The adult attendance for the last eight games, seven in the playoffs, plus the last game with Sydney Mines saw a grosç attendance of 12,476 with children estimated at 9,000. The adult attendance in dollars was over $4,000 The calibre of baseball was excellent and the players were î'~ydney Post Record, 5 September 1938. -. '-Encvclopedia of Minor Leaque Baseball, 194. 136 respected in the community. '' Glace Bay honoured their team with a banquet attended by the officers and members of the execut ive, the off icials of the League and invited guests . The t e a m was paraded £rom Glace B a y t o the train station accompanied by hundreds of fans, and over two hundred cars and trucks with music provided by the Caledonia Pipe Band. The Colliery League had 77,846 adult admissions paid during the 1938 season with a gross of $45,000 to $50,000. The official statistics of adult attendance w a s released by Frank Murphy the Board of Licence representative on Cape Breton Island. Glace Bay had 19,986 paid adult admissions, New Waterford 17,759, Sydney 21,628, Sydney Mines who did not compete in the playoffs 14,408, and Dominion during its nineteen games before the suspension of operations 4,083. There was no official check on childuen's attendance. The value of admissions after taxes were deducted was $27,246.10 and the value of the government share set at five cents per admission was $4, 060.2' In late September t h e Sydney Mines Ramblers could not give a financial statement because they had not received their share of the playoff gates from the other three t e a m s . The movement of players was criticized by some fans but the t e a m executive stated the club. The Ramblers ' 2 ~ ~ d n e ~ Post Record, 2 3 ~ b i d . , 24 September moves w e r e necessary to strengthen the were proud to announce that as far as 16 September 1938. 1938. 137 expenses were concerned they had broken even and w e r e able to pay seven hundred dollars towards the de£ icit . The fee for membership in the club would be raised to two dollars with a drive for new members to begin immediately. '' In New Waterford the team reported a def icit of $2,747.07 including past debts . The losses f o r 1938 were only $599 - 5 6 with the heaviest losses in July when the weather was poor and the mines w e r e idle for long periods of time. The team was not pleased with the money made £ r o m the playoffs and would seek ways of raising funds." " ~ b i d . , 20 Çeptember 1938. %bid., 22 October 1938. CHAPTER VI THE LAST GASP: BULLETS NOT BASEBALLS As the political crisis in Europe worsened and the chance of war increased, the teams of the Colliery League prepared for the 1939 season. Managers w e r e being signed to contracts and players were sought. O n c e again there would be arguments between the umpires, players and fans, teams would have trouble paying their bills and of greatest importance to the fans the calibre of play w a s high. The year 1939 had the classification go from "Dl1 to Vn which led to better players coming to Cape Breton. We have examined specific groups and interests as they reflect upon the Colliery League. We have the philosophy of professional versus amateur, the loss of a place to play for local players, violence during games by fans, players and umpires and the treatment of specific groups, women, blacks, aboriginals and others. It is now necessary to determine if the Colliery League added any positive aspects to the lives of the communities in which the teams existed. The greatest winter need of the teams was the necessity to raise money to pay bills and prepare the finances for the upcoming season. New Waterford was holding weekly socials while the Northside club had skating parties, bingo and an ice carnival. The New Waterford team was in very difficult financial straits and may have to withdraw from the ~eague.' Even though the team was in the pennant race during 1938 the team had a poor year financially and required $1,500 t o continue. The community seemed to be disinterested in the fate of the team. The New Waterford Sports Club was in debt and unable to raise more funds.* The club would hold a tag day and s o l i c i t business for money to cover the team1s expenses. A benefit concert would be held at the Strand Gym and a midnight show at the Majestic Theatre in an attempt to reduce the deficit. Unfortunately the tag day raised less than $100.' The Glace Bay Miners were making irnprovements to South Street Field through a combined effort of the team and the Caledonia A.C. The field would be grassed and it was hoped the gardeners in tom would support this effort by helping to sod the field. The baseball field was to be moved away from the rugby field, levelled and a new nine f oot f ence built nine feet closer to home plate. ' The Glace Bay Professional t e a m would pay rent at South Street Park but amateur teams could use the facility at no charge.' New Waterford would sel1 700 shares in the ballclub to Sydnev Post Record, 15 March 1939. L Ibid., 7 March 1939. Ibid. , 27 March 1939. 4 Ibid., 22 November 1939. Ibid., 28 March 1939. 140 raise money and involve more people with the team. Although the team did not reach its quota, management was confident that the people of New Waterford would support the team and suff icient funds would be found. The various campaigns to raise funds would continue."he Dodgers moved in their fences ten feet and the extra space used for parking. Charlie Brucato the Dodger manager, was building his team around players £rom the Boston area. Brucato was only twenty-four years old but had played college baseball at Holy Cross, semi- professional baseball and I1Dt1 and "Ctl as a professional.' Work was done at the ballpark by volunteers who had the tirne to help out. The New Waterford Board of Public Works was co- operating with the team by making some of their manpower available. The Sydney Mines Ramblers would be managed in 1939 by Fred Loftus who was signing his players in the Boston area. Pitcher Herb Hammerstrom, the best pitcher in the League in 1938 was signed along with twenty year old Jimmie Cullinane. The Ramblers would have players with major league experience. Al Blanche from Somerville, Mass. had pitched for the Boston National League team in 1935 and 1936 but only played a total of 33.1 innings with a no w i n and one loss recorde9 Bill Marshall would play shortstop for the Ramblers, having played Ibid. , 17 April 193 9. Ibid., 15 May 1939. 9 Baseball Encvclo~edia, 1597. 141 in the American League with the Boston Red Sox in 1931 and the Cincinnati Red Legs in 1934. The Dorchester, Mass . native had little playing time in the majors with a total of only seven garnes and eight at bats .' Aiso signed was twenty-four year old Connie Creedon a native of Danvers, Mass. In 1943 Creedon played £ive games with the Boston Bees with only £ive at - - bats. - " Douglas lgScottyrt Robb would return to Cape Breton as the Umpire-In-Chief. It had been thought that Robb might not return because he required a leave of absence £ r o m his job. Arthur F. Kenney of Holyoke, Mass . , who in 1938 umpired in the North Carolina State League, Charles E . Whittle, Philadelphia, Pa. who had umpired in the Mid-Atlantic League in 1936-1937 and the Eastern League in 1938, and Harry Potter of Reading, Mass. who had urnpired in the Eastern Shore League would corne . . to Cape Breton.-- Teams in minor league baseball would exceed the salary limits in their pursuit of better teams. Therefore, in 1939 the salary limits would be strictly enforced by the National Association of Professional Baseball Clubs. Failure to follow the rules would result in a fine of $500 along with a two year suspension for the president or other officials of a club guilty of falsifying a player s salary statement . The 2 Ibid., 1158. . - _ 1 I b i d . , 832. . . - Svdnev Post Record, 3 A p r i l 1939. offending team would be forced to release the highest paid player on the team.'2 The first victim of the strict enforcement of salary limits was Ralph Bellrose who was released by Glace Bay. Bellrose wanted more than the $250 a month off ered by manager Roy Moore and the team could not m e e t - 1 his demands . -- Judge Campbell was returned as the President of the Colliery League . The judge had special plans for the Centennial Year of Baseball. The League would present a special p r o g r a m for each month. One of his proposals was to have £ive hundred school children in each League t o m sing at a game during the m o n t h of June and Campbell hoped to increase the interest of baseball among children with this proposal." During the upcoming baseball season twelve Colliery League games would be broadcast, three games f r o m each . + bal1park.-' The idea that a sporting event was occurring hundreds of miles away and that the listener was at the same time experiencing the event added to the importance of the game. The Stream of vivid sports commentary provided endless possibilities for the listener to reconstruct the event. Novel entertainment was now instantaneously possible. Radio - - . L Ibid., 4 April 1939. . - - - Ibid., 17 April 1939. . . - Y Ibid., 26 April 1939. - - - - Ibid., 2 May 1939. evoked vivid images in the mindls eye and was particularly adapted t o the game of baseball? The monetary situation of the Colliery League teams necessitated borrowing money from the bank to start the season. The teams would pay off the deficits with fa11 and winter appeals to the public. The money was borrowed to start the season but there is no evidence that the money was paid .? back to the bank.- The Colliery League would raise their classification from IIDIt to I1Cw. The jump to Class Tt' would result in a salary limit increase of six hundred dollars plus an additional two hundred and fif ty dollars in bonds. '' The teams would increase the admission price by ten cents and it was hoped the increase would ensure financial stability. It was costing the teams more money to put a team on the field than they were bringing in at the gate. The Class 'TV classification would perhaps bring more scouts f rom the major league teams and an increased opportunity to sel1 more players to the big leagues. A higher rating would bring better players t o Cape Breton and the teams would work seek affiliation with major league teams. The road to financial stability for the teams of the Colliery League was affiliation %. Terry Furst, "Mass Media and the Transformation of Spectator Team Sports, l1 Canadian Journal of Sport and Phvsical Education vol. 3, 2 (December, 1972), 33. - 7 Interviews with Max Cullen and Russell C. D e m o n t . Both men were sure that the Ramblers and Miners had obtained money from the banks but had no knowledge of the money being repaid. 19 Svdnev Post Record, 3 February 1939. 144 with major league teams. During the 1939 season, thirty-two minor league teams belonged to the St. Louis Cardinals and they had working agreements with another eight clubs. Through this network the Cardinals controlled the playing lives of 600 players. The New York Yankees had a total of fifteen teams f rom Class llD1l to Class tlAA1l." St. Louis Cardinal executive Arthur Felt mer commented "There were twenty Class I1Du Leagues in the United States in 1939 and the Cardinals had a team in each of them. One actually had to go out of the country to find a Class I1Dl1 League in organized baseball in which we weren t represented, that was the Canadian Colliery League . 11'' Even with the increase of tickets to forty-£ive cents plus £ive cents tax, the teams could not control the lost revenue caused by fans watching games from outside the fence. Many fans stood outside the park and watched the games for no -. charge. '- The Colliery League attempted to make the attending of games easier for the fans. One idea was to issue monthly tickets good for eight consecutive games for three dollars and twenty five cents. The changed to four o1 clock to more easily leave work to starting time of games would be accommodate the fans. Clerks could attend games £rom four to six than 10 Mike Blake, The Minor Leaques (New York: Lynwood Press, 1991)~ 41. ''~illiam Humber, Cheerins for the Home Team (Boston: Mills Press, 1993) , 97. 2: Svdney Post Record, 16 May 1939. 145 f ive to seven as the stores were busy at six. The tirne change enabled out-of-town fans to return to their homes at an earlier hour. There was no need to start the games at five o'clock on Saturday as the miners were paid earlier in the day and the auxiliary department and machine shop were paid on Friday evening . 22 Judge A.D. Campbell spoke to the New Waterford Rotary Club addressing the issue of the unemployed and that those with spare time must have sornething to do with their idle moments or at least something constructive to occupy their - - minds . ' ' The promoters who organized the Cape Breton Colliery League were dealing with this problem of idle time when they organized the league according to Judge Campbell. The fans were demanding a better brand of baseball, the teams and the fans required protection from players who did not try on each occasion and the players required protection £rom owners who refused to pay their salaries. To meet and control these problems the Colliery League was reorganized as part of the National Organization of Prof essional Baseball Clubs. The cost of professional baseball was very high but the public demanded this high level of play and they were prepared to pay for it . The League did have trouble staying within the salary limits. One method of circumventing the salary limit was to 2 2 Ibid., 27 May 1939. i j Ibid., 24 May 1939. 14 6 give players jobs which required very little if any effort, to supplement their incomes. 2 4 Judge Campbell explained that the people of the various toms of the Colliery League had a better understanding of the neighbouring townspeople and respect and confidence had replaced bitterness and mistrust. The sport of baseball was having a great effect on the youngsters and helping with their physical development. The price of admission to a Colliery League game was low and last summer 150 youth teams were registered in Cape Breton. '' The Provincial government was not helping the League in their stniggle to break even. When the League raised the price of admission to forty-£ive cents, it resulted in the Provincial Amusement T a x being increased by two and one half cents per admission. Sports in Cape Breton had helped the people forget their problerns for a few moments by providing the fans with an escape. The Amusement Tax was meant to take profit from private individuals or firms making profits £rom sport or other forms of public entertainment. The teams of the Colliery League argued they were not in business to make a profit but to entertain people and break even f inancially. By June 5 with attendance falling, the League returned the ticket price to thirty-£ive cents. 2 4 Interview with Ed Gillis, 14 N o v e m b e r 1991. - - I - - d Sydney Post Record, 24 May 1939. i i ~ b i d . , 27 May 1939. 147 The Glace Bay Miners would use the opening game as an event. The garne against Sydney would be opened with remarks by Judge A.D. Campbell followed by J.S. Woodsworth, M e m b e r of Parliament, Leader of the C. C. F . and D. W. Morrison, the Mayor of Glace Bay. The citizens band from Dominion No. 6 would provide music. '' The weather during the month of June was poor and attendance was dom. But on July 1, Ai Smith pitched one of those rare games, a no-hitter. Smith had excellent team defence playing behind him with only one error committed by the Sydney team. The Glace Bay Miners had six base runners, £ive on walks . He struck out six batters and only two runners reached second base. In June, Fred Loftus of Concord, Mass. was released as the manager of the Sydney Mines Ramblers. There was dissatisfaction with the record of the team, three wins and eleven losses. He was replaced by ex-major leaguer Al Blanche. i"his move was only temporary and Dave Berry became manager. Berry, a Holy Cross Graduate, had been the catcher for the Glace Bay Miners in 1936. At the same time the Ramblers released Con Creedon and two other players. '"en the record of the team did not improve Dave Berry was released "~bid., 27 May 1939. 'g~portins News, 22 June 1939. "1bid. , 6 July 1939. 148 and replaced by shortstop Bill ~arshall.'' The poor play of the Ramblers was cutting d o m on attendance. The surprising fact of the Ramblers record was that they were first in -. fielding and second in hitting but last in the standings." Even with the drop in attendance and cash shortfall the Ramblers would not fold. The team would attempt to obtain fifty dollars £rom each of thirty mer chant^.^^ A cityl s baseball team of ten could rally the citizens behind a common - - cause as nothing else short of a natural disaster could do." For the Northside team to continue it would require the support of the local merchants and increased attendance of the fans at the games. It was a disappointment when only thirteen merchants contributed money to the team. It would be necessary for the team to be run as a business to succeed and plans were being made to incorporate the team and sel1 shares. Frank Heidle a local miner was named president with Harold Layton, owner of the local lumber yard chairman of the fund raising committee. R. J. MacDonald, L .L .B. of North Sydney who would handle al1 legal matters, explained how the club would be incorporated. 3' Clubs could be viewed as an important local "lbid., 20 July 1939. -. '-Svdney Post Record, 17 July 1939, - - '"Ibid., 4 August 1939. "~enj amin G . Rader, American S~orts (Englewood Clif f s , NJ : Prentice Hall Inc., 1983) , 11. v Post Record, 8 August 1939. i n s t i t u t i o n which represented the c i t y in inter-urban cornpetition and vividly reflectedthe progressive character of the community." If the team and its place in t h e Colliery League was important the tom, enough shares would be sold t o maintain the franchise. THE COLLIERY LEAGUE AND COMMUNITY Baseball was important t o the fans of Sydney Mines and t h e other toms of the Colliery League. It brought people together and even though they may not al1 be a t the ballgame they were at l e a s t aware that these things were happening and whether the team did well o r did not do ~ e l l . ' ~ The people of t h e toms discussed the games and it would be rare for most of t h e population not t o be aware of the team1s winning and losing and t h e i r prospects f o r the remainder of the season. The baseball teams brought people closer together i n more ways than the games themselves and even those not interested i n the game could be touched by the team, The teams had many s o c i a l functions t o r a i s e money t o pay their debts. Theatre p a r t i e s , dances, socials, bingo games were al1 methods of raising money and for these events t o be enjoyed participants did not have t o be baseball fans. j'steven A. Riess, The Arnerican Sportins Emerience: A Historicai Antholoqv of Sport i n America (New York: Leisure Press, 1984), 274. 2 c Mark A. Grey, Ifsports and Immigrant, Minority and Anglo ~ e l a t i o n s i n Garden C i t y (Kansas) High School, It Sociolosv of Sport Journal, 9,3 (September, 1992) , 262. Sport has a way of being a unifying force for communities it represents, and this is at once a consequence of inter- community conflict it engenders and the intra-community network it e~tablishes.~~ If the size of crowds at Colliery League games and the arnount of interest shown by the public can be used as a gauge of unifying people, the League had a positive effect on the communities. We also saw many fans travelling to games in other toms, building links between the four teams of the Colliery League. Sport is a principal method of collective identification. Team sports are more strongly linked to their communities than those in which individuals participate against each other . 'a The Colliery League teams by drawing large crowds to their games and building up interest in the game of baseball, were also building up community solidarity and a sense of identity at least to the large number of people who followed the games. These teams could be viewed as an important local institution which represented the city in inter-urban cornpetition and vividly reflected the character of the c~rnmunity.~~ At the same time that the Colliery League was building solidarity through baseball the ultra-conservat ive United Mine Workers of Arnerica was battling with the communist led Amalgamated Miners -- 7 -. "Stone, "Sport as a Cornmunity Representation, 222. oh Bale, "The place of 'place1 in cultural studies of sports, Human Geoqra~hy 12,4 (December 1988 ) , 514. "~iess, Steven A., The Baseball Masnates, (Westport, Corn.: Greenwood Press, 1980), 274. Union of Nova Scotia driving a deep wedge through the trade union movement. Sport appeal was the potential it had to provide an escape from everyday pressures? It enabled miners and steelworkers who worked in very dangerous environments, when work was available, to escape £rom their everyday lives for a f e w moments of relaxation in the fresh air and sushine. Clerks and shopkeepers who spent long hours in stores, offices and banks trying to keep Pace with the paperwork generated by expanding business could use baseball to provide an escape £rom their daily chores. " Through sport, these hard working people could share emotional rewards, and have shared values and objectives . Sport is about making f riends , building communities and sharing experiences. There may be hostility to rivals but there is also the deep sense of solidarity and identity that cornes f rom f ierce loyalties . '' Civic pride and identity are caught up with sports. There is an inextricable link between sport and peoplesl images of their cities." Baseball had caught on quickly not merely as a game but as a means of expressing local ties and loyalties in cornpetition with rival toms or neighbourhoods. These games were more than a casual leisure t i m e activity in "~obert F. Wheeler, ItOrganized Sport, 193. "~irsch, The Creation of . . . Sports, If 7 . 42~olt, Sport and the British, 347. "~arp and Yoels , "Sport and Urban Life, 79. the daily lives of these communities because victory meant innumerable personal encounters and bragging rightsOg4 An examination of the amount of money spent on baseball during the professional days of the Colliery League reveals that these games were more than leisure activities. These teams would spend great amounts of money to defeat the other League teams and would become professional when they decided other Maritime teams had advantages over them, playing an amateur game . Baseball may also have helped to bring al1 sections of the population closer together, with the exception perhaps of blacks and native people. Part of its democratizing motif is that baseball crests a common bond among spectators regardless of their class ethnicity, education or occupation. Baseball was a force in integrating a population ordinarily divided by wealth, occupation, ancestry and laquage. 4 ' An examination has show the Colliery League to have fans and members of the League executive from al1 walks of life. Doctors, lawyers , mine executives, union off icials, merchants , rniners al1 played their part in the Colliery League effort. Unfortunately the Colliery League mirrored the society in which it existed. Women were kept in a supporting role and through an unwritten rule of the National Association, blacks "Steven M. Gelber, "'Their Hands Are Al1 Out Playing:' Business and Amateur Baseball, 1845-1917," Journal of Sport Histow, Il, 1 (Spring, 1984), 14. %arp and Yoels, "Sport and U r b a n Life,I1 85. were Cape 153 not permitted to play during the professional days of the Breton Colliery League. At least one member of the Northside sporting community had an interest in the success of the Ramblers. Four leaf clovers were sent to each member of the Ramblers by a lady known as only "Madame X" . When arriving at the Post Office Manager Bill Marshall received a parcel for the team which contained the good luck charms ." The four leaf clover was lucky f o r one player as J i m Cullinane was sold to Albany of . - the Class "Al1 Eastern League for over one thousand dollars.' To draw more fans the Ramblers would play the House of David. With lights being used at Brown Street Park for the first time, the Ramblers easily defeated the House of David team eight to one. The game was watched by over one thousand fans. T h i s was t h e second game of the day for the Ramblers who earlier had defeated the Glace Bay in ers? The League w a s s t i l l having financial problems as the teams struggled to break even. Money from the play-off gates would be divided among al1 four teams to help with the def icit . The f ourth place team would get eight percent of the play-of f gates . In the semi-f inals the t h i r d place team would get forty-five percent of the gross while the second place team would get fifty-f ive percent of the gross. In the finals '%ydnev Post R e c o r d , 24 July 1939. " ~ b i d . , 14 August 1939. " ~ b i d . , 15 August 1939. 154 the money would be divided s i x t y percent for the f i r s t place team and f o r t y percent for the second place t e a m . c g Judge Campbell was attempting t o get both Toronto and Montreal of the International league to a£ f iliate with Colliery League teams for the next season. T h i s affiliation would prove to be of a financial benefit but may not contribute t o the c a l i b r e of play because t h e teams did not have enough players of high - - c a l i b r e . '- The Sydney Mines Ramblers were out of the playoffs by mid-August but they put up some fine b a t t l e s against the rest of the League. To cut costs the team w a s dom t o t e n players, three i n f i e l d e r s , two outfielders and four pitchers while manager B i l l y Marshall kept them playing hard. Three games against the Glace Bay Miners showed t h a t the Ramblers were f ighting t o t h e end of the schedule. The Ramblers and the Miners played three games ending i n ties . The f irst game was a ten inning 2-2 t i e , the second 4-4 and the t h i r d 2-2 i n ten imings . The teams had played three games in f ive days, a t o t a l of twenty-nine imings w i t h each t e a m scoring e i g h t runs ." But t h i s was not t h e end of the s t r i n g of t i e games between the Miners and the Ramblers. The teams m e t on August 3 0 and again t h e r e s u l t was a 2-2 tie. =ter t h i r t y - e i g h t consecutive i m i n g s each team had scored t e n runs; the ; ? ~ b i d , 1 6 August 1939. 5 C ~ b i d . , 26 August 1939. -. '-Ibid., 22 August 1939. 155 Ramblers with thirty-four hits and seven errors and Glace Bay with thirty seven hits and eight errorsO5' It was decided by a meeting of the League Executive to have the playoff games start at four o'clock. There were f ive tie games t o be determined and it was decided they would be played if necessary in determining first or second place. The executive of the New Waterford Dodaers cornplained about the umpires in the League stating that in their opinion calls were always going against their team. President Campbell responded that al1 the clubs had cornplaints about the umpires and that the four umpires were not the best in the world but they had integrity and tried their best. The other three teams in the League did not support the New Waterford team but were in - - favour of the umpires." As we have seen most players were content with spending the full season in the Colliery League and some like Del Bissonette had passed on the opportunity to move to a higher classification to remain in Cape Breton. Not al1 however, wished to stay for the full season. Late in August Less Crabbe. the home run hitting outfielder with the Glace Bay Miners jumped his contract and returned to Detroit. The executive of the miners would press to have Crabbe barred from organized baseball for life . They would notify Judge Bramharn of the National Association and seek his approval of the "~bid., 31 August 1939. "~bid.. 27 August 1939. lifelong suspension. Crabbe and his father had been complaining of the manner in which the team had been transported £rom Detroit. Crabbe who was frequently fined one dollar for missing afternoon practice was not pleased with losing his money. Crabbe was aware of the policy of being f ined one dollar for a missed practice and it had been in effect £ r o m the beginning of the season. It was not possible for the Miners to respect Crabbe's desire for a release because Johnny Abel and Garrett Brand were returning to college and could not be expected to stay in Glace Bay. Crabbe had been informed by team president MacAulay of the penalty he would face if he left the team. The team would attempt to obtain an extension from a Detroit Company for two weeks to allow Crabbe to remain in Glace Bay. With the playoffs near the Glace Bay players were not happy with the actions taken by Crabbe and Manager Moore would use a pitcher in right field to replace the departed Crabbe ." O n September 3 , Herb Hammerstrom jumped the New Waterford bal1 club. H e had been obtained from the Sydney Mines Ramblers on the ninth of August and had not been pitching well. Hammerstrom wished to return home stating his mother was il1 but he would not produce the telegram to prove his - - statement . " The League executive abandoned the last week of the " ~ b i d . , 29 August 1939. - - "Ibid. , 4 September 1939. 157 Colliery League schedule and began the playof f s with Glace B a y meeting New Waterford. The League directors were unanimous in their decision to begin the best of three series. Britain was at war and attendance at future games would decline as a result of the unsettled local conditions. Another contributing factor was Victoria Park was being leased from the Department of National Defense and may soon be used for - - military training.'" Judge A. D. Campbell was honoured by the National Association of Professional Baseball when he was named Chairman of the Board which would supervise the annual "Little W o r l d Seriesu between the two highest classified minor leagues, the International League and the American Association. The Board, along with Campbell, consisted of President Frank Shaughnessey of the ~nternational League and President George Trautman of the American Association. The Board would arrange al1 details of the series, rule on protests or disputes. Al1 expenses incurred by President Campbell including transportat ion would be paid out of the receipts of the series. '' This honour bestowed on Campbell would have enabled him to make many contacts to help improve the Colliery League had war not forced it to disband in 1940. The 1939 regular schedule winners were the Sydney Citians with a record of thirty-six wins and twenty losses. They were - - -- - ? T b i d . , 4 September 1939. " ~ b i d . , 11 September 1939. 158 followed by New Waterford, Glace Bay and Sydney Mines. The semi-f inal playof f series was won by New Waterford as they defeated the Glace Bay Miners two games to one. The best of seven final was won in straight games by the Sydney team. Abe Abramowitz of Sydney won the batting title with an average of .325 and led in runs batted in with 42. Charles Brucato of New Waterford was the League leader in hits with 71 while his teammate Walter Brackaw and "MoeN Kiley of Sydney tied for the League lead in runs with forty. The early departing Less Crabbe hit nine home runs to lead the Colliery League in that department. The pitching honours went to B e r n i e Pearlman of Sydney who led the League with 103 strikeouts, an earned run average of 1-62 and tied with teammate Phi1 Mooney with eleven - - wins . " The 1939 season was not a profitable year f inancially for the teams of the Colliery League. Until late July the weather was wet, cold and unf it £or baseball . The results of the poor climate were small crowds and large deficits. Adding to the problems as the shadow of war hung over the League w e r e intermittent strikes at the collieries and fear of a general strike. The teams of Sydney and Glace Bay began the season with poor players and the cost of replacing them was high. With the nation at war during the playoffs, the gate receipts were a financial flop. The teams finished four thousand dollars in the red. 'Qncvclopedia of Minor-Leasue Baseball, 196. The Second prof essional Cape 159 World W a r would see the end of the Breton Colliery League and baseball in Cape Breton would not return to this high level of excellence. But the League would not be forgotten. Chuck Whittle, an umpire from Philadelphia remembers: 1 r e m e m b e r meeting w i t h Judge Campbell and we came to the conclusion that the Colliery League would never operate again with the war upon us and American players sure to be restricted in their travel. 1 remember how sad it was seeing the players with tears in their eyes when they realized they wouldnl t be returning. They hated to leave Cape Breton and even today when I run across players of the day they always speak in favourable terms of their day here." "~uoted in William Humber, "Toiling in the M a r i t i m e Minors," Dusout, (April 1994) , 9. CONCLUSIONS The industrial area of Cape Breton had a strong sense of community developed over the life of its existence. As stated by A. P. Cohen, boundaries are required to mark the beginning and the end of the community, define its identity and mark its place in social interaction. A number of symbols w e r e used as markers to distinguish it £ r o m other cornrnunities.: These communities had a strong sense of who and what they were. These toms featured inherited loyalties, established social institutions and widely shared popular traditions. With comrnon British and Scottish backgrounds and the Church prominent in the life of the tom, a strong community developed. According to K. P. Wilkinson, for a community to grow strong it requires a process of collective action, common interests and social interaction. The daily needs of people must be met, and there should be justice and social action.' As the miners and steelworkers of Cape Breton battled with the coal cornpanies, they took collective action by holding meetings, demonstrations and the most dramatic form of collective action, the strike. The common interest of the community was developed around social action against the coal companies who owned the labour market, the homes and the ohen en, The Svmbolic Construction, 11-38. 'K. P. Wilkinson, Communitv In America, 13. 161 stores. The battle was fought for improved wages, sanitary conditions, better homes and generally improved living conditions and social justice for the working class. These struggles built a sense of working class solidarity through comrnon interests and social interaction. The people of the mining communities had a sense of their place and locality. Although these toms may appear similar, the people who resided there were aware of the differences. People acknowledge their own identities and place a great degree of value on the distinctiveness and the difference. As stated earlier, tight-knit communities may not treat al1 of its rnembers in a similar and equal fashion. Women were excluded f rom many aspects of community lif e, had a very mal1 market in which to find employment, and were expected to remain at home looking after their families. Blacks and native people were excluded from al1 but the most menial of tasks. They lived in areas removed from the centre of white society. The strong sense of solidarity found in the rnining communities may have played a part in the communities rejecting ideas from outside the area. The people of the mining communities were of the opinion they were different from the remainder of the province. The problem of different political ideologies (symbolic) prevented the mine workers from presenting a totally united front against the coal Company. The Colliery League added positive aspects to the 162 communities in which they existed. As stated by Samuel O. Regalado , sport develops and builds camaraderie, competitiveness and pride. Sport prornotes interna1 cohesion and k e e p s communities together.' A feeling of community and group solidarity is developed and sport provides a means for workers to have a temporary escape f rom hard work conditions - ' These ideas were found in the relationship of the Colliery League to an essentially working class community. W e s a w the miners of Princess Colliery helping the team by having a set amount of money taken from each cheque to ensure the financial success of the team. When the Dominion Hawks were in financial trouble in 1938 they attempted a similar scheme in the mines in their area but were not able to raise su££ i c i e n t funds. However, the demise of the Hawks was caused by the small size of the population base of Dominion, not by the lack of generosity of their supporters. Sàowing the solidarity of the teams in the League, the remaining four donated money to the Hawks to help thern pay their bills. The cost of arranging the transportation of players from Central Canada and the Eastern United States was a major portion of the teamsl budgets. Adding further costs to the already high budgets was the practice of importing players on Monday and releasing them on Friday, resulting in additional 'Regalado , llSport and Community in Japanese Yamato Colony, 139. 'Wheeler, IIOrganized Sport, 193. 163 cost to transport the players to Cape Breton and almost immediately pay their way back home. An exarnple of the community working together to help the team could be seen in Sydney Mines as many helped the Ramblers in their f und raising efforts. Local merchants Jack and Mendel Yazer loaned club rooms to the team to hold card and bingo games . The local movie house put on shows to raise funds. Some of the ladies of the community held socials to help the effort. Mitrano and Smith have made the point that sport unifies communities and tends to lessen the social distance between people and adds to the development of strong community feeling.' An examination of the executive of the Sydney Mines Ramblers proves this point. The executive consisted of Frank Heidle, a miner, Harold Layton, the owner of the local lurnber yard, R. J. MacDonald, LLB and H. Martin, MD. Thomas Johnstone, the President of the Indian Cove Coal Company was the Ramblerst team president. Examining the home area of fans attending the Rambler games reveals the team was supported by fans not only from Sydney Mines but also North Sydney, Bras d'Or and Florence. Baseball was bringing the people of the ort th si de together as they attended games. The Ramblers were a community organized and run team. Assorted cornmittees were establishedto performnumerous functions showing CO-operation added to the smooth running of the team. President Campbell desired the players of the Colliery 'Mitrano and Smith, "The Socioemotional Functions," 53. 164 League to be of high moral character. These players could be role models for the children of industrial Cape Breton teaching them the virtues of playing by the rules, respect for authority and the advantages of team play. The youth of the area, having problems f inding employment might emulate the players and use hard work as a road to success. The Colliery League provided amusement to the unemployed population contributing an outlet for their daily problems. The teams represented the conununities where they existed. In 1937, American interests attempted to purchase the cash strapped Dominion Hawks, a purchase which would have eliminated the debt and allowed the Hawks to continue without money worries . However, the team remained community owned as the people of Dominion would not permit the sale of the team to outside interests. The teams of the Colliery League represented the towns in fierce competition and showed the progressive character of the towns. Throughout the League as fans travelled from t o m to tom, people met and developed a better understanding of neighbouring townspeople and respect and confidence replaced bittemess and mistrust. People came together to discuss the games not only during the baseball season, but al1 year. The players of the Colliery League were readily accepted by the fans. Wherever they went in the various towns, the people stopped them and discussed baseball. At t h e beginning of the season receptions introduced players to t h e community 165 and as the season ended banquets and parades honored the players for their season-long efforts. The players earned money to support their f amilies, pay university costs , however they wished to spend their money . These players brought pride to their community in victory, but when their team lost, their stay in Cape Breton could be short. Baseball taught lessons about discipline, meanings of rules, pattern of response by authority, importance of excellence, dif f erence between persona1 and group expectations, and common bonds regardless of ethnicity, education or background. The members of the community learned the values and noms that would lead them to do what had to be done, ensuring the system remained in operation. ' Through baseball rules, respect for authority was taught. People learned certain criteria must be executed to keep the game ru~ining correctly. ~y playing or watching baseball, people acquired a means of relieving tension built up by daily activities. A method was provided allowing people to let off steam in a harmless f ashion. The system contained a variety of social mechanisms that brought people together and served as a catalyst, building social relationships needed for CO-ordinated action.' The games of the Colliery League attracted large crowds to not only watch, but to discuss the f iner points of the game of -- - 'coakley, It Sport In Society, 'l 28. Ïbid., 28. 166 baseball. The building of teams, improvements to ballparks, organizing of schedules and the numerous tasks required to run a professional baseball league qualified as CO-ordinated action, requiring a large degree of cohesion, solidarity and social integration. The members of the community learned the value of goals within the programme and the socially approved conventions of achieving these goals .' The goal of the teams of the Colliery League was to win as many games as possible under the rules set forth by organized baseball. There were salary lirnits to be adhered to and roster sizes were set. After a certain date in the schedule, players could not be added to the teams. The teams must adjust to these rules and do the best they could without going outside the parameters set forth. During the history of the League 1936-1939, as both a semi-professional and professional league, violence at games was a major problem. As fans lost large bets on their favourite teams and fuelled by alcohol, they fought with the players and umpires while the players fought with the fans and umpires. The fans defended the reputation of their team and the honour of the home tom by f ighting with visiting fans. The umpires, seen as a source of authority, also felt the wrath of rabid, home-tom fans. In Sydney Mines and New Waterford police were required to deal with the fans and a riot occurred during a game played in New Waterford during 167 1939. The teams had trouble staying within the salary guidelines which resulted in the teams in the League being in constant financial difficulty. Similar to society in general, women played a minor role in the Colliery League. They supported the teams by holding various £und raising events and socials after games for the benefit of the fans and players. Women were not the only group of people who were excluded £ r o m playing in the League. During the 1936 season Whitey" Michaels, a black player performed with the Dominion Hawks but not without some dif f iculties in being accepted. It took the executive members of the other t e a m s a lengthy period of time before allowing Michaels permission to play. The fans in Sydney Mines would not allow Michaels to play. During the three years the Colliery League was a m e m b e r of organized baseball there was an unwritten rule that prohibited blacks £ r o m performing and only one native person perfomed in the League. The League certainly divided the sexes and excluded blacks and native people. Large numbers of fans attended Colliery League games and there is evidence of them discussing the game during the season and after. The local paper, Sydney Post Record. provided ample publicity and covered every move the teams made. On a number of occasions miners failed to report for work and management found it necessary to close the mines because of the lack of manpower. This cost the other miners lost wages and the Company profits. Perhaps the League was occupying too much of the fanst tirne which could be spent on more important matters . The fans of the Cape Breton Colliery League rnay have placed too much emphasis on winning and too little on the satisfaction of competing at a high level of athletic prowess . Although the athlete may benefit from his performance, he forfeits control of his body.' Sport left the fans and players with little time to become aware of social problerns as all of their time was consumed by sport. In the toms of the Colliery League this was evidenced in people going to games instead of reporting to work. President Campbell employed the players to exhibit how hard work induced success but this attitude may have been incorrect. In an area plagued with high unemployment, those not çucceeding in life may have become passive obsewers rather than players. This contradicted President Campbell's belief that baseball would develop strong, healthy children. Many local merchants and some national companies, Imperia1 Tobacco as an example, advertised on billboards and scoreboards at the local ballparks. Perhaps they were civic minded, wishing solely to aid the local team; however, advertising sold goods and services if even on a small scale. A disappointing influence conveyed by baseball was the violence at numerous games. The League blamed alcohol and 169 gambling for chaos at their games; but the strong allegiance to teams was enough to cause violence and unruly fan behaviour at Colliery League games. Sport divided the sexes and perpetuated the difference between men and women. Females were relegated to supporting roles while males dominated by strength and mental makeup. Sport obscured the characteristics men and women had in common and kept men and women in their respective roles. The Cape Breton Colliery League was beneficial to the communities of industrial Cape Breton. To rwi the League and insure the success of the menber teams, collective action was necessary. Individual agendas gave way to common interests as the League struggled to succeed. 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'Equality and Difference: Feminism and the Defence of Women Workers During the Great Depre~sion.~ Labour/Le Travailleur 32 (Fall, 1993) : 201-223. Howe11, Colin D. ItBaseball, Class and Community in the Maritime Provinces. Histoire Sociale - Social Historv XXII, 44 (November-December, 1989) : 265-286. K a r p , David A. and William C . Yoels. "Sport and Urban Life." Journal of Sport and Social Issues 14, 2 (Fall, 1990) : 77-102. Lotz, Jim. The Historical and Social Setting of the ~ntigonish Movement." Nova Scotia Historical Quarterlv (1975) : 99-116. Macgillivray, Don. "Military Aid to the Civil Power: The Cape Breton Experience in the 1920s. " Acadiensis III, 2 (Spring, 1974) : 45-64. McCallum, Margaret E. Teeping Women in their P l a c e : The Minimum Wage in Canada 1910-25." Labour/Le Travailleur 17 (Spring, 1986) : 2 9 - 5 6 . McIntosh, Robert. The Boys in the Nova Scotia Coal Mines : 1873-1923. Acadiensis XVI, 1 (Spring, 1987) : 35-50. McKay, Ian. The Realrn of Uncertainty: The E x p e r i e n c e of Work i n the Cumberland Coal Mines, 1873-1927.11 Acadiensis 16, 1 (Autumn, 1986) : 3-57. Mitrano, John R. and Robbin E. Smith. "The Socioemotional Functions of Sport and the Maintenance of Community: Hurricane Hugo and Horse racing in St . Croix. Arena Review 14,l (1990) : 47-58. Penf old, Steven. "Have You No Manhood In You? Gender and Class in the Cape Breton Coal Toms, 1920-1926." Acadiensis XXIII, 2 (Spring, 1984) : 21-4 negalado, Samuel O. "Sport and Community in Japanese Yamato Colony . Journal of S~orte Histor, 19, 2 (Sumrner, 1992) : 130-143. Smith, Duane A. "Baseball Champions of Colorado : The Leadville Blues of 1882." Journal of Sports History, 4, 1 (1977) : 51-71. Wheeler , Robert F . , Wrganized Sport and Organized Labour, The Workers Sport Movement . Journal of Contem~orarv Historv. - (1971) : 191-209. NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES MacDonald, A.X. and R.P. Campbell, eds. The Diqest, 1, Sydney: Commercial Printers Ltd., 1938. Humber, William. "Toiling in the Maritime Minors. Cape Breton's Coal Mining League." Dugout, vol II, no. 1, (~pril/May, 1994) . Sportins News. 5 January 1937 - 22 June 1939. Svdnev Post Record. 7 April 1935 - 22 November 1939. INTERVIEWS "Cape Breton Colliery Baseball League. " Tape recording 10 June 1991. Courtesy ~ a 1 Higgins, CBC Mainstreet, CBC Sydney, NS Interview with Max Cullen, Sydney Mines, Nç, 16 November 1991. Interview with Russell Demont, Halifax, NS, 26 May 1996. Interview with Ed Gillis, Kentville, NS, 14 November 1991.