Boys of Summer: Celebrating Watertown's History of BaseballPosted: Updated:
It was a celebration of the history of minor league and collegiate league baseball at the Jefferson County Historical Society Saturday.
When the conversation turned to the Watertown Athletics of the late 40s to early 50s, Dave Stoodley knows the subject well. He wrote a book on the history of the team.
That was right after the war. All these good ballplayers were getting out of the service and the minor league were just flourishing then," Stoodley said. "It was before TV and these players were all looking for jobs and it was easy to fill rosters. There were six teams in the Border League started by Father Martin from, a Catholic minister from Heuvelton. He had contacts because he had been in baseball practically all his life. He got six cities together and formed the Border League in 1946.
The Watertown Indians era well represented by former owner and current owner of the Watertown Rapids Mike Schell.
It was a great experience for all of us who put it together and for the folks that were with the city and all the fans," Schell said. "Opening night we had close to 4,000 people there and it showed how important baseball is to Watertown and how it's a shared experience and community experience and part of our culture. We had a great time having the Indians here.
A stroll down memory lane taking as the Watertown Rapids bring baseball back to Watertown this summer with the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.
The exhibit is open until late July.