News: Spencer History - Baseball


Surnames: Haslow, Vanderhoof, Rohm, Callahan, Morin, Neumann

Source: Spencer Centennial Book (1874 – 1974)

Spencer had a baseball team as early as the 1880's and Gardiner had a baseball field on his farm then. An item in the paper of 1887 stated that Spencer's team beat Marshfield 23 to 15.

In the early 1900's a ball park was located in Charles Haslow's pasture. A few out-of-town players were hired to play on the team. The manager often played on the team as well as acting as coach. At first only a few of the nine were "suited up" as they were lucky enough to inherit an uncle's suit, but soon they were all outfitted. Coach-managers of the early teams were Charley and August Rahm and later Dr. H. T. Callahan.
Another ball park was a space in the Seimers-Ingham Park. Guy Vanderhoof pitched ball and was considered the best "southpaw" in the country. Joe Morin came to Spencer from Canada and was a good baseball player.

The Recreation and Pool Hall was operated by Joe Morin especially for youngsters, and he demanded gentleman-like behavior in his place and received the respect of the youth. He tolerated no rowdiness and because he loved youngsters, Joe gave freely of his time to coach and teach the boys to play baseball.
In an item in a July 11, 1953 newspaper, Joe Morin announced that "Spencer now has a baseball team in the American Legion Junior League and the team will play its first game on Sunday at Abbotsford. All boys up to 18 years of age are eligible to play on the team and interested boys are to contact Mr. Morin at once."

In later years there has been little interest in baseball teams in Spencer, but softball became more popular. Teams from organizations have had an exchange program off and on until the 1960's.

After an absence of more than a decade, softball returned to the village in the summer of 1973 when a slow-pitch league was organized by Ken Neumann. The nine team league played their games on the diamond east of the school. Reigning as league champions with a record of 8-0 was the Land-O-Lakes team.



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