If it’s spring that must mean baseball!
The Easton Historical Society and Museum will have its monthly Open House on Sunday, March 19th from 11:00 to 4:30. Featured will be Easton’s very first Little League baseball charter from 1952. The first four teams in the league were: Fernandes (Supermarket), Lions (The Lions Club), Pioneers (The Pioneer Club), and Huskies (The Easton Huskies Club). All games were played at Frothingham Park. A few years later Easton’s Little League expanded to six teams with Howard’s Insurance and Easton Pharmacy joining in. Below is a schedule of the 1953 season with names of all the players, coaches, and leadership. So many familiar names, and we urge all of you and your families to attend if possible.
A few guest speakers will join us and pictures from the very early days will be on display. We will have photos, schedules from the 50s, 60s and beyond. We are looking for donations of any artifacts you may have that would add to this history. Hats, gloves, bats, helmets, pictures and uniforms for our display and archives.
We are looking for a very exciting day! Refreshments will be served.
Jonathan Coe (Howard’s Insurance 1962-64)
More baseball! The Easton Huskies and the Cranberry League
"Excellence In Amatuer Baseball Since Eisenhower Was President"
With spring comes the advent of baseball season. For those who love baseball, there is much to look forward to. Fields at Militia Park, Oliver Ames, and Frothingham Park will come alive once again. Grass will turn green; chalk lines will be put down. It is a happy time. Sadly, though, Easton’s well-known semi-pro baseball team, the Easton Huskies, is for now, history. According to Ed Hands in Easton's Neighborhoods, the Easton Huskies grew out of a twilight league created in the 1930's. The best players from the various teams played against other towns on Sundays. In 1939 after being criticized for their 'motley' appearance in mismatched uniforms, Connie Spillane, Bill Baxter, and others chose a town uniform and the team name Easton Huskies. In 1960 Connie founded the Cranberry Baseball League, which was a ‘wooden bat’ league. The Cranberry League was a member of the American Amateur Baseball Congress, Stan Musial Division. Players were amateur, collegiate, or former professional athletes who competed at a very high level. Connie Spillane, a multi-sport athlete and graduate of Oliver Ames, was a powerful force in baseball in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island for over 70 years. Connie passed away in 2003. Home field for the Huskies was Frothingham Park.
Annual Memorial Service for Louis A. Frothingham and his wife,
Mary Ames Frothingham on the Sunday before the Huskies season
opener, May 1998. Pictured: their grandson David Ames, OA teacher
Ed Hands, OA student Erin Pope, and Park Superintendent Buddy
In 1973 when Connie Spillane retired from coaching, he was followed by Bob Richards, Bob Gibson, Peter Johnson, and Bill Baxter. Beginning in 1985, Easton resident Bob Wooster took over as player-coach for the Easton Huskies (1985-1997), and then coach (1997-2010). Bob began his baseball career playing Little League for Howard Insurance and went on to play baseball (and basketball) for Oliver Ames. “Wooster is arguably the best all-around baseball player in OA history.” (Easton Public Schools Town of Easton Massachusetts). After a stellar career at Stonehill College Bob went on to the Cleveland Indians where he made it as far as their Double A team. With Bob as coach, the Huskies won five Massachusetts Stan Musial titles and travelled to the Stan Musial World Series four times.
Coach Bob Wooster.
Many Easton athletes have played for the Huskies, too many to mention here. A few old-timers mentioned at the 50th anniversary celebration in 1990 were Clyde Craig, Al Gomes, and Gil Heino.
Keeping a coach was difficult after Bob left. Both Chris Welch and John Ferrara stepped up, but currently the organization is without a coach. Much time and work is involved in managing a semi-pro team. Watching a Huskies game at Frothingham Park was a nice way to spend a summer day. Maybe sometime in the future, fans will once again fill the stands, wooden benches, folding chairs and grassy slopes, and watch another Sunday afternoon Huskies doubleheader.
Easton Huskies celebrate after a win.
Anne Wooster Drury
http://www.cranberryleague.com/, (Frothingham Memorial Park), Easton'sNeighborhoods by Ed Hands
(Easton Public Schools Town of Easton Massachusetts), firstname.lastname@example.org
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Anne Wooster Drury