A Boston Brave in St. J.

To the Editor:

The roster of the 1940 Vermont-New Hampshire Twin State Baseball League champions, the St. Johnsbury Senators, featured a former National League Boston Braves pitcher, Al Blanche, during that summer of play eighty years ago. Blanche pitched and played right field for the Senators. (“Twin State League Opens,” The Burlington Free Press, Fri. June 21, 1940, at p. 19). In 1940, the Twin State League consisted of Vermont teams from Newport and St. Johnsbury and New Hampshire teams from Berlin, Groveton, Lancaster, and Littleton.

Born on Sept. 21, 1909 in Somerville, Mass., Al Blanche would go on to play for the Senior Circuit’s (National League’s) Boston Braves as a relief pitcher during the 1935 and 1936 seasons, compiling a Major League Baseball career record of 0-1 with a 3.78 earned run average.

Al Blanche served in the U.S. Army during WWII and died on Apr. 2, 1997. His remains are interred at Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett, Mass. Blanche, along with the late Jean Dubuc and Harding “Pete” Peterson, is at least the third Major League Baseball player associated with St. Johnsbury. Another footnote in the rich chapter of Scale City sports history with respect to professional baseball.

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