June 16, 1946 – Play Ball!
To the Editor:
After the cessation of Northern League (Summer Collegiate) baseball play during the 1942-1945 seasons due to World War II hostilities, Northern League games resumed after the war years hiatus on Sat. June 15, 1946. Newly admitted “rookie” team, the St. Johnsbury Yankees, travelled to U.V.M.’s Centennial Field for the season opener, a 3-2 loss at the hands of the Burlington Cardinals.
The next afternoon, Sun. June 16, 1946, back in Scale City the “St. Johnsbury Yankees successfully opened their home season in the Northern League […] by defeating the St. Albans Giants 10-8 in a loosely played ball game at Hazen Field before a crowd of 1,500 fans, largest to ever attend a game here.” (“St. Johnsbury 10, St. Albans 8,” The Burlington Free Press, Mon. June 17, 1946, at p. 14).
Along with the victory by Skipper Clary Anderson’s Yankees, the St. Johnsbury baseball fans in attendance were treated to “[c]olorful pre-game ceremonies […] featuring a concert by the combined Lyndonville and St. Johnsbury bands.” (Ibid.)
As to the game summary, the Free Press article noted that “Clary Anderson’s Yanks jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first three innings and despite a late game rally by the Giants, which produced five runs in the last two frames, the home towners staggered through to victory.” (Ibid.) The time of play was two hours and thirty-two minutes.
The St. Johnsbury Yankees played in the Northern League, with home games at Hazen Field, for five seasons before folding operations at the conclusion of the 1950 season.
Christopher E. Ryan
Los Angeles, California