Town baseball days recalled

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MINOT – The Minot Historical Society will meet at 7 p.m. today at the Minot Town Office when Wilma Irish will speak. Everyone is invited, and refreshments will be served following the meeting.

The April 11 meeting was called to order by President Hester Gilpatric. Marge Downing will donate her collection of Edward Little High School and Minot Consolidated School yearbooks. The continuing work on the William Ladd property was discussed, and a date will be set at the May meeting.

Wendall Nason introduced Jim Baumer, author of “When Towns Had Teams.” Many area towns had baseball teams in the 1950s through 1980s. Minot’s team was the “West Minot Townies.”

Baumer, of Lisbon, grew up with the “Robert’s 88’ers,” rivals of the West Minot team. He spoke of the leagues that existed during the 1960s. The West Minot team belonged to the Andy County League, which had 10 teams. Baumer told of his interview with Minot men, who said young boys would dream of playing for a town team when they grew up. The men who played on the teams were role models for young boys.

Baumer said 1966 was the last year West Minot had a team. He told of the changes in towns, which caused the demise of town teams. Farms went out of business, land was sold and television arrived.

Baumer spoke of the different ballfields and of the changes he has seen in his lifetime. He said when the first game was played in Pettengill Park in 1949, there was standing room only. Society members asked questions and shared their memories.

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