1960 Kiwanis Juvenile Baseball Club

1960 Kiwanis Juvenile Baseball Club

FRONT ROW: Paul Howard, Rusty Lovelock, George Ashley, Ken Tracze, Wayne Hillson; MIDDLE ROW: Lou Favrin, Andy Williams, Mike Booth, Cam Allan, Bob Heron, Jack Allan (coach); BACK ROW: Ivan Mitter, Don Booth (Assistant Coach), John McArthur, Ron Nicholls; MISSING: Glen Love and John Steele

The Guelph Juveniles, managed by Jack Allan, were led in 1960 by two horses on the mound.  Ron Nicholls from the left side and Jim Ferguson from the right were key to a team that featured many strong players. The Club had a strong regular season and downed Kitchener to win the Intercounty championship.  Next it was off to face Hamilton in the regional finals.  They were pasted 14-3 in the opener but then Nicholls took over.  Back at Exhibition Stadium he tossed an 8-hitter in game two with the “Kiwanis Kids”, as they were dubbed by Hall of Fame writer Frank Orr then sports editor of the Guelph Mercury, taking a 6-5 win.  In the third and deciding game Nicholls started again on just one day of rest and gave up only two runs over seven innings.  It looked like Guelph was cruising, but they gave up four in the 8th and two in the 9th and needed to score two in the bottom of the 9th to win a thriller 9-8. They would meet Sarnia in the Ontario Baseball Association (OBA) finals. Again they lost big on the road in game one, but came back to Exhibition Park the following weekend.  Nicholls spun a 4-hitter striking out 13 on the way to a 5-2 win in the opening game of the double-header.  Ferguson, despite a pulled leg muscle, started the nightcap and not only struck out nine, but had two hits as well.  This game also had a thrilling end.  The home side was ahead 4-0 heading into the top of the ninth but a couple of miscues led to two runs for Sarnia and the final out came on a line drive to shortstop Wayne Hillson who then drilled a throw to catcher George Ashley for the final out in a cloud of dust at home plate.  Guelph had won the game 4-2 and the city’s first OBA Juvenile title in twenty years.

Inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame – Team category – on June 18, 2014