1928 Guelph Whippets Juvenile Baseball Club

1928 Guelph Whippets Juvenile Baseball Club

Guelph City and Ontario Juvenile Champions, 1928

Top row: W.S HANNA, Mgr J. WATKINS, Sec. G. MACINTYRE, R.F. J. RICHARDSON, 3b. J. SCHONFELDT, C. D. STEELE, L.F. H. BERSCHT, L.F. H. WORTON, C.F. and Capt. A. AMATO, Coach J. COCKMAN, HON. Coach.
Bottom row: J. GRUZLESKI, 1B. C. PARKS, P. J. BRIGGS, Mascot J. LOVE,S.S F. HILLSON, 2B Absent- S. VALERIOTE

Every once in while a group of individuals form a team that goes on to attain glorious heights. There was such a group of young men in the late 1920’s in Guelph. Practically all of the individuals from this team had come up through the local minor league system. Over time a core group would stay together for many years winning not only the 1928 Ontario Juvenile Championship, but the Bantam title two years earlier and later the Senior Intercounty title.

The 1928 championship holds a special place in Guelph baseball lore. They were the underdogs as they met the Toronto Lizzies in the best-of-three OBA final. Toronto won the first game at home 6-5 and appeared to be on their way to a sweep before left fielder Homer Berscht unleashed a pinch-hit triple to give Guelph game two at Exhibition Park. Game three was set for a neutral site in Hamilton. Spurred on by their late inning heroics in game two they walked away with game three and the OBA title. Led by captain Harold ‘Bun’ Worton (later to become Guelph’s longtime MPP), the team featured shortstop Jack ‘Red’ Love, first baseman Joe ‘Tubby’ Gruzleski, second sacker Frank ‘Rooster’ Hillson, 3rd baseman ‘Lanky’ Jack Richardson, catcher Jack ‘Schonny’ Schonfeldt; and outfielders Gib MacIntyre, Si Valeriote, Don ‘Weiner’ Steele and Berscht. The pitchers were Jack Hanna and Charlie Parks. Stan Hanna was the sponsor and manager of the club.

Inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame – Team category – on May 12, 2004