Walter Jeffries

Portrait by Robert Howson

A baseball columnist once wrote … “Ever since he could hold a glove and swing a bat, Walter Jeffries has been playing baseball”.

Jeffries played and coached baseball in Guelph for 35 years beginning in 1950. He developed into a terrific first baseman and signed his first professional contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers at the tender age of 15. The following spring (1945) he attended his first training camp, but after a month the Dodgers found out how old he was and sent him home. In 1947 he signed with the St. Louis Cardinals (for $125.00 a month) and played for four seasons in their minor league system getting as high as class ‘B’ ball.

In 1950 Jeffries arrived in Guelph and settled in for a long career in the Royal City. He became a perennial all-star in the Intercounty Baseball League and he went on to be Manager of the Year in the Intercounty with the Guelph Royals. He is still a scout for the Toronto Blue Jays and has held many tryout camps in Guelph.

Jeffries also played Junior B hockey in Toronto and he was a tremendous 10-pin bowler playing on many championship teams over the years.

Inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame – April 21, 1997