The glory days of Kimberley baseball

Stop by the Elks this Saturday after the parade for a chance to talk baseball

Lat summer, over 100 people attended a baseball reunion in Kimberley. Above, -R Ike Bodin, Chris Heinemann, John Howe. Kimberley Bulletin file.

ANTHONY DRANSFELD

Some former members of the Kimberley Hobos, and Dynamos, BPOE Angels and Tempest baseball teams will get together for a memories session at the Elks Hall in Kimberley right after the JulyFest Parade ends on Saturday. This will be in the upstairs Elks Hall. Approximately 30 to 35 people have responded to say ” We will be there ” to talk about the glory days of baseball in Kimberley.

This includes Ed Johnson, Albert Hoglund, ( Bricky ) Colin Patterson, Jimmy Nelson, Mel Johnson, Carlo Johansen, Ike Bodin, Larry Musser, Tommy Orr and Al Patterson. Anyone connected to Senior and Junior Baseball here in Kimberley is sure welcome to attend and reconnect with old friends.

SOME BASEBALL HISTORY

The most formidable Pitcher Catcher duo in the Kootenays belonged to Carlo Johansen and his Kimberley Tempests. Pitcher Jerry Carter and his receiver Bob O’Brien. Together they possessed a very high baseball IQ. I watched many an Angel team mate trudge back to the dug out after being rung up by these 2. Carter had pinpoint control, and a nasty, nasty curve ball. Young O’Brien knew all of the opposing hitters weaknesses , and had a memory like an Elephant. Later in life Jerry taught Physics and Math in Golden before becoming a long time Principal there. Bob O’Brien went into medicine, practicing locally in Cranbrook. Both are now retired.

Baseball flourished here during the 1950s and 60s. You had to live back then to really get a grasp of it. Big, big crowds at Coronation Park. My favourite ball player was Moose Ronquist, a Babe Ruth type hitter. Legend had it that when the Moose swung and missed, you could feel the breeze down at the Post Office.

A poignant memory I have of Junior Ball, our team the BPOE Angels were playing down in Marysville against the Trader Vic squad. Alan Fabro walked three batters in a row, without throwing a strike, so “Mauk” McKenzie our Coach said to me “Get in there, Son and throw strikes.” Now the Marysville Ball Park had a very short right field fence. it was dark green and about 12 feet high. Five warm up pitches and here we go. My very first pitch to Don Delaney was going to be a strike until he swatted it just over that right field fence for a 260 foot home run.The very next morning Don Delaney was out hunting near Wasa, and fell asleep while driving his truck. Tragically, Don was killed. I went to his funeral. When you experience death for the first time in your young life, it has a profound effect. Actually, I can still picture Don with a big grin on his face as he circled the bases on his Grand Slam Home Run.

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