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Old 12-20-2004, 08:56 AM
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Default OT - My Sports Historical Society Weekend Event

Posted By: canjond

This is off-topic but still an interesting story I'd like to share with the board. Two years ago when I was 21, I founded the Fulton-Montgomery Sports Historical Society with a long-time friend who might be responsible for my affinity for baseball. I come from upstate NY – a small town about 20 miles from Cooperstown and even though I now live in NYC and attend law school, I still have a love for the area I hail from.

My local area is rich with sports history. The town I grew up in is where Bud Fowler, Bill Dahlen, and Myron Grimshaw all lived. Nearby is where Hal Schumacher and George Burns (of the Giants), and many other early baseball players lived. John Sullivan trained in a gym nearby, Babe Ruth hit his final homerun in an exhibition game at a local field, Bobby Jones loved a local golf course, and professional basketball was played in the town next to mine at the turn of the century. One of the other sports claims to my local area is a professional baseball team that used to play here. In the early 1900’s, Gloversville and Johnstown NY started a team called the “Glovers”. In 1938, they joined the Cam-Am league and enjoyed success until the 1950’s when they finally stopped. [I could go on and on and on but I’ll cut it off here]. Both myself, and the other co-founder, have this vision of making a museum to preserve the rich sports history of Fulton and Montgomery counties. Last year, the local YMCA received permission to build a brand new state-of-the-art facility. They contacted us with the idea of allowing our “dream” museum to be built inside the new YMCA when construction begins in the future.

Since founding the Sports Historical Society, many basements and attics have been emptied of old mementos from the Glovers early days have found their way to me as donations to “the cause”. One way we wanted to give back to everyone in the community for their support, as well as to educate people on the local sports history that they are unaware of, was to have a reunion for the surviving Glovers. We contacted every Glover we could find and invited them to an event that was held yesterday in Johnstown, NY. In doing so, we were able to get a big “Fish” (pardon the pun) who once played for the Glovers to come back to the town he hadn’t visited in 54 years!

In 1950, a 20 year old catcher named Jack McKeon played for the Glovers. I’m sure everyone knows, but Jack McKeon is the current manager of the Florida Marlins (and former manager of the Reds, Padres, and Royals, among many other teams.) He also managed the Marlins to a 2003 World Series win. (I had to swallow my Yankee pride for this one!) Jack was gracious enough to accept our request of attending the reunion, as well as being our Key Note speaker at the banquet at night for all the other Glovers. [We were also fortunate to have some local former-pro ball players show up too!] Jack was incredible and his speech was amazing – one of the friendliest, funniest, and wittiest people I have ever met. Besides the banquet, we also had a 30-person limo tour of the old sight of the ball field and other local places the Glovers used to visit as a team 50+ years ago. Everything Jack did, was done for free. As he put it “I just wanted to give back to the community that gave to me 50 years ago”.

I could go on for more, but I’ll just leave you with a picture instead!


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