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--- 2009 Fall Newsletter Mystery Solved? ---

In our Fall 2009 Newsletter, we published the following picture and asked the Giants community to help us enhance our archives by providing more information about the team and the people in this photo:

A mid-fifties Giants Midget team photo

We also asked whether you might have a copy of the original photo we could scan to improve our records.

Well, you came through for us, just as we thought you would! Confirming once again that the Giants family continues to care about the team experience baseball offers to everyone involved, even after so many years!

There is still some debate about the year of the photo and about the age group, but the names of the players have, for the most part, been resolved. Our best information to date tells us we are looking at:


Mid-fifties Giants Midgets
Back Row:
Bob Smith and Al Tresoor (Coaches)
Middle Row:
Bob Stawichny {p}, Lefty Schroeder {p}, Barry Levasseur {2nd B}, Gary White {2nd, ss, p}, Ken Ingram {c}, Jim Harrison* {of} and John Malenchuk** {inf-of}
Front Row:
Wally Castello {1b}, Jack Shuba*** {cf-p], Terry Clark {3b}, Clinton Hoskins {inf-ss} and Ron Cann {1b-inf-of}

Here is some of the information about the team offered by Jack Stanley (see below for a history of that name):

"I believe the year is 1955 City Champs, but we also won in 1956 or 1954 for back to back city champs. I strongly believe the championships were 1955 / 1956 which would have been my last year of midget baseball at 15 years old.

Team sponsors were Curly Haas (Sports clothing manufacturer) and Alec Turk (Coal yard dealer and wrestling promoter).

After we won our 2nd city championship in 1956, Curly Haas awarded us Elmwood Giants jackets with the Giants Championship logo."


As you will see below, we are still not certain of all of the player's names. We continue to look to you to help us make positive identifications on a few of these guys.

There is also some confusion over the year of the picture. Some of our sources believe it to be 1955. However, at the same time, they contend this is a Midget age team. Here is a brief listing of the league records we have available to us that indicate Giants clubs won City or Provincial championships that might relate to this team as it advanced through the age categories:

  • 1952 - Bantam
  • 1953 - Midget
  • 1954 - Midget
  • 1955 - Unsure
  • 1956 - Midget?
  • 1957 - Junior Finalists
  • 1958 - Junior
  • 1959 - Junior and Bantam
  • 1960 - Junior Finalists
  • 1961 - Junior

In addition to the above, we believe there were at least 2 city championships in the same time frame in the Juvenile (17 and 18 year-olds) category. Looking at the picture, we believe these are Midget-aged players. Some of us believe the photo relates to the 1954 Midget team.

We are particularly interested in this team since many of its members went on to be part of the 1957 to 1961 Elmwood Giants Juniors team that was inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008 in the "Special Teams" category. (Look for the article towards the bottom of the page)



As you can see, there is a winning tradition with this group of players that is a story in itself! Can you help us any further in completing the puzzle?

Jack Stanley also indicated he DOES have an original photo in his records. He has offered to allow us to scan it when he can put his hands on it. Thank you Jack!

We look forward to hearing from any of you who have more information or background on this team with such a rich winning tradition.



* - There is some question about this name; was it possibly Heinz or Hinds?

** - Can someone confirm this name? None of our sources are certain this one is accurate.

*** - He has also been known as Jack Ustashewski and as Jack Stanley.





 


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