Debate still rages on about who invented baseball. But one thing is certain...it was alive and fractious in southwestern Ontario in the summer of 1949. It was a remarkable summer. For Charlie Hodge, just finishing his last year of high school, the summer of 1949 begins with great fanfare and excitement. He has made the Galt Terriers’ roster and will be riding the bench with a star-studded team, many of whom had played with the major leagues. When those seasoned pros arrive in town, big things are expected, and they don’t disappoint. There is the towering home run that Goody Rosen hits into the Grand River; the frozen baseball scheme that backfires; and the busload of promotional cooking oil hijacked just before game time. It all comes down to Game 7 in the Terriers’ semi-final series with the Brantford Red Sox, when a convicted gambler, playing centre field that night, makes one of the most controversial plays ever seen at Dickson Park. Based on exhaustive research and extensive interviews, David Menary recreates that post-war season in Terrier Town through the eyes of Charlie Hodge. While Charlie is a fictional character, the other players are not. This is a story that will resonate with young and old alike, baseball fans or not. This is a team that became a vital part of the town, and the town an elemental part of the team. This is a time rapidly fading from memory — a summer of myths and legends. This is a story of how life could be in the small southwestern town of Galt. And all this is our heritage.
Wilfrid Laurier University Press
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